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See detailAn XMM-Newton view of the young open cluster NGC 6231 - I. The catalogue
Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 454(3), 1047-115

This paper is the first of a series dedicated to the X-ray properties of the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our data set relies on an XMM-Newton campaign of a nominal duration of 180 ks and reveals that NGC ... [more ▼]

This paper is the first of a series dedicated to the X-ray properties of the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our data set relies on an XMM-Newton campaign of a nominal duration of 180 ks and reveals that NGC 6231 is very rich in the X-ray domain too. Indeed, 610 X-ray sources are detected in the present field of view, centered on the cluster core. The limiting sensitivity of our survey is approximately 6 x 10(-15) erg cm(-2) s(-1) but clearly depends on the location in the field of view and on the source spectrum. Using different existing catalogues, over 85% of the X-ray sources could be associated with at least one optical and/or infrared counterpart within a limited cross-correlation radius of 3" at maximum. The surface density distribution of the X-ray sources presents a slight N-S elongation. Once corrected for the spatial sensitivity variation of the EPIC instruments, the radial profile of the source surface density is well described by a King profile with a central density of about 8 sources per arcmin(2) and a core radius close to 3.1 arcmin. The distribution of the X-ray sources seems closely related to the optical source distribution. The expected number of foreground and background sources should represent about 9% of the detected sources, thus strongly suggesting that most of the observed X-ray emitters are physically belonging to NGC 6231. Finally, beside a few bright but soft objects - corresponding to the early-type stars of the cluster - most of the sources are relatively faint (similar to 5 x 10(-15) erg cm(-2) s(-1)) with an energy distribution peaked around 1.0-2.0 keV. [less ▲]

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See detailAngular Clustering of X-ray Point-Like Sources in the XMM Large Scale Structure Survey
Garcet, O.; Gandhi, P.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Wilson, A. (Ed.) Proceedings of the ‘The X-ray Universe 2005’ (2006, January 01)

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See detailAn Exceptional X-ray View of the Young Open Cluster NGC 6231: What XMM-Newton Has Taught Us
Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in The X-ray Universe 2005 (2006, January 01)

Considered as the core of the Sco OB1 association, the young open cluster NGC 6231 harbours a rich O-type star population. In 2001, the XMM-Newton satellite targeted the cluster for a nominal duration of ... [more ▼]

Considered as the core of the Sco OB1 association, the young open cluster NGC 6231 harbours a rich O-type star population. In 2001, the XMM-Newton satellite targeted the cluster for a nominal duration of about 180 ks. Thanks to the detector sensitivity, the EPIC cameras provided an unprecedented X-ray view of NGC 6231, revealing about 600 point-like sources. In this contribution, we review the main results that have been obtained thanks to this unprecedented data set. Concerning the O-type stars, we present the latest developments related to the so-called 'canonical' Lx-Lbol relation. The dispersion around this relation might actually be much smaller than previously thought. In our data set, the sole mechanism that yields a significant deviation from this scheme is wind interaction. It is also the sole mechanism that induces a significant variation of the early-type star X-ray flux. In a second part of this contribution, we probe the properties of the optically faint X-ray sources. Most of them are believed to be low mass pre-main sequence stars. Their analysis provides direct insight into the star formation history of the cluster. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum: The XMM Large-Scale Structure survey: an initial sample of galaxy groups and clusters to a redshift z < 0.6
Willis, J. P.; Pacaud, F.; Valtchanov, I. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2005), 364

We present X-ray and optical spectroscopic observations of twelve galaxy groups and clusters identified within the XMM Large-Scale Structure (LSS) survey. Groups and clusters are selected as extended X ... [more ▼]

We present X-ray and optical spectroscopic observations of twelve galaxy groups and clusters identified within the XMM Large-Scale Structure (LSS) survey. Groups and clusters are selected as extended X-ray sources from a 3.5 deg2 XMM image mosaic above a flux limit 8e-15 ergs/s/cm2 in the [0.5-2] keV energy band. Deep BVRI images and multi-object spectroscopy confirm each source as a galaxy concentration located within the redshift interval 0.29<z<0.56. We combine line-of-sight velocity dispersions with the X-ray properties of each structure computed from a two-dimensional surface brightness model and a single temperature fit to the XMM spectral data. The resulting distribution of X-ray luminosity, temperature and velocity dispersion indicate that the XMM-LSS survey is detecting low-mass clusters and galaxy groups to redshifts z < 0.6. Confirmed systems display little or no evidence for X-ray luminosity evolution at a given X-ray temperature compared to lower redshift X-ray group and cluster samples. A more complete understanding of these trends will be possible with the compilation of a statistically complete sample of galaxy groups and clusters anticipated within the continuing XMM-LSS survey. [less ▲]

