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Keywords:

  • circumstellar matter;
  • stars: individual: LHA 115-S 18;
  • stars: massive;
  • stars: peculiar;
  • supergiants

ABSTRACT

LHA 115-S 18 is a very peculiar emission-line star exhibiting the B[e] phenomenon. Located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, its spectrum shows features of an extremely wide range of excitation and ionization stages, extending from highly ionized atomic lines (Si iv, C iv, He ii) in the ultraviolet and optical regions to molecular emission bands of CO and TiO in the optical and infrared regions. The most distinguishing spectral characteristic of LHA 115-S 18 is the high variability detected in the He iiλ4686 emission line, which can be a very conspicuous or completely invisible feature.

In this work, we report on another peculiarity of LHA 115-S 18. From high-resolution optical spectra taken between 2000 and 2008, we discovered the appearance and strengthening of two emission features at λλ6825 and 7082 Å , which we have identified as Raman-scattered lines. This is the first time that these lines have been detected in the spectrum of a massive luminous B[e] star. As the classification of LHA 115-S 18 is highly controversial, we discuss how the discovery of the appearance of Raman-scattered lines in this peculiar star might help us to solve this puzzle.