AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 17. Stellar Evolution and Metal-Poor Stars
Poster, Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[17.02] Red Supergiants in the Magellanic Clouds

P. Massey (Lowell Obs.), K. Olsen (CTIO/NOAO)

Although the Magellanic Clouds (MCs) are our nearest galactic neighbors that contain an appreciable number of massive stars, much work is still needed to characterize the massive star population. These galaxies provide a key laboratory for understanding the evolution of massive stars as a function of metallicity. As far as the evolved massive stars are concerned, the numbers of Wolf-Rayet stars (WRs) are relatively well known, but there are large uncertainties in the red supergiant (RSG) population due to contamination by foreground Galactic dwarfs. Recent CCD photometry (Massey 2002 ApJS, 141, 81) has identified many RSG candidates in both the LMC and SMC. Here we report on our spectroscopic followup with Hydra on the CTIO 4-m to establish membership based upon radial velocities at the Ca triplet, and to obtain spectral types from observations in the classic MK region. The implications for stellar evolution are discussed, along with a critical comparison of the predictions of the Geneva evolutionary tracks with the observed ratio of WRs/RSGs based as a function of metallicity, as well as other key diagnostics.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.