Spatially resolved spectroscopy of close massive visual binaries with HST/STIS: I. Seven O-type systems
CONTEXT. Many O-type stars have nearby companions whose presence hamper their characterization through spectroscopy. AIMS. We want to obtain spatially resolved spectroscopy of close O-type visual binaries to derive their spectral types. METHODS. We use the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain long-slit blue-violet spectroscopy of eight Galactic O-type stars with nearby visual companions and use spatial-profile fitting to extract the separate spectra. We also use the ground-based Galactic O-Star Spectroscopic Survey (GOSSS) to study more distant visual components. RESULTS. We spatially resolve seven of the eight systems, present spectra for their components, and obtain their spectral types. Those seven multiple systems are iota Ori Aa,Ab,B, 15 Mon Aa,Ab,C, tau CMa Aa,Ab,B,C,D,E, HD 206 267 Aa,Ab,C,D, HD 193 443 A,B, HD 16 429 Aa,Ab, and IU Aur A,B. This is the first time that spatially resolved spectroscopy of the close visual binaries of those systems is obtained. We establish the applicability of the technique as a function of the separation and magnitude difference of the binary.