104 research outputs found

    Binary populations and stellar dynamics in young clusters

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    We first summarize work that has been done on the effects of binaries on theoretical population synthesis of stars and stellar phenomena. Next, we highlight the influence of stellar dynamics in young clusters by discussing a few candidate UFOs (unconventionally formed objects) like intermediate mass black holes, Eta Carinae, Zeta Puppis, Gamma Velorum and WR 140.Comment: Contributed paper IAU 250: Massive Stars as Cosmic Engine

    GRB 021004: A Possible Shell Nebula around a Wolf-Rayet Star Gamma-Ray Burst Progenitor

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    The rapid localization of GRB 021004 by the HETE-2 satellite allowed nearly continuous monitoring of its early optical afterglow decay, as well as high-quality optical spectra that determined a redshift of z3=2.328 for its host galaxy, an active starburst galaxy with strong Lyman-alpha emission and several absorption lines. Spectral observations show multiple absorbers at z3A=2.323, z3B= 2.317, and z3C= 2.293 blueshifted by 450, 990, and 3,155 km/s respectively relative to the host galaxy Lyman-alpha emission. We argue that these correspond to a fragmented shell nebula that has been radiatively accelerated by the gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglow at a distance greater than 0.3 pc from a Wolf-Rayet star progenitor. The chemical abundance ratios indicate that the nebula is overabundant in carbon and silicon. The high level of carbon and silicon is consistent with a swept-up shell nebula gradually enriched by a WCL progenitor wind over the lifetime of the nebula prior to the GRB onset. The detection of statistically significant fluctuations and color changes about the jet-like optical decay further supports this interpretation since fluctuations must be present at some level due to inhomogeneities in a clumpy stellar wind medium or if the progenitor has undergone massive ejection prior to the GRB onset. This evidence suggests that the mass-loss process in a Wolf-Rayet star might lead naturally to an iron-core collapse with sufficient angular momentum that could serve as a suitable GRB progenitor.Comment: Replaced with version accepted by ApJ; 40 pages, 9 figure

    The Effects of Clumps in Explaining X-ray Emission Lines from Hot Stars

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    It is now well established that stellar winds of hot stars are fragmentary and that the X-ray emission from stellar winds has a strong contribution from shocks in winds. Chandra high spectral resolution observations of line profiles of O and B stars have shown numerous properties that had not been expected. Here we suggest explanations by considering the X-rays as arising from bow shocks that occur where the stellar wind impacts on spherical clumps in the winds. We use an accurate and stable numerical hydrodynamical code to obtain steady-state physical conditions for the temperature and density structure in a bow shock. We use these solutions plus analytic approximations to interpret some major X-ray features: the simple power-law distribution of the observed emission measure derived from many hot star X-ray spectra and the wide range of ionization stages that appear to be present in X-ray sources throughout the winds. Also associated with the adiabatic cooling of the gas around a clump is a significant transverse velocity for the hot plasma flow around the clumps, and this can help to understand anomalies associated with observed line widths, and the differences in widths seen in stars with high and low mass-loss rates. The differences between bow shocks and the planar shocks that are often used for hot stars are discussed. We introduce an ``on the shock'' (OTSh) approximation that is useful for interpreting the X-rays and the consequences of clumps in hot star winds and elsewhere in astronomy.Comment: to appear in the Astrophysical Journa

