GCIRS34W: an irregular variable in the Galactic Centre
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, Postfach 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, USA
3 1. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Strasse 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
Accepted: 17 October 2005
We report the results of time-resolved photometric and spectroscopic near-infrared observations of the Ofpe/WN9 star and LBV candidate GCIRS34W in the Galactic Centre star cluster. Diffraction limited resolution photometric observations obtained in H- and K-bands show a strong, non-periodic variability on time scales from months to years in both bands, accompanied by variations of the stellar colour. Three K-band spectra obtained in 1996, 2003, and 2004 with integral field spectrometers are identical within their accuracies and exclude significant spectroscopic variability. The most probable explanation of the stellar photometric variability is obscuration by circumstellar material ejected by the star. The approximated position of GCIRS34W in an HR diagram is located between O supergiants and LBVs, suggesting that this star is a transitional object between these two phases of stellar evolution.
Key words: Galaxy: center / stars: variables: general / stars: winds, outflows / stars: mass loss / stars: individual: GCIRS34W
© ESO, 2006