Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 431, 565-574 (2005/2-4)
Evolution from AGB to planetary nebula in the MSX survey.
ORTIZ R., LORENZ-MARTINS S., MACIEL W.J. and RANGEL E.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the evolution of oxygen- and carbon-rich AGB stars, post-AGB objects, and planetary nebulae using data collected mainly from the MSX catalogue. Magnitudes and colour indices are compared with those calculated from a grid of synthetic spectra that describe the post-AGB evolution beginning at the onset of the superwind. We find that carbon stars and OH/IR objects form two distinct sequences in the (K-[8.3])x([8.3]-[14.7]) MSX colour diagram. OH/IR objects are distributed in two groups: the bluest ones are crowded near [14.7]-[21.3]≃1 and [8.3]-[14.7]≃2, and a second, redder group is spread over a large area in the diagram, where post-AGB objects and planetary nebulae are also found. High mass-loss rate OH/IR objects, post-AGB stars, and planetary nebulae share the same region in the (K-[8.3])x([8.3]-[14.7]) and [14.7]-[21.3]x([8.3]-[14.7]) colour-colour diagrams. This region in the diagram is clearly separated from a bluer one where most OH/IR stars are found. We use a grid of models of post-AGB evolution, which are compared with the data. The gap in the colour-colour diagrams is interpreted as the result of the rapid trajectory in the diagram of the stars that have just left the AGB.