IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2021B044 PROGRAM_TITLE A Mid-IR Spectroscopic Survey of Dust-Forming Wolf-Rayet Stars with IRTF/BASS PROGRAM_INV1 Ryan Lau PROGRAM_INV2 Izumi Endo PROGRAM_INV3 Itsuki Sakon PROGRAM_INV4 Jon Mauerhan PROGRAM_INV5 Yannis Argyriou PROGRAM_SCICAT galactic/interstellar medium PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG Dust-forming carbon-rich Wolf-Rayet [WC] binaries have been recently identified as important and early sources of, presumably carbon-rich, dust. However, the chemistry of dust that forms in the hostile and hydrogen-poor circumstellar environment around a WC star is still uncertain. Recent studies have shown that the dust formed in WC binaries may be carriers of unidentified infrared bands [UIR], which are ubiquitous features in the interstellar medium that are thought to be associated with organic matter. Excitingly, new mid-IR spectroscopic observation taken with the now-decommissioned COMICS instrument on the Subaru Telescope detected broad UIR band features at 8.5 and 12.5 um from the dust-forming WC binary WR125. We therefore propose a mid-IR 3-14 um low-resolution [R~100] spectroscopic survey with IRTF/BASS to confirm or constrain the presence of UIR band features in a sample of 21 Galactic dust-forming WC systems. Our proposed observations require 2 full nights or 4 first-half nights in S2021B. Lastly, our proposed observations include the two targets [WR137 and WR140] and support the science of the James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Science program ERS 1349 [PI - R. Lau]. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END