The VLT-FLAMES survey of massive stars: wind properties and evolution of hot massive stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud

M.R. Mokiem, A. De Koter, C.J. Evans, J. Puls, Stephen Smartt, P.A. Crowther, A. Herrero, N. Langer, D.J. Lennon, F. Najarro, M.R. Villamariz, J.S. Vink

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103 Citations (Scopus)


We have studied the optical spectra of a sample of 28 O- and early B-type stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 22 of which are associated with the young star forming region N11. Our observations sample the central associations of LH9 and LH10, and the surrounding regions. Stellar parameters are determined using an automated fitting method ( Mokiem et al. 2005), which combines the stellar atmosphere code fastwind ( Puls et al. 2005) with the genetic algorithm based optimisation routine PIKAIA ( Charbonneau 1995). We derive an age of 7.0 +/- 1.0 and 3.0 +/- 1.0 Myr for LH9 and LH10, respectively. The age difference and relative distance of the associations are consistent with a sequential star formation scenario in which stellar activity in LH9 triggered the formation of LH10. Our sample contains four stars of spectral type O2. From helium and hydrogen line fitting we find the hottest three of these stars to be similar to 49- 54 kK ( compared to similar to 45- 46 kK for O3 stars). Detailed determination of the helium mass fraction reveals that the masses of helium enriched dwarfs and giants derived in our spectroscopic analysis are systematically lower than those implied by non-rotating evolutionary tracks. We interpret this as evidence for efficient rotationally enhanced mixing leading to the surfacing of primary helium and to an increase of the stellar luminosity. This result is consistent with findings for SMC stars by Mokiem et al. ( 2006). For bright giants and supergiants no such mass discrepancy is found; these stars therefore appear to follow tracks of modestly or non-rotating objects. The set of programme stars was sufficiently large to establish the mass loss rates of OB stars in this Z similar to 1/2 Z(circle dot) environment sufficiently accurate to allow for a quantitative comparison with similar objects in the Galaxy and the SMC. The mass loss properties are found to be intermediate to massive stars in the Galaxy and SMC. Comparing the derived modified wind momenta D-mom as a function of luminosity with predictions for LMC metallicities by Vink et al. ( 2001) yields good agreement in the entire luminosity range that was investigated, i.e. 5.0
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-U183
Number of pages821
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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