Volume 420, Number 2, June III 2004
|Page(s)||L9 - L13|
|Published online||28 May 2004|
Letter to the Editor
WR 20a: A massive cornerstone binary system comprising two extreme early-type stars*
Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, Bât. B5c, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Rd., Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
3 SRON National Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
4 Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
Corresponding author: G. Rauw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 25 April 2004
We analyse spectroscopic observations of WR 20a revealing that this star is a massive early-type binary system with a most probable orbital period of ~3.675 days. Our spectra indicate that both components are most likely of WN6ha or O3If*/WN6ha spectral type. The orbital solution for a period of 3.675 days yields extremely large minimum masses of and for the two stars. These properties make WR 20a a cornerstone system for the study of massive star evolution.
Key words: binaries: spectroscopic / stars: early-type / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: individual: WR 20a
© ESO, 2004
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