1,610 research outputs found

    3D Models of Radiatively Driven Colliding Winds In Massive O+O Star Binaries: I. Hydrodynamics

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    The dynamics of the wind-wind collision in massive stellar binaries is investigated using three-dimensional hydrodynamical models which incorporate gravity, the driving of the winds, the orbital motion of the stars, and radiative cooling of the shocked plasma. In this first paper we restrict our study to main-sequence O+O binaries. The nature of the wind-wind collision region is highly dependent on the degree of cooling of the shocked plasma, and the ratio of the flow timescale of the shocked plasma to the orbital timescale. The pre-shock wind speeds are lower in close systems as the winds collide prior to their acceleration to terminal speeds. Radiative inhibition may also reduce the pre-shock wind speeds. Together, these effects can lead to rapid cooling of the post-shock gas. Radiative inhibition is less important in wider systems, where the winds are accelerated to higher speeds before they collide, and the resulting collision region can be largely adiabatic. In systems with eccentric orbits, cold gas formed during periastron passage can persist even at apastron, before being ablated and mixed into its surroundings and/or accelerated out of the system.Comment: 21 pages, 15 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    MHD numerical simulations of colliding winds in massive binary systems - I. Thermal vs non-thermal radio emission

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    In the past few decades detailed observations of radio and X-rays emission from massive binary systems revealed a whole new physics present in such systems. Both thermal and non-thermal components of this emission indicate that most of the radiation at these bands originates in shocks. OB and WR stars present supersonic and massive winds that, when colliding, emit largely due to the free-free radiation. The non-thermal radio and X-ray emissions are due to synchrotron and inverse compton processes, respectively. In this case, magnetic fields are expected to play an important role on the emission distribution. In the past few years the modeling of the free-free and synchrotron emissions from massive binary systems have been based on purely hydrodynamical simulations, and ad hoc assumptions regarding the distribution of magnetic energy and the field geometry. In this work we provide the first full MHD numerical simulations of wind-wind collision in massive binary systems. We study the free-free emission characterizing its dependence on the stellar and orbital parameters. We also study self-consistently the evolution of the magnetic field at the shock region, obtaining also the synchrotron energy distribution integrated along different lines of sight. We show that the magnetic field in the shocks is larger than that obtained when the proportionality between BB and the plasma density is assumed. Also, we show that the role of the synchrotron emission relative to the total radio emission has been underestimated.Comment: MNRAS accepte

    Harnessing technology review 2008. The role of technology and its impact on education. Full report.

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    This is the second review of the use and impact of ICT in the education system following the publication of the Government's e-Strategy for education, known as Harnessing Technology. The Review drew upon Becta's surveys of schools and FE colleges as well as other research to assess the impact of technology within the education system and the progress made in achieving the system outcomes of the policy

    Non-thermal X-ray and Gamma-ray Emission from the Colliding Wind Binary WR140

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    WR140 is the archetype long-period colliding wind binary (CWB) system, and is well known for dramatic variations in its synchrotron emission during its 7.9-yr, highly eccentric orbit. This emission is thought to arise from relativistic electrons accelerated at the global shocks bounding the wind-collision region (WCR). The presence of non-thermal electrons and ions should also give rise to X-ray and gamma-ray emission from several separate mechanisms, including inverse-Compton cooling, relativistic bremsstrahlung, and pion decay. We describe new calculations of this emission and make some preliminary predictions for the new generation of gamma-ray observatories. We determine that WR140 will likely require several Megaseconds of observation before detection with INTEGRAL, but should be a reasonably strong source for GLAST.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure, contribution to "Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations"; JENAM 2005, held in Liege (Belgium

    The dominant X-ray wind in massive star binaries

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    We investigate which shocked wind is responsible for the majority of the X-ray emission in colliding wind binaries, an issue where there is some confusion in the literature, and which we show is more complicated than has been assumed. We find that where both winds rapidly cool (typically close binaries), the ratio of the wind speeds is often more important than the momentum ratio, because it controls the energy flux ratio, and the faster wind is generally the dominant emitter. When both winds are largely adiabatic (typically long-period binaries), the slower and denser wind will cool faster and the stronger wind generally dominates the X-ray luminosity.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure, accepted by A&A Letter

    Non-thermal radio emission from O-type stars. IV. Cyg OB2 No. 8A

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    We study the non-thermal radio emission of the binary Cyg OB2 No. 8A, to see if it is variable and if that variability is locked to the orbital phase. We investigate if the synchrotron emission generated in the colliding-wind region of this binary can explain the observations and we verify that our proposed model is compatible with the X-ray data. We use both new and archive radio data from the Very Large Array (VLA) to construct a light curve as a function of orbital phase. We also present new X-ray data that allow us to improve the X-ray light curve. We develop a numerical model for the colliding-wind region and the synchrotron emission it generates. The model also includes free-free absorption and emission due to the stellar winds of both stars. In this way we construct artificial radio light curves and compare them with the observed one. The observed radio fluxes show phase-locked variability. Our model can explain this variability because the synchrotron emitting region is not completely hidden by the free-free absorption. In order to obtain a better agreement for the phases of minimum and maximum flux we need to use stellar wind parameters for the binary components which are somewhat different from typical values for single stars. We verify that the change in stellar parameters does not influence the interpretation of the X-ray light curve. Our model has trouble explaining the observed radio spectral index. This could indicate the presence of clumping or porosity in the stellar wind, which - through its influence on both the Razin effect and the free-free absorption - can considerably influence the spectral index. Non-thermal radio emitters could therefore open a valuable pathway to investigate the difficult issue of clumping in stellar winds.Comment: 19 pages, 10 figures, accepted by A&
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