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Paper: Discovery of the Earliest-Type Oe Stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud
Volume: 506, Bright Emissaries: Be Stars as Messengers of Star-Disk Physics
Page: 223
Authors: Golden-Marx, J. B.; Oey, M.S.; Lamb, J. B.; Graus, A. S.
Abstract: No classical Oe/Be stars with spectral type earlier than O7.5e have been identified to date in the Milky Way (MW). This is consistent with the decretion disk model because strong stellar winds cause early-type O stars to lose angular momentum, thereby preventing them from rotating fast enough to spin out decretion disks. However, metal-poor O stars have weaker stellar winds, allowing the stars to retain angular momentum. Therefore, low-metallicity environments should promote the formation of Oe stars, including those of earlier spectral types than observed in high-metallicity environments. Using the RIOTS4 survey, a spatially complete spectroscopic survey of Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) field OB stars taken with the IMACS multi-slit spectrograph at the Magellan Baade Telescope, we identify 25-31 SMC field Oe stars, which account for 20-28% of SMC field O stars. This fraction is significantly higher than in the MW, where < 10-15% of O stars display the Be phenomenon. We also present 5-7 Oe stars of spectral type ranging from O5.5e to O7e, all earlier spectral types than the earliest MW Oe star. These early type Oe stars represent 20-23% of our SMC Oe stars, a dramatic increase compared to the MW, where no Oe stars have been identified with these early spectral types. Thus, the higher frequencies of Oe stars and their earlier spectral range in the metal-poor SMC are consistent with the decretion disk model.
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