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Astronomy and Astrophysics 501 (2009) 985-998
New Magellanic Cloud R Coronae Borealis and DY Persei type stars from the EROS-2 database: the connection between RCBs, DYPers, and ordinary carbon stars
P. Tisserand1, P. R. Wood, J. B. Marquette2, C. Afonso1, J. N. Albert3, J. Andersen, R. Ansari3, E. Aubourg1, 4, P. Bareyre1, J. P. Beaulieu2, X. Charlot1, C. Coutures1, 2, R. Ferlet2, P. Fouqué5, J. F. Glicenstein1, B. Goldman1, A. Gould, M. Gros1, J. De Kat1, É. Lesquoy1, 2, C. Loup2, 6, C. Magneville1, É. Maurice, A. Maury, A. Milsztajn1, M. Moniez3, N. Palanque-Delabrouille1, O. Perdereau3, J. Rich1, P. Schwemling7, M. Spiro1, A. Vidal-Madjar2
For the EROS-2 collaboration(s)

Context: R Coronae Borealis stars (RCB) are a rare type of evolved carbon-rich supergiant stars that are increasingly thought to result from the merger of two white dwarfs, called the Double degenerate scenario. This scenario is also studied as a source, at higher mass, of type Ia Supernovae (SnIa) explosions. Therefore a better understanding of RCBs composition would help to constrain simulations of such events. Aims: We searched for and studied RCB stars in the EROS Magellanic Clouds database. We also extended our research to DY Per type stars (DYPers) that are expected to be cooler RCBs (T ˜ 3500 K) and much more numerous than their hotter counterparts. With the aim of studying possible evolutionary connections between RCBs and DYPers, and also ordinary carbon stars, we compared their publically available broad band photometry in the optical, near, and mid-infrared. Methods: The light curves of ~70 millions stars, monitored for 6.7 years (from July 1996 to February 2003), have been analysed to search for the main signature of RCBs and DYPers: a large (up to 9 mag) drop in luminosity. Carbon stars with fading episodes were also found by inspecting numerous light curves of objects that presented an infrared excess in the 2MASS and Spitzer- SAGE and S^3MC databases. Follow-up optical spectroscopy was used to confirm each photometric candidate found. Results: We have discovered and confirmed 6 new Magellanic Cloud RCB stars and 7 new DYPers, but also listed new candidates: 3 RCBs and 14 DYPers. Optical and infrared colour magnitude diagrams that give new insights into these two sets of stars are discussed. We estimated a range of Magellanic RCB shell temperatures between 360 and 600 K. Conclusions: We confirm the wide range of absolute luminosity known for RCB stars, MV ˜ -5.2 to -2.6. Our study further shows that mid-infrared surveys are ideal to search for RCB stars, since they have thinner and cooler circumstellar shells than classical post-AGB stars. In addition, by increasing the number of known DYPers by ~400%, we have been able to shed light on the similarities in the spectral energy distribution between DYPers and ordinary carbon stars. We also observed that DYPer circumstellar shells are fainter and hotter than those of RCBs. This suggests that DYPers may simply be ordinary carbon stars with ejection events, but more abundance analysis is necessary to give a status on a possible evolutionnary connexion between RCBs and DYPers. Based on observations made with the CNRS/INSU MARLY telescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. Figures 7-13 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
1:  IRFU - Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers (ex DAPNIA)
2:  IAP - Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
3:  LAL - Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire
4:  APC - UMR 7164 - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
5:  LATT - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées
6:  OAS - Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg
7:  LPNHE - Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Énergies
APC - Cosmologie et Gravitation
Physics/Astrophysics/Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Sciences of the Universe/Astrophysics/Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
stars: AGB and post-AGB – stars: carbon – supergiants – Magellanic Clouds
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