The symbiotic star CH Cygni – II. The ejecta from the 1998-2000 active phase

Eyres, S. P. S., Bode, M. F., Crocker, M. M. and Davis, R. J. (2002) The symbiotic star CH Cygni – II. The ejecta from the 1998-2000 active phase. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 335 (3). pp. 526-538. ISSN 0035-8711

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We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging, a Very Large Array (VLA) radio map (4.74 GHz), optical high-resolution (echelle) spectroscopy and UBV photoelectric photometry of the symbiotic star CH Cyg obtained during its 1998–2000 active phase. The HST imaging, taken during eclipse, shows the central stars are embedded in a nebula extending to 620 ± 150 au for a distance of 270 ± 66 pc. The inner nebula is strongly influenced by the onset of activity and associated outflow in 1998. The surface brightness contours of the contemporaneous radio VLA observation agree well with HST images. Photometric observations of the broad 1999 U-minimum suggest that it is due to the eclipse of the active hot component by the giant on the long-period (14.5 yr) outer orbit. We also find that the onset of the 1998 and the 1992 active periods occur at the same orbital phase of the inner binary. Spectroscopic observations reveal two types of outflow from the active star: a high-velocity (>1200 km s−1) hot star wind sporadically alternating with a more massive outflow indicated by P-Cygni-like profiles. We present evidence connecting the extended nebulosity with the high-velocity shocked outflow, and hence the activity in the central binary.

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