    Confronting the Superbubble Model with X-ray Observations of 30 Dor C

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    We present an analysis of XMM-Newton observations of the superbubble 30 Dor C and compare the results with the predictions from the standard wind-blown bubble model. We find that the observed X-ray spectra cannot be fitted satisfactorily with the model alone and that there is evidence for nonthermal X-ray emission, which is particularly important at > 4 keV. The total unabsorbed 0.1-10 keV luminosities of the eastern and western parts of the bubble are ~3 10^36 erg/s and ~5 10^36 erg/s, respectively. The unabsorbed 0.1-10 keV luminosity of the bubble model is 4 10^36 erg/s and so the power-law component contributes between 1/3 and 1/2 to the total unabsorbed luminosity in this energy band. The nature of the hard nonthermal emission is not clear, although recent supernovae in the bubble may be responsible. We expect that about one or two core-collapse supernovae could have occured and are required to explain the enrichment of the hot gas, as evidenced by the overabundance of alpha-elements by a factor of 3, compared to the mean value of 0.5 solar for the interstellar medium in the Large Magellanic Cloud. As in previous studies of various superbubbles, the amount of energy currently present in 30 Dor C is significantly less than the expected energy input from the enclosed massive stars over their lifetime. We speculate that a substantial fraction of the input energy may be radiated in far-infrared by dust grains, which are mixed with the hot gas because of the thermal conduction and/or dynamic mixing.Comment: 25 pages, 4 figures. To appear in The Astrophysical Journal, August 20, 2004 issu

    Mass-luminosity relation and pulsational properties of Wolf-Rayet stars

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    Evolution of Population I stars with initial masses from 70M_\odot to 130M_\odot is considered under various assumptions on the mass loss rate \dot M. The mass-luminosity relation of W-R stars is shown to be most sensitive to the mass loss rate during the helium burning phase \dot M_{3\alpha}. Together with the mass-luminosity relation obtained for all evolutionary sequences several more exact relations are determined for the constant ratio f_{3\alpha}=\dot M/\dot M_{3\alpha} with 0.5 \le f_{3\alpha} \le 3. Evolutionary models of W-R stars were used as initial conditions in hydrodynamic computations of radial nonlinear stellar oscillations. The oscillation amplitude is larger in W-R stars with smaller initial mass or with lower mass loss rate due to higher surface abundances of carbon and oxygen. In the evolving W-R star the oscillation amplitude decreases with decreasing stellar mass M and for M < 10M_\odot the sufficiently small nonlinear effects allow us to calculate the integral of the mechanical work W done over the pulsation cycle in each mass zone of the hydrodynamical model. The only positive maximum on the radial dependence of W is in the layers with temperature of T\sim 2e5K where oscillations are excited by the iron Z--bump kappa-mechanism. Radial oscillations of W-R stars with mass of M > 10M_\odot are shown to be also excited by the kappa-mechanism but the instability driving zone is at the bottom of the envelope and pulsation motions exist in the form of nonlinear running waves propagating outward from the inner layers of the envelope.Comment: 15 pages, 10 figures, submitted to Astronomy Letter

    Chemical Abundances in the Secondary Star in the Black Hole Binary A0620-00

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    Using a high resolution spectrum of the secondary star in the black hole binary A0620-00, we have derived the stellar parameters and veiling caused by the accretion disk in a consistent way. We have used a chi^2 minimization procedure to explore a grid of 800 000 LTE synthetic spectra computed for a plausible range of both stellar and veiling parameters. Adopting the best model parameters found, we have determined atmospheric abundances of Fe, Ca, Ti, Ni and Al. The Fe abundance of the star is [Fe/H]=0.14 +- 0.20. Except for Ca, we found the other elements moderately over-abundant as compared with stars in the solar neighborhood of similar iron content. Taking into account the small orbital separation, the mass transfer rate and the mass of the convection zone of the secondary star, a comparison with element yields in supernova explosion models suggests a possible explosive event with a mass cut comparable to the current mass of the compact object. We have also analyzed the Li abundance, which is unusually high for a star of this spectral type and relatively low mass.Comment: 32 pages, 5 tables and 11 figures, uses rotate.st

