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Resolving the dusty torus and the mystery surrounding LMC red supergiant WOH G64

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2008

Keiichi Ohnaka
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany email: kohnaka@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de
Thomas Driebe
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany email: kohnaka@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de
Karl-Heinz Hofmann
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany email: kohnaka@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de
Gerd Weigelt
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany email: kohnaka@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de
Markus Wittkowski
Affiliation:
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
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Abstract

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We present mid-IR long-baseline interferometric observations of the red supergiant WOH G64 in the Large Magellanic Cloud with MIDI at the ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). Our MIDI observations of WOH G64 are the first VLTI observations to spatially resolve an individual stellar source in an extragalactic system. Our 2-D radiative transfer modeling reveals the presence of a geometrically and optically thick torus seen nearly pole-on. This model brings WOH G64 in much better agreement with the current evolutionary tracks for a 25 M star — about a half of the previous estimate of 40 M — and solves the serious discrepancy between theory and observation which existed for this object.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2009

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Resolving the dusty torus and the mystery surrounding LMC red supergiant WOH G64
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