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See detailHerschel observations of nebulae ejected by massive evolved stars
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

Poster (2013, October)

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of nebulae associated to massive evolved stars. The study of these nebulae is crucial to understand the evolution of ... [more ▼]

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of nebulae associated to massive evolved stars. The study of these nebulae is crucial to understand the evolution of these stars as it can reveal the mass-loss history. The infrared images along with available data at other wavelengths give a complete view of their morphology. The dust modeling provides the dust parameters, such as the temperature, the mass and the composition of dust. The spectroscopic analysis provides the gas C,N,O abundances and mass. Based on these observations, the evolutionary status of the star at the time of the nebula ejection can be constrained. We present here selected results of an ongoing exhaustive study of nebulae around low- and high-luminosity LBVs (AG Car, HR Car, WRAY 15-751, G79.29+0.46, HD168625), WN stars (NGC6888, M1-67, He3-519) and Of stars (NGC6164/5). [less ▲]

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See detailAstrospheres of young and old stars
Cox, N.; Decin, L.; Marle, A.J. et al

Poster (2013, October)

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See detailHerschel imaging and spectroscopy of the nebula around the luminous blue variable star WRAY 15-751
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel-PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebular environment of the luminous blue variable (LBV) WRAY 15-751. The far-infrared images clearly show that the ... [more ▼]

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel-PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebular environment of the luminous blue variable (LBV) WRAY 15-751. The far-infrared images clearly show that the main, dusty nebula is a shell of radius 0.5 pc and width 0.35 pc extending outside the Hα nebula. Furthermore, these images reveal a second, bigger and fainter dust nebula that is observed for the first time. Both nebulae lie in an empty cavity, very likely the remnant of the O-star wind bubble formed when the star was on the main sequence. The kinematic ages of the nebulae are calculated to be about 2 × 10^4 and 8 × 10^4 years, and we estimated that each nebula contains ~0.05 Msun of dust. Modeling of the inner nebula indicates a Fe-rich dust. The far-infrared spectrum of the main nebula revealed forbidden emission lines coming from ionized and neutral gas. Our study shows that the main nebula consists of a shell of ionized gas surrounded by a thin photodissociation region illuminated by an “average” early-B star. We derive the abundance ratios N/O = 1.0 ± 0.4 and C/O = 0.4 ± 0.2, which indicate a mild N/O enrichment. From both the ionized and neutral gas components we estimate that the inner shell contains 1.7 ± 0.6 Msun of gas. Assuming a similar dust-to-gas ratio for the outer nebula, the total mass ejected by WRAY 15-751 amounts to 4± 2 Msun. The measured abundances, masses and kinematic ages of the nebulae were used to constrain the evolution of the star and the epoch at which the nebulae were ejected. Our results point to an ejection of the nebulae during the red super-giant (RSG) evolutionary phase of an ~40 Msun star. The multiple shells around the star suggest that the mass-loss was not a continuous ejection but rather a series of episodes of extreme mass-loss. Our measurements are compatible with the recent evolutionary tracks computed for an ~40 Msun star with little rotation. They support the O–BSG–RSG–YSG–LBV filiation and the idea that high-luminosity and low-luminosity LBVs follow different evolutionary paths. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Nebula around the Luminous Blue Variable WRAY 15-751 as seen by Herschel
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

in Massive Stars: From alpha to Omega (2013, June 01)

To understand the evolution of massive stars it is crucial to study the nebulae associated to Luminous Blue Variables which can reveal the star mass-loss history. We obtained far-infrared Herschel PACS ... [more ▼]

To understand the evolution of massive stars it is crucial to study the nebulae associated to Luminous Blue Variables which can reveal the star mass-loss history. We obtained far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebula associated with the Luminous Blue Variable star WRAY 15-751. These images revealed a second nebula, bigger and cooler, lying in an empty cavity that probably delineates the remnant of the O-star bubble formed when the star was on the Main Sequence. The dust mass and temperature were derived from the modeling of the far-infrared SED. The analysis of the emission line spectrum revealed that the main nebula consists of a region of photoionised gas surrounded by a thin photodissociation region. Both regions are mixed with dust. The calculated C, N, O abundances, together with the estimated mass-loss rate, show that the nebula was ejected from the star during a Red Supergiant phase. This is compatible with the latest evolutionary tracks for a ~40 Mo star with little rotation. [less ▲]

