The Discovery of a Rare WO-type Wolf-Rayet Star in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Kathryn F. Neugent (1), Philip Massey (1), Nidia Morrell (2)

(1) Lowell Observatory
(2) Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Observatories

While observing OB stars within the most crowded regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud, we happened upon a new Wolf-Rayet star in Lucke-Hodge 41, the rich OB association that contains S Doradus and numerous other massive stars. At first glance the spectrum resembled that of a WC4 star, but closer examination showed strong OVI λλ 3811, 34 lines, leading us to classify it as a WO4. This is only the second known WO in the LMC, and the first known WO4 (the other being a WO3). This rarity is to be expected due to these stars’ short lifespans as they represent the most advanced evolutionary stage in a massive star’s life before exploding as SNe. This discovery shows that while the majority of WRs within the LMC have been discovered, there may be a few WRs left to be found.

Reference: Astronomical Journal, in press
Status: Manuscript has been accepted