Blue luminous stars in nearby galaxies: Quantitative spectral analysis of M33 B-type supergiant stars

M.A. Urbaneja, A. Herrero, R.P. Kudritzki, F. Najarro, Stephen Smartt, J. Puls, D.J. Lennon, L.J. Corral

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We present the detailed spectral analysis of a sample of M33 B-type supergiant stars, aimed at the determination of their fundamental parameters and chemical composition. The analysis is based on a grid of non-LTE metal line-blanketed model atmospheres including the effects of stellar winds and spherical extension computed with the code FASTWIND. Surface abundance ratios of C, N, and O are used to discuss the chemical evolutionary status of each individual star. The comparison of observed stellar properties with theoretical predictions of massive star evolutionary models shows good agreement within the uncertainties of the analysis. The spatial distribution of the sample allows us to investigate the existence of radial abundance gradients in the disk of M33. The comparison of stellar and H II region O abundances ( based on direct determinations of the electron temperature of the nebulae) shows good agreement. Using a simple linear radial representation, the stellar oxygen abundances result in a gradient of -0.0145 +/- 0.005 dex arcmin(-1) (or -0.06 +/- 0.02 dex kpc(-1)) up to a distance equal to similar to 1.1 times the isophotal radius of the galaxy. A more complex representation cannot be completely discarded by our stellar sample. The stellar Mg and Si abundances follow the trend displayed by O abundances, although with shallower gradients. These differences in gradient slope cannot be explained at this point. The derived abundances of the three alpha-elements yield solar metallicity in the central regions of the disk of M33. A comparison with recent planetary nebula data from Magrini and coworkers indicates that the disk of M33 has not suffered from a significant O enrichment in the last 3 Gyr.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-335
Number of pages25
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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