Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 454, 3710-3721 (2015/December-3)
Discovery of a new bona fide luminous blue variable in Norma.
GVARAMADZE V.V., KNIAZEV A.Y. and BERDNIKOV L.N.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report the results of optical spectroscopy of the candidate evolved massive star MN44 revealed via detection of a circular shell with the Spitzer Space Telescope. First spectra taken in 2009 May-June showed the Balmer lines in emission as well as numerous emission lines of iron, which is typical of luminous blue variables (LBVs) near the visual maximum. New observations carried out in 2015 May-September detected significant changes in the spectrum, indicating that the star became hotter. We found that these changes are accompanied by significant brightness variability of MN44. In particular, the Ic-band brightness decreased by ~ 1.6 mag during the last six years and after reaching its minimum in 2015 June has started to increase. Using archival data, we also found that the Ic-band brightness increased by ~3 mag in ~30 yr preceding our observations. MN44 therefore represents the 17th known example of the Galactic bona fide LBVs. We detected a nitrogen-rich knot to the north-west of the star, which might represent an interstellar cloudlet interacting with the circumstellar shell. We discuss a possible association between MN44 and the INTEGRAL transient source of hard X-ray emission IGR J16327-4940, implying that MN44 might be either a colliding-wind binary or a high-mass X-ray binary.