Finding Wolf-Rayet Stars in the Local Group

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

(1) Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001; (2) Las Campanas Observatory La Serena, Chile

We summarize past and current surveys for Wolf-Rayet stars among the Local Group galaxies, emphasizing both the how and the why. Such studies are invaluable for helping us learn about massive star evolution, and for providing sensitive tests of the stellar evolution models. But for such surveys to be useful, the completeness limits must be well understood. We illustrate that point in this review by following the ``evolution" of the observed WC/WN ratio in nearby galaxies. We end by examining our new survey for WR stars in the Magellanic Clouds, which has revealed a new type of WN star, never before seen.

Reference: To appear in the proceedings of the Potsdam Wolf-Rayet Workshop, ed. W.-R. Hamann, A. Sander, & H. Todt
Status: Conference proceedings