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See detailPreliminary results of an observational campaign aiming at the study of the binary system LSS3074
Gosset, Eric ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations (2005, November 01)

We present preliminary results of an observational campaign aiming at the study of the binary system LSS3074. A new lightcurve clearly indicates that the system is in contact. Recent spectroscopy broadly ... [more ▼]

We present preliminary results of an observational campaign aiming at the study of the binary system LSS3074. A new lightcurve clearly indicates that the system is in contact. Recent spectroscopy broadly confirms the previous results and the rather low masses of both components (O4f[SUP]+[/SUP] and O6-7:(f):). We further analyse an XMM-Newton observation of the object that indicates a rather hard X-ray spectrum. This is partly due to the high interstellar extinction towards the object but also to the high plasma temperature (kT Ë 1.2-1.3 keV). [less ▲]

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See detailCPD-41° 7742: an unusual wind interaction
Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations (2005, November 01)

We summarize the results of a multiwavelength observing campaign on the massive eclipsing binary CPD-41° 7742, another remarkable object in the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our campaign relies on high ... [more ▼]

We summarize the results of a multiwavelength observing campaign on the massive eclipsing binary CPD-41° 7742, another remarkable object in the young open cluster NGC 6231. Our campaign relies on high resolution echelle spectroscopy, narrow-band optical photometry, and XMM-Newton X-ray observations. Combined with the spectroscopic analysis, the light curve analysis provides a direct measurement of the masses and sizes of the system components. However, the most outstanding results come from the XMM observations. Our 180 ks campaign towards NGC 6231, and CPD-41° 7742, provides an unprecedented phase coverage of such a close early-type binary. The EPIC-MOS light curves almost fully cover the 2.4 day period of the system and the brightness of the object is sufficient to yield a time resolution as tight as 1 ks. The X-ray flux presents clear variations along the orbit, that we interpret as the signature of an unusual wind interaction. We indeed expect that, in this O+B system, the dominant primary wind crashes into the secondary surface, leading to a wind-photosphere interaction. As a strong support to our interpretation, we provide a geometrical model that associates an extra X-ray emission to the secondary inner surface. Though quite simple, the present model matches the main features of the X-ray light curve. [less ▲]

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See detailThe young open cluster NGC 6231: five years of investigations
Sana, H.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg

in Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations (2005, November 01)

In this contribution, we present an overview of the main results obtained by the Liège multiwavelength (in the X-ray and optical domains) campaign on the young open cluster NGC 6231. We probe the ... [more ▼]

In this contribution, we present an overview of the main results obtained by the Liège multiwavelength (in the X-ray and optical domains) campaign on the young open cluster NGC 6231. We probe the distribution of the O star properties, and especially their binary nature. In this regard, we revise the O-type binary fraction and we briefly discuss the distribution of the binary parameters. We then present the latest developments of the canonical L[SUB]X[/SUB]-L[SUB]bol[/SUB] relation. We discuss the causes of the observed deviations from this relation and of the X-ray variability among O-type stars. Probing the population of low mass pre-main sequence stars detected in the X-ray domain, we propose a scenario for the star formation history in NGC 6231. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the multiplicity of the non-thermal radio emitters 9 Sgr and HD 168112
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Massive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations (2005, November)

We discuss the first results of our ongoing optical spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the two O-type stars 9 Sgr and HD 168112. Both objects display a non-thermal radio emission and were considered as ... [more ▼]