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See detailEjecta around evolved massive stars observed with Herschel
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

Conference (2012, March)

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See detailMESS (Mass-loss of Evolved StarS), a Herschel Key Program
Groenewegen, M. A. T.; Waelkens, C.; Barlow, M. J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 526

MESS (Mass-loss of Evolved StarS) is a Guaranteed Time Key Program that uses the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel Space Observatory to observe a representative sample of evolved stars ... [more ▼]

MESS (Mass-loss of Evolved StarS) is a Guaranteed Time Key Program that uses the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel Space Observatory to observe a representative sample of evolved stars, that include asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae and red supergiants, as well as luminous blue variables, Wolf-Rayet stars and supernova remnants. In total, of order 150 objects are observed in imaging and about 50 objects in spectroscopy. This paper describes the target selection and target list, and the observing strategy. Key science projects are described, and illustrated using results obtained during Herschel's science demonstration phase. Aperture photometry is given for the 70 AGB and post-AGB stars observed up to October 17, 2010, which constitutes the largest single uniform database of far-IR and sub-mm fluxes for late-type stars. [less ▲]

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See detailResults from the Herschel Key Program MESS
Groenewegen, M. A. T.; Waelkens, C.; Barlow, M. J. et al

in Kerschbaum, F.; Lebzelter, T.; Wing, R. F. (Eds.) Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars II: Shining Examples and Common Inhabitants. ASPC 445 (2011)

MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) is a Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Program that will image about 100, and do spectroscopy of about 50, post-main-sequence objects of all flavours: AGB stars, post-AGB ... [more ▼]

MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) is a Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Program that will image about 100, and do spectroscopy of about 50, post-main-sequence objects of all flavours: AGB stars, post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae, luminous blue variables, Wolf-Rayet stars, and supernova remnants. In this review the implementation and current status of MESS is outlined, and first results are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Herschel view of nebulae around evolved massive stars
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Royer, P.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg et al

Conference (2011)

The detailed study of the nebulae ejected from Luminous Blue Variables and the circumstellar bubbles around Wolf-Rayet stars, which radiate strongly in the IR due to the heating of dust, is crucial for ... [more ▼]

The detailed study of the nebulae ejected from Luminous Blue Variables and the circumstellar bubbles around Wolf-Rayet stars, which radiate strongly in the IR due to the heating of dust, is crucial for understanding the massive stars evolution. With Herschel, the largest telescope ever flown in space, we are able to study the gas and the dust in these circumstellar environments in the full far-infrared waveband. In the context of 'Mass-loss of Evolved StarS' Herschel guaranteed time key programme, we have obtained imaging and spectroscopic observations of nebulae associated with Luminous Blue Variable and Wolf-Rayet stars using PACS, one of the three instruments onboard Herschel. A description of these observations and first results of the data analysis are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailObservations of nebulae ejected by massive stars with PACS
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Royer, P.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailPost-AGB stars with hot circumstellar dust: binarity of the low-amplitude pulsators
van Winckel, H.; Lloyd Evans, T.; Briquet, Maryline ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 505

Context: The influence of binarity on the late stages of stellar evolution remains an open issue. <BR />Aims: While the first binary post-AGB stars were serendipitously discovered, the distinct ... [more ▼]

