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Title: Emission line stars in and beyond the Perseus Arm
Author: Raddi, Roberto
Awarding Body: University of Hertfordshire
Current Institution: University of Hertfordshire
Date of Award: 2013
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I present low-resolution (Dl 6 A° ) follow-up spectroscopy of 370 Ha emitters (12 . r . 17) identified with IPHAS, in a 100 deg2 wide section of the Galactic plane that is located between ` = (120 ; 140 ) and b = ( 1 ; +4 ). Classical Be stars are found to be the most numerous group of the observed targets ( 60%). Sixty-eight classical Be stars have also been observed at higher spectral resolution (Dl 2 4 A° ) and S/N ratio, which allows spectral typing to an estimated precision of 1 sub-type. Colour excesses were measured via spectral energy distribution fitting of flux-calibrated data. I took care to remove the circumstellar contribution to the measured colour excess, using an established scaling to the Ha equivalent widths. In doing so, this method of correction was re-evaluated and modified to better suit the data at hand. Spectroscopic parallaxes were measured constraining the luminosity class via estimates of distances to main sequence A/F stars, which are found within a few arcminutes of each classical Be star on the sky. In order to probe the structure of the outer Galactic disc, I studied the spatial distribution of 63 out of 248 classical Be stars identified. Their cumulative distribution function with respect to the distance is statistically compatible both with a smooth exponential density profile and with a simple spiral arms representation. The distribution of reddenings of classical Be stars is compared with estimates of the total Galactic reddening along their sightlines. It is expected that the measured reddenings match the integrated Galactic values, for distant stars located outside the Galactic dust layer, or they are smaller than the asymptotic values if the stars are less distant. The outcome meets expectations, and lends support to the conclusion that the measured reddenings are determined to a precision of 10%. The sample of 248 objects doubles the number of known classical Be stars in this part of the Galactic plane. Unlike the pre-existing bright sample, the new objects are seen at large distances, between 2 – 8 kpc with typical E(B V) 0:9. Only four stars are members of known clusters. Ten classical Be stars are proposed to be well beyond the putative Outer Arm, at distances larger than 8 kpc. The large sample of stars, which has been identified here, is the result of a successful selection and analysis of classical Be stars that is offered for more exploitation in future. The proposition is that GAIA observations will use the present sample of classical Be stars as a new tracer of the Galactic disc.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early-type stars ; emission-line stars ; Be stars ; dust extinction ; ISM structure ; Galaxy structure