We discuss the first results of our ongoing optical spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the two O-type stars 9 Sgr and HD 168112. Both objects display a non-thermal radio emission and were considered as single stars. Based on a large set of high-resolution spectra, we find that 9 Sgr is clearly an eccentric SB2 binary with an orbital period of several years. On the other hand, no evidence for radial velocity variations attributable to binary motion is found in our spectra of HD 168112. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive Stars and High-Energy Emission in OB Associations
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Blomme, Ronny et al

Book (2005)

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See detailThe XMM large-scale structure survey: an initial sample of galaxy groups and clusters to a redshift z < 0.6
Willis, J. P.; Pacaud, F.; Valtchanov, I. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2005), 363(2), 675-691

We present X-ray and optical spectroscopic observations of 12 galaxy groups and clusters identified within the X-ray Multi-Mirror (XMM) Large-Scale Structure (LSS) survey. Groups and clusters are selected ... [more ▼]

We present X-ray and optical spectroscopic observations of 12 galaxy groups and clusters identified within the X-ray Multi-Mirror (XMM) Large-Scale Structure (LSS) survey. Groups and clusters are selected as extended X-ray sources from a 3.5 deg(2) XMM image mosaic above a flux limit 8 x 10(-15) erg s(-1) cm(-2) in the [0.5-2] keV energy band. Deep BVRI images and multi-object spectroscopy confirm each source as a galaxy concentration located within the redshift interval 0.29 < z < 0.56. We combine line-of-sight velocity dispersions with the X-ray properties of each structure computed from a two-dimensional surface brightness model and a single temperature fit to the XMM spectral data. The resulting distribution of X-ray luminosity, temperature and velocity dispersion indicate that the XMM-LSS survey is detecting low-mass clusters and galaxy groups to redshifts z < 0.6. Confirmed systems display little or no evidence for X-ray luminosity evolution at a given X-ray temperature compared to lower-redshift X-ray group and cluster samples. A more complete understanding of these trends will be possible with the compilation of a statistically complete sample of galaxy groups and clusters anticipated within the continuing XMM-LSS survey. [less ▲]

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See detailThe massive binary CPD-41 degrees 7742 - II. Optical light curve and X-ray observations
Sana, H.; Antokhina, E.; Royer, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 441(1), 213-229

In the first paper of this series, we presented a detailed high-resolution spectroscopic study of CPD - 41 degrees 7742, deriving for the first time an orbital solution for both components of the system ... [more ▼]

In the first paper of this series, we presented a detailed high-resolution spectroscopic study of CPD - 41 degrees 7742, deriving for the first time an orbital solution for both components of the system. In this second paper, we focus on the analysis of the optical light curve and on recent XMM-Newton X-ray observations. In the optical, the system presents two eclipses, yielding an inclination i similar to 77 degrees. Combining the constraints from the photometry with the results of our previous work, we derive the absolute parameters of the system. We confirm that the two components of CPD- 41 degrees 7742 are main sequence stars (O9 V+ B1 - 1.5 V) with masses (M-1 similar to 18 M-. and M-2 similar to 10 M-.) and respective radii (R-1 similar to 7.5 R-. and R-2 similar to 5.4 R-.) close to the typical values expected for such stars. We also report an unprecedented set of X-ray observations that almost uniformly cover the 2.44-day orbital cycle. The X-ray emission from CPD-41 degrees 7742 is well described by a two-temperature thermal plasma model with energies close to 0.6 and 1.0 keV, thus slightly harder than typical early-type emission. The X-ray light curve shows clear signs of variability. The emission level is higher when the primary is in front of the secondary. During the high emission state, the system shows a drop of its X-ray emission that almost exactly matches the optical eclipse. We interpret the main features of the X-ray light curve as the signature of a wind-photosphere interaction, in which the overwhelming primary O9 star wind crashes into the secondary surface. Alternatively the light curve could result from a wind-wind interaction zone located near the secondary star surface. As a support to our interpretation, we provide a phenomenological geometric model that qualitatively reproduces the observed modulations of the X-ray emission. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS survey - The XMDS/VVDS 4 sigma catalogue
Chiappetti, L.; Tajer, M.; Trinchieri, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 439(1), 413-425

We present a first catalogue of X-ray sources resulting from the central area of the XMM-LSS (Large Scale Structure survey). We describe the reduction procedures and the database tools we developed and ... [more ▼]

