Volume 536, December 2011
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||02 December 2011|
Letter to the Editor
Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; L.Kaper@uva.nl
2 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany
3 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
4 SRON, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
Received: 14 September 2011
Accepted: 25 October 2011
The optical to near-infrared (300 − 2500 nm) spectrum of the candidate massive young stellar object (YSO) B275, embedded in the star-forming region M 17, has been observed with X-shooter on the ESO Very Large Telescope. The spectrum includes both photospheric absorption lines and emission features (H and Ca ii triplet emission lines, 1st and 2nd overtone CO bandhead emission), as well as an infrared excess indicating the presence of a (flaring) circumstellar disk. The strongest emission lines are double-peaked with a peak separation ranging between 70 and 105 km s-1, and they provide information on the physical structure of the disk. The underlying photospheric spectrum is classified as B6−B7, which is significantly cooler than a previous estimate based on modeling of the spectral energy distribution. This discrepancy is solved by allowing for a larger stellar radius (i.e. a bloated star) and thus positioning the star above the main sequence. This constitutes the first firm spectral classification of an early-B pre-main-sequence (PMS) star. We discuss the position of B275 in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in terms of PMS evolution. Although the position is consistent with PMS tracks of heavily accreting protostars (Ṁacc ≳ 10-5 M⊙ yr-1), the fact that the photosphere of the object is detectable suggests that the current mass-accretion rate is not very high.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: pre-main-sequence / stars: massive / stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
© ESO, 2011
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