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 Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/139/4/1553 Abstract: We present 52-93 micron spectra, obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, of luminous compact far-IR sources in the SMC. These comprise 9 Young Stellar Objects (YSOs), the compact HII region N81 and a similar object within N84, and two red supergiants (RSGs). The spectra of the sources in N81 (of which we also show the ISO-LWS spectrum between 50-170 micron) and N84 both display strong [OI] 63-micron and [OIII] 88-micron fine-structure line emission. We attribute these lines to strong shocks and photo-ionized gas, respectively, in a champagne flow'' scenario. The nitrogen content of these two HII regions is very low, definitely N/O<0.04 but possibly as low as N/O<0.01. Overall, the oxygen lines and dust continuum are weaker in star-forming objects in the SMC than in the LMC. We attribute this to the lower metallicity of the SMC compared to that of the LMC. Whilst the dust mass differs in proportion to metallicity, the oxygen mass differs less; both observations can be reconciled with higher densities inside star-forming cloud cores in the SMC than in the LMC. The dust in the YSOs in the SMC is warmer (37-51 K) than in comparable objects in the LMC (32-44 K). We attribute this to the reduced shielding and reduced cooling at the low metallicity of the SMC. On the other hand, the efficiency of the photo-electric effect to heat the gas is found to be indistinguishable to that measured in the same manner in the LMC, 0.1-0.3%. This may result from higher cloud-core densities, or smaller grains, in the SMC. The dust associated with the two RSGs in our SMC sample is cool, and we argue that it is swept-up interstellar dust, or formed (or grew) within the bow-shock, rather than dust produced in these metal-poor RSGs themselves. Strong emission from crystalline water ice is detected in at least one YSO. (abridged)
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/139/1/68 Abstract: [abridged] We present 52-93 micron spectra obtained with Spitzer in the MIPS-SED mode, of a representative sample of luminous compact far-IR sources in the LMC. These include carbon stars, OH/IR AGB stars, post-AGB objects and PNe, RCrB-type star HV2671, OH/IR red supergiants WOHG064 and IRAS05280-6910, B[e] stars IRAS04530-6916, R66 and R126, Wolf-Rayet star Brey3a, Luminous Blue Variable R71, supernova remnant N49, a large number of young stellar objects, compact HII regions and molecular cores, and a background galaxy (z~0.175). We use the spectra to constrain the presence and temperature of cold dust and the excitation conditions and shocks within the neutral and ionized gas, in the circumstellar environments and interfaces with the surrounding ISM. Evolved stars, including LBV R71, lack cold dust except in some cases where we argue that this is swept-up ISM. This leads to an estimate of the duration of the prolific dust-producing phase ("superwind") of several thousand years for both RSGs and massive AGB stars, with a similar fractional mass loss experienced despite the different masses. We tentatively detect line emission from neutral oxygen in the extreme RSG WOHG064, with implications for the wind driving. In N49, the shock between the supernova ejecta and ISM is revealed by its strong [OI] 63-micron emission and possibly water vapour; we estimate that 0.2 Msun of ISM dust was swept up. Some of the compact HII regions display pronounced [OIII] 88-micron emission. The efficiency of photo-electric heating in the interfaces of ionized gas and molecular clouds is estimated at 0.1-0.3%. We confirm earlier indications of a low nitrogen content in the LMC. Evidence for solid state emission features is found in both young and evolved object; some of the YSOs are found to contain crystalline water ice.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1106 Abstract: The Magellanic clouds are uniquely placed to study the stellar contribution to dust emission. Individual stars can be resolved in these systems even in the mid-infrared, and they are close enough to allow detection of infrared excess caused by dust.We have searched the Spitzer Space Telescope data archive for all Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) staring-mode observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and found that 209 Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) point sources within the footprint of the Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SAGE-SMC) Spitzer Legacy programme were targeted, within a total of 311 staring mode observations. We classify these point sources using a decision tree method of object classification, based on infrared spectral features, continuum and spectral energy distribution shape, bolometric luminosity, cluster membership and variability information. We find 58 asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, 51 young stellar objects (YSOs), 4 post-AGB objects, 22 Red Supergiants (RSGs), 27 stars (of which 23 are dusty OB stars), 24 planetary nebulae (PNe), 10Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars, 3 Hii regions, 3 R Coronae Borealis (R CrB) stars, 1 Blue Supergiant and 6 other objects, including 2 foreground AGB stars. We use these classifications to evaluate the success of photometric classification methods reported in the literature.