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|Physical parameters and wind properties of galactic early B supergiants|
We present optical studies of the physical and wind properties, plus CNOchemical abundances, of 25 O9.5-B3 Galactic supergiants. We employnon-LTE, line blanketed, extended model atmospheres, which provide amodest downward revision in the effective temperature scale of early Bsupergiants of up to 1-2 kK relative to previous non-blanketed results.The so-called "bistability jump" at B1 (Teff 21 kK)from Lamers et al. is rather a more gradual trend (with large scatter)from v&infy;/vesc3.4 for B0-0.5 supergiantsabove 24 kK to v&infy;/vesc 2.5 for B0.7-1supergiants with 20 kK ≤ Teff ≤ 24 kK, andv&infy;/vesc 1.9 for B1.5-3 supergiants below20 kK. This, in part, explains the break in observed UV spectralcharacteristics between B0.5 and B0.7 subtypes as discussed by Walbornet al. We compare derived (homogeneous) wind densities with recentresults for Magellanic Cloud B supergiants and generally confirmtheoretical expectations for stronger winds amongst Galacticsupergiants. However, winds are substantially weaker than predictionsfrom current radiatively driven wind theory, especially at mid-Bsubtypes, a problem which is exacerbated if winds are already clumped inthe Hα line forming region. In general, CNO elemental abundancesreveal strongly processed material at the surface of Galactic Bsupergiants, with mean N/C and N/O abundances 10 and 5 times higher thanthe Solar value, respectively, with HD 2905 (BC0.7 Ia) indicating thelowest degree of processing in our sample, and HD 152236 (B1.5Ia+) the highest.
|Abundances and Depletions of Interstellar Oxygen|
We report on the abundance of interstellar neutral oxygen (O I) for 26sight lines, using data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer,the International Spectroscopic Explorer, and the Hubble SpaceTelescope. O I column densities are derived by measuring the equivalentwidths of several ultraviolet absorption lines and subsequently fittingthose to a curve of growth. We consider both our general sample of 26sight lines and a more restrictive sample of 10 sight lines that utilizeHST data for a measurement of the weak 1355 Å line of oxygen andare thus better constrained owing to our sampling of all three sectionsof the curve of growth. The column densities of our HST sample showratios of O/H that agree with the current best solar value if dust isconsidered, with the possible exception of one sight line (HD 37903). Wenote some very limited evidence in the HST sample for trends ofincreasing depletion with respect to RV and f(H2),but the trends are not conclusive. Unlike a recent result from Cartledgeet al., we do not see evidence for increasing depletion with respect to, but our HST sample contains only two points moredense than the critical density determined in that paper. The columndensities of our more general sample show some scatter in O/H, but mostagree with the solar value to within errors. We discuss these results inthe context of establishing the best method for determining interstellarabundances, the unresolved question of the best value for O/H in theinterstellar medium, the O/H ratios observed in Galactic stars, and thedepletion of gas-phase oxygen onto dust grains.
|Interstellar 12C/13C ratios through CH^+λλ 3957,4232 absorption in local clouds: incomplete mixing in the ISM|
The 12C/13C isotope ratio is a tracer of stellaryields and the efficiency of mixing in the ISM.12CH+/13CH+ is not affectedby interstellar chemistry, and is the most secure way of measuring12C/13C in the diffuse ISM.R=12C/13C is 90 in the solar system. Previousmeasurements of 12CH+λλ3957.7,4232.3and 13CH+λλ3958.2,4232.0 absorptiontoward nearby stars indicate some variations in12C/13C, with values ranging from 40 to 90suggesting inefficient mixing. Except for the cloud toward ζOph,these R values are strongly affected by noise. With UVES on the VLT wehave improved on the previous interstellar 12C/13Cmeasurements. The weighted 12C/13C ratio in thelocal ISM is 78.27 ± 1.83, while the weighted dispersion of ourmeasurements is 12.7, giving a 6.9σ scatter. Thus we report on a6.9σ detection of 16.2% root-mean-square variations in the carbonisotopic ratio on scales of ~100 pc: R= 74.7 ± 2.3 in theζOph cloud, while R = 88.6 ± 3.0 toward HD 152235 in theLupus clouds, R = 62.2 ± 5.3 towards HD 110432 in the Coalsack,and R = 98.9 ± 10.1 toward HD 170740. The observed variations in13C/12C are the first significant detection ofchemical heterogeneity in the local ISM.
