The VLT-FLAMES Survey of Massive Stars: Observations in the Galactic Clusters NGC 3293, NGC 4755 and NGC 6611

C. J. Evans1, S. J. Smartt2, J.-K. Lee2, D. J. Lennon1, A. Kaufer3, P. L. Dufton2, C. Trundle4, A. Herrero4,5, S. Simon-Diaz4, A. de Koter6, W.-R. Hamann7, M. A. Hendry8, I. K. Hunter2, M. J. Irwin8, A. J. Korn9, R.-P. Kudritzki10, N. Langer11, M. R. Mokiem6, F. Najarro12, A. W. A. Pauldrach13, N. Przybilla14, J. Puls13, R. S. I. Ryans2, M. A. Urbaneja10, K. A. Venn15, M. R. Villamariz4

1The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
2The Department of Pure and Applied Physics, University of Belfast, Ireland, UK
3ESO, Santiago, Chile
4Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain
5Dept. de Astrofisica, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
6Astronimcal Institute Anton Pannekoeck, University of Amsterdam, NL
7Universität Potsdam, Institut für Physik, Astrophysik, Germany
8Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
9Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Schweden
10Insitute for Astronomy, Honolulu, USA
11Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, NL
12Instituto de Extructura de la Materia, Madrid, Spain
13Universit"atssternwarte M"unchen, Germany
13Dr. Reimeis-Sternware Bamberg, Germany
13Macalester College, Saint Paul, USA

We introduce a new survey of massive stars in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds using the Fibre Large Array Multi-Element Spectrograph (FLAMES) instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Here we present observations of 269 Galactic stars with the FLAMES-Giraffe Spectrograph (R ≃ 25 000), in fields centered on the open clusters NGC 3293, NGC 4755 and NGC 6611. These data are supplemented by a further 50 targets observed with the Fibre-Fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph (FEROS, R = 48 000). Following a description of our scientific motivations and target selection criteria, the data reduction methods are described; of critical importance the FLAMES reduction pipeline is found to yield spectra that are in excellent agreement with less automated methods. Spectral classifications and radial velocity measurements are presented for each star, with particular attention paid to morphological peculiarities and evidence of binarity. These observations represent a significant increase in the known spectral content of NGC 3293 and NGC 4755, and will serve as standards against which our subsequent FLAMES observations in the Magellanic Clouds will be compared.

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