The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey XIX. B-type Supergiants – Atmospheric Parameters and Nitrogen Abundances to Investigate the Role of Binarity and the Width of the Main Sequence [SSA]

TLUSTY non-LTE model atmosphere calculations have been used to determine atmospheric parameters and nitrogen (N) abundances for 34 single and 18 binary B-type supergiants (BSGs). The effects of flux contribution from an unseen secondary were considered for the binary sample. We present the first systematic study of the incidence of binarity for a sample of BSGs across the theoretical terminal age main sequence (TAMS). To account for the distribution of effective temperatures of the BSGs it may be necessary to extend the TAMS to lower temperatures. This is consistent with the derived distribution of mass discrepancies, projected rotational velocities (vsini) and N abundances, provided that stars cooler than this temperature are post RSG objects. For the BSGs in the Tarantula and previous FLAMES surveys, most have small vsini. About 10% have larger vsini (>100 km/s) but surprisingly these show little or no N enhancement. All the cooler BSGs have low vsini of <70km/s and high N abundance estimates, implying that either bi-stability braking or evolution on a blue loop may be important. A lack of cool binaries, possibly reflects the small sample size. Single star evolutionary models, which include rotation, can account for the N enhancement in both the single and binary samples. The detailed distribution of N abundances in the single and binary samples may be different, possibly reflecting differences in their evolutionary history. The first comparative study of single and binary BSGs has revealed that the main sequence may be significantly wider than previously assumed, extending to Teff=20000K. Some marginal differences in single and binary atmospheric parameters and abundances have been identified, possibly implying non-standard evolution for some of the sample. This sample as a whole has implications for several aspects of our understanding of the evolution of BSGs. Full abstract in paper

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. McEvoy, P. Dufton, C. Evans, et. al.
Tue, 9 Dec 14

Comments: 22 pages, 15 figures, 11 tables