A newly identified Luminous Blue Variable in the galactic starburst cluster Westerlund 1

Clark, J. S. and Negueruela, I. (2004). A newly identified Luminous Blue Variable in the galactic starburst cluster Westerlund 1. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 413(2) L15-L18.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031700

Abstract

We present observations of the massive transitional star W243 in Westerlund 1 . We find an apparent spectral type of early-mid A from our data, in contrast to an earlier classification of B2I, made from data obtained in 1981. The concurrent development of a rich emission line spectrum suggests a very high mass loss rate; the continued presence of He I emission suggesting that the underlying star remains significantly hotter than implied by its apparent spectral type. We suggest that W243 is a Luminous Blue Variable undergoing an eruptive phase, leading to an extreme mass loss rate and the formation of a pseudo photosphere.

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