References of "De Becker, Michaël"
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See detailXMM-Newton observation of the enigmatic object WR 46
Gosset, Eric ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 527

Aims: To further investigate the nature of the enigmatic object WR 46 and better understand the X-ray emission in massive stars and in their evolved descendants, we observed this variable object for more ... [more ▼]

Aims: To further investigate the nature of the enigmatic object WR 46 and better understand the X-ray emission in massive stars and in their evolved descendants, we observed this variable object for more than two of its supposed cycles. The X-ray emission characteristics are appropriate indicators of the difference between a genuine Wolf-Rayet star and a specimen of a super soft source as sometimes suggested in the literature. The X-ray emission analysis might contribute to understanding the origin of the emitting plasma (intrinsically shocked wind, magnetically confined wind, colliding winds, and accretion onto a white dwarf or a more compact object) and to substantiating the decision about the exact nature of the star. <BR /> Methods: The X-ray observations of WR 46 were performed with the XMM-Newton facility over an effective exposure time of about 70 ks. <BR /> Results: Both the X-ray luminosity of WR 46, typical of a Wolf-Rayet star, and the existence of a relatively hard component (including the Fe-K line) rule out the possibility that WR 46 could be classified as a super soft source, and instead favour the Wolf-Rayet hypothesis. The X-ray emission of the star turns out to be variable below 0.5 keV but constant at higher energies. The soft variability is associated to the Wolf-Rayet wind, but revealing its deep origin necessitates additional investigations. It is the first time that such a variability is reported for a Wolf-Rayet star. Indeed, the X-ray emission exhibits a single-wave variation with a typical timescale of 7.9 h which could be related to the period observed in the visible domain both in radial velocities (single-wave) and in photometry (double-wave). The global X-ray emission seems to be dominated by lines and is closely reproduced by a three-temperature, optically thin, thermal plasma model. The derived values are 0.1-0.2 keV, 0.6 keV, and ~4 keV, which indicates that a wide range of temperatures is actually present. The soft emission part could be related to a shocked-wind phenomenon. The hard tail of the spectrum cannot presently be explained by such an intrinsic phenomenon as a shocked wind and instead suggests there is a wind-wind collision zone, as does the relatively high L[SUB]X[/SUB]/L[SUB]bol[/SUB] ratio. We argue that this scenario implies the existence of an object farther away from the WN3 object than any possible companion in an orbit related to the short periodicity. Based on observations with XMM-Newton, an ESA Science Mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). [less ▲]

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See detailThe multiplicity of O-type stars in NGC 2244
Mahy, Laurent ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Martins, F. et al

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

The investigation of the multiplicity of massive stars is crucial to determine a robust binary fraction but also for understanding the physical properties of these objects. In this contribution, we will ... [more ▼]

The investigation of the multiplicity of massive stars is crucial to determine a robust binary fraction but also for understanding the physical properties of these objects. In this contribution, we will present the main results from our long-term spectroscopic survey devoted to the young open cluster NGC 2244. We discuss the spectral classification, the projected rotational velocity (v sin{i}) and the multiplicity of O-stars. The stellar and wind parameters of each star, obtained using the CMFGEN atmosphere code, help us to better constrain the individual properties of these objects. Several of these stars were observed by the CoRoT satellite (SRa02) in the Asteroseismology channel. This intensive monitoring and the unprecedented quality of the light curves allow us to shed a new light on these objects. [less ▲]

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See detailA first orbital solution for the non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2 #9
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Damerdji, Yassine ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège (2011), 80

We reported in 2008 the first detection of the binary nature of Cyg OB2 #9. Since then, we have continued our spectroscopic monitoring of this object, doubling the number of available spectra of the star ... [more ▼]

We reported in 2008 the first detection of the binary nature of Cyg OB2 #9. Since then, we have continued our spectroscopic monitoring of this object, doubling the number of available spectra of the star while covering a second periastron passage. Using a variety of techniques, the radial velocities were estimated and a first, preliminary orbital solution was derived (P=2.4 yrs). The mass ratio appears close to unity and the eccentricity is large, 0.7-0.75. [less ▲]

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See detailProspects for the multiplicity investigation of massive stars with the CARLINA interferometer
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Le Coroller, Hervé; Dejonghe, Julien

