The Discovery and Physical Parameterization of a New Type of Wolf-Rayet Star

K. F. Neugent (1), P. Massey (1), D. J. Hillier (2), and N. I. Morrell (3)

(1) Lowell Observatory, (2) University of Pittsburgh, (3) Las Campanas Observatory

As part of our ongoing Wolf-Rayet (WR) Magellanic Cloud survey, we have discovered 13 new WRs. However, the most exciting outcome of our survey is not the number of new WRs, but their unique characteristics. Eight of our discoveries appear to belong to an entirely new class of WRs. While one might naively classify these stars as WN3+O3V binaries, such a pairing is unlikely. Preliminary CMFGEN modeling suggests physical parameters similar to early-type WNs in the Large Magellanic Cloud except with mass-loss rates three to five times lower and slightly higher temperatures. The evolution status of these stars remains an open question.

Reference: To appear in the proceedings of the Potsdam Wolf-Rayet workshop
Status: Conference proceedings