|Asphericity and clumpiness in the winds of Luminous Blue Variables|
We present the first systematic spectropolarimetric study of LuminousBlue Variables (LBVs) in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, in orderto investigate the geometries of their winds. We find that at least halfof our sample show changes in polarization across the strong Hαemission line, indicating that the light from the stars is intrinsicallypolarized and therefore that asphericity already exists at the base ofthe wind. Multi-epoch spectropolarimetry on four targets revealsvariability in their intrinsic polarization. Three of these, AG Car, HRCar and P Cyg, show a position angle (PA) of polarization which appearsrandom with time. Such behaviour can be explained by the presence ofstrong wind-inhomogeneities, or “clumps” within the wind.Only one star, R 127, shows variability at a constant PA, and henceevidence for axi-symmetry as well as clumpiness. However, if viewed atlow inclination, and at limited temporal sampling, such a wind wouldproduce a seemingly random polarization of the type observed in theother three stars. Time-resolved spectropolarimetric monitoring of LBVsis therefore required to determine if LBV winds are axi-symmetric ingeneral. The high fraction of LBVs (>50%) showing intrinsicpolarization is to be compared with the lower ~20-25% for similarstudies of their evolutionary neighbours, O supergiants and Wolf-Rayetstars. We anticipate that this higher incidence is due to the lowereffective gravities of the LBVs, coupled with their variabletemperatures within the bi-stability jump regime. This is alsoconsistent with the higher incidence of wind asphericity that we find inLBVs with strong Hα emission and recent (last ~10 years) strongvariability.
|On the population of galactic Luminous Blue Variables|
We report the first results of a long term infrared monitoring campaignof known and candidate galactic Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs). Inparticular, we are able to confirm the LBV nature ofG24.73+0.69, a luminous mid-B supergiant associatedwith a dusty ejection nebula. We find that prior to 2003 SeptemberG24.73+0.69 exhibited low amplitude (Δ JHK 0.4 mag) variability, but in the ~200 day period between 2003September-2004 April it abruptly brightened by ~0.7 mag in the broadbandJ filter. Subsequently, a further ~0.4 mag increase was observed between2004 April-October, resulting in an overall difference of ~1.1 magbetween (current) photometric mimimum and maximum; similar variabilityalso being observed in the H and K bands. In light of the numerousrecent IR studies of the galactic hot star population we also compile anupdated census of confirmed and candidate galactic LBVs, reporting 12and 23 members respectively for each class. Finally, we utilise this newcensus to construct an H-R diagram for the galactic LBV population,resulting in a striking confirmation of the LBV-minimum light strip.
|On the massive stellar population of the super star cluster Westerlund 1|
We present new spectroscopic and photometric observations of the youngGalactic open cluster Westerlund 1 (Wd 1) that reveala unique population of massive evolved stars. We identify ~200 clustermembers and present spectroscopic classifications for ~25% of these. Wefind that all stars so classified are unambiguously post-Main Sequenceobjects, consistent with an apparent lack of an identifiable MainSequence in our photometric data to V 20. We are able to identifyrich populations of Wolf Rayet stars, OB supergiants and short livedtransitional objects. Of these, the latter group consists of both hot(Luminous Blue Variable and extreme B supergiant) and cool (YellowHypergiant and Red Supergiant) objects - we find that half the knownGalactic population of YHGs resides within Wd 1. We obtain a meanV-MV ~ 25 mag from the cluster Yellow Hypergiants, implying aMain Sequence turnoff at or below MV =-5 (O7 V or later).Based solely on the masses inferred for the 53 spectroscopicallyclassified stars, we determine an absolute minimum mass of ~1.5 ×10^3~Mȯ for Wd 1. However, considering the completephotometrically and spectroscopically selected cluster population andadopting a Kroupa IMF we infer a likely mass for Wd 1 of~10^5~Mȯ, noting that inevitable source confusion andincompleteness are likely to render this an underestimate. As such, Wd 1is the most massive compact young cluster yet identified in the LocalGroup, with a mass exceeding that of Galactic Centre clusters such asthe Arches and Quintuplet. Indeed, the luminosity, inferred mass andcompact nature of Wd 1 are comparable with those of Super Star Clusters- previously identified only in external galaxies - and is consistentwith expectations for a Globular Cluster progenitor.
