Volume 429, Number 2, January II 2005
|581 - 598
|Stellar structure and evolution
|17 December 2004
Stellar evolution with rotation
XI. Wolf-Rayet star populations at different metallicities
Geneva Observatory, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland e-mail: [Georges.Meynet;Andre.Maeder]@obs.unige.ch
Accepted: 28 June 2004
Grids of models of massive stars ( 20 ) with rotation are computed for metallicities Z ranging from that of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) to that of the Galactic Centre. The hydrostatic effects of rotation, the rotational mixing and the enhancements of the mass loss rates by rotation are included. The evolution of the surface rotational velocities of the most massive O-stars mainly depends on the mass loss rates and thus on the initial Z value. The minimum initial mass for a star for entering the Wolf-Rayet (WR) phase is lowered by rotation. For all metallicities, rotating stars enter the WR phase at an earlier stage of evolution and the WR lifetimes are increased, mainly as a result of the increased duration of the eWNL phase. Models of WR stars predict in general rather low rotation velocities (<50 km s-1) with a few possible exceptions, particularly at metallicities lower than solar where WR star models have in general faster rotation and more chance to reach the break-up limit. The properties of the WR populations as predicted by the rotating models are in general in much better agreement with the observations in nearby galaxies. Some possible remaining difficulties in these comparisons are mentioned. The evolution of the chemical abundances is largely influenced by rotation in all phases from the MS phase to the WN and WC phases. We also show that the interval of initial masses going through the LBV stage is changing with Z and Ω. The observed variation with metallicity of the fractions of type Ib/Ic supernovae with respect to type II supernovae as found by Prantzos & Boissier ([CITE]) is very well reproduced by the rotating models, while non-rotating models predict much too low ratios. This indicates that the minimum initial masses of single stars going through a WR phase are consistently predicted. At Z = 0.040, stars with initial masses above 50 reach a final mass at the time of supernova explosion between 5 and 7.5 , while at Z = 0.004, like in the SMC, the final masses of stars are in the range of 17–29 . On the whole, rotation appears to be an essential parameter even for the WR properties. Detailed tables describing the evolutionary tracks are available on the web.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: rotation / stars: Wolf-Rayet
© ESO, 2005
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