Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 417, 217-234 (2004/4-1)
Understanding B-type supergiants in the low metallicity environment of the SMC.
TRUNDLE C., LENNON D.J., PULS J. and DUFTON P.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
Spectroscopic analyses of 7 SMC B-type supergiants and 1 giant have been undertaken using high resolution optical data obtained on the vlt with uves. fastwind, a non-LTE, spherical, line-blanketed model atmosphere code was used to derive atmospheric and wind parameters of these stars as well as their absolute abundances. Mass-loss rates, derived from Hα profiles, are in poor agreement with metallicity dependent theoretical predictions. Indeed the wind-momenta of the SMC stars appear to be in good agreement with the wind-momentum luminosity relationship (WLR) of Galactic B-type stars, a puzzling result given that line-driven wind theory predicts a metallicity dependence. However the galactic stars were analysed using unblanketed model atmospheres which may mask any dependence on metallicity. A mean nitrogen enhancement of a factor of 14 is observed in the supergiants whilst only an enrichment of a factor of 4 is present in the giant, AV 216. Similar excesses in nitrogen are observed in O-type dwarfs and supergiants in the same mass range, suggesting that the additional nitrogen is produced while the stars are still on the main-sequence. These nitrogen enrichments can be reproduced by current stellar evolution models, which include rotationally induced mixing, only if large initial rotational velocities of 300km/s are invoked. Such large rotational velocities appear to be inconsistent with observed vsini distributions for O-type stars and B-type supergiants. Hence it is suggested that the currently available stellar evolution models require more efficient mixing for lower rotational velocities.