|The Ultraviolet and Optical Spectra of Luminous B-Type Stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud|
We present ultraviolet spectra from the Space Telescope ImagingSpectrograph (STIS) of 12 early B-type stars in the Small MagellanicCloud (SMC), composed of nine supergiants and three giants. Amorphological comparison with Galactic analogs is made using archivaldata from the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). In general, theintensity of the P Cygni emission in the UV resonance lines is greaterand is seen to later spectral types in the Galactic spectra than intheir metal-deficient SMC counterparts. We attribute these effects asmost likely arising from weaker stellar winds in the SMC targets, aspredicted by radiatively driven wind theory. We also include unpublishedSTIS observations of two late O-type stars in the SMC. In combinationwith published O-type STIS data, we now have an extensive ultravioletspectral library of metal-deficient stars to use in the study ofunresolved starbursts and high-redshift star-forming galaxies. In thiscontext, we present empirical measurements for the B-type spectra of thenew ``1978 index'' suggested by Rix et al. as a probe of metallicity insuch systems.
|Anomalous dust-to-gas ratios in the Galaxy|
Lines of sight with E(B-V)/N(HI) considerably smaller than the averagevalue for the solar neighbourhood have been selected from the catalogueof Diplas & Savage. In order to develop quantitative considerations,estimates of the molecular hydrogen column density were obtained usingthe relation of Savage et al. extended at E(B-V) > 0.4 with therecent data of Rachford et al. Contrary to the prevailing opinion in theliterature for sightlines with similar behaviour, we found that only 22per cent of our sample was characterized by both an average gas densitylarger than 1 cm-3 and a value of RV larger thanthat in the diffuse interstellar medium. By computing extinction models,we were able to fit the E(B-V)/N(HI) by changing the value ofRV only for some sightlines. For the remaining ones, aρd/ρH ratio different from the averageGalactic value must be invoked. The application of the Kramers-Kronigrelation to the observed extinction curves confirmed this possibility.Moreover, attempts to fit such curves with models having grain volumescorresponding to the standard ρd/ρH ratiofailed.We find a linear relation between ρd/ρHand E(B-V)/N(H) for our sightlines. The average Galactic value marks theseparation into two groups characterized by lower abundances of C and Sitrapped into the grains when E(B-V)/N(H) is smaller than the Galacticvalue, and by larger abundances when E(B-V)/N(H) is greater.
|Large-scale wind structures in OB supergiants: a search for rotationally modulated Hα variability|
We present the results of a long-term monitoring campaign of theHα line in a sample of bright OB supergiants (O7.5-B9) which aimsat detecting rotationally modulated changes potentially related to theexistence of large-scale wind structures. A total of 22 objects weremonitored during 36 nights spread over six months in 2001-2002.Coordinated broad-band photometric observations were also obtained forsome targets. Conspicuous evidence for variability in Hα is foundfor the stars displaying a feature contaminated by wind emission. Mostchanges take place on a daily time-scale, although hourly variations arealso occasionally detected. Convincing evidence for a cyclical patternof variability in Hα has been found in two stars: HD 14134 and HD42087. Periodic signals are also detected in other stars, butindependent confirmation is required. Rotational modulation is suggestedfrom the similarity between the observed recurrence time-scales (in therange 13-25 d) and estimated periods of stellar rotation. We callattention to the atypical case of HD 14134, which exhibits a clear12.8-d periodicity, both in the photometric and in the spectroscopicdata sets. This places this object among a handful of early-type starswhere one may observe a clear link between extended wind structures andphotospheric disturbances. Further modelling may test the hypothesisthat azimuthally-extended wind streams are responsible for the patternsof spectral variability in our target stars.
