Physical properties and evolution of Massive Stars

    General
    Description

    This project aims at the searching, observation and analysis of massive stars in nearby galaxies to provide a solid empirical ground to understand their physical properties as a function of those key parameters that gobern their evolution (i.e. mass, spin, metallicity, mass loss, and binary interaction).

    Massive stars are central objects to Astrophysics. Born with at least 8 solar masses, their evolution proceeds very fast, yielding large amounts of nuclear processed material by means of strong stellar winds (loosing up to 90% of their initial mass before facing a violent death as Supernova) and emitting intense radiation fields. Despite their scarcity, massive stars play a decisive role in many aspects of the evolution of the Cosmos (e.g. they are primary agents of the chemical and dynamical evolution of galaxies and have been proposed as key agents in the reionization of the Universe). Along their complex evolution, they are associated with the most extreme stellar objects (O-type and WR stars; blue and red supergiants; luminous blue variables; massive stellar black holes, neutron stars and magnetars; massive X- and gamma-ray binaries). They are also the origin of newly studied phenomena such as long-duration GRBs or the recently detected gravitational waves produced by a merger of two massive black holes or neutron stars. From a practical perspective, massive stars have become invaluable indicators of present-day abundances and distances in external galaxies, even beyond the Local Group. In addition, the interpretation of the light emitted by H II regions and starburst galaxies relies on our knowledge of the effect that the strong ionizing radiation emitted by these hot stellar objects produces on the surrounding interstellar medium.

    This project aims at the searching, observation and analysis of massive stars in nearby galaxies to provide a solid empirical ground to understand their physical properties as a function of those key parameters that gobern their evolution (i.e. mass, spin, metallicity, mass loss, and binary interaction). In this endeavour, the project benefits from best quality observations obtained with the last generation of facilities available at the Canary and the ESO observatories, as well as other observations of interest provided from space missions such as Gaia, HST, IUE and TESS. Samples with a few to several hundreds of individual massive stars in different evolutionary stages and metallicity environments are then analyzed with the last generation of stellar atmosphere codes and optimized tools for the quantitative spectroscopic analysis of massive stars to extract as much empirical information as possible about stellar+wind parameters, surface abundances and spectroscopic variability.

    The main research lines presently active in the project are:

    • the observation and analysis of large samples of massive OB stars in the Milky Way;
    • the exploration of the hidden population of massive stars in the Milky Way;
    • the searching, observation and analysis of massive extragalactic stars, with special emphasis in those found in low metallicity galaxies;
    • the development and use of model atmospheres, model atoms and numerical tools for the analysis of massive stars.
    Principal investigator
    Project staff
    Dr.
    Gabriel Gómez Velarde

    Highlights 2020

    1. The IACOB project presents empirical evidence of the scarcity of Galactic O-type stars with masses 40-80 Msol close to the theoretical zero age main sequence. Th reason of this result could be indicating that the accretion rate of mass during the stars formation process of massive stars could be lower than traditionally considered.
    2. Presented empirical evidence of the existence of multiple star forming bursts in the Cygnus OB2 massive star formation region. The way is paved for the first in-depth study of the massive star population of the Cygus-X region in the Milky Way benefiting from the WEAVE survey.
    3. Studied membership and kinematical properties in a sample of 80 blue and red supergiants in the PerOB1 association by using high resolution multi-epoch spectroscopy and Gaia astrometry data. A forthcoming spectroscopic study of this sample of star will provide new empirical clues to improve our understanding of massive stars evolution.
    4. The MAMSIE-IACOB collaboration presents first in-depth study of the pulsational propeties of a large sample of massive Galactic OB-type stars by means of the combined study of high-resolution spectroscopic data from HERMES, FIES and SONG and high cadence photometric data provide by the TESS mission.
    5. Estimated that the binarity fraction for evolved high-mass stars (red supergiants) should be at least 0.15±0.03.
    6. Identified the first strong candidate to be a super-AGB star in the Galaxy (VX Sgr).

