Journal Article

A search for ejecta nebulae around Wolf–Rayet stars using the SHS Hα survey

D. J. Stock and M. J. Barlow

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 409, issue 4, pages 1429-1440
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17124.x
A search for ejecta nebulae around Wolf–Rayet stars using the SHS Hα survey

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Recent large-scale Galactic plane Hα surveys allow a re-examination of the environs of Wolf–Rayet (WR) stars for the presence of a circumstellar nebula. Using the morphologies of WR nebulae known to be composed of stellar ejecta as a guide, we constructed ejecta nebula criteria similar to those of Chu and searched for likely WR ejecta nebulae in the Southern Hα Survey (SHS). A new WR ejecta nebula around WR 8 is found and its morphology is discussed. The fraction of WR stars with ejecta-type nebulae is roughly consistent between the Milky Way (MW) and Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) at around 5–6 per cent, with the MW sample dominated by nitrogen-rich WR central stars (WN type) and the LMC stars having a higher proportion of carbon-rich WR central stars (WC type). We compare our results with those of previous surveys, including those of Marston and Miller & Chu, and find broad consistency. We investigate several trends in the sample: most of the clear examples of ejecta nebulae have WNh central stars, and very few ejecta nebulae have binary central stars. Finally, the possibly unique evolutionary status of the nebula around the binary star WR 71 is explored.

Keywords: circumstellar matter; stars: evolution; stars: massive; stars: Wolf–Rayet

Journal Article.  5749 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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