Context: The influence of binarity on the late stages of stellar evolution remains an open issue. <BR />Aims: While the first binary post-AGB stars were serendipitously discovered, the distinct characteristics of their spectral energy distribution (SED) allowed us to launch a more systematic search for binaries. We selected post-AGB objects, which exhibit a broad dust excess starting either at H or K, pointing to the presence of a gravitationally bound dusty disc in the system. We initiated an extensive multiwavelength study of those systems and here report on our radial velocity and photometric monitoring results for six stars of early F type, which are pulsators of small amplitude. <BR />Methods: To determine the radial velocity of low signal-to-noise ratio time-series data, we constructed dedicated autocorrelation masks based on high signal-to-noise ratio spectra, used in our published chemical studies. The radial velocity variations were analysed in detail to differentiate between pulsational variability and variability caused by orbital motion. When available, the photometric monitoring data were used to complement the time series of radial velocity data and to establish the nature of the pulsation. Finally, orbital minimalisation was performed to constrain the orbital elements. <BR />Results: All of the six objects are binaries with orbital periods ranging from 120 to 1800 days. Five systems have non-circular orbits. The mass functions range from 0.004 to 0.57 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and the companions are probably unevolved objects of (very) low initial mass. We argue that these binaries must have evolved through a phase of strong binary interaction when the primary was a cool supergiant. Although the origin of the circumstellar disc is not well understood, the disc is generally believed to have formed during this strong interaction phase. The eccentric orbits of these highly evolved objects remain poorly understood. In one object, the line-of-sight grazes the edge of the puffed-up inner rim of the disc. <BR />Conclusions: These results corroborate our earlier statement that evolved objects in binary stars create a Keplerian dusty circumbinary disc. With the measured orbits and mass functions, we conclude that the circumbinary discs seem to have a major impact on the evolution of a significant fraction of binary systems. based on observations collected with the Flemish 1.2 m Mercator telescope at Roque de los Muchachos (Spain), the Swiss 1.2 m Euler telescope at La Silla (Chile) and the 0.5 m and 0.75 m telescopes at SAAO (South-Africa). Tables [see full textsee full text]-[see full textsee full text] are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org Postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders. Ph.D. student of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders. [less ▲]

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See detailA multiwavelength investigation of the massive eclipsing binary Cyg OB2 #5
Linder, Natacha ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 495

Context. The properties of the early-type binary Cyg OB2 #5 have been debated for many years and spectroscopic and photometric investigations yielded conflicting results. Aims. We have attempted to ... [more ▼]

Context. The properties of the early-type binary Cyg OB2 #5 have been debated for many years and spectroscopic and photometric investigations yielded conflicting results. Aims. We have attempted to constrain the physical properties of the binary by collecting new optical and X-ray observations. Methods. The optical light curves obtained with narrow-band continuum and line-bearing filters are analysed and compared. Optical spectra are used to map the location of the He II $\lambda $ 4686 and H$\alpha $ line-emission regions in velocity space. New XMM-Newton as well as archive X-ray spectra are analysed to search for variability and constrain the properties of the hot plasma in this system. Results. We find that the orbital period of the system slowly changes though we are unable to discriminate between several possible explanations of this trend. The best fit solution of the continuum light curve reveals a contact configuration with the secondary star being significantly brighter and hotter on its leading side facing the primary. The mean temperature of the secondary star turns out to be only slightly lower than that of the primary, whilst the bolometric luminosity ratio is found to be 3.1. The solution of the light curve yields a distance of $925 \pm 25$ pc much lower than the usually assumed distance of the Cyg OB2 association. Whilst we confirm the existence of episodes of higher X-ray fluxes, the data reveal no phase-locked modulation with the 6.6 day period of the eclipsing binary nor any clear relation between the X-ray flux and the 6.7 yr radio cycle. Conclusions. The bright region of the secondary star is probably heated by energy transfer in a common envelope in this contact binary system as well as by the collision with the primary's wind. The existence of a common photosphere probably also explains the odd mass-luminosity relation of the stars in this system. Most of the X-ray, non-thermal radio, and possibly $\gamma$-ray emission of Cyg OB2 #5 is likely to arise from the interaction of the combined wind of the eclipsing binary with at least one additional star of this multiple system. [less ▲]

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See detailThe atypical emission-line star Hen 3-209
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 371(4), 1594-1600

We analyse observations, spanning 15 yr, dedicated to the extreme emission-line object Hen 3-209. Our photometric data indicate that the luminosity of the star undergoes marked variations with a peak-to ... [more ▼]

