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A Hidden Population of Massive Stars with Circumstellar Shells Discovered with the Spitzer Space Telescope

Wachter, Stefanie and Mauerhan, Jon C. and Van Dyk, Schuyler D. and Hoard, D. W. and Kafka, Stella and Morris, Patrick W. (2010) A Hidden Population of Massive Stars with Circumstellar Shells Discovered with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomical Journal, 139 (6). pp. 2330-2346. ISSN 0004-6256.

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We have discovered a large number of circular and elliptical shells at 24 μm around luminous central sources with MIPS on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our archival follow-up effort has revealed 90% of these circumstellar shells to be previously unknown. The majority of the shells is only visible at 24 μm, but many of the central stars are detected at multiple wavelengths from the mid- to the near-IR regime. The general lack of optical counterparts, however, indicates that these sources represent a population of highly obscured objects. We obtained optical and near-IR spectroscopic observations of the central stars and find most of these objects to be massive stars. In particular, we identify a large population of sources that we argue represents a narrow evolutionary phase, closely related or identical to the luminous blue variable stage of massive stellar evolution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Van Dyk, Schuyler D.0000-0001-9038-9950
Hoard, D. W.0000-0002-6800-6519
Additional Information:© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 January 7; accepted 2010 March 22; published 2010 April 26. This work is based in part on archival data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by an award issued by JPL/Caltech. Based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a continuing collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. It also utilized NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service and the SIMBAD database operated by CDS, Strasbourg, France.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:circumstellar matter; ISM: bubbles; stars: early-type; stars: emission-line, Be; stars: mass-loss; stars: Wolf–Rayet
Issue or Number:6
Classification Code:PACS: 97.20.Rp; 97.20.Jg; 97.10.Fy; 97.10.Cv; 95.85.Jq; 97.30.Eh.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100602-113847933
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Stefanie Wachter et al 2010 The Astronomical Journal 139 2330 doi: 10.1088/0004-6256/139/6/2330
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18519
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:02 Jun 2010 21:22
Last Modified:17 Nov 2019 02:08

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