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Refined fundamental parameters of Canopus from combined near-IR interferometry and spectral energy distribution

Abstract : Context. Canopus, the brightest and closest yellow supergiant to our Solar System, offers a unique laboratory for understanding the physics of evolved massive stars.Aims. We aim at quantitatively exploring a large space of fundamental parameters of Canopus based on the combined analysis of its spectral energy distribution (SED) and optical-IR long baseline interferometry.Methods. We use the most recent high resolution near-IR data from the VLTI focal beam combiners PIONIER (H and K bands) and AMBER (K band), together with precise spectrophotometric measures that cover the SED of Canopus, from the UV to the IR, taken from ground and space observatories.Results. The accurate and precise PIONIER data allowed us to simultaneously measure the angular diameter and the limb darkening (LD) profile using different analytical laws. We found that the power-law LD, being also in agreement with predictions from stellar atmosphere models, reproduces the interferometric data well. For this model we measured an angular diameter of 7.184 ± 0.0017 ± 0.029 mas and an LD coefficient of 0.1438 ± 0.0015, which are respectively ≳5 and ~15−25 more precise than in our previous A&A paper on Canopus from 2008. From a dedicated analysis of the interferometric data, we also provide new constraints on the putative presence of weak surface inhomogeneities. Additionally, we analyzed the SED in a innovative way by simultaneously fitting the reddening-related parameters and the stellar effective temperature and gravity. We find that a model based on two effective temperatures is much better at reproducing the whole SED, from which we derived several parameters, including a new bolometric flux estimate: fbol = (59.22 ± 2.45) × 10−6 erg cm−2 s−1. We were also able to estimate the stellar mass from these measurements, and it is shown to be in agreement with additional predictions from evolutionary models, from which we inferred the age of Canopus as well.Conclusions. The Canopus angular diameter and LD measured in this work with PIONIER are the most precise to date, with a direct impact on several related fundamental parameters. Moreover, thanks to our joint analysis, we were able to determine a set of fundamental parameters that simultaneously reproduces both high-precision interferometric data and a good quality SED and, at the same time, agrees with stellar evolution models. This refined set of fundamental parameters constitutes a careful balance between the different methodologies used, providing invaluable observationally based constraints to models of stellar structure and evolution, which still present difficulties in simulating stars such as Canopus in detail.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 1, 2021 - 10:10:22 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 4:34:18 AM

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A. Domiciano de Souza, J. Zorec, F. Millour, J.-B. Le Bouquin, A. Spang, et al.. Refined fundamental parameters of Canopus from combined near-IR interferometry and spectral energy distribution. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2021, 654, pp.A19. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202140478⟩. ⟨hal-03362654⟩

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