We analyse observations, spanning 15 yr, dedicated to the extreme emission-line object Hen 3-209. Our photometric data indicate that the luminosity of the star undergoes marked variations with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.65 mag. These variations are recurrent, with a period of 16.093 +/- 0.005 d. The spectrum of Hen 3-209 is peculiar with many different lines (H I, He I, Fe II,. showing P Cygni profiles. The line profiles are apparently changing in harmony with the photometry. The spectrum also contains [O III] lines that display a saddle profile topped by three peaks, with a maximum separation of about 600 km s(-1). Hen 3-209 is most likely an evolved luminous object suffering from mass ejection events and maybe belonging to a binary system. [less ▲]

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See detailCPD-41° 7742: an unusual wind interaction
Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations (2005, November 01)

We summarize the results of a multiwavelength observing campaign on the massive eclipsing binary CPD-41° 7742, another remarkable object in the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our campaign relies on high ... [more ▼]

We summarize the results of a multiwavelength observing campaign on the massive eclipsing binary CPD-41° 7742, another remarkable object in the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our campaign relies on high resolution echelle spectroscopy, narrow-band optical photometry, and XMM-Newton X-ray observations. Combined with the spectroscopic analysis, the light curve analysis provides a direct measurement of the masses and sizes of the system components. However, the most outstanding results come from the XMM observations. Our 180 ks campaign towards NGC 6231, and CPD-41° 7742, provides an unprecedented phase coverage of such a close early-type binary. The EPIC-MOS light curves almost fully cover the 2.4 day period of the system and the brightness of the object is sufficient to yield a time resolution as tight as 1 ks. The X-ray flux presents clear variations along the orbit, that we interpret as the signature of an unusual wind interaction. We indeed expect that, in this O+B system, the dominant primary wind crashes into the secondary surface, leading to a wind-photosphere interaction. As a strong support to our interpretation, we provide a geometrical model that associates an extra X-ray emission to the secondary inner surface. Though quite simple, the present model matches the main features of the X-ray light curve. [less ▲]

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See detailThe massive binary CPD-41 degrees 7742 - II. Optical light curve and X-ray observations
Sana, H.; Antokhina, E.; Royer, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 441(1), 213-229

In the first paper of this series, we presented a detailed high-resolution spectroscopic study of CPD - 41 degrees 7742, deriving for the first time an orbital solution for both components of the system ... [more ▼]

In the first paper of this series, we presented a detailed high-resolution spectroscopic study of CPD - 41 degrees 7742, deriving for the first time an orbital solution for both components of the system. In this second paper, we focus on the analysis of the optical light curve and on recent XMM-Newton X-ray observations. In the optical, the system presents two eclipses, yielding an inclination i similar to 77 degrees. Combining the constraints from the photometry with the results of our previous work, we derive the absolute parameters of the system. We confirm that the two components of CPD- 41 degrees 7742 are main sequence stars (O9 V+ B1 - 1.5 V) with masses (M-1 similar to 18 M-. and M-2 similar to 10 M-.) and respective radii (R-1 similar to 7.5 R-. and R-2 similar to 5.4 R-.) close to the typical values expected for such stars. We also report an unprecedented set of X-ray observations that almost uniformly cover the 2.44-day orbital cycle. The X-ray emission from CPD-41 degrees 7742 is well described by a two-temperature thermal plasma model with energies close to 0.6 and 1.0 keV, thus slightly harder than typical early-type emission. The X-ray light curve shows clear signs of variability. The emission level is higher when the primary is in front of the secondary. During the high emission state, the system shows a drop of its X-ray emission that almost exactly matches the optical eclipse. We interpret the main features of the X-ray light curve as the signature of a wind-photosphere interaction, in which the overwhelming primary O9 star wind crashes into the secondary surface. Alternatively the light curve could result from a wind-wind interaction zone located near the secondary star surface. As a support to our interpretation, we provide a phenomenological geometric model that qualitatively reproduces the observed modulations of the X-ray emission. [less ▲]

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See detailA first detailed study of the colliding wind WR+O binary WR 30a
Gosset, Eric ULg; Royer, P.; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2001), 327