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

The multiwavelength study of massive stars has revealed many phenomena that are intimately related to their multiplicity. Colliding winds in massive binaries play indeed a significant role in thermal X ... [more ▼]

The multiwavelength study of massive stars has revealed many phenomena that are intimately related to their multiplicity. Colliding winds in massive binaries play indeed a significant role in thermal X-ray emission, particle acceleration, or even dust formation in such systems. In this context, the identification of binaries and the determination of their orbital parameters is a pivotal issue. We first briefly describe the CARLINA project. The sensitivity and imaging capability of Carlina are perfectly adapted for the study of binary systems. Considering its expected specifications, Carlina will operate in complementarity with ELTs and kilometer baseline interferometers. Then, we discuss some prospects for the multiplicity investigation of massive stars, on the basis of the expected performances of the prototype currently studied at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP). [less ▲]

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See detailFirst results on the optical campaign devoted to the gamma-ray binary candidate HD259440
De Becker, Michaël ULg; McSwain, M Virginia; Aragona, Christina

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

Quite recently, a very high-energy gamma-ray source has been detected in the Monoceros region. This source belongs to the category of TeV emitters with no identified counterpart at other wavelengths, even ... [more ▼]

Quite recently, a very high-energy gamma-ray source has been detected in the Monoceros region. This source belongs to the category of TeV emitters with no identified counterpart at other wavelengths, even though it may be coincident with other high-energy sources detected with other observatories (ROSAT, CGRO). However, it is interesting to note that the error box of this TeV source admits the possibility that the Be star HD259440 is at the origin of the high-energy emission. This may be possible only if that Be star is member of a still undetected binary system including a compact (neutron star or black hole) companion, therefore belonging to the very scarce category of gamma-ray binaries. We describe here the first results of the optical campaign devoted to HD 259440, with emphasis on the investigation of its multiplicity, using spectra obtained at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP) and at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). [less ▲]

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See detailA Multiwavelength Study of the Runaway Binaries HD 14633 and HD 15137
McSwain, M Virginia; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Roberts, Mallory S E et al

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

The runaway O-type binaries HD 14633 and HD 15137 were likely ejected from the cluster of their birth by supernovae explosions in close binaries. Here we present recent optical spectra to update the ... [more ▼]

The runaway O-type binaries HD 14633 and HD 15137 were likely ejected from the cluster of their birth by supernovae explosions in close binaries. Here we present recent optical spectra to update the orbital solutions of the binaries and study the physical parameters of the O star primaries. We also present XMM-Newton observations of both systems that attempt to detect hard power-law emission from compact companions. EPIC spectra of HD 14633 at periastron and apastron reveal a non-thermal X-ray flux component that is variable during the orbit. Our EPIC spectra of HD 15137 indicate thermal X-ray emission consistent with an isolated O star. We provide an upper limit on the emission from a compact companion in HD 15137. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-Newton view of the X-ray spectrum of WR140 across periastron passage
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Pittard, Julian M; Williams, Peredur et al

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

An XMM-Newton campaign dedicated to the study of the X-ray emission of the colliding wind massive binary WR140 across its 2009 periastron passage has been undertaken. The high quality EPIC spectra ... [more ▼]

An XMM-Newton campaign dedicated to the study of the X-ray emission of the colliding wind massive binary WR140 across its 2009 periastron passage has been undertaken. The high quality EPIC spectra revealed a strong phase-locked variability both in flux and in spectral shape. The observed variations are consistently explained by the varying emission measure of the emitting plasma along the eccentric orbit, and by the changing absorption column density along the line of sight. Our results are first interpreted in the context of simple multi-temperature thermal emission models, and prospects for more sophisticated modelling are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detail3D modelling of the massive star binary systems Eta Carinae, WR 22, and WR 140
Parkin, E. R.; Pittard, J. M.; Corcoran, M. F. et al

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

Massive stars possess powerful stellar winds. Wind-wind collision in a massive star binary system generates a region of thermalized plasma which may emit prolifically at X-ray wavelengths. Results are ... [more ▼]

