Publication details

An ultraviolet study of B[e] stars: evidence for pulsations, luminous blue variable type variations and processes in envelopes

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Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords stars: early-type stars: emission-line; Be; stars: oscillations; stars: variables: general; stars: winds; outflows
Description Stars that exhibit a B[e] phenomenon comprise a very diverse group of objects in a different evolutionary status. These objects show common spectral characteristics, including the presence of Balmer lines in emission, forbidden lines and strong infrared excess due to dust. Observations of emission lines indicate illumination by an ultraviolet ionizing source, which is key to understanding the elusive nature of these objects. We study the ultraviolet variability of many B[e] stars to specify the geometry of the circumstellar environment and its variability. We analyse massive hot B[e] stars from our Galaxy and from the Magellanic Clouds. We study the ultraviolet broad-band variability derived from the flux-calibrated data. We determine variations of individual lines and the correlation with the total flux variability. We detected variability of the spectral energy distribution and of the line profiles. The variability has several sources of origin, including light absorption by the disc, pulsations, luminous blue variable type variations, and eclipses in the case of binaries. The stellar radiation of most of B[e] stars is heavily obscured by circumstellar material. This suggests that the circumstellar material is present not only in the disc but also above its plane. The flux and line variability is consistent with a two-component model of a circumstellar environment composed of a dense disc and an ionized envelope. Observations of B[e] supergiants show that many of these stars have nearly the same luminosity, about 1.9 x 10^5 Lo, and similar effective temperatures.
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