IRAS 18357-0604 – an analogue of the galactic yellow hypergiant IRC +10420?⋆
Department of Physics and AstronomyThe Open University,
2 Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal, Universidad de Alicante, Apdo. 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain
3 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingly Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
Received: 30 September 2013
Accepted: 10 November 2013
Context. Yellow hypergiants represent a short-lived evolutionary episode experienced by massive stars as they transit to and from a red supergiant phase. As such, their properties provide a critical test of stellar evolutionary theory, while recent observations unexpectedly suggest that a subset may explode as Type II supernovae.
Aims. The galactic yellow hypergiant IRC +10420 is a cornerstone system for understanding this phase since it is the strongest post-RSG candidate known, has demonstrated real-time evolution across the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and been subject to extensive mass loss. In this paper we report on the discovery of a twin of IRC +10420 - IRAS 18357-0604.
Methods. Optical and near-IR spectroscopy are used to investigate the physical properties of IRAS 18357-0604 and also provide an estimate of its systemic velocity, while near- to mid-IR photometry probes the nature of its circumstellar environment.
Results. These observations reveal pronounced spectral similarities between IRAS 18357-0604 and IRC +10420, suggesting comparable temperatures and wind geometries. IR photometric data reveals a similarly dusty circumstellar environment, although historical mass loss appears to have been heavier in IRC +10420. The systemic velocity implies a distance compatible with the red supergiant-dominated complex at the base of the Scutum Crux arm; the resultant luminosity determination is consistent with a physical association but suggests a lower initial mass than inferred for IRC +10420 (≲20 M⊙ versus ~40 M⊙). Evolutionary predictions for the physical properties of supernova progenitors derived from ~18–20 M⊙ stars – or ~12–15 M⊙ stars that have experienced enhanced mass loss as red supergiants – compare favourably with those of IRAS 18357-0604, which in turn appears to be similar to the the progenitor of SN2011dh; it may therefore provide an important insight into the nature of the apparently H-depleted yellow hypergiant progenitors of some Type IIb SNe.
Key words: stars: emission-line, Be / circumstellar matter / stars: evolution
© ESO, 2013