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Paper: The Evolution of Massive Stars in the Context of V838 Monocerotis
Volume: 363, The Nature of V838 Mon and its Light Echo
Page: 257
Authors: Hirschi, R.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to look at the evolution of massive stars in order to determine whether or not the progenitor of V838 Mon may be a massive star. In the first part of this paper, the evolution of massive stars around solar metallicity is described, especially the evolution in the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram. Then, using the observational constraints, the probable progenitors (and their evolution) are described. Using models of single stars, no progenitor can be found amongst massive stars that can satisfy all the observational constraints. Wolf-Rayet stars (stars with initial masses above about 30 M , which have lost their hydrogen rich envelopes) could explain 10 to 100 MSolar of circumstellar material but they are very luminous (L≥ 105 LSolar). Main sequence stars crossing the HR diagram and becoming red supergiants (RSG) can have very low effective temperatures but take thousands of years to cross over. Be stars (fast rotating stars with a mass around 10 MSolar), which form disk or B stars accreting matter from a binary companion of a similar mass would need to be compared in detail with the observational constraints. In the future, there will hopefully be further observational constraints on the models coming from the mass and nature (interstellar or circumstellar) of the material producing the light echo and from a frequency estimate of spectacular objects such as V838 Mon.
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