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Paper: The Most Massive Stars in the Local Group: Measuring Accurate Masses of Stars in Eclipsing Binaries
Volume: 332, The Fate of the Most Massive Stars
Page: 253
Authors: Bonanos, A.Z.; Stanek, K.Z.
Abstract: Accurate masses and, in general, all fundamental parameters of distant stars can only be measured in eclipsing binaries. Several massive star candidates with masses near 200MSolar exist, however they have large uncertainties associated with them. The most massive binary ever measured accurately is WR 20a, for which we present the light curve. Measuring the period and inclination, we derive masses greater than 80Solar for each component. Massive binaries are bound to exist in Local Group galaxies, such as M31 and M33. These can be selected from their light curves, obtained by variability studies, such as the DIRECT project. We present photometry and spectroscopy of the detached system M33A, for which we are obtaining a direct distance determination. The DIRECT project has detected several candidate massive binaries which are brighter but nondetached systems, perhaps similar to WR 20a. We plan to obtain spectra for them and measure their masses.
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