Journal Article

NLTE models of line-driven stellar winds – III. Influence of X-ray radiation on wind structure of O stars

Jiří Krtička and Jiří Kubát

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 4, pages 2065-2079
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
NLTE models of line-driven stellar winds – III. Influence of X-ray radiation on wind structure of O stars

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We study the influence of X-rays on the wind structure of selected O stars. For this purpose we use our non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) wind code with inclusion of additional artificial source of X-rays, assumed to originate in the wind shocks.

We show that the influence of shock X-ray emission on wind mass-loss rate is relatively small. Wind terminal velocity may be slightly influenced by the presence of strong X-ray sources, especially for stars cooler than Teff≲ 35 000 K.

We discuss the origin of the LX/L∼ 10−7 relation. For stars with thick wind this relation can be explained assuming that the cooling time depends on wind density. Stars with optically thin winds exhibiting the ‘weak wind problem’ display enhanced X-ray emission which may be connected with large shock cooling length. We propose that this effect can explain the ‘weak wind problem’.

Inclusion of X-rays leads to a better agreement of the model ionization structure with observations. However, we do not find any significant influence of X-rays on P v ionization fraction implying that the presence of X-rays cannot explain the P v problem.

We study the implications of modified ionization equilibrium due to shock emission on the line transfer in the X-ray region. We conclude that the X-ray line profiles of helium-like ions may be affected by the line absorption within the cool wind.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; stars: early-type; stars: mass-loss; stars: winds, outflows; X-rays: stars

Journal Article.  11223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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