Journal Article

MN112: a new Galactic candidate luminous blue variable*

V. V. Gvaramadze, A. Y. Kniazev, S. Fabrika, O. Sholukhova, L. N. Berdnikov, A. M. Cherepashchuk and A. V. Zharova

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 405, issue 1, pages 520-524
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16469.x
MN112: a new Galactic candidate luminous blue variable*

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We report the discovery of a new Galactic candidate luminous blue variable (cLBV) via detection of an infrared circular nebula and follow-up spectroscopy of its central star. The nebula, MN112, is one of many dozens of circular nebulae detected at 24 μm in the Spitzer Space Telescope archival data, whose morphology is similar to that of nebulae associated with known (c)LBVs and related evolved massive stars. Specifically, the core-halo morphology of MN112 bears a striking resemblance to the circumstellar nebula associated with the Galactic cLBV GAL 079.29+00.46, which suggests that both nebulae might have a similar origin and that the central star of MN112 is an LBV. The spectroscopy of the central star showed that its spectrum is almost identical to that of the bona fide LBV P Cygni, which also supports the LBV classification of the object. To further constrain the nature of MN112, we searched for signatures of possible high-amplitude (≳1 mag) photometric variability of the central star using archival and newly obtained photometric data covering a 45-yr period. We found that the B magnitude of the star was constant within error margins, while in the I band the star brightened by ≃0.4 mag during the last 17 yr. Although the non-detection of large photometric variability leads us to use the prefix ‘candidate’ in the classification of MN112, we remind the readers that the long-term photometric stability is not unusual for genuine LBVs and that the brightness of P Cygni remained relatively stable during the last three centuries.

Keywords: line: identification; circumstellar matter; stars: emission-line, Be

Journal Article.  3398 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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