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/138/4/1003 Abstract: We present a catalog of 1750 massive stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, with accurate spectral types compiled from the literature, and a photometric catalog for a subset of 1268 of these stars, with the goal of exploring their infrared properties. The photometric catalog consists of stars with infrared counterparts in the Spitzer SAGE survey database, for which we present uniform photometry from 0.3-24 microns in the UBVIJHKs+IRAC+MIPS24 bands. The resulting infrared color-magnitude diagrams illustrate that the supergiant B[e], red supergiant and luminous blue variable (LBV) stars are among the brightest infrared point sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud, due to their intrinsic brightness, and at longer wavelengths, due to dust. We detect infrared excesses due to free-free emission among ~900 OB stars, which correlate with luminosity class. We confirm the presence of dust around 10 supergiant B[e] stars, finding the shape of their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to be very similar, in contrast to the variety of SED shapes among the spectrally variable LBVs. The similar luminosities of B[e] supergiants (log L/Lo>=4) and the rare, dusty progenitors of the new class of optical transients (e.g. SN 2008S and NGC 300 OT), plus the fact that dust is present in both types of objects, suggests a common origin for them. We find the infrared colors for Wolf-Rayet stars to be independent of spectral type and their SEDs to be flatter than what models predict. The results of this study provide the first comprehensive roadmap for interpreting luminous, massive, resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies at infrared wavelengths.
 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/784/2/147 Abstract: Massive stars can alter physical conditions and properties of their ambient interstellar dust grains via radiative heating and shocks. The HII regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) offer ideal sites to study the stellar energy feedback effects on dust because stars can be resolved, and the galaxy's nearly face-on orientation allows us to unambiguously associate HII regions with their ionizing massive stars. The Spitzer Space Telescope survey of the LMC provides multi-wavelength (3.6 to 160 $\mu$m) photometric data of all HII regions. To investigate the evolution of dust properties around massive stars, we have analyzed spatially-resolved IR dust emission from two classical HII regions (N63 and N180) and two simple superbubbles (N70 and N144) in the LMC. We produce photometric spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of numerous small subregions for each region based on its stellar distributions and nebular morphologies. We use DustEM dust emission model fits to characterize the dust properties. Color-color diagrams and model fits are compared with the radiation field (estimated from photometric and spectroscopic surveys). Strong radial variations of SEDs can be seen throughout the regions, reflecting the available radiative heating. Emission from very small grains drastically increases at locations where the radiation field is the highest, while polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) appear to be destroyed. PAH emission is the strongest in the presence of molecular clouds, provided that the radiation field is low.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1417 Abstract: We have used archival HST H$\alpha$ images to study the immediate environments of massive and intermediate-mass young stellar object (YSO) candidates in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The sample of YSO candidates, taken from Gruendl & Chu (2009), was selected based on Spitzer IRAC and MIPS observations of the entire LMC and complementary ground-based optical and near-infrared observations. We found HST H$\alpha$ images for 99 YSO candidates in the LMC, of which 82 appear to be genuine YSOs. More than 95% of the YSOs are found to be associated with molecular clouds. YSOs are seen in three different kinds of environments in the H$\alpha$ images: in dark clouds, inside or on the tip of bright-rimmed dust pillars, and in small H II regions. Comparisons of spectral energy distributions for YSOs in these three different kinds of environments suggest that YSOs in dark clouds are the youngest, YSOs with small H II regions are the most evolved, and YSOs in bright-rimmed dust pillars span a range of intermediate evolutionary stages. This rough evolutionary sequence is substantiated by the presence of silicate absorption features in the Spitzer IRS spectra of some YSOs in dark clouds and in bright-rimmed dust pillars, but not those of YSOs in small H II regions. We present a discussion on triggered star formation for YSOs in bright-rimmed dust pillars or in dark clouds adjacent to H II regions. As many as 50% of the YSOs are resolved into multiple sources in high-resolution HST images. This illustrates the importance of using high-resolution images to probe the true nature and physical properties of YSOs in the LMC.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201016100 Abstract: The region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) with which this paper is concerned contains the highest concentration of IRAS/Spitzer sources, H I emission, and molecular clouds in this neighboring galaxy. However very few studies have been devoted to it, despite these signs of star formation. We present the first detailed study of the compact H II region N33 in the SMC by placing it in a wider context of massive star formation. Moreover, we show that N33 is a particularly interesting candidate for isolated massive star formation. This analysis is based mainly on optical ESO NTT observations, both imaging and spectroscopy, coupled with other archive data, notably Spitzer images (IRAC 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 mic) and 2MASS observations. We derive a number of physical characteristics of the compact H II region N33 for the first time. This gas and dust formation of 7".4 (2.2 pc) in diameter is powered by a massive star of spectral type O6.5-O7 V. The compact H II region belongs to a rare class of H II regions in the Magellanic Clouds, called high-excitation blobs (HEBs). We show that this H II region is not related to any star cluster. Specifically, we do not find any traces of clustering around N33 on scales larger than 10" (~ 3 pc). On smaller scales, there is a marginal stellar concentration, the low density of which, below the 3 sigma level, does not classify it as a real cluster. We also verify that N33 is not a member of any large stellar association. Under these circumstances, N33 is also therefore attractive because it represents a remarkable case of isolated massive-star formation in the SMC. Various aspects of the relevance of N33 to the topic of massive-star formation in isolation are discussed.
