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The nature of NML Cygnus
Morris, M.; Jura, M.
AA(California, University, Los Angeles, CA; Columbia University, New York, NY), AB(Columbia University, New York, NY)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 267, Apr. 1, 1983, p. 179-183. NASA-supported research. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cygnus Constellation, Infrared Stars, B Stars, H Ii Regions, O Stars, Photoionization, Stellar Envelopes, Stellar Luminosity, Stellar Mass Ejection, Stellar Radiation, Supernovae
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Since the discovery of NML Cyg by Neugebauer et al. (1965), its nature has been uncertain because its distance and luminosity are not known. NML Cyg is partially surrounded by an H II region which is heavily obscured by intervening interstellar matter. This H II region has been mapped in the continuum at 21 cm, and it seems clearly associated with the star. In the present investigation it is proposed that the H II region has been created by ionizing radiation from the Cyg OB2 association. The close agreement between the observed structure of the H II region and that predicted by the considered model provides strong evidence that NML Cyg is indeed at the distance of the association, 2 kpc. At this distance it is among the most luminous red stars shown. Because of its high luminosity, NML Cygnus is probably a massive star of perhaps 50 solar masses.

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