We present a first catalogue of X-ray sources resulting from the central area of the XMM-LSS (Large Scale Structure survey). We describe the reduction procedures and the database tools we developed and used to derive a well defined catalogue of X-ray sources. The present catalogue is limited to a sub-sample of 286 sources detected at 4 sigma in the 1 deg(2) area covered by the photometric VVDS (VIRMOS VLT Deep Survey), which allows us to provide optical and radio identifications. We also discuss the X-ray properties of a larger X-ray sample of 536 sources detected at > 4 sigma in the full 3 deg(2) area of the XMM Medium Deep Survey (XMDS) independently of the optical identification. We also derive the log N - log S relationship for a sample of more than one thousand sources that we discuss in the context of other surveys at similar fluxes. [less ▲]

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See detailOptical spectroscopy of X-Mega targets - V. The spectroscopic binary HD 93161 A and its visual companion HD 93161 B
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Antokhin, I. I.; Sana, H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2005), 359(2), 688-698

We present the analysis of an extensive set of high-resolution spectroscopic observations of HD 93161, a visual binary with a separation of 2 arcsec. HD 93161 A is a spectroscopic binary, with both ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of an extensive set of high-resolution spectroscopic observations of HD 93161, a visual binary with a separation of 2 arcsec. HD 93161 A is a spectroscopic binary, with both components clearly detected throughout the orbit. The primary star is most probably of spectral type O8V, while the secondary is likely an O9V. We obtain the first orbital solution for this system, characterized by a period of 8.566 +/- 0.004 d. The minimum masses of the primary and secondary stars are 22.2 +/- 0.6 and 17.0 +/- 0.4 M-., respectively. These values are quite large, suggesting a high inclination of the orbit. The second object, HD 93161 B, displays an O6.5V(f) spectral type and is thus slightly hotter than its neighbour. This star is at first sight single but presents radial velocity variations. Finally, we study HD 93161 in the X-ray domain. No significant variability is detected. The X-ray spectrum is well described by a 2T model with kT(1) similar to 0.3 keV and kT(2) similar to 0.7 keV. The X-ray luminosity is rather moderate, without any large emission excess imputable to a wind interaction. [less ▲]

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See detailXMDS/VVDS 4{sigma} catalogue (Chiappetti+, 2005)
Chiappetti, L.; Tajer, M.; Trinchieri, G. et al

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2005)

We present a catalogue of 286 X-ray sources with their optical identification taken from the XMDS survey (using the XMM-Newton EPIC instrument). This first version is limited to sources detected at 4 ... [more ▼]

We present a catalogue of 286 X-ray sources with their optical identification taken from the XMDS survey (using the XMM-Newton EPIC instrument). This first version is limited to sources detected at 4{sigma} at least in one energy band, AND falling in the area covered by the optical VVDS survey. (1 data file). [less ▲]

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See detailThe spectrum of the very massive binary system WR20a (WN6ha+WN6ha): Fundamental parameters and wind interactions
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Crowther, P. A.; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 432(3), 985-998

We analyse the optical spectrum of the very massive binary system WR20a (WN6ha + WN6ha). The most prominent emission lines, Halpha and He II lambda4686, display strong phase-locked profile variability ... [more ▼]

We analyse the optical spectrum of the very massive binary system WR20a (WN6ha + WN6ha). The most prominent emission lines, Halpha and He II lambda4686, display strong phase-locked profile variability. From the variations of their equivalent widths and from a tomographic analysis, we find that part of the line emission probably arises in a wind interaction region between the stars. Our analysis of the optical spectrum of WR20a indicates a reddening of A(nu) similar or equal to 6.0 mag and a distance of similar to 7.9 kpc, suggesting that the star actually belongs to the open cluster Westerlund 2. The location of the system at similar to 1.1 pc from the cluster core could indicate that WR20a was gently ejected from the core via dynamical interactions. Using a non-LTE model atmosphere code, we derive the fundamental parameters of each component: T-eff = 43 000 +/- 2000 K, log L-bol/ L-. similar or equal to 6.0, (M) over dot = 8.5 x 10(-6) M-. yr(-1) (assuming a clumped wind with a volume filling factor f = 0.1). Nitrogen is enhanced in the atmospheres of the components of WR20a, while carbon is definitely depleted. Finally, the position of the binary components in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram suggests that they are core hydrogen burning stars in a pre-LBV stage and their current atmospheric chemical composition probably results from rotational mixing that might be enhanced in a close binary compared to a single star of same age. [less ▲]

