Evidence for Pulsation-Driven Mass Loss from δ Cephei
We found the first direct evidence that the Cepheid class namesake, δ Cephei, is currently losing mass. These observations are based on data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope in the infrared, and with the Very Large Array in the radio. We found that δ Cephei is associated with a vast circumstellar structure, reminiscent of a bow shock. This structure is created as the wind from the star interacts with the local interstellar medium. We measure an outflow velocity of ≈ 35. 5 km s− 1 and a mass loss rate of ≈ 10− 7–10− 6 M ⊙ year− 1. The very low dust content of the outflow suggests that the wind is possibly pulsation-driven, rather than dust-driven as common for other classes of evolved stars.