|Classification of Spectra from the Infrared Space Observatory PHT-S Database|
We have classified over 1500 infrared spectra obtained with the PHT-Sspectrometer aboard the Infrared Space Observatory according to thesystem developed for the Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) spectra byKraemer et al. The majority of these spectra contribute to subclassesthat are either underrepresented in the SWS spectral database or containsources that are too faint, such as M dwarfs, to have been observed byeither the SWS or the Infrared Astronomical Satellite Low ResolutionSpectrometer. There is strong overall agreement about the chemistry ofobjects observed with both instruments. Discrepancies can usually betraced to the different wavelength ranges and sensitivities of theinstruments. Finally, a large subset of the observations (~=250 spectra)exhibit a featureless, red continuum that is consistent with emissionfrom zodiacal dust and suggest directions for further analysis of thisserendipitous measurement of the zodiacal background.Based on observations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), aEuropean Space Agency (ESA) project with instruments funded by ESAMember States (especially the Principle Investigator countries: France,Germany, Netherlands, and United Kingdom) and with the participation ofthe Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
|Infrared Observations of the Candidate LBV 1806-20 and Nearby Cluster Stars1,|
We report near-infrared photometry, spectroscopy, and speckle imaging ofthe hot, luminous star we identify as candidate LBV 1806-20. We alsopresent photometry and spectroscopy of three nearby stars, which aremembers of the same star cluster containing LBV 1806-20 and SGR 1806-20.The spectroscopy and photometry show that LBV 1806-20 is similar in manyrespects to the luminous ``Pistol star,'' albeit with some importantdifferences. They also provide estimates of the effective temperatureand reddening of LBV 1806-20 and confirm distance estimates, leading toa best estimate for the luminosity of this star of greater than5×106Lsolar. The nearby cluster stars havespectral types and inferred absolute magnitudes that confirm thedistance (and thus luminosity) estimate for LBV 1806-20. If we dropkinematic measurements of the distance(15.1+1.8-1.3 kpc), we have a lower limit on thedistance of greater than 9.5 kpc and on the luminosity of greater than2×106Lsolar, based on the cluster stars. Ifwe drop both the kinematic and cluster star indicators for distance, anammonia absorption feature sets yet another lower limit to the distanceof greater than 5.7 kpc, with a corresponding luminosity estimate ofgreater than 7×105 Lsolar for the candidateLBV 1806-20. Furthermore, on the absis of very high angular resolutionspeckle images, we determine that LBV 1806-20 is not a cluster of starsbut is rather a single star or binary system. Simple arguments based onthe Eddington luminosity lead to an estimate of the total mass of LBV1806-20 (single or binary) exceeding 190Msolar. We discussthe possible uncertainties in these results and their implications forthe star formation history of this cluster.Based on data obtained at the Palomar Observatory 200 inch telescope,which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, the JetPropulsion Laboratory, and Cornell University.This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All SkySurvey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts andthe Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute ofTechnology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administrationand the National Science Foundation.
|Terminal Velocities of Luminous, Early-Type Stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud|
Ultraviolet spectra from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS)are used to determine terminal velocities for 11 O and B-type giants andsupergiants in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) from the Si IV and C IVresonance lines. Using archival data from observations with the GoddardHigh-Resolution Spectrograph and the International Ultraviolet Explorertelescope, terminal velocities are obtained for a further five B-typesupergiants. We discuss the metallicity dependence of stellar terminalvelocities for supergiants, finding no evidence for a significantscaling between Galactic and SMC metallicities forTeff<30,000 K, consistent with the predictions ofradiation-driven wind theory. A comparison of thev&infy;/vesc ratio between the SMC and Galacticsamples, while consistent with the above statement, emphasizes that theuncertainties in the distances to galactic OB-type stars are a seriousobstacle to a detailed comparison with theory. For the SMC sample thereis considerable scatter in v&infy;/vesc at agiven effective temperature, perhaps indicative of uncertainties instellar masses.
|Radio continuum observations of massive stars in open cluster NGC 6231 and the Sco OB1 association|
We present results of the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) radiocontinuum observations of massive stars in the Sco OB1 association. Most stars detected in the program show spectral indices lower thanvalue expected from thermal free-free emission.
|High-Resolution Observations of Interstellar Ca I Absorption-Implications for Depletions and Electron Densities in Diffuse Clouds|
We present high-resolution (FWHM~0.3-1.5 km s-1) spectra,obtained with the AAT UHRF, the McDonald Observatory 2.7 m coudéspectrograph, and/or the KPNO coudé feed, of interstellar Ca Iabsorption toward 30 Galactic stars. Comparisons of the column densitiesof Ca I, Ca II, K I, and other species-for individual componentsidentified in the line profiles and also when integrated over entirelines of sight-yield information on relative electron densities anddepletions (dependent on assumptions regarding the ionizationequilibrium). There is no obvious relationship between the ratio N(CaI)/N(Ca II) [equal to ne/(Γ/αr) forphotoionization equilibrium] and the fraction of hydrogen in molecularform f(H2) (often taken to be indicative of the local densitynH). For a smaller sample of sight lines for which thethermal pressure (nHT) and local density can be estimated viaanalysis of the C I fine-structure excitation, the average electrondensity inferred from C, Na, and K (assuming photoionizationequilibrium) seems to be independent of nH andnHT. While the electron density (ne) obtained fromthe ratio N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) is often significantly higher than the valuesderived from other elements, the patterns of relative nederived from different elements show both similarities and differencesfor different lines of sight-suggesting that additional processesbesides photoionization and radiative recombination commonly andsignificantly affect the ionization balance of heavy elements in diffuseinterstellar clouds. Such additional processes may also contribute tothe (apparently) larger than expected fractional ionizations(ne/nH) found for some lines of sight withindependent determinations of nH. In general, inclusion of``grain-assisted'' recombination does reduce the inferred ne,but it does not reconcile the ne estimated from differentelements; it may, however, suggest some dependence of ne onnH. The depletion of calcium may have a much weakerdependence on density than was suggested by earlier comparisons with CHand CN. Two appendices present similar high-resolution spectra of Fe Ifor a few stars and give a compilation of column density data for Ca I,Ca II, Fe I, and S I.
