Stellar pulsation, atmospheric structure, and mass loss

  • L. A. Willson
  • G. H. Bowen
Sesssion V. Mass Loss and Pulsation
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 254)


Pulsation in one or many radial and/or non-radial modes may be a universal characteristic of stars. The possible consequences of pulsation include an increase in the atmospheric scale height (“levitation”), the heating of a region of the atmosphere to a temperature well in excess of the radiative equilibrium temperatur, and the driving of substantial winds. The effectiveness of pulsation in driving and enhancing mass loss has led us to suggest that most mass loss of evolutionary significance is associated with (obvious, large amplitude) stellar pulsation (Willson & Bowen 1984). In this review we will first define and distinguish three atmospheric regions in pulsating stars, then discuss the essential physics of each region and its role with respect to driving/enhancing mass loss. We also explore the effects of combining pulsation with other outward acceleration mechanisms such as radiation pressure and rapid rotation.


Stellar Pulsation Enhance Mass Loss 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Willson
    • 1
  • G. H. Bowen
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomy Program, Physics DepartmentIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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