Westerlund 1 as a Template for Massive Star Evolution

Clark, J. S. (2007). Westerlund 1 as a Template for Massive Star Evolution. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 3 pp. 301–306.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1743921308020620

Abstract

With a dynamical mass Mdyn ~ 1.3×105 M and a lower limit Mcl > 5 × 104 M from star counts, Westerlund 1 is the most massive young open cluster known in the Galaxy and thus the perfect laboratory to study massive star evolution. We have developed a comprehensive spectral classification scheme for supergiants based on features in the 6000–9000Å range, which allows us to identify > 30 very luminous supergiants in Westerlund 1 and ~ 100 other less evolved massive stars, which join the large population of Wolf-Rayet stars already known. Though detailed studies of these stars are still pending, preliminary rough estimates suggest that the stars we see are evolving to the red part of the HR diagram at approximately constant luminosity.

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