The morphology of IRC+10420's circumstellar ejecta

Chelsea Tiffany, Terry J Jones, Kris Davidson, Roberta M Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Images of the circumstellar ejecta associated with the post-red supergiant IRC+10420 show a complex ejecta with visual evidence for episodic mass loss. In this paper, we describe the transverse motions of numerous knots, arcs, and condensations in the inner ejecta measured from second epoch Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 images. When combined with the radial motions for several of the features, the total space motion and direction of the outflows show that they were ejected at different times, in different directions, and presumably from separate regions on the surface of the star. These discrete structures in the ejecta are kinematically distinct from the general expansion of the nebula and their motions are dominated by their transverse velocities. They are apparently all moving within a few degrees of the plane of the sky. We are thus viewing IRC+10420 nearly pole-on and looking nearly directly down onto its equatorial plane. We also discuss the role of surface activity and magnetic fields on IRC+10420's recent mass-loss history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-349
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Outflows
  • Stars: Activity
  • Stars: Individual (IRC+10420)
  • Stars: Winds
  • Supergiants


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