The young stellar population of IC 1613
1 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, C/Vía Láctea s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez, s/n, 38071 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Received: 9 July 2012
Accepted: 16 November 2012
Context. Very low-metallicity massive stars are key to understanding the reionization epoch. Radiation-driven winds, chief agents in the evolution of massive stars, are consequently an important ingredient in our models of the early-Universe. Recent findings hint that the winds of massive stars with poorer metallicity than the SMC may be stronger than predicted by theory. Besides calling the paradigm of radiation-driven winds into question, this result would affect the calculated ionizing radiation and mechanical feedback of massive stars, as well as the role these objects play at different stages of the Universe.
Aims. The field needs a systematic study of the winds of a large sample of very metal-poor massive stars. The sampling of spectral types is particularly poor in the very early types. This paper’s goal is to increase the list of known O-type stars in the dwarf irregular galaxy IC 1613, whose metallicity is lower than the SMC’s roughly by a factor 2.
Methods. Using the reddening-free Q pseudo-colour, evolutionary masses, and GALEX photometry, we built a list of very likely O-type stars. We obtained low-resolution (R ~ 1000) GTC-OSIRIS spectra for a fraction of them and performed spectral classification, the only way to unequivocally confirm candidate OB-stars.
Results. We have discovered 8 new O-type stars in IC 1613, increasing the list of 7 known O-type stars in this galaxy by a factor of 2. The best quality spectra were analysed with the model atmosphere code FASTWIND to derive stellar parameters. We present the first spectral type – effective temperature scale for O-stars beyond the SMC.
Conclusions. The target selection method is successful. From the pre-selected list of 13 OB star candidates, we have found 8 new O-stars and 4 early-B stars and provided a similar type for a formerly known early-O star. Further tests are needed, but the presented procedure can eventually make preliminary low-resolution spectroscopy to confirm candidates unnecessary. The derived effective temperature calibration for IC 1613 is about 1000 K hotter than the scale at the SMC. The analysis of an increased list of O-type stars will be crucial for studies of the winds and feedback of massive stars at all ages of the Universe.
Key words: stars: early-type / stars: massive / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: Population III / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: individual: IC 1613
Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, on the island of La Palma. Programme ID GTC59-11B.
Spectra as FITS files are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A74
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