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Astron. Astrophys. 340, 397-401 (1998)

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Spectroscopy of Be stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud cluster NGC 330

Stefan C. Keller and Michael S. Bessell

Mount Stromlo & Siding Spring Observatories, Private Bag, Weston Creek PO, ACT 2611, Australia
(e-mail: stefan@mso.anu.edu.au; bessell@mso.anu.edu.au)

Received 26 May 1998 / Accepted 22 September 1998


The presence of an anomalously large population of Be stars in the young cluster NGC 330 in the SMC has been noted by Feast (1972), Bessell & Wood (1992), Grebel (1992) and most recently Keller et al. (1998). We present results from follow-up medium resolution spectra of the bright Be stars identified in Keller et al. (1998) and in the spectroscopic study of Mazzali et al. (1996). We find that the study of Mazzali et al. has overestimated the number of Be stars within NGC 330. Many of the bright B type stars identified by Mazzali et al. as Be stars show no signs of emission after correction for the diffuse HII emission pervading the cluster field.

In the study of Mazzali et al. (1996) evidence is presented suggesting that all Be stars in NGC 330 have a common inclination of their rotation axes to the line of sight. For our sample of Be stars we present the emission equivalent widths and observed rotational velocities. An examination of these quantities shows that there is no evidence of a preferential alignment of the rotational axes, rather we are observing a population with random rotational axis alignment and dis k size.

Key words: stars: emission-line, Be – galaxies: individual: SMC – galaxies: star clusters

Send offprint requests to: S.C. Keller

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: November 9, 1998