Massive stars possess powerful stellar winds. Wind-wind collision in a massive star binary system generates a region of thermalized plasma which may emit prolifically at X-ray wavelengths. Results are presented from 3D adaptive-mesh refinement (AMR) hydrodynamical models which include radiative cooling and the radiative driving of the stellar winds. The models provide an exceptional insight into the turbulent nature of the wind-wind interaction regions. The X-ray emission from the hydrodynamical models is then calculated, allowing detailed comparisons with observational data. Preliminary results from investigations of Eta Carinae, WR 22, and WR 140 are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray emission of the colliding wind binary V444 Cyg
Fauchez, Thomas; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg

in Bulletin de la Societe Royale des Sciences de Liege (2011), 80

This paper presents the analysis of six XMM-Newton observations of the colliding wind system V444 Cyg. Unlike what one might have expected at first, it appears that the O star wind most probably dominates ... [more ▼]

This paper presents the analysis of six XMM-Newton observations of the colliding wind system V444 Cyg. Unlike what one might have expected at first, it appears that the O star wind most probably dominates the WN wind: the bow shock is wide open, with the hard X-ray emission arising close to the WN star. An important radiative braking could partly explain this situation but revising the wind parameters may also prove necessary. Furthermore, we have probably observed for the first time an occultation of the colliding wind zone by the binary components. [less ▲]

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See detailThe multiwavelength view of hot, massive stars
Rauw, Grégor ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège (2011), 80

Massive stars are certainly among the most fascinating objects of stellar populations. They trigger many astrophysical processes from star formation to the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium ... [more ▼]

Massive stars are certainly among the most fascinating objects of stellar populations. They trigger many astrophysical processes from star formation to the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium. Yet, their properties are still not fully understood and these objects are therefore at the core of many ongoing research activities. With the advent of new, high-performance, ground-based and space-borne facilities, the multi-wavelength investigation of hot, massive stars has definitely been boosted over the last decade. It is indeed nowadays possible to study these objects over a wide part of the electromagnetic spectrum, all the way from radio waves to gamma-rays. Motivated by this fact, we decided to organize a conference devoted to this topic in the framework of the well-established series of Liege International Astrophysical Colloquia (LIAC). The resonance in the community was extremely positive, with many proposals for high-quality contributions. During the week of 12 - 16 July 2010, 138 astrophysicists, from institutes in 21 countries all over the world, gathered in Liege to discuss how the multi-wavelength approach has revolutionized their research on massive stars. The colloquium was organized into five thematic sessions, and the present proceedings are organized along the same chapters: (1) stellar winds, diagnostics across the electromagnetic spectrum; (2) massive star formation, confronting theory and observation; (3) evolution and interaction of massive stars with their environment; (4) future instrumentation and its application to massive star research; (5) massive binaries: interaction and evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive non-thermal radio emitters: new data and their modelling
Volpi, D.; Blomme, R.; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

Poster (2011)

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See detailColliding-winds in massive star binaries: expectations from radio to gamma-rays
De Becker, Michaël ULg

Conference (2010, December 02)

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See detailHD 259440: The Proposed Optical Counterpart of the γ-ray Binary HESS J0632+057
Aragona, C.; McSwain, M. V.; De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 724

HD 259440 is a B0pe star that was proposed as the optical counterpart to the γ-ray source HESS J0632+057. Here, we present optical spectra of HD 259440 acquired to investigate the stellar parameters, the ... [more ▼]

HD 259440 is a B0pe star that was proposed as the optical counterpart to the γ-ray source HESS J0632+057. Here, we present optical spectra of HD 259440 acquired to investigate the stellar parameters, the properties of the Be star disk, and evidence of binarity in this system. Emission from the Hα line shows evidence of a spiral density wave in the nearly edge-on disk. We find a best-fit stellar effective temperature of 27,500-30,000 K and a log surface gravity of 3.75-4.0, although our fits are somewhat ambiguous due to scattered light from the circumstellar disk. We derive a mass of 13.2-19.0 M sun and a radius of 6.0-9.6 R sun. By fitting the spectral energy distribution, we find a distance between 1.1 and 1.7 kpc. We do not detect any significant radial velocity shifts in our data, ruling out orbital periods shorter than one month. If HD 259440 is a binary, it is likely a long-period (>100 d) system. [less ▲]

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See detailNew findings on the prototypical Of?p stars
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Ud-Doula, Asif; Spano, Maxime et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 520