We present a detailed, extensive investigation of the photometric and spectroscopic behaviour of WR 30a. This star is definitely a binary system with a period around 4.6d. We propose the value P=4.619d ... [more ▼]

We present a detailed, extensive investigation of the photometric and spectroscopic behaviour of WR 30a. This star is definitely a binary system with a period around 4.6d. We propose the value P=4.619d (sigma=0.002d). The identification of the components as WO4+O5((f)) indicates a massive evolved binary system; the O5 component is a main-sequence or, more likely, a giant star. The radial velocities of the O star yield a circular orbit with an amplitude K[SUB]O[/SUB]=29.9 (sigma=2.1)kms[SUP]-1[/SUP] and a mass function of 0.013 (sigma=0.003)M[SUB]solar[/SUB]. The spectrum of WR 30a exhibits strong profile variations of the broad emission lines that are phase-locked with the orbital period. We report the detection of the orbital motion of the WO component with K[SUB]WO[/SUB]=189kms[SUP]-1[/SUP], but this should be confirmed by further observations. If correct, it implies a mass ratio M[SUB]WO[/SUB] /M[SUB]O[/SUB]=0.16. The star exhibits sinusoidal light variations of amplitude 0.024mag peak-to-peak with the minimum of light occurring slightly after the conjunction with the O star in front. On the basis of the phase-locked profile variations of the Civ lambda4658 blend in the spectrum of the WO, we conclude that a wind-wind collision phenomenon is present in the system. We discuss some possibilities for the geometry of the interaction region. [less ▲]

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See detailThe WR content of IC10 - first detection of WC9 stars in a low metallicity environment?
Royer, P.; Smartt, S. J.; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2001), 366

We present deep, narrow-band photometry of the Local Group starburst galaxy IC 10. Our dedicated photometric system provides detection of 13 new Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars and allows spectral subtypes to be ... [more ▼]

We present deep, narrow-band photometry of the Local Group starburst galaxy IC 10. Our dedicated photometric system provides detection of 13 new Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars and allows spectral subtypes to be assigned. Three of these new stars appear to be WC9 subtypes. If confirmed, these would be the very first WC9 stars ever detected in a low metallicity environment, hence putting strong new constraints on the formation and evolution models of massive stars. Eight of the new WR stars are of the WC subtype, which does not significantly modify the anomalously high WC/WN ratio in IC 10. However it is likely that a number of Wolf-Rayet stars of the WNE and WC spectral subtypes are still to be discovered in the heart of the galaxy. Based on observations at the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma and at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. [less ▲]

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See detailCorrection of Systematic Errors in Differential Photometry
Manfroid, Jean ULg; Royer, P.; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems X (2001)

A common cause of errors in CCD differential photometry is an improper calibration of the array. The importance of these errors is evaluated for different cameras with fields between 3 and 30 arcminutes ... [more ▼]

A common cause of errors in CCD differential photometry is an improper calibration of the array. The importance of these errors is evaluated for different cameras with fields between 3 and 30 arcminutes. The usual superflat illumination corrections based on night sky exposures are often found to be unsatisfactory. ``Photometric superflats'' based on stellar measurements are more reliable and should be used instead. [less ▲]

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See detailQSO colors in the proposed GAIA photometric systems
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Royer, P.; Surdej, Jean ULg

in Proceedings of the GAIA Workshop (2001)

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See detailSimulations of observations with the Optical Monitor of the X-ray Multi-Mirror Satellite
Royer, P.; Manfroid, Jean ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Supplement Series (2000), 145

This paper addresses the question of the observations to be performed with the Optical Monitor (OM) of the X-ray Multi-Mirror Satellite (XMM) under several aspects. First, we discuss XMM-OM's photometric ... [more ▼]

This paper addresses the question of the observations to be performed with the Optical Monitor (OM) of the X-ray Multi-Mirror Satellite (XMM) under several aspects. First, we discuss XMM-OM's photometric system and its colour transformations towards the standard U BV system. Second, we establish a set of procedures to determine the temperature and the amount of interstellar absorption affecting the observed stars. Last, we address the possibility of isolating quasars in multidimensional colour diagrams based on the XMM-OM filter set. [less ▲]

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