A Lifetime of Influence: Abstracts, Talks, and Posters
 

Barbosa

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Damineli et al

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Damineli

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Fullerton

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Gagne

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Hillier

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Howarth

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Indebetouw

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Lang

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Leitherer

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Lennon

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Linder

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Maeder

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Massa

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McSwain

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Morris

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Naze

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Nieva

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Olsen

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Oskinova

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Owocki

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Przybilla

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Skinner

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Smith

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Soderberg

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Teodoro

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Testor

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Townsley

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Vacca

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Vink

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Wachter

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Walborn

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Wallerstein

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Whelan

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Williams

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Willis

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Wing

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Wolff

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van den Heuvel

  

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The K-Type Supergiants of the LMC: Not So Rare

Robert F. Wing
Ohio State University

Among the high-luminosity stars of the Large Magellanic Cloud, large numbers of both blue supergiants (spectral types O, B, A) and red supergiants (type M) have long been known, but only a few supergiants of intermediate type have been recognized. It turns out, however, that the nearly complete absence of K-type supergiants and the sudden turn-on of supergiants at type M0 is an artifact caused by the way stars have been selected for follow-up observation.

I have used six-color narrow-band TiO/CN photometry to obtain CN-based luminosity classifications which unambiguously distinguish supergiants from stars of lower luminosity. Target stars were the "suspected late-type supergiants" listed by Sanduleak & Philip (Publ. Warner & Swasey Obs. 1977) on the basis of red color (as judged on blue objective-prism plates) and visual magnitude in the range 11.0-13.5, and which were not marked as M stars on an unpublished near-infrared objective-prism survey by V.M. Blanco. There are 433 such candidates in the central 5 x 5 degree area of the LMC; they must be predominantly K stars (with a few of types G and early M), and they must be either supergiants belonging to the Cloud or foreground stars or lower luminosity.

Observations have been obtained for all candidates in five fields of the Hodge-Wright Atlas (122 stars). Of these, 41 (34%) are confirmed as K-type supergiants, and another 29 are early M supergiant LMC members. The remainder (52 stars) are foreground giants and dwarfs, including three stars with peculiar spectra, which may be metal-poor giants of the Galactic halo. A statistical study indicates that the number of K supergiants in the whole LMC is approximately 200, similar to the number of M supergiants.