 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt2495 Abstract: This paper reports variations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) features that were found in Spitzer Space Telescope spectra of carbon-rich post-asymptotic giant branch (post-AGB) stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The paper consists of two parts. The first part describes our Spitzer spectral observing programme of 24 stars including post-AGB candidates. The latter half of this paper presents the analysis of PAH features in 20 carbon-rich post-AGB stars in the LMC, assembled from the Spitzer archive as well as from our own programme. We found that five post-AGB stars showed a broad feature with a peak at 7.7 micron, that had not been classified before. Further, the 10--13 micron PAH spectra were classified into four classes, one of which has three broad peaks at 11.3, 12.3 and 13.3 micron rather than two distinct sharp peaks at 11.3 and 12.7 micron, as commonly found in HII regions. Our studies suggest that PAHs are gradually processed while the central stars evolve from post-AGB phase to PNe, changing their composition before PAHs are incorporated into the interstellar medium. Although some metallicity dependence of PAH spectra exists, the evolutionary state of an object is more significant than its metallicity in determining the spectral characteristics of PAHs for LMC and Galactic post-AGB stars.
 Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/140/2/416 Abstract: We present a catalog of 5324 massive stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), with accurate spectral types compiled from the literature, and a photometric catalog for a subset of 3654 of these stars, with the goal of exploring their infrared properties. The photometric catalog consists of stars with infrared counterparts in the Spitzer, SAGE-SMC survey database, for which we present uniform photometry from 0.3-24 um in the UBVIJHKs+IRAC+MIPS24 bands. We compare the color magnitude diagrams and color-color diagrams to those of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), finding that the brightest infrared sources in the SMC are also the red supergiants, supergiant B[e] (sgB[e]) stars, luminous blue variables, and Wolf-Rayet stars, with the latter exhibiting less infrared excess, the red supergiants being less dusty and the sgB[e] stars being on average less luminous. Among the objects detected at 24 um are a few very luminous hypergiants, 4 B-type stars with peculiar, flat spectral energy distributions, and all 3 known luminous blue variables. We detect a distinct Be star sequence, displaced to the red, and suggest a novel method of confirming Be star candidates photometrically. We find a higher fraction of Oe and Be stars among O and early-B stars in the SMC, respectively, when compared to the LMC, and that the SMC Be stars occur at higher luminosities. We estimate mass-loss rates for the red supergiants, confirming the correlation with luminosity even at the metallicity of the SMC. Finally, we confirm the new class of stars displaying composite A & F type spectra, the sgB[e] nature of 2dFS1804 and find the F0 supergiant 2dFS3528 to be a candidate luminous blue variable with cold dust.
 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/149/2/87 Abstract: K-band spectra are presented for a sample of 39 Spitzer IRS SAGE-Spec sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The spectra exhibit characteristics in very good agreement with their positions in the near infrared - Spitzer color-magnitude diagrams and their properties as deduced from the Spitzer IRS spectra. Specifically, the near infrared spectra show strong atomic and molecular features representative of oxygen-rich and carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch stars, respectively. A small subset of stars were chosen from the luminous and red extreme "tip" of the color magnitude diagram. These objects have properties consistent with dusty envelopes but also cool, carbon-rich "stellar" cores. Modest amounts of dust mass loss combine with the stellar spectral energy distribution to make these objects appear extreme in their near infrared and mid infrared colors. One object in our sample, HV 915, a known post asymptotic giant branch star of the RV Tau type exhibits CO 2.3 micron band head emission consistent with previous work that demonstrates the object has a circumstellar disk.
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