|Observations of Rotationally Resolved C3 in Translucent Sight Lines|
The rotationally resolved spectrum of theA1Πu<--X1Σ+g000-000 transition of C3, centered at 4051.6 Å, hasbeen observed along 10 translucent lines of sight. To interpret thesespectra, a new method for the determination of column densities andanalysis of excitation profiles involving the simulation and fitting ofobserved spectra has been developed. The populations of lower rotationallevels (J<=14) in C3 are best fitted by thermaldistributions that are consistent with the kinetic temperaturesdetermined from the excitation profile of C2. Just as in thecase of C2, higher rotational levels (J>14) ofC3 show increased nonthermal population distributions inclouds that have been determined to have total gas densities below ~500cm-3.
|A Method for Simultaneous Determination of AV and R and Applications|
A method for the simultaneous determination of the interstellarextinction (AV) and of the ratio of total to selectiveextinction (R), derived from the 1989 Cardelli, Clayton, & Mathisfitting of the interstellar extinction law, is presented and applied toa set of 1900 color excesses derived from observations of stars inUBVRIJHKL. The method is used to study the stability of AVand R within selected regions in Perseus, Scorpius, Monoceros, Orion,Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, Carina, and Serpens. Analysis shows that R isapproximately constant and peculiar to each sector, with mean valuesthat vary from 3.2 in Perseus to 5.6 in Ophiuchus. These results aresimilar to published values by Aiello et al., He et al., Vrba &Rydgren, O'Donnell, and Cardelli, Clayton, & Mathis.
|The total-to-selective extinction ratio determined from near IR photometry of OB stars|
The paper presents an extensive list of the total to selectiveextinction ratios R calculated from the infrared magnitudes of 597 O andB stars using the extrapolation method. The IR magnitudes of these starswere taken from the literature. The IR colour excesses are determinedwith the aid of "artificial standards" - Wegner (1994). The individualand mean values of total to selective extinction ratios R differ in mostcases from the average value R=3.10 +/-0.05 - Wegner (1993) in differentOB associations. The relation between total to selective extinctionratios R determined in this paper and those calculated using the "methodof variable extinction" and the Cardelli et al. (1989) formulae isdiscussed. The R values presented in this paper can be used to determineindividual absolute magnitudes of reddened OB stars with knowntrigonometric parallaxes.
|Improved Hipparcos Parallaxes of Coma Berenices and NGC 6231|
A method to reprocess the Hipparcos Intermediate Astrometry Data thatreduces the propagation of the along-scan spacecraft attitude errors wasdeveloped and successfully used to obtain a more consistent parallax ofthe Pleiades (Makarov, published in 2002). The same technique is usednow to correct the Hipparcos parallaxes of the Coma Berenices and NGC6231 open clusters, which are also in error. The new mean parallax ofComa is 12.40+/-0.17 mas (against previously 11.43 mas) and of NGC 62311.7+/-0.4 mas (against previously -0.8 mas). The new data for Coma arein excellent agreement with the pre-Hipparcos main-sequence fittingestimates. All six members of NGC 6231 that have negative parallaxes inHipparcos obtain positive parallaxes. These results suggest that themain source of astrometric error has been correctly identified, and thata more accurate Hipparcos catalog can be computed.
|Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Early B Supergiants in M31|
We analyze Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) spectra in the1150-1700 Å wavelength range obtained for six early B supergiantsin the neighboring galaxy M31. Because of their likely high (nearlysolar) abundance, these stars were originally chosen to be directlycomparable to their Galactic counterparts and represent a much neededaddition to our current sample of B-type supergiants, in our efforts tostudy the dependence of the wind momentum-luminosity relationship onspectral type and metallicity. As a first step to determine wind momentawe fit the P Cygni profiles of the resonance lines of N V, Si IV, and CIV with standard methods and derive terminal velocities for all of theSTIS targets. From these lines we also derive ionic stellar wind columndensities. Our results are compared with those obtained previously inGalactic supergiants and confirm earlier claims of ``normal'' wind lineintensities and terminal velocities in M31. For one-half of the samplewe find evidence for an enhanced maximum turbulent velocity whencompared to Galactic counterparts. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
|Outflow-induced Dynamical and Radiative Instability in Stellar Envelopes with an Application to Luminous Blue Variables and Wolf-Rayet Stars|
Theoretical models of the remnants of massive stars in a very hot,post-red-supergiant phase display no obvious instability if standardassumptions are made. However, the brightest observed classical luminousblue variables (LBVs) may well belong to such a phase. A simpletime-dependent theory of moving stellar envelopes is developed in orderto treat deep hydrodynamical disturbances caused by surface mass lossand to test the moving envelopes for dynamical instability. In the caseof steady state outflow, the theory reduces to the equivalent of theCastor, Abbott, & Klein formulation for optically thick winds atdistances well above the sonic point. The time-dependent versionindicates that the brightest and hottest LBVs are both dynamically andradiatively unstable, as a result of the substantial lowering of thegeneralized Eddington luminosity limit by the mass-loss acceleration. Itis suggested that dynamical instability, by triggering secular cycles ofmass loss, is primarily what differentiates LBVs from the purelyradiatively unstable Wolf-Rayet stars. Furthermore, when accuratemain-sequence mass-loss rates are used to calculate the evolutionarytracks, the predicted surface hydrogen and nitrogen abundances of theblue remnants agree much better with observations of the brightest LBVsthan before.
|The interstellar C3 chain molecule in different interstellar environments|
We present an analysis of spectra of six stars taken with highresolution (R=220 000). The stars are reddened by molecular clouds thatdiffer by the relative strength of the 5797 and 5780 diffuseinterstellar bands (DIBs). The high signal-to-noise ratio of the spectra(S/N ~ 700-1000) shows that the abundance of the linear moleculeC3 with respect to EB-V varies considerably fromone star to an other. There is no correlation with EB-V. Thestrong variations in the abundance of C3 must therefore becaused by another circumstance. We point out that this may be the case:from an analysis of the interstellar potassium lines in the same spectrawe conclude large differences in the state of ionization produced byinterstellar photons with energies below the ionization potential ofhydrogen. The ratio of the abundances of C3 and C2varies considerably in different directions, even when the ratio betweenthe strengths of various DIBs remains approximately constant. Based ondata collected at the ESO 3.6 m telescope operated on La SillaObservatory, Chile.
|An analysis of STIS HST UV spectra of M 33 early B supergiants|
We present terminal velocities of M 33 B-supergiants, obtained from STISHST spectra as part of our programme to investigate the Wind Momentum -Luminosity Relationship (WLR) in the Local Group. Terminal velocitiesare derived from their N V, C Iv, and Si Iv resonance lines in UVspectra. Comparing with IUE spectra of Galactic B-supergiants we foundevidence of low metallicity in three of our objects. The terminalvelocities are consistent with the corresponding values of Galacticstars, except for B-133. For this star we find a very largevinfty and a red Si Iv component deeper than the blue one,that might be an indication of binarity. The average ratio betweenterminal and turbulent wind velocities is 0.25, well above the valuefound for Galactic stars. Partly based on INES data from the IUEsatellite.
|Dying Pulse Trains in Cygnus XR-1: Evidence for an Event Horizon?|
The X-ray-emitting component in the Cyg XR-1/HDE 226868 system is aleading candidate for identification as a stellar-mass-sized black hole.The detection of an event horizon surrounding the point singularity insuch a system would constitute a positive identification of a black holeas predicted by general relativity. One signature of such an eventhorizon would be the existence of dying pulse trains emitted by materialspiraling into the event horizon from the last stable orbit around theblack hole. We observed the Cyg XR-1 system at three different epochs ina 1400-3000 Å bandpass with 0.1 ms time resolution using theHubble Space Telescope's High Speed Photometer. Repeated excursions ofthe detected flux by more than 3 σ above the mean are present inthe UV flux with an FWHM of 1-10 ms. If any of these excursions arepulses of radiation produced in the system (and not just stochasticvariability associated with the Poisson distribution of detected photonarrival times), then this short a timescale requires that the pulsesoriginate in the accretion disk around Cyg XR-1. Two series of pulseswith characteristics similar to those expected from dying pulse trainswere detected in 3 hr of observation. Based in part on observations withthe Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contractNAS5-26555.