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See detailAn XMM-Newton look at the Wolf-Rayet star WR 40 - The star itself, its nebula and its neighbours
Gosset, Eric ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Claeskens, Jean-François ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 429(2), 685-704

We present the results of an XMM-Newton observation of the field of the Wolf-Rayet star WR 40. Despite a nominal exposure of 20 ks and the high sensitivity of the satellite, the star itself is not ... [more ▼]

We present the results of an XMM-Newton observation of the field of the Wolf-Rayet star WR 40. Despite a nominal exposure of 20 ks and the high sensitivity of the satellite, the star itself is not detected: we thus derive an upper limit on its X-ray flux and luminosity. Joining this result to recent reports of a non-detection of some WC stars, we suggest that the X-ray emission from single normal Wolf-Rayet stars could often be insignificant despite remarkable instabilities in the wind. On the basis of a simple modelling of the opacity of the Wolf-Rayet wind of WR 40, we show that any X-ray emission generated in the particular zone where the shocks are supposed to be numerous will indeed have little chance to emerge from the dense wind of the Wolf-Rayet star. We also report the non-detection of the ejecta nebula RCW 58 surrounding WR 40. Concerning the field around these objects, we detected 33 X-ray sources, most of them previously unknown: we establish a catalog of these sources and cross-correlate it with catalogs of optical/infrared sources. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS survey. Survey design and first results
Pierre, Marguerite; Valtchanov, Ivan; Altieri, Bruno et al

in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics [= JCAP] (2004), 09

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift ... [more ▼]

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift bins between 0<z<1 while maintaining the precision of earlier studies. Two main goals have constrained the survey design: the evolutionary study of the cluster cluster correlation function and of the cluster number density. The adopted observing configuration consists of an equatorial mosaic of 10 ks pointings, separated by 20^\prime and covering 8° à 8°, giving a pointsource sensitivity of {\sim } 5\times 10^{-15}~{\mathrm {erg~cm^{-2}~s^{-1}}} in the 0.5 2 keV band. This will yield more than 800 clusters of galaxies and a sample of X-ray AGN with a space density of about 300 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP]. We present the expected cosmological implications of the survey in the context of LgrCDM models and cluster evolution. We give an overview of the first observational results. The XMM-LSS survey is associated with several other major surveys, ranging from the UV to the radio wavebands, which will provide the necessary resources for X-ray source identification and further statistical studies. In particular, the associated CFHTLS weak lensing and AMiBA Sunyaev Zel'dovich surveys over the entire XMM-LSS area will provide for the first time a comprehensive study of the mass distribution and of cluster physics in the universe on scales of a few hundred Mpc. We describe the main characteristics of our wavelet-based X-ray pipeline and source identification procedures, including the classification of the cluster candidates by means of a photometric redshift analysis. This permits the selection of suitable targets for spectroscopic follow-up. We present preliminary results from the first 25 XMM-LSS pointings: X-ray source properties, optical counterparts, and highlights from the first Magellan and VLT/FORS2 spectroscopic runs as well as preliminary results from the NIR search for z>1 clusters. The results are promising and, so far, in accordance with our predictions. In particular: (1) we reproduce the logN logS distribution for point sources obtained from deeper surveys at our sensitivity; (2) we find a cluster number density of 15 20 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP] (3) for the first time, we statistically sample the group mass regime at a redshift out to {\sim } 0.5 . Paper based on observations obtained with the XMM,CFH, ESO (Prg: P70. A-0283 .A-0733), VLA, CTIO and Las Campanas observatories. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS survey - First high redshift galaxy clusters: Relaxed and collapsing systems
Valtchanov, I.; Pierre, M.; Willis, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2004), 423(1), 75-85

We present five newly found galaxy clusters at z > 0.6 from the XMM Large-Scale Structure Survey (XMM-LSS). All five objects are extended X-ray sources in the XMM images. For three of them we have ... [more ▼]