<BR /> Aims: In recent years several in-depth investigations of the three prototypical Of?p stars were undertaken. These multiwavelength studies revealed the peculiar properties of these objects (in the X ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: In recent years several in-depth investigations of the three prototypical Of?p stars were undertaken. These multiwavelength studies revealed the peculiar properties of these objects (in the X-rays as well as in the optical): magnetic fields, periodic line profile variations, recurrent photometric changes. However, many questions remain unsolved. <BR /> Methods: To clarify some of the properties of the Of?p stars, we have continued their monitoring. A new xmm-Newton observation and two new optical datasets were obtained. <BR /> Results: Additional information about the prototypical Of?p trio has been found. HD 108 has now reached its quiescent, minimum-emission state for the first time in 50-60 yr. The échelle spectra of HD 148937 confirm the presence of the 7d variations in the Balmer lines and reveal similar periodic variations (though of lower amplitudes) in the He i λ 5876 and He ii λ 4686 lines, underlining its similarities with the other two prototypical Of?p stars. The new xmm-Newton observation of HD 191612 was taken at the same phase in the line modulation cycle, but at a different orbital phase from previous data. It clearly shows that the X-ray emission of HD 191612 is modulated by the 538d period and not by the orbital period of 1542d - it is thus not of colliding-wind origin. The phenomenon responsible for the optical changes appears also at work in the high-energy domain. There are problems however: our MHD simulations of the wind magnetic confinement predict both a harder X-ray flux of a much larger strength than what is observed (the modelled differential emission measure peaks at 30-40 MK, whereas the observed one peaks at 2 MK) and narrow lines (hot gas moving with velocities of 100-200 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP], whereas the observed full width at half maximum is ~2000 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]). Based on observations collected at the Haute-Provence Observatory, at the La Silla and San Pedro Mártir Observatories, and with XMM-Newton, an ESA Science Mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). [less ▲]

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See detailScience with the Carlina hypertelescope
Le Coroller, H.; Dejonghe, J.; Regal, X. et al

Poster (2010, September)

Studies are currently underway to propose a generation of post-VLTI interferometers (Carlina, OHANA, Keops, etc.). Such interferometers will open new fields of research in astrophysics by imaging the ... [more ▼]

Studies are currently underway to propose a generation of post-VLTI interferometers (Carlina, OHANA, Keops, etc.). Such interferometers will open new fields of research in astrophysics by imaging the surfaces of supergiant stars, gravitational microlensing, AGN, Hot Jupiters, etc. To achieve these goals, they will have to respond to several criteria: to provide very high angular resolution (baselines > 100 m), to be equipped with a large number of mirrors (rich UV coverage), and to be able to accommodate high tech instrumentation such as an Adaptive Optics system and a coronagraph. We describe the optical Carlina architecture and show that it fulfills all these criteria. We give new results obtained with the prototype of Carlina currently built at Observatoire de Haute-Provence. Considering its expected specifications, Carlina will operate in complementarity with ELTs and very long baseline interferometers. [less ▲]

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See detailNon-thermal radio emission from O-type stars. IV. Cygnus OB2 No. 8A
Blomme, R.; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Volpi, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 519

Context. Several early-type colliding-wind binaries are known to emit synchrotron radiation due to relativistic electrons, which are most probably accelerated by the Fermi mechanism. By studying such ... [more ▼]

Context. Several early-type colliding-wind binaries are known to emit synchrotron radiation due to relativistic electrons, which are most probably accelerated by the Fermi mechanism. By studying such systems we can learn more about this mechanism, which is also relevant in other astrophysical contexts. Colliding-wind binaries are furthermore important for binary frequency determination in clusters and for understanding clumping and porosity in stellar winds. Aims: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Orbital Solution for the Non-thermal Emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Damerdji, Yassine ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 719

After the first detection of its binary nature, the spectroscopic monitoring of the non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9 (P = 2.4 yr) has continued, doubling the number of available spectra of the star ... [more ▼]

After the first detection of its binary nature, the spectroscopic monitoring of the non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9 (P = 2.4 yr) has continued, doubling the number of available spectra of the star. Since the discovery paper of 2008, a second periastron passage has occurred in 2009 February. Using a variety of techniques, the radial velocities could be estimated and a first, preliminary orbital solution was derived from the He I 5876 line. The mass ratio appears close to unity and the eccentricity is large, i.e., 0.7-0.75. X-ray data from 2004 and 2007 are also analyzed in quest of peculiarities linked to binarity. The observations reveal neither large overluminosity nor strong hardness, but it must be noted that the high-energy data were taken after the periastron passage, at a time where colliding wind emission may be low. Some unusual X-ray variability is however detected, with a 10% flux decrease between 2004 and 2007. To clarify their origin and find a more obvious signature of the wind-wind collision, additional data, taken at periastron and close to it, are needed. Based on observations collected at the Haute-Provence Observatory and with XMM-Newton, an ESA Science Mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). [less ▲]

