B[e] stars

B[e] stars are stars of spectral type B that display in their optical spectra strong Balmer line emission and emission of permitted and forbidden transitions of predominantly low-ionized and neutral metals. In addition, B[e] stars exhibit a dense, dusty environment witnessed by their infrared excess emission. In a nutshell, the abbreviation "B[e]" stands for spectral type B with emission lines (e), and following the notation of forbidden emission lines given by the square brackets [].

Since their classification is purely based on their optical appearance, which is dominated by the stars' circumstellar material rather than by the stellar photosphere itself, it is obvious that the group of B[e] stars can contain stars in quite different evolutionary stages. And in fact, detailed investigations by Lamers et al. (1998) revealed that the group of B[e] stars can be split into several B[e] classes: While Herbig objects, compact planetary nebula, as well as symbiotic objects are reasonably well understood, the situation is completely different (but not hopeless !) for the B[e] supergiants and the unclassified B[e] stars. Both groups are worth being studied in great detail and this is what we are doing.

We study these two groups of stars by means of:

The following links will direct you to a brief overview on our most recent research results on both the B[e] supergiants and the unclassified B[e] stars.


Last modified 4.2.2011