    Related publications

    • To clump or not to clump. The impact of wind inhomogeneities on the optical and NIR spectroscopic analysis of massive OB stars

      Context. Winds of massive stars have density inhomogeneities (clumping) that may affect the formation of spectral lines in different ways, depending on their formation region. Most of previous and current spectroscopic analyses have been performed in the optical or ultraviolet domain. However, massive stars are often hidden behind dense clouds

      Rübke, K. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • Detection of optical emission from the supernova remnant G7.7-3.7

      We present the first optical study of the supernova remnant (SNR) G7.7-3.7, with the aim of determining its evolutionary phase since it has been suggested to be the remnant of SN 386 AD. We obtained narrow-band images in the filters H α + [N II], H β, [O III], [S II] that revealed faint optical emission in the southern region of the SNR consisting

      Domček, V. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      2
    • The spectroscopic orbit of HD 168112 A,B in NGC 6604: another massive binary target for interferometry

      We present the first spectroscopic orbit of the O-type double-lined star HD 168112 A,B. We analyse 101 high-resolution optical spectra identifying the absorption lines of both components. The orbital solution presents a relatively long period, P = 513.52 ± 0.01 d, and a high eccentricity, e = 0.743 ± 0.005. The binary system consists of two very

      Putkuri, C. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • Fundamental parameters of two O9-type giant stars: the (former) spectral classification standard HD 93249 A and ALS 12502 A

      The evolution of massive stars is not completely understood. Several phenomena affect their birth, life, and death, multiplicity being one of them. In this context, the OWN and MONOS projects are systematically observing O- and WN-type stars whose multiplicity status is unknown. Their major goal considers the necessity of determining absolute

      Ansín, T. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • The B-type Binaries Characterisation Programme - II. VFTS 291: a stripped star from a recent mass transfer phase

      Recent studies of massive binaries with putative black hole companions have uncovered a phase of binary evolution that has not been observed before, featuring a bloated stripped star that very recently ceased transferring mass to a main-sequence companion. In this study, we focus on the candidate system VFTS 291, a binary with an orbital period of

      Villaseñor, J. I. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • A calibration point for stellar evolution from massive star asteroseismology

      Massive stars are progenitors of supernovae, neutron stars and black holes. During the hydrogen-core burning phase, their convective cores are the prime drivers of their evolution, but inferences of core masses are subject to unconstrained boundary mixing processes. Moreover, uncalibrated transport mechanisms can lead to strong envelope mixing and

      Burssens, Siemen et al.

      Advertised on:

      8
      2023
      Citations
      5
    • Extreme mass ratios and fast rotation in three massive binaries

      The origin of rapid rotation in massive stars remains debated, although binary interactions are now often advocated as a cause. However, the broad and shallow lines in the spectra of fast rotators make direct detection of binarity difficult. In this paper, we report on the discovery and analysis of multiplicity for three fast-rotating massive stars

      Nazé, Yaël et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • A method to deconvolve stellar profiles. The non-rotating line utilizing Gaussian sum approximation

      Context. Currently, one of the standard procedures used to determine stellar and wind parameters of massive stars involves to comparing the observed spectral lines with a grid of synthetic lines. These synthetic lines are calculated using non-local thermodynamic equilibrium radiative transfer codes. In this standard procedure, after estimating the

      Escárate, P. et al.

      Advertised on:

      8
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • X-Shooting ULLYSES: Massive stars at low metallicity. I. Project description

      Observations of individual massive stars, super-luminous supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and gravitational wave events involving spectacular black hole mergers indicate that the low-metallicity Universe is fundamentally different from our own Galaxy. Many transient phenomena will remain enigmatic until we achieve a firm understanding of the physics

      Vink, Jorick S. et al.

      Advertised on:

      7
      2023
      Citations
      11
    • Solar-like oscillations in γ Cephei A as seen through SONG and TESS. A seismic study of γ Cephei A

      Context. Fundamental stellar parameters such as mass and radius are some of the most important building blocks in astronomy, both when it comes to understanding the star itself and when deriving the properties of any exoplanet(s) they may host. Asteroseismology of solar-like oscillations allows us to determine these parameters with high precision

      Knudstrup, E. et al.

      Advertised on:

      7
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • Gaia colour-magnitude diagrams of young open clusters. Identification in the UBC catalogue and comparison between manual and automated analyses

      Context. Automated analyses of Gaia astrometric data have led to the discovery of many new high-quality open cluster candidates. When a good determination of their parameters is available, these objects become excellent tools for investigating the properties of our Galaxy. Aims: We explore whether young open clusters can be readily identified from

      Negueruela, I. et al.

