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Nested dust shells around the Wolf–Rayet binary WR 140 observed with JWST

Lau, Ryan M. and Hankins, Matthew J. and Han, Yinuo and Argyriou, Ioannis and Corcoran, Michael F. and Eldridge, Jan J. and Endo, Izumi and Fox, Ori D. and Garcia Marin, Macarena and Gull, Theodore R. and Jones, Olivia C. and Hamaguchi, Kenji and Lamberts, Astrid and Law, David R. and Madura, Thomas and Marchenko, Sergey V. and Matsuhara, Hideo and Moffat, Anthony F. J. and Morris, Mark R. and Morris, Patrick W. and Onaka, Takashi and Ressler, Michael E. and Richardson, Noel D. and Russell, Christopher M. P. and Sanchez-Bermudez, Joel and Smith, Nathan and Soulain, Anthony and Stevens, Ian R. and Tuthill, Peter and Weigelt, Gerd and Williams, Peredur M. and Yamaguchi, Ryodai (2022) Nested dust shells around the Wolf–Rayet binary WR 140 observed with JWST. Nature Astronomy, 6 (11). pp. 1308-1316. ISSN 2397-3366. doi:10.1038/s41550-022-01812-x.

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Massive colliding-wind binaries that host a Wolf–Rayet (WR) star present a potentially important source of dust and chemical enrichment in the interstellar medium. However, the chemical composition and survival of dust formed from such systems is not well understood. The carbon-rich Wolf–Rayet binary WR 140 presents an ideal astrophysical laboratory for investigating these questions, given its well-defined orbital period and predictable dust-formation episodes every 7.93 years around periastron passage. We present observations from our Early Release Science programme (ERS 1349) with the James Webb Space Telescope Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) Medium-Resolution Spectrometer and Imager that reveal the spectral and spatial signatures of nested circumstellar dust shells around WR 140. MIRI medium-resolution spectroscopy of the second dust shell and Imager detections of over 17 shells formed throughout approximately the past 130 years confirm the survival of carbonaceous dust grains from WR 140 that are probably carriers of ‘unidentified infrared’-band features at 6.4 and 7.7 μm. The observations indicate that dust-forming carbon-rich Wolf–Rayet binaries can enrich the interstellar medium with organic compounds and carbonaceous dust.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access InJPL News
Lau, Ryan M.0000-0003-0778-0321
Argyriou, Ioannis0000-0003-2820-1077
Corcoran, Michael F.0000-0002-7762-3172
Eldridge, Jan J.0000-0002-1722-6343
Endo, Izumi0000-0002-9129-5988
Fox, Ori D.0000-0003-2238-1572
Gull, Theodore R.0000-0002-6851-5380
Jones, Olivia C.0000-0003-4870-5547
Hamaguchi, Kenji0000-0001-7515-2779
Lamberts, Astrid0000-0001-8740-0127
Law, David R.0000-0002-9402-186X
Madura, Thomas0000-0001-7697-2955
Moffat, Anthony F. J.0000-0002-4333-9755
Morris, Mark R.0000-0002-6753-2066
Morris, Patrick W.0000-0002-5186-4381
Onaka, Takashi0000-0002-8234-6747
Ressler, Michael E.0000-0001-5644-8830
Richardson, Noel D.0000-0002-2806-9339
Russell, Christopher M. P.0000-0002-9213-0763
Sanchez-Bermudez, Joel0000-0002-9723-0421
Smith, Nathan0000-0001-5510-2424
Soulain, Anthony0000-0001-7661-5130
Stevens, Ian R.0000-0001-7673-4340
Tuthill, Peter0000-0001-7026-6291
Weigelt, Gerd0000-0001-9754-2233
Williams, Peredur M.0000-0002-8092-980X
Additional Information:R.M.L. thanks the members of the entire WR DustERS team for their valuable discussions and contributions to this work. We thank A. Moro-Martin, W. Januszewki, N. Reid, M. Meixner and B. Meinke for their support in the planning and execution of our ERS programme. We would also like to acknowledge the MIRI instrument and MIRISim teams for their insightful feedback and support of our observation and data analysis plans. We are grateful to K. Gordon for his guidance on the MIRI Imager data reduction. The work of R.M.L. is supported by NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Y.H. acknowledges funding from the Gates Cambridge Trust. M.F.C. and K.H. were supported by NASA under award number 80GSFC21M0002. O.C.J. acknowledges support from an STFC Webb fellowship. A.F.J.M. is grateful for financial aid from NSERC (Canada). J.S.-B. acknowledges support from the Mexican Council of Science (CONACyT) "Ciencia de Frontera" project CF-2019/263975. C.M.P.R. acknowledges support from NATA ATP grant number 80NSSC22K0628 and NASA Chandra Theory grant number TM2-23003X. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. The data were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract number NAS 5-03127 for JWST. These observations are associated with programme ERS 1349. Support for programme ERS 1349 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract number NAS 5-03127. Contributions. R.M.L. led the analysis and is PI of the WR DustERS Team. R.M.L. and M.J.H. conceived and designed the project. I.A. and D.R.L. processed the MRS data, and M.G.M. processed the MIRI imaging data. Y.H. and P.T. constructed the geometric models of WR 140. All authors contributed to observation planning and/or scientific interpretation as members of the WR DustERS Team. Data availability. Data used in this study were obtained under JWST Director’s Discretionary Early Release Science programme ID ERS 1349 and have no exclusive access period. Data can be obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST; Code availability. This research made use of Astropy, a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy42. This research also made use of Jdaviz, which is a package of astronomical data analysis visualization tools based on the Jupyter platform.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gates Cambridge TrustUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)CF-2019/263975
NASANAS 5-03127
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230227-902482000.2
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:119526
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:28 Feb 2023 15:00
Last Modified:28 Feb 2023 15:00

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