267 research outputs found

    Visual and ultraviolet flux variability of the bright CP star θ\theta Aur

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    Chemically peculiar stars of the upper part of the main sequence show periodical variability in line intensities and continua, modulated by the stellar rotation, which is attributed to the existence of chemical spots on the surface of these stars. The flux variability is caused by the changing redistribution rate of the radiative flux predominantly from the short-wavelength part of the spectra to the long-wavelength part, which is a result of abundance anomalies. We study the nature of the multi-spectral variability of one of the brightest chemically peculiar stars, θ\theta Aur. We predict the flux variability of θ\theta Aur from the emerging intensities calculated for individual surface elements of the star taking into account horizontal variation of chemical composition derived from Doppler abundance maps. The simulated optical variability in the Str\"omgren photometric system and the ultraviolet flux variability agree well with observations. The IUE flux distribution is reproduced in great detail by our models. The resonance lines of magnesium and possibly also some lines of silicon are relatively weak in the ultraviolet domain, which indicates non-negligible vertical abundance gradients in the atmosphere. We also derive a new period of the star, P=3.618 664(10)P=3.618\,664(10) d, from all available photometric and magnetic measurements and show that the observed rotational period is constant over decades. The ultraviolet and visual variability of θ\theta Aur is mostly caused by silicon bound-free absorption and chromium and iron line absorption. These elements redistribute the flux mainly from the far-ultraviolet region to the near-ultraviolet and optical regions in the surface abundance spots. The light variability is modulated by the stellar rotation. The ultraviolet domain is key for understanding the properties of chemically peculiar stars. (abridged)Comment: 12 pages, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    X-ray emission from hydrodynamical simulations in non-LTE wind models

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    Hot stars are sources of X-ray emission originating in their winds. Although hydrodynamical simulations that are able to predict this X-ray emission are available, the inclusion of X-rays in stationary wind models is usually based on simplifying approximations. To improve this, we use results from time-dependent hydrodynamical simulations of the line-driven wind instability (seeded by the base perturbation) to derive the analytical approximation of X-ray emission in the stellar wind. We use this approximation in our non-LTE wind models and find that an improved inclusion of X-rays leads to a better agreement between model ionization fractions and those derived from servations. Furthermore, the slope of the L_x-L relation is in better agreement with observations, however the X-ray luminosity is underestimated by a factor of three. We propose a possible solution for this discrepancy.Comment: 9 pages, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Variations of the high-level Balmer line spectrum of the helium-strong star Sigma Orionis E

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    Using the high-level Balmer lines and continuum, we trace the density structure of two magnetospheric disk segments of the prototypical Bp star sigma Ori E (B2p) as these segments occult portions of the star during the rotational cycle. High-resolution spectra of the Balmer lines >H9 and Balmer edge were obtained on seven nights in January-February 2007 at an average sampling of 0.01 cycles. We measured equivalent width variations due to the star occultations by two disk segments 0.4 cycles apart and constructed differential spectra of the migrations of the corresponding absorptions across the Balmer line profiles. We first estimated the rotational and magnetic obliquity angles. We then simulated the observed Balmer jump variation using the model atmosphere codes synspec/circus and evaluated the disk geometry and gas thermodynamics. We find that the two occultations are caused by two disk segments. The first of these transits quickly, indicating that the segment resides in a range of distances, perhaps 2.5-6R_star, from the star. The second consists of a more slowly moving segment situated closer to the surface and causing two semi-resolved absorbing maxima. During its transit this segment brushes across the star's "lower" limb. Judging from the line visibility up to H23-H24 during the occultations, both disk segments have mean densities near 10^{12} cm^{-3} and are opaque in the lines and continuum. They have semiheights less than 1/2 of a stellar radius, and their temperatures are near 10500K and 12000K, respectively. In all, the disks of Bp stars have a much more complicated geometry than has been anticipated, as evidenced by their (sometimes) non-coplanarity, de-centerness, and from star to star, differences in disk height.Comment: Accepted by Astron. Astrophys, 13 pages, 4 embedded figure

    Revisiting the Rigidly Rotating Magnetosphere model for σ\sigma Ori E - II. Magnetic Doppler imaging, arbitrary field RRM, and light variability

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    The initial success of the Rigidly Rotating Magnetosphere (RRM) model application to the B2Vp star sigma OriE by Townsend, Owocki & Groote (2005) triggered a renewed era of observational monitoring of this archetypal object. We utilize high-resolution spectropolarimetry and the magnetic Doppler imaging (MDI) technique to simultaneously determine the magnetic configuration, which is predominately dipolar, with a polar strength Bd = 7.3-7.8 kG and a smaller non-axisymmetric quadrupolar contribution, as well as the surface distribution of abundance of He, Fe, C, and Si. We describe a revised RRM model that now accepts an arbitrary surface magnetic field configuration, with the field topology from the MDI models used as input. The resulting synthetic Ha emission and broadband photometric observations generally agree with observations, however, several features are poorly fit. To explore the possibility of a photospheric contribution to the observed photometric variability, the MDI abundance maps were used to compute a synthetic photospheric light curve to determine the effect of the surface inhomogeneities. Including the computed photospheric brightness modulation fails to improve the agreement between the observed and computed photometry. We conclude that the discrepancies cannot be explained as an effect of inhomogeneous surface abundance. Analysis of the UV light variability shows good agreement between observed variability and computed light curves, supporting the accuracy of the photospheric light variation calculation. We thus conclude that significant additional physics is necessary for the RRM model to acceptably reproduce observations of not only sigma Ori E, but also other similar stars with significant stellar wind-magnetic field interactions.Comment: 16 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA
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