VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey

The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey is a European Southern Observatory (ESO) Large Programme which has obtained multi-epoch FLAMES spectroscopy of over 900 stars in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). 30 Dor is our closest view of a starburst-like region in the local universe, giving us a unique laboratory in which to study stellar and cluster evolution. It's a rich stellar nursery, with many examples of the rare, short-lived evolutionary phases of the most massive stars.

The FLAMES survey has an unprecedented dataset of multi-epoch observations of the stellar content of 30 Dor. We are now analysing these data to provide answers to fundamental questions such as the effects that stellar rotation has on the evolution of stars, the binary fraction of massive stars, how binarity affects stellar evolution, and to also study the gas and stellar dynamics in this intricate and beautiful cluster, to provide input for models of star and cluster formation.

LATEST PAPERS:

• Paper XIX: B-type supergiants - Atmospheric parameters and nitrogen abundances to investigate the role of binarity and the width of the main sequence
McEvoy et al. 2015, A&A, accepted

• Paper XVIII: Classifications and radial velocities of the B-type stars
Evans et al. 2015, A&A, accepted

• Paper XVII: Physical & wind properties of massive stars at the top of the main sequence
Bestenlehner et al. 2014, A&A, 570, A38

• Paper XVI: The optical/NIR extinction laws in 30 Doradus and the photometric determination of the effective temperatures of OB stars
Maíz Apellániz et al. 2014, A&A, 564, A63

Related HST projects:

Proper motion study of 30 Dor (PI: Lennon), to investigate the 3D dynamics of the region and the nature of suspected runaways.

A massive star census of the starburst cluster R136 (PI: Crowther), to obtain a complete survey of the dense cluster at the core of 30 Dor, which hosts some of the most massive stars in the local Universe.