|Ultra-high-resolution observations of interstellar Na I and K I towards the Scorpius OB1 association|
I present ultra-high-resolution (R~9×105) observationsof interstellar NaI and KI absorption lines towards three members of theScorpius OB1 association (HD 152235, 152236 and 152249). Theseobservations have, for the first time, resolved the intrinsic linewidthsof most of the discrete absorption components present along thesecomplex sightlines. The aims of the project were twofold: (i) toconstrain the physical conditions prevailing in the highly blueshiftedSco OB1 shell components, and especially to search for evidence ofactive shocks within them; and (ii) to further constrain thelow-velocity structure, where the NaI spectra are fully saturated butthe unsaturated KI lines allow a clear resolution of the individualvelocity components. The results of these analyses are discussed.Perhaps the most surprising result is the lack of any obviouscorrelation between the velocity dispersion of a velocity component(b-value) and its velocity. Specifically, the high-velocity shellcomponents are generally found to be no broader than the low-velocitycomponents attributed to foreground (often molecular) clouds, and cannottherefore be any hotter or more turbulent. Thus, with the possibleexception of the most blueshifted component towards HD 152236, there isno evidence for active shocks in the shell components at present.However, consideration of the relative time-scales for post-shockcooling and grain surface adsorption indicates that shock processing inthe past may still account for the low NaI/CaII ratios of thesecomponents found in previous work.
|Chemical Composition and Origin of Nebulae around Luminous Blue Variables|
We use the analysis of the heavy element abundances (C, N, O, S) incircumstellar nebulae around luminous blue variables to infer theevolutionary phase in which the material has been ejected. Weconcentrate on four aspects. (1) We discuss the different effects thatmay have changed the gas composition of the nebula since it was ejected:mixing with the swept up gas from the wind-blown bubble, mixing with thegas from the faster wind of the central star, and depletion by CO anddust. (2) We calculate the expected abundance changes at the stellarsurface due to envelope convection in the red supergiant phase. We showthat this depends strongly on the total amount of mass that was lostprior to the onset of the envelope convection. If the observed LBVnebulae are ejected during the red supergiant phase, the abundances ofthe LBV nebulae require a significantly smaller amount of mass to belost than assumed in the evolutionary calculations of Meynet et al. (3)We calculate the changes in the surface composition during themain-sequence phase by rotation-induced mixing. If the nebulae areejected at the end of the main-sequence phase, the abundances in LBVnebulae are compatible with mixing times between 5×106and 1×107 yr. These values are reasonable, consideringthe high rotational velocities of main-sequence O-stars. The existenceof ON stars supports this scenario. (4) The predicted He/H ratio in thenebulae, derived from the observed N/O ratios, are significantly smallerthan the current observed photospheric values of their central stars.This indicates that either (1) the nebula was ejected from a star thathad an abundance gradient in its envelope or (2) that fast mixing on atimescale of 104 yr must have occurred in the starsimmediately after the nebula was ejected. Combining various arguments,we show that the LBV nebulae are ejected during the blue supergiantsphase and that the stars have not gone through a red supergiant phase.The chemical enhancements are due to rotation-induced mixing, and theejection is possibly triggered by near-critical rotation. During theejection, the outflow was optically thick, which resulted in a largeeffective radius and a low effective temperature. This explains why theobserved properties of the dust around LBVs closely resemble theproperties of dust formed around red supergiants.
|Cyclicities in the light variations of S Doradus stars III. P Cygni|
On the basis of new photometric observations and archived data publishedsince 1907, we discuss the light variations of P Cygni. We conclude thatthere are alpha Cygni-type microvariations with a stable (pulsation)quasi-period of 17.3 days. There are also longer cycles of variationwith P ~ 100 d, so-called 100 d-type micro-variations, and with P ~1500-1600 d, a short S Dor-type phase.
