SIMBAD references

1995A&A...293..427C - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 293, 427-445 (1995/1-2)

Fundamental parameters of Wolf-Rayet stars. III. The evolutionary status of WNL stars.


Abstract (from CDS):

New high S/N optical observations of 9 Galactic WNL (WN7-8) stars are presented. The spectra have been analysed using tailored non-LTE model atmospheres by Crowther et al. (1995A&A...293..403C). Here we use the derived stellar parameters and abundances for a thorough investigation of the evolutionary status and mass-loss properties of WNL stars. We have identified two distinct groups of WNL stars from their observed properties. The WNL+abs and WN7 stars have high luminosities (log L/L∼5.9) and form a continuity in morphology and physical parameters from the Of stars. They appear to be intimately related to these stars, confirming the suspicion of Walborn (1973ApJ...179..517W) and are descended from extremely massive progenitors (Minitial>60M) through the sequence O->Of->WNL+abs->WN7(->WNE)->WC->SN. In contrast, the evolutionary sequence for WN8 stars is identified as O->LBV or RSG->WN8->WNE->WC->SN. These stars, with lower luminosities (log L/L∼5.5), are descended from less massive stars, and have either red supergiant (RSG, 25M<Minitial<40M) or Luminous Blue Variable (LBV, 40M<Minitial<60M) progenitors. Indeed, we identify many properties that WN8 stars have in common with LBVs, e.g. spatial distribution, association with ejecta nebulae, low binary frequency, large photometric variability. We also find that those stars with the highest terminal velocities (WN7+abs stars) have the lowest variability while the WN8 stars and LBVs (low wind velocities) are the most variable. The smooth progression of mass loss properties from O supergiants to WNL stars found by Lamers & Leitherer (1993ApJ...412..771L) is confirmed with the WNL+abs stars lying intermediately between the WN8 stars and O stars. The spectroscopic differences between Ofpe and WNL+abs stars appear to be attributable principally to a difference in wind density. This naturally explains the often ambiguous Of-WN spectral classification of some Of and WNL stars (Conti & Bohannan 1989IAUCo.113..297C). Finally, interstellar reddenings are determined using two independent methods based on the model atmosphere continuum distributions and the observed ubv colours. We find that the UV reddening towards WR25 (WN7+abs) is highly anomalous (R=4.6), confiming the findings of Tapia et al. (1988MNRAS.232..661T) for stars in Tr 16 in the Carina nebula.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): stars: abundances - evolution - mass-loss - Wolf-Rayet

Status at CDS:  

Simbad objects: 33

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