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Dusty ring nebulae around new candidate Luminous Blue Variables

Clark, J.S.; Egan, M.P.; Crowther, P.A.; Mizuno, D.R.; Larionov, V.M. and Arkharov, A. (2003). Dusty ring nebulae around new candidate Luminous Blue Variables. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 412(1) pp. 185–198.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031372
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Abstract

We report on the discovery of a further two ring nebulae in the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) Galactic Plane Survey; G24.73+0.69 and G26.47+0.02. Morphologically, both appear similar to the nebulae found around the Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) candidates G79.29+0.46 and Wra 17-96. A central, unresolved point source was identified in both cases-positional coincidence with the star StRS 237 was found for G26.47+0.02, while no optical counterpart could be identified for G24.73+0.69. However, subsequent near IR broadband imaging of the G24.73+0.69 field identified a very red-(J- K)similar to2 mag-stellar counterpart to the central object. Near-IR spectroscopy of both objects reveal rich emission line spectra dominated by H I, He I and low excitation metals, suggesting classification as luminous B supergiants and revealing a striking superficial similarity to the other MSX ring sources and known LBVs. We utilised a NLTE model atomsphere code to model the K band spectra and near-IR spectral energy distributions of the central stars in order to determine their physical parameters. Adopting a distance, d=5.2 kpc to G24.73+0.69 yields a temperature, T=12 kK, luminosity, log (L/L-circle dot)=5.6 and mass loss rate, (M)over dot =1x10(-5) M-circle dot yr(-1). G26.47+0.02 appears to be a more extreme object; adopting d=6.5 kpc results in T=17 kK, log (L/L-circle dot)=6.0 and (M)over dot=9x10(-5) M-circle dot yr(-1), placing it at the Humphreys-Davidson limit for massive stellar objects. Analysis of the spatially resolved mid-IR fluxes of both objects reveal extended periods of enhanced mass loss, resulting in comparatively low mass nebulae, with chemistries dominated by O-rich dust (with a population of small Fe grains existing co-spatially with the silicate dust). Comparison to the other MSX ring nebulae sources reveals a homogeneous group of objects, with both stellar and nebular properties consistent with known LBVs. With both spectroscopic and/or photometric variability observed for those sources with multiepoch observations, we propose a close affinity between both classes of object and suggest that long term monitoring of the MSX sources will reveal them to be bona fide LBVs.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1432-0746
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetRussian Federal Program 'Integration' [grant B0029]
Extra Information: Some of the symbols may not have transferred correctly into this bibliographic record and/or abstract. Article published by EDP Sciences and available at http://www.edpsciences.org/aa or http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031372
Keywords: stars; emission line; Be; circumstellar matter; winds; outflows
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 6324
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2012 06:32
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/6324
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