IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2023B019 PROGRAM_TITLE Evolution of near-IR emitting structures resulting from recent WD periastron passage-related outburst in the R Aqr Symbiotic System PROGRAM_INV1 Margarita Karovska PROGRAM_INV2 Joseph Hora PROGRAM_INV3 Massimo Marengo PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT stellar PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG We propose a followup IRTF/SpeX high-angular resolution imaging of the complex circumbinary environment of R Aqr, a nearby wind accreting and jet producing symbiotic binary system [WD + Mira-type star]. Our principal goal is to carry out a timely high-angular resolution [0.1''] study of the evolution of the characteristics and the kinematics of the new ejecta [e.g., warm dust], and including of the new jet and the blobs along the jet [detected in the 2021 SpeX observations, as well as in the 2021 X-ray, UV-optical, radio images] - resulting from the enhanced accretion and outburst during the recent periastron passage. These phenomena are observable in R Aqr only about twice a century, with the next periastron expected in about 40 years. The SpeX observations at 3.4 and 5.1 microns will result in high signal-to-noise images of the close sub-arcsecond circumbinary region of the inner-jet < 1 arcsec [<200 AU], to over 5'' [1000 AU], as well as of dust blobs/shells and of the disk structure perpendicular to the jet [detected in 2020, 2021]. When combined with the results from recent archival Chandra, HST, and VLA observations, the SpeX observations will allow us to determine the characteristics of the kinematics of the new jet and the interaction of the ejecta with the warm dust environment, including within the disk and with the surrounding shells.We will observe unresolved reference sources to obtain a good empirical PSF for image subtracting and deconvolution purposes.By zooming in on the close circumbinary region, where the jet/ejecta plow through [and interact with] the newly formed and pre-existing dust, we will gain unique insights into the R Aqr symbiotic system, and the precursor environments of potential progenitors of PN. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END