|The origin of the runaway high-mass X-ray binary HD 153919/4U1700-37|
Based on its Hipparcos proper motion, we propose that the high-massX-ray binary HD 153919/4U1700-37 originates in the OB association ScoOB1. At a distance of 1.9 kpc the space velocity of 4U1700-37 withrespect to Sco OB1 is 75 km s-1. This runaway velocityindicates that the progenitor of the compact X-ray source lost about 7Msun during the (assumed symmetric) supernova explosion. Thesystem's kinematical age is about 2 +/- 0.5 million years which marksthe date of the supernova explosion forming the compact object. Thepresent age of Sco OB1 is la 8 Myr; its suggested core, NGC 6231, seemsto be somewhat younger ( ~ 5 Myr). If HD 153919/4U1700-37 was born as amember of Sco OB1, this implies that the initially most massive star inthe system terminated its evolution within la 6 million years,corresponding to an initial mass ga 30 Msun. With theseparameters the evolution of the binary system can be constrained. Basedon data obtained with ESA's astrometric satellite Hipparcos.
|Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics|
The Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521
|S Doradus variables in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds|
The goal in writing this paper is five fold: (1) to summarize thescientific achievements in the 20th century on S Dor variables (orLBVs); (2) to present an inventory of these variables in the Galaxy andthe Magellanic Clouds with a description of their physical state andinstability properties; (3) to emphasize the photometric achievements ofthe various types of instabilities. Generally this seems to be aneglected item resulting in a number of misunderstandings continuouslywandering through literature; (4) to investigate the structure of the SDor-area on the HR-diagram; (5) to estimate the total numbers of S Dorvariables in the three stellar systems. The position of the strongactive S Dor variables in minimum brightness obey the following linearrelation on the HR-diagram:log L/Lsun = 1.37 log T_eff -0.03. The relatively small dispersion of less active and supposed ex-and dormant S Dor variables with respect to this relation is twice aslarge at the blue side than at the red side. This might be caused byevolution to the WR stage and/or to high rotation. S Dor variables canbe subject to five types of instabilities: the very rare genuineeruptive episodes (the ``SD-eruptions''), two different brighteningphases caused by slow pulsations (the ``SD-phases''): one on a timescale of years, the other on a time scale of decades at a more or lessconstant luminosity and two types of microvariations: one on a timescale of weeks, the other on a time scale of about 100 d. So far, noperiodicities of light curve characteristics of any of theseinstabilities have ever been found. The durations of active andnon-active stages are estimated for about half of the sample based onscattered magnitude estimations such as from historical records, and onmodern monitoring campaigns. It would be a misunderstanding to believethat all S Dor variables should be always spectacular. It is estimatedthat most of them will not be spectacular at all for at least 70% oftheir lifetime as an S Dor variable. Tables 1 to 6 and 8 to 17 are onlyavailable in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org, Table 7 isonly available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr(22.214.171.124) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/366/508. Figures 2--10,12, 14, 15, 17--19 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org, see Note added in proof
|The Milton Bureau Revisited|
Under the direction of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Sergei Gaposchkin, aprogram was subsidized by the Milton Fund of Harvard Observatory in 1937for the study of all variable stars then known to be brighter than tenthphotographic magnitude at maximum. This included some 1512 stars forwhich a grand total of 1,263,562 estimates of magnitude were made,ranging from a low of 16 (except for a few novae) to 4084 observationsper star. The sky had been divided into 54 fields, and the results ofthe measurements presented field by field in two volumes of the Annalsof Harvard Observatory. Then, in another volume, the results werediscussed in four sections, each dealing with a particular class ofvariable: 1, those of RV Tauri type; 2, the eclipsing variables; 3,Cepheids and RR Lyrae variables, and 4, the red variables, especiallyMira-type and semiregular variables.For the present paper, many of these results have been compared withmodern determinations in the 1985-87 version of the "General Catalogueof Variable Stars (GCVS)". In particular, there are numerous instancesof disagreement as to whether a star should be classified RV or SR.Although there are many instances where the Milton Bureau determinationsof types of variability differ from the types given in moderncatalogues, the reasons for the differences are generallyunderstandable.For 17 RV Tauri type stars in this survey multiple periods have now beendetermined. Many of these still deserve continued observations in orderto ascertain the constance of the periods and improve the accuracy oftheir longest reported periods.
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|Proper motion RA:||0.3|
|Proper motion Dec:||-2.2|
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