Crowther, P. A. and Clark, J. S.
Dramatic changes in the Luminous Blue Variable AFGL 2298.
United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Newsletter(12)
As very massive, luminous stars evolve from the Main Sequence to become hydrogen-depleted Wolf Rayet stars they shed large quanties of matter over a very short period of time. The period of enhanced mass loss is associated with the Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) phase, which is characterised by the presence of spectroscopic and photometric variability on timescales from months to years. Very few LBVs are known within the Milky Way. Consequently, it is believed that the LBV phase is very short, possibly only of the order of a few times 10^4 yrs. However, the lack of an accurate galactic census prevents a refinement of this estimate and consequently much effort has been applied to the identification of new LBV candidates.
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