Properties of luminous red supergiant stars in the Magellanic Clouds
S. de Wit, A.Z. Bonanos, F. Tramper, M. Yang, G. Maravelias, K. Boutsia, N. Britavskiy, and E. Zapartas
There is evidence that some red supergiants (RSGs) experience short lived phases of extreme mass loss, producing copious amounts of dust. These episodic outburst phases help to strip the hydrogen envelope of evolved massive stars, drastically affecting their evolution. However, to date, the observational data of episodic mass loss is limited. This paper aims to derive surface properties of a spectroscopic sample of fourteen dusty sources in the Magellanic Clouds using the Baade telescope. These properties may be used for future spectral energy distribution fitting studies to measure the mass loss rates from present circumstellar dust expelled from the star through outbursts. We apply MARCS models to obtain the effective temperature (Teff) and extinction (AV) from the optical TiO bands. We use a χ2 routine to determine the best fit model to the obtained spectra. We compute the Teff using empirical photometric relations and compare this to our modelled Teff. We have identified a new yellow supergiant and spectroscopically confirmed eight new RSGs and one bright giant in the Magellanic Clouds. Additionally, we observed a supergiant B[e] star and found that the spectral type has changed compared to previous classifications, confirming that the spectral type is variable over decades. For the RSGs, we obtained the surface and global properties, as well as the extinction AV. Our method has picked up eight new, luminous RSGs. Despite selecting dusty RSGs, we find values for AV that are not as high as expected given the circumstellar extinction of these evolved stars. The most remarkable object from the sample, LMC3, is an extremely massive and luminous evolved massive star and may be grouped amongst the largest and most luminous RSGs known in the Large Magellanic Cloud (log(L∗/L⊙)∼5.5 and R=1400 R⊙).