Volume 456, Number 3, September IV 2006
|Page(s)||1131 - 1151|
|Published online||06 September 2006|
The VLT-FLAMES survey of massive stars: mass loss and rotation of early-type stars in the SMC
Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
2 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
3 Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 München, Germany
4 The Department of Pure and Applied Physics, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK
5 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Rd, Shefffield, S3 7RH, UK
6 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
7 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez, s/n, 38071 La Laguna, Spain
8 Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
9 The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Apartado de Correos 321, 38700, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
10 Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC, Serrano 121, 28006 Madrid, Spain
11 Grantecan S.A., 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Accepted: 9 June 2006
We have studied the optical spectra of a sample of 31 O-and early B-type stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, 21 of which are associated with the young massive cluster NGC 346. Stellar parameters are determined using an automated fitting method (Mokiem et al. 2005, A&A, 441, 711), which combines the stellar atmosphere code FASTWIND (Puls et al. 2005, A&A, 435, 669) with the genetic algorithm based optimisation routine PIKAIA (Charbonneau 1995, ApJS, 101, 309). Comparison with predictions of stellar evolution that account for stellar rotation does not result in a unique age, though most stars are best represented by an age of 1–3 Myr. The automated method allows for a detailed determination of the projected rotational velocities. The present day distribution of the 21 dwarf stars in our sample is consistent with an underlying rotational velocity (vr) distribution that can be characterised by a mean velocity of about km s-1 and an effective half width of km s-1. The vr distribution must include a small percentage of slowly rotating stars. If predictions of the time evolution of the equatorial velocity for massive stars within the environment of the SMC are correct (Maeder & Meynet 2001, A&A, 373, 555), the young age of the cluster implies that this underlying distribution is representative for the initial rotational velocity distribution. The location in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of the stars showing helium enrichment is in qualitative agreement with evolutionary tracks accounting for rotation, but not for those ignoring vr. The mass loss rates of the SMC objects having luminosities of are in excellent agreement with predictions by Vink et al. (2001, A&A, 369, 574). However, for lower luminosity stars the winds are too weak to determine accurately from the optical spectrum. Three targets were classifiedas Vz stars, two of which are located close to the theoretical zero-age main sequence. Three lower luminosity targets that were not classified as Vz stars are also found to lie near the ZAMS. We argue that this is related to a temperature effect inhibiting cooler from displaying the spectral features required for the Vz luminosity class.
Key words: galaxies: Magellanic Clouds / stars: atmospheres / stars: early-type / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: mass-loss / stars: rotation
© ESO, 2006
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