Discovery of New, Dust-Poor B[e] Supergiants in the Small Magellanic Cloud

A. S. Graus, J. B. Lamb, M. S. Oey

U. Michigan, UC Irvine

We present the discovery of three new B[e] supergiants (sgB[e] stars) in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). All three stars (R15, R38, and R48) were identified in the course of our Runaways and Isolated O Type Star Spectroscopic Survey of the SMC (RIOTS4). The stars show optical spectra that closely resemble those of previously known B[e] stars, presenting numerous low-ionization forbidden and permitted emission lines such as [Fe II] and Fe II. Furthermore, our stars have luminosities of log(L/L_sun) > 4, demonstrating that they are supergiants. However, we find lower infrared excesses and weaker forbidden emission lines than for previously identified B[e] supergiants. Thus our stars appear to either have less material in their circumstellar disks than other sgB[e] stars, or the circumstellar material has lower dust content. We suggest that these may constitute a new subclass of dust-poor sgB[e] stars.

Reference: Graus, A. S., Lamb, J. B., & Oey M. S., ApJ, in press; astro-ph/1208.5486
Status: Manuscript has been accepted