We present five newly found galaxy clusters at z > 0.6 from the XMM Large-Scale Structure Survey (XMM-LSS). All five objects are extended X-ray sources in the XMM images. For three of them we have sufficient spectroscopically confirmed member galaxies that an estimate of the velocity dispersion is possible: XLSSC 001 at z = 0.613 and sigma(nu) = 867(-60)(+80) km s(-1), XLSSC 002 at z = 0.772 and sigma(nu) = 524(-116)(+267) km s(-1) and XLSSC 003 at z = 0.839 and sigma(V) = 780(-75)(+137) km s(-1). These three clusters have X-ray bolometric luminosities L-X similar to 1-3 x 10(44) erg s(-1) and temperatures 2-4 keV, and consequently are less massive than previously known clusters at similar redshifts, but nevertheless they follow the low redshift scaling relations between L-X, T and sigma(upsilon), within the limits of the measurement errors. One of the clusters, XLSSC 004, is detected independently as an over-density of galaxies of a colour R - z' = 1.4 that matches the redshift of the central galaxy z = 0.87, although it cannot unambiguously be confirmed by the spectroscopic observations alone. The highest redshift candidate cluster pertaining to this paper, XLSSC 005, is most likely a double cluster complex at a redshift around unity, associated with an extended X-ray source with probable substructure. [less ▲]

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See detailWR 20a: A massive cornerstone binary system comprising two extreme early-type stars
Rauw, Grégor ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2004), 420(2), 9-13

We analyse spectroscopic observations of WR20a revealing that this star is a massive early-type binary system with a most probable orbital period of similar to3.675 days. Our spectra indicate that both ... [more ▼]

We analyse spectroscopic observations of WR20a revealing that this star is a massive early-type binary system with a most probable orbital period of similar to3.675 days. Our spectra indicate that both components are most likely of WN6ha or 031f*/WN6ha spectral type. The orbital solution for a period of 3.675 days yields extremely large minimum masses of 70.7 +/- 4.0 and 68.8 +/- 3.8 M. for the two stars. These properties make WR 20a a cornerstone system for the study of massive star evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailA phase-resolved XMM-Newton campaign on the colliding-wind binary HD 152248
Sana, H.; Stevens, I. R.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2004), 350(3), 809-828

We report the first results of an XMM-Newton monitoring campaign of the open cluster NGC 6231 in the Sco OB 1 association. This first paper focuses on the massive colliding-wind binary HD 152248, which is ... [more ▼]

We report the first results of an XMM-Newton monitoring campaign of the open cluster NGC 6231 in the Sco OB 1 association. This first paper focuses on the massive colliding-wind binary HD 152248, which is the brightest X-ray source of the cluster. The campaign, with a total duration of 180 ks, was split into six separate observations, following the orbital motion of HD 152248. The X-ray flux from this system presents a clear, asymmetric modulation with the phase and ranges from 0.73 to 1.18 x 10(-12) erg s(-1) cm(-2) in the 0.5-10.0 keV energy band. The maximum of the emission is reached slightly after apastron. The EPIC spectra are quite soft, and peak around 0.8-0.9 keV. We characterize their shape using several combinations Of MEKAL models and power-law spectra and we detect significant spectral variability in the 0.5-2.5 keV energy band. We also perform 2D hydrodynamical simulations using different sets of parameters that closely reproduce the physical and orbital configuration of the HD 152248 system at the time of the six XMM-Newton pointings. This allows a direct confrontation of the model predictions with the constraints deduced from the X-ray observations of the system. We show that the observed variation of the flux can be explained by a variation of the X-ray emission from the colliding-wind zone, diluted by the softer X-ray contribution of the two O-type stars of the system. Our simulations also reveal that the interaction region of HD 152248 should be highly unstable, giving rise to shells of dense gas that are separated by low-density regions. Finally, we perform a search for short-term variability in the light curves of the system and we show that trends are present within several of the 30-ks exposures of our campaign. Further, most of these trends are in good agreement with the orbital motion and provide a direct constraint on the first-order derivative of the flux. In the same context, we also search for long-range correlations in the X-ray data of the system, but we only marginally detect them in the high-energy tail of the signal. [less ▲]

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