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Images in HST/F555W: (a) NGC 4736 1, (b) NGC 4736 2, and (c) NGC 4736 3. The circles mark the central objects (a) with the radius of 1.1”, it is the maximum seeing on the ground-based images, the 1” slit is shown. Credit: Solovyeva et al., 2019.
Russian astronomers have identified three new luminous blue variable (LBV) candidates in the star-forming galaxy NGC 4736. While one of the three newly found candidates was confirmed to be an LBV, the nature of the remaining two remains uncertain. The discovery is presented in a paper published January 16 on arXiv.org.
LBVs - Stars - Evolutionary - Phases - Photometric
LBVs are rare and unstable, evolved massive stars at one of the final evolutionary phases. They exhibit strong photometric and spectroscopic variability related to transient eruptions. Studies of LBVs and eruptions taking place in these objects could provide more insights about stellar evolution of massive stars.
To date, only about 40 LBVs are known in our Milky Way galaxy and in the galaxies of the Local Group. Notably, searching for LBVs in the galaxy is difficult due to high extinction in the galactic plane and uncertain distance measurements, while finding such stars in nearby galaxies could be easier, since the distances to them are determined more reliably.
Aim - LBVs - Team - Astronomers - Yulia
With the aim of detecting new LBVs, a team of astronomers led by Yulia Solovyeva of Special Astrophysical Observatory in Nizhnij Arkhyz, Russia, conducted a search for the presence of hydrogen-alpha emission in blue point-like star objects in the NGC 4736 galaxy. Discovered in 1781, NGC 4736 (also known as Messier 94) is a star-forming spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici, located some 1.3 million light years away from the Earth.
Solovyeva's team studied archival images obtained by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to identify three new LBV candidates. Afterward, they analyzed...
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