A Rare Early-type Star Revealed in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud

Type Journal Article
Names C. J. Evans, R. Hainich, L. M. Oskinova, J. S. Gallagher, Y.-H. Chu, R. A. Gruendl, W.-R. Hamann, V. Hénault-Brunet, H. Todt
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 753
Pages 173
Journal Abbreviation The Astrophysical Journal
Date July 1, 2012
DOI 10.1088/0004-637X/753/2/173;
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012ApJ...753..173E
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract Sk 183 is the visually brightest star in the N90 nebula, a young star-forming region in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We present new optical spectroscopy from the Very Large Telescope which reveals Sk 183 to be one of the most massive O-type stars in the SMC. Classified as an O3-type dwarf on the basis of its nitrogen spectrum, the star also displays broadened He I absorption, which suggests a later type. We propose that Sk 183 has a composite spectrum and that it is similar to another star in the SMC, MPG 324. This brings the number of rare O2- and O3-type stars known in the whole of the SMC to a mere four. We estimate physical parameters for Sk 183 from analysis of its spectrum. For a single-star model, we estimate an effective temperature of 46 ± 2 kK, a low mass-loss rate of ~10-7 M &sun; yr-1, and a spectroscopic mass of 46+9 -8 M &sun; (for an adopted distance modulus of 18.7 mag to the young population in the SMC Wing). An illustrative binary model requires a slightly hotter temperature (~47.5 kK) for the primary component. In either scenario, Sk 183 is the earliest-type star known in N90 and will therefore be the dominant source of hydrogen-ionizing photons. This suggests Sk 183 is the primary influence on the star formation along the inner edge of the nebula.
Tags STARS: FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETERS, open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 602, stars: early-type, stars: individual: Sanduleak 183
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