NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0346

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Program Information for 2017A-0346


PI: William Chick, U. of Wyoming, wchick@uwyo.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Laramie, WY, 82071 USA

CoI: Henry Kobulnicky, U. of Wyoming

Title: Characterization of Bowshock-Supporting Massive Runaway Stars

Abstract: A small but significant fraction of early-type massive stars have been observed to be high-velocity runaway stars moving rapidly away from their origin. When these stars encounter nebular gas they create arc-shaped shock fronts of heated and compressed gas and dust. Using the distinct infrared emission morphology of the warm dust, these bowshock nebulae have been shown to reveal the location of previously unknown massive early-type stars. Our team has discovered more than 650 previously undocumented bowshock nebula candidates along the Galactic Plane by visual inspection of the 22 and 24 micron images from the WISE and Spitzer Space Telescope. An initial optical spectroscopic study conducted on 81 bright Northern targets using the 2.3 m Wyoming Infrared Observatory showed than more than 95% of the targeted nebulae were powered by massive stars. We request GEMINI FLAMINGOS-2 infrared spectroscopy to classify the stellar types and measure the radial velocities and binarity of a more complete subset of the central stars within the nebulae which are inaccessible at optical wavelengths due to interstellar extinction. We propose 10 hours of FLAMINGOS-2 long-slit infrared observations to observe 11 previously unobserved bowshock-supporting stellar sources.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  GEM-SQ/Flamingos2 -- 19.2hrs band 3 (GS-2017A-Q-82)


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