The final evolutionary stages of stars are largely determined by ejection of mass from the stellar envelope. The mechanisms at work are thought to be understood in broad terms, but several major aspects remain elusive. In particular the transition from circumstellar matter to interstellar matter is poorly known. It has now also become clear that the interaction of mass outflows with the pre-existing interstellar medium on the one hand substantially complicate the interpretation of observational data, but on the other hand provide a new tool to study the interstellar medium. This proposal is dedicated to the investigation of peculiar types of extended structure c.q. bow shock emission and dusty arcs observed around AGB stars. We will obtain deep PACS 100 and 160 micron scan maps of so-called ..bullet. and ..eye.-shaped interaction zones to study the infra-red emission at high angular resolution and model the bow shock SED to probe its dust and gas content.
Eyes in the sky. Interactions between asymptotic giant branch star winds and the interstellar magnetic field . van Marle A. J. et al. . Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 570, id.A131, 14 pp. . 570 . 10.1051\/0004-6361\/201424452 . 2014A&A...570A.131V ,
Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009! It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. With a 3.5 m Cassegrain telescope it is the largest space telescope ever launched. It is performing photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-671 µm range, bridging the gap between earlier infrared space missions and groundbased facilities.