Volume 536, December 2011
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||08 December 2011|
The VLT-FLAMES survey of massive stars: Nitrogen abundances for Be-type stars in the Magellanic Clouds⋆
1 Department of Physics & Astronomy, The Queen’s University of Belfast, BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK
2 University of Vienna, Department of Astronomy, Türkenschanzstr. 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
3 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
4 ESA, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Received: 28 June 2011
Accepted: 3 October 2011
Aims. We compare the predictions of evolutionary models for early-type stars with atmospheric parameters, projected rotational velocities and nitrogen abundances estimated for a sample of Be-type stars. Our targets are located in 4 fields centred on the Large Magellanic Cloud cluster: NGC 2004 and the N 11 region as well as the Small Magellanic Cloud clusters: NGC 330 and NGC 346.
Methods. Atmospheric parameters and photospheric abundances have been determined using the non-LTE atmosphere code tlusty. Effective temperature estimates were deduced using three different methodologies depending on the spectral features observed; in general they were found to yield consistent estimates. Gravities were deduced from Balmer line profiles and microturbulences from the Si iii spectrum. Additionally the contributions of continuum emission from circumstellar discs were estimated. Given its importance in constraining stellar evolutionary models, nitrogen abundances (or upper limits) were deduced for all the stars analysed.
Results. Our nitrogen abundances are inconsistent with those predicted for targets spending most of their main sequence life rotating near to the critical velocity. This is consistent with the results we obtain from modelling the inferred rotational velocity distribution of our sample and of other investigators. We consider a number of possibilities to explain the nitrogen abundances and rotational velocities of our Be-type sample.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: early-type / stars: atmospheres / stars: emission-line, Be / stars: rotation
© ESO, 2011
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