An astrosphere around the blue supergiant kappa Cas: possible explanation of its filamentary structure
High-resolution mid-infrared observations carried out by the Spitzer Space Telescope allowed one to resolve the fine structure of many astrospheres. In particular, they showed that the astrosphere around the B0.7 Ia star κ Cas (HD 2905) has a clear-cut arc structure with numerous cirrus-like filaments beyond it. Previously, we suggested a physical mechanism for the formation of such filamentary structures. Namely, we showed theoretically that they might represent the non-monotonic spatial distribution of the interstellar dust in astrospheres (viewed as filaments) caused by interaction of the dust grains with the interstellar magnetic field disturbed in the astrosphere due to colliding of the stellar and interstellar winds. In this paper, we invoke this mechanism to explain the structure of the astrosphere around κ Cas. We performed 3D magnetohydrodynamic modelling of the astrosphere for realistic parameters of the stellar wind and space velocity. The dust dynamics and the density distribution in the astrosphere were calculated in the framework of a kinetic model. It is found that the model results with the classical MRN (Mathis, Rumpl & Nordsieck 1977) size distribution of dust in the interstellar medium do not match the observations, and that the observed filamentary structure of the astrosphere can be reproduced only if the dust is composed mainly of big (μm-sized) grains. Comparison of the model results with observations allowed us to estimate parameters (number density and magnetic field strength) of the surrounding interstellar medium.