There is an ongoing debate regarding the onset luminosity of dusty mass loss in population-II red giant stars. We present VLT/VISIR mid-infrared (MIR) 8.6 mu m imaging of 47 Tuc, the centre of attention of a number of space-based Spitzer observations and studies. The VISIR high-resolution (diffraction limited) observations allow excellent matching to existing optical Hubble Space Telescope catalogues. The optical-MIR coverage of the inner 1'.15 core of the cluster provide the cleanest possible blending-free sampling of the upper 3 mag of the giant branch. Our diagrams show no evidence of faint giants with MIR-excess. A combined near/mid-infrared diagram additionally confirms the near absence of dusty red giants. Dusty red giants and asymptotic giant stars are confined to the 47 Tuc long-period variable population. In particular, dusty red giants are limited to the upper one N-8.6 (mu m) magnitude below the giant branch tip. This particular luminosity level corresponds to similar to 1000 L-circle dot, which was suggested in previous determinations to mark the onset of dusty mass loss. Interestingly, starting from this luminosity level we detected a gradual deviation between the colours of red giants and the theoretical isochrones.
|Titolo:||The VLT/VISIR mid-IR view of 47 Tucanae A further step in solving the puzzle of RGB mass loss|
|Autori:||Momany Y; Saviane I; Smette A; Bayo A; Girardi L; Marconi G; Milone AP; Bressan A|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1051/0004-6361/201117223|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|