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We have applied a general mechanism first proposed by J. A. Burke to red supergiants for determining the spin-down rate and angular momentum loss of rotating stars. This model relies principally on sporadic mass ejection, which is assumed to be the result of turbulent elements accelerating material in cool supergiant.atmospheres. Mass is preferentially expelled in the forward direction of rotation, resulting in a rapid loss of angular momentum on time scales of 1Q^4-10^6 years in the supergiant evolutionary phase. Such rotational breaking will occur if the turbulent elements have characteristic sizes a few percent of the stellar radius, and rms velocities one-third the escape speed of the star. This model predicts the formation of a cool silicate disk or torus around the star because of the preferred expulsion of material near equatorial regions of the supergiant.


This article was originally published in Astrophysical Journal, volume 228, in 1979. DOI: 10.1086/182915

Peer Reviewed



IOP Publishing



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