The VLT-FLAMES survey of massive stars: Surface chemical compositions of B-type stars in the Magellanic Clouds

I. Hunter, P. L. Dufton, S. J. Smartt, R. S.I. Ryans, C. J. Evans, D. J. Lennon, C. Trundle, I. Hubeny, T. Lanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of high-resolution FLAMES spectra of approximately 50 early B-type stars in three young clusters at different metallicities, NGC6611 in the Galaxy, N 11 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). Using the TLUSTY non-LTE model atmospheres code, atmospheric parameters and photospheric abundances (C, N, O, Mg and Si) of each star have been determined. These results represent a significant improvement on the number of Magellanic Cloud B-type stars with detailed and homogeneous estimates of their atmospheric parameters and chemical compositions. The relationships between effective temperature and spectral type are discussed for all three metallicity regimes, with the effective temperature for a given spectral type increasing as one moves to a lower metallicity regime. Additionally the difficulties in estimating the microturbulent velocity and the anomalous values obtained, particularly in the lowest metallicity regime, are discussed. Our chemical composition estimates are compared with previous studies, both stellar and interstellar with, in general, encouraging agreement being found. Abundances in the Magellanic Clouds relative to the Galaxy are discussed and we also present our best estimates of the base-line chemical composition of the LMC and SMC as derived from B-type stars. Additionally we discuss the use of nitrogen as a probe of the evolutionary history of stars, investigating the roles of rotational mixing, mass-loss, blue loops and binarity on the observed nitrogen abundances and making comparisons with stellar evolutionary models where possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-300
Number of pages24
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Magellanic clouds
  • Stars: abundances
  • Stars: atmospheres
  • Stars: early-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The VLT-FLAMES survey of massive stars: Surface chemical compositions of B-type stars in the Magellanic Clouds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this