    X-ray Emission from Wind Blown Bubbles. III. ASCA SIS Observations of NGC6888

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    We present ASCA SIS observations of the wind-blown bubble NGC6888. Owing to the higher sensitivity of the SIS for higher energy photons compared to the ROSAT PSPC, we are able to detect a T ~ 8x10^6 K plasma component in addition to the T ~ 1.3x10^6 K component previously detected in PSPC observations. No significant temperature variations are detected within NGC6888. Garcia-Segura & Mac Low's (1995) analytical models of WR bubbles constrained by the observed size, expansion velocity, and mass of the nebular shell under-predict the stellar wind luminosity, and cannot reproduce simultaneously the observed X-ray luminosity, spectrum, surface brightness profile, and SIS count rate of NGC6888's bubble interior. The agreement between observations and expectations from models can be improved if one or more of the following ad hoc assumptions are made: (1) the stellar wind luminosity was weaker in the past, (2) the bubble is at a special evolutionary stage and the nebular shell has recently been decelerated to 1/2 of its previous expansion velocity, and (3) the heat conduction between the hot interior and the cool nebular shell is suppressed. Chandra and XMM-Newton observations with high spatial resolution and high sensitivity are needed to determine accurately the physical conditions NGC6888's interior hot gas for critical comparisons with bubble models.Comment: 24 pages, 6 figures; accepted for Astrophysical Journal, Nov 1, 2005 issu

    On the Theory of Gamma Ray Bursts and Hypernovae: The Black Hole Soft X-ray Transient Sources

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    We show that a common evolutionary history can produce the black hole binaries in the Galaxy in which the black holes have masses of ~ 5-10 M_sun. In with low-mass, <~ 2.5 M_sun, ZAMS (zero age main sequence) companions, the latter remain in main sequence during the active stage of soft X-ray transients (SXTs), most of them being of K or M classification. In two intermediate cases, IL Lupi and Nova Scorpii with ZAMS ~ 2.5 M_sun companions the orbits are greatly widened because of large mass loss in the explosion forming the black hole, and whereas these companions are in late main sequence evolution, they are close to evolving. Binaries with companion ZAMS masses >~ 3 M_sun are initially "silent" until the companion begins evolving across the Herzsprung gap. We provide evidence that the narrower, shorter period binaries, with companions now in main sequence, are fossil remnants of gamma ray bursters (GRBs). We also show that the GRB is generally accompanied by a hypernova explosion (a very energetic supernova explosion). We further show that the binaries with evolved companions are good models for some of the ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) recently seen by Chandra in other galaxies. The great regularity in our evolutionary history, especially the fact that most of the companions of ZAMS mass <~ 2.5 M_sun remain in main sequences as K or M stars can be explained by the mass loss in common envelope evolution to be Case C; i.g., to occur only after core He burning has finished. Since our argument for Case C mass transfer is not generally understood in the community, we add an appendix, showing that with certain assumptions which we outline we can reproduce the regularities in the evolution of black hole binaries by Case C mass transfer.Comment: 59 pages, 12 figures, review articl

    The WR population predicted by massive single star and by massive binary evolution

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    We discuss differences between massive single star and massive close binary population number synthesis predictions of WR stars. We show that the WC/WN number ratio as function of metallicity depends significantly on whether or not binaries are included. Furthermore, the observed WC(+OB)/WN(+OB) number ratio in the Solar neighborhood seems to indicate that the WR mass loss rates are lower by another factor two compared to recently proposed clumping corrected formalisms. We then demonstrate that the observed lower luminosity distribution of single WN stars can be explained in a satisfactory way by massive single star evolutionary computations where the red supergiant phase is calculated using a stellar wind mass loss rate formalism that is based on recent observations.Comment: 13 pages, 4 figures; comments and criticisms on this preprint are very welcom

    How Massive Single Stars End their Life

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    How massive stars die -- what sort of explosion and remnant each produces -- depends chiefly on the masses of their helium cores and hydrogen envelopes at death. For single stars, stellar winds are the only means of mass loss, and these are chiefly a function of the metallicity of the star. We discuss how metallicity, and a simplified prescription for its effect on mass loss, affects the evolution and final fate of massive stars. We map, as a function of mass and metallicity, where black holes and neutron stars are likely to form and where different types of supernovae are produced. Integrating over an initial mass function, we derive the relative populations as a function of metallicity. Provided single stars rotate rapidly enough at death, we speculate upon stellar populations that might produce gamma-ray bursts and jet-driven supernovae.Comment: 24 pages, 9 figues, submitted to Ap
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