New Galactic Candidate Luminous Blue Variables and Wolf-Rayet Stars

Guy S. Stringfellow (1), Vasilii V. Gvaramadze (2), Yuri Beletsky (3) and Alexei Y. Kniazev (4)

(1) Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB,
Boulder, CO 80309-0389, USA;
(2) Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskij Pr. 13,
Moscow 119992, Russia;
(3) European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Santiago, Chile;
(4) South African Astronomical Observatory and Southern African Large Telescope
Foundation, PO Box 9, 7935 Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa

We have undertaken a near-infrared spectral survey of stars associated with compact mid-IR
shells recently revealed by the MIPSGAL (24 microns) and GLIMPSE (8 microns) Spitzer
surveys, whose morphologies are typical of circumstellar shells produced by massive evolved
stars. Through spectral similarity with known Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) and Wolf-Rayet
(WR) stars, a large population of candidate LBVs (cLBVs) and a smaller number of new WR
stars are being discovered. This significantly increases the Galactic cLBV population and
confirms that nebulae are inherent to most (if not all) objects of this class.

Reference: To appear in the proceedings of IAU Symposium 282 "From Interacting Binaries
to Exoplanets: Essential Modeling Tools", eds. Mercedes Richards & Ivan Hubeny.
Status: Conference proceedings


Comments: 2 pages, 1 figure.