Episodic dust formation by HD 192641 (WR 137) - II

P. M. Williams*, M. R. Kidger, K. A. Van Der Hucht, P. W. Morris, M. Tapia, M. Perinotto, L. Morbidelli, A. Fitzsimmons, D. M. Anthony, J. J. Caldwell, A. Alonso, V. Wild

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We present new infrared photometry of the WC7-type Wolf-Rayet star HD 192641 (WR 137) from 1985 to 1999. These data track the cooling of the dust cloud formed in the 1982-84 dust-formation episode from 1985 to 1991, the increase of the infrared flux from 1994.5 to a new dust-formation maximum in 1997 and its subsequent fading. From these and earlier data we derive a period of 4765 ± 50d (13.05 ± 0.15 yr) for the dust-formation episodes. Between dust-emission episodes, the infrared spectral energy distribution has the form of a power law, λFλ ∝ λ-1.86. The rising branch of the infrared light curve (1994-97) differs in form from that of the episodic dust-maker WR 125. Time-dependent modelling shows that this difference can be attributed to a different time dependence of dust formation in WR 137, which occurred approximately ∝t2 until maximum, whereas that of WR 125 could be described by a step function, akin to a threshold effect. For an adopted distance of 1.6kpc, the rate of dust formation was found to be 5.0 × 10-8 Myr-1 at maximum, accounting for a fraction fC ≈ 1.5 × 10-3 of the carbon flowing in the stellar wind. The fading branches of the light curves show evidence for secondary 'mini-eruptions' in 1987, 1988 and 1990, behaviour very different from that of the prototypical episodic dust-maker HD 193793 (WR 140), and suggesting the presence in the WR 137 stellar wind of large-scale structures that are crossed by the wind-wind collision region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-166
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2001


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: individual: WR 137
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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