      Advertised on:

      7
      2023
      Citations
      0
    • The IACOB project. IX. Building a modern empirical database of Galactic O9 - B9 supergiants: Sample selection, description, and completeness

      Context. Blue supergiants (BSGs) are key objects for studying the intermediate phases of massive star evolution because they are very useful to constrain evolutionary models. However, the lack of a holistic study of a statistically significant and unbiased sample of these objects has lead to several long-standing questions about their physical

      de Burgos, A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      6
      2023
      Citations
      5
    • The Pristine Inner Galaxy Survey (PIGS) VII: a discovery of the first inner Galaxy CEMP-r/s star

      Well-studied very metal-poor (VMP, [Fe/H] <-2) stars in the inner Galaxy are few in number, and they are of special interest because they are expected to be among the oldest stars in the Milky Way. We present high-resolution spectroscopic follow-up of the carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) star Pristine_184237.56-260624.5 (hereafter Pr184237)

      Mashonkina, L. et al.

      Advertised on:

      8
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • Properties of Cosmic-Ray Sulfur and Determination of the Composition of Primary Cosmic-Ray Carbon, Neon, Magnesium, and Sulfur: Ten-Year Results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

      We report the properties of primary cosmic-ray sulfur (S) in the rigidity range 2.15 GV to 3.0 TV based on 0.38 ×106 sulfur nuclei collected by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment (AMS). We observed that above 90 GV the rigidity dependence of the S flux is identical to the rigidity dependence of Ne-Mg-Si fluxes, which is different from the

      Aguilar, M. et al.

      Advertised on:

      5
      2023
      Citations
      2
    • The entropy of galaxy spectra: how much information is encoded?

      The inverse problem of extracting the stellar population content of galaxy spectra is analysed here from a basic standpoint based on information theory. By interpreting spectra as probability distribution functions, we find that galaxy spectra have high entropy, thus leading to a rather low effective information content. The highest variation in

      Ferreras, Ignacio et al.

      Advertised on:

      1
      2023
      Citations
      7
    • The IACOB project. VIII. Searching for empirical signatures of binarity in fast-rotating O-type stars

      Context. The empirical distribution of projected rotational velocities (v sin i) in massive O-type stars is characterised by a dominant slow velocity component and a tail of fast rotators. It has been proposed that binary interaction plays a dominant role in the formation of this tail. Aims: We perform a complete and homogeneous search for

      Herrero, A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      4
      2023
      Citations
      4
    • Gaia-ESO survey: Massive stars in the Carina Nebula. I. A new census of OB stars

      Context. The Carina Nebula is one of the major massive star-forming regions in the Galaxy. Its relatively nearby distance (2.35 kpc) makes it an ideal laboratory for the study of massive star formation, structure, and evolution, both for individual stars and stellar systems. Thanks to the high-quality spectra provided by the Gaia-ESO survey and the

      Berlanas, S. R. et al.

      Advertised on:

      3
      2023
      Citations
      4
    • The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey. Observational evidence for two distinct populations of massive runaway stars in 30 Doradus

      Context. The origin of massive runaway stars is an important unsolved problem in astrophysics. Two main scenarios have been proposed, namely: dynamical ejection or release from a binary at the first core collapse. However, their relative contribution remains heavily debated. Aims: Taking advantage of two large spectroscopic campaigns towards

      Sana, H. et al.

      Advertised on:

      12
      2022
      Citations
      6
    • A census of OBe stars in nearby metal-poor dwarf galaxies reveals a high fraction of extreme rotators

      The early Universe, together with many nearby dwarf galaxies, is deficient in heavy elements. The evolution of massive stars in such environments is thought to be affected by rotation. Extreme rotators among them tend to form decretion disks and manifest themselves as OBe stars. We use a combination of UB, Gaia, Spitzer, and Hubble Space Telescope

      Schootemeijer, A. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2022
      Citations
      6
    • EMIR, the near-infrared camera and multi-object spectrograph for the GTC. EMIR at GTC

      We present EMIR, a powerful near-infrared (NIR) camera and multi-object spectrograph (MOS) installed at the Nasmyth focus of the 10.4 m GTC. EMIR was commissioned in mid-2016 and is offered as a common-user instrument. It provides spectral coverage of 0.9-2.5 µm over a field of view (FOV) of 6.67' × 6.67' in imaging mode, and 6.67' × 4' in

      Garzón, F. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2022
      Citations
      5

    Related talks

    No related talks were found.

    Related conferences

    No related conferences were found.