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By Richard F. Burton

A realistic undergraduate textbook for maths-shy biology scholars displaying how simple maths finds very important insights.

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Star Sp. 2V B1III B1IV B1V B2IV B2IVe † Bp 1100 ± 100 ∼ 1500 ∼ 500 ∼ 500 360 ± 40 250 ± 190 340 ± 90 530 ± 200 33 Table 7. Mass-loss rates from Hα alone. reference objects method Lamers & Gal. O-stars approx. Leitherer (1993) Puls et al. /MC O-stars approx. Kudritzki et al. (1999) Gal. BA-sg unblanketed model atm. Markova et al. (2004) Gal. O-stars approx. † nitrogen enriched β Cep stars from Morel et al. (2006) scales (spots). To cite Donati et al. ” Nevertheless, even weak fields can have some impact, at least on the stellar winds from massive stars.

An important question concerns the present status of the so-called “mass-discrepancy”. Herrero et al. (1992) noted a large discrepancy between masses of evolved (Galactic) Ostars derived either spectroscopically (via log g) or via evolutionary calculations, where the latter method resulted in systematically higher values, by roughly a factor of two. Since the spectroscopic analyses had been performed using plane-parallel, unblanketed H/He model-atmospheres (standard at that time), the question arises whether the discrepancy would still be present when the objects were analyzed with more “modern” tools.

A comprehensive illustration of the (present) problem has been provided by Mokiem et al. (2007a, their Fig. e, evolutionary status. This figure clearly shows no indication of any discrepancy for all supergiants and bright giants, independent of their Helium enrichment. Insofar, the improvements in atmospheric modeling, evolutionary calculations and spectral analysis techniques seem to have been successful, and the authors argue that the evolution of class I-II objects appears to be “well understood”.

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