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See detailMULTIWAVELENGTH OBSERVATIONS OF THE RUNAWAY BINARY HD 15137
McSwain, M. V.; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Roberts, M. S. E. et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2010), 139

HD 15137 is an intriguing runaway O-type binary system that offers a rare opportunity to explore the mechanism by which it was ejected from the open cluster of its birth. Here, we present recent blue ... [more ▼]

HD 15137 is an intriguing runaway O-type binary system that offers a rare opportunity to explore the mechanism by which it was ejected from the open cluster of its birth. Here, we present recent blue optical spectra of HD 15137 and derive a new orbital solution for the spectroscopic binary and physical parameters of the O star primary. We also present the first XMM-Newton observations of the system. Fits of the EPIC spectra indicate soft, thermal X-ray emission consistent with an isolated O star. Upper limits on the undetected hard X-ray emission place limits on the emission from a proposed compact companion in the system, and we rule out a quiescent neutron star (NS) in the propeller regime or a weakly accreting NS. An unevolved secondary companion is also not detected in our optical spectra of the binary, and it is difficult to conclude that a gravitational interaction could have ejected this runaway binary with a low mass optical star. HD 15137 may contain an elusive NS in the ejector regime or a quiescent black hole with conditions unfavorable for accretion at the time of our observations. [less ▲]

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See detailA photometric and spectroscopic investigation of star formation in the very young open cluster NGC 6383
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 511

Context. The very young open cluster NGC 6383 centered on the O-star binary HD 159176 is an interesting place for studying the impact of early-type stars with strong radiation fields and powerful winds on ... [more ▼]

Context. The very young open cluster NGC 6383 centered on the O-star binary HD 159176 is an interesting place for studying the impact of early-type stars with strong radiation fields and powerful winds on the formation processes of low-mass stars. <BR /> Aims: To investigate this process, it is necessary to determine the characteristics (age, presence, or absence of circumstellar material) of the population of low-mass pre-main-sequence (PMS) stars in the cluster. <BR /> Methods: We obtained deep UBV(RI)[SUB]c[/SUB] Hα photometric data of the entire cluster as well as medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of a subsample of X-ray selected objects. <BR /> Results: Our spectroscopic data reveal only very weak Hα emission lines in a few X-ray selected PMS candidates. We photometrically identify a number of Hα emission candidates but their cluster membership is uncertain. We find that the fainter objects in the field of view have a wide range of extinction (up to A[SUB]V[/SUB] = 20), one X-ray selected OB star having A[SUB]V[/SUB] â 8. <BR /> Conclusions: Our investigation uncovers a population of PMS stars in NGC 6383 that are probably coeval with HD 159176. In addition, we detect a population of reddened objects that are probably located at different depths within the natal molecular cloud of the cluster. Finally, we identify a rather complex spatial distribution of Hα emitters, which is probably indicative of a severe contamination by foreground and background stars. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, La Silla, Chile).Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/511/A25">http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/511/A25</A> [less ▲]

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See detailLong baseline interferometry: a promising tool for multiplicity investigations of massive stars
De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica (2010, February), 38

Massive binaries are crucial laboratories that allow us to investigate processes occurring in quite extreme conditions, such as particle acceleration, high-energy emission, or even dust formation. All ... [more ▼]

Massive binaries are crucial laboratories that allow us to investigate processes occurring in quite extreme conditions, such as particle acceleration, high-energy emission, or even dust formation. All these processes are intimately dependent on binarity. Our understanding of the underlying physics strongly requires preliminary multiplicity studies likely to uncover still undetected binaries, and determine their orbital parameters. However, classical spectroscopic approaches sometimes fail to provide a solution to this issue. Long baseline interferometry turns out to be a promising complementary technique to address the question of the multiplicity of massive stars. A campaign has been initiated with the VLTI to take benefit of this technique. [less ▲]

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