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See detailApsidal motion in the massive binary HD 152218
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Rosu, S.; Noels-Grötsch, Arlette ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 594(A33), 1-12

Massive binary systems are important laboratories in which to probe the properties of massive stars and stellar physics in general. In this context, we analysed optical spectroscopy and photometry of the ... [more ▼]

Massive binary systems are important laboratories in which to probe the properties of massive stars and stellar physics in general. In this context, we analysed optical spectroscopy and photometry of the eccentric short-period early-type binary HD 152218 in the young open cluster NGC 6231. We reconstructed the spectra of the individual stars using a disentangling code. The individual spectra were then compared with synthetic spectra obtained with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code. We furthermore analysed the light curve of the binary and used it to constrain the orbital inclination and to derive absolute masses of (19.8 ± 1.5) and (15.0 ± 1.1) M⊙. Combining radial velocity measurements from over 60 yr, we show that the system displays apsidal motion at a rate of (2.04 ± .24)°/yr. Solving the Clairaut-Radau equation, we used stellar evolution models, obtained with the CLES code, to compute the internal structure constants and to evaluate the theoretically predicted rate of apsidal motion as a function of stellar age and primary mass. In this way, we determine an age of 5.8 ± 0.6 Myr for HD 152218, which is towards the higher end of, but compatible with, the range of ages of the massive star population of NGC 6231 as determined from isochrone fitting. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries : The cases of LSS 3074 and HD 17505
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2016, July)

Mass and angular momentum exchanges through Roche Lobe Overflow interactions within close massive binaries are known to play an important role in the subsequent evolution of the components of such systems ... [more ▼]

Mass and angular momentum exchanges through Roche Lobe Overflow interactions within close massive binaries are known to play an important role in the subsequent evolution of the components of such systems, and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects in a sample of massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche Lobe Overflow episode. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the optical spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra re then analysed with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code to determine stellar parameters such as the effective temperatures, surface gravities and rotational velocities, and to constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the results of our analyses of LSS 3074 (O5.5I + O6.5-7I, P = 2.1852 days), together with the analyses of its photometric lightcurve and orbital solution. We also present the first results of our analyses of the triple system HD17505 ([O7.5V + O7.5V, P = 8.57 days] + O6.5III). [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray light curve of the massive colliding wind Wolf-Rayet + O binary WR 21a
Gosset, Eric ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 590

Our dedicated XMM-Newton monitoring, as well as archival Chandra and Swift datasets, were used to examine the behaviour of the WN5h+O3V binary WR 21a at high energies. For most of the orbit, the X-ray ... [more ▼]

Our dedicated XMM-Newton monitoring, as well as archival Chandra and Swift datasets, were used to examine the behaviour of the WN5h+O3V binary WR 21a at high energies. For most of the orbit, the X-ray emission exhibits few variations. However, an increase in strength of the emission is seen before periastron, following a 1 /D relative trend, where D is the separation between both components. This increase is rapidly followed by a decline due to strong absorption as the Wolf-Rayet (WR) comes in front. The fitted local absorption value appears to be coherent with a mass-loss rate of about 1 × 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] M[SUB]⊙[/SUB] yr[SUP]-1[/SUP] for the WR component. However, absorption is not the only parameter affecting the X-ray emission at periastron as even the hard X-ray emission decreases, suggesting a possible collapse of the colliding wind region near to or onto the photosphere of the companion just before or at periastron. An eclipse may appear as another potential scenario, but it would be in apparent contradiction with several lines of evidence, notably the width of the dip in the X-ray light curve and the absence of variations in the UV light curve. Afterwards, the emission slowly recovers, with a strong hysteresis effect. The observed behaviour is compatible with predictions from general wind-wind collision models although the absorption increase is too shallow. Based on observations collected at ESO as well as with Swift, Chandra, and the ESA science mission 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 detailTesting the theory of colliding winds: the periastron passage of 9 Sagittarii. I. X-ray and optical spectroscopy
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Blomme, R.; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

Context. The long-period, highly eccentric O-star binary 9 Sgr, known for its non-thermal radio emission and its relatively bright X-ray emission, went through its periastron in 2013. <BR /> Aims: Such an ... [more ▼]

Context. The long-period, highly eccentric O-star binary 9 Sgr, known for its non-thermal radio emission and its relatively bright X-ray emission, went through its periastron in 2013. <BR /> Aims: Such an event can be used to observationally test the predictions of the theory of colliding stellar winds over a broad range of wavelengths. <BR /> Methods: We conducted a multi-wavelength monitoring campaign of 9 Sgr around the 2013 periastron. In this paper, we focus on X-ray observations and optical spectroscopy. <BR /> Results: The optical spectra allow us to revisit the orbital solution of 9 Sgr and to refine its orbital period to 9.1 years. The X-ray flux is maximum at periastron over all energy bands, but with clear differences as a function of energy. The largest variations are observed at energies above 2 keV, whilst the spectrum in the soft band (0.5-1.0 keV) remains mostly unchanged, indicating that it arises far from the collision region, in the inner winds of the individual components. The level of the hard emission at periastron clearly deviates from the 1 /r relation expected for an adiabatic wind-interaction zone, whilst this relation seems to hold at the other phases that are covered by our observations. The spectra taken at phase 0.946 reveal a clear Fe xxv line at 6.7 keV, but no such line is detected at periastron (φ = 0.000), although a simple model predicts a strong line that should be easily visible in the data. <BR /> Conclusions: The peculiarities of the X-ray spectrum of 9 Sgr could reflect the effect of radiative inhibition as well as a phase-dependent efficiency of particle acceleration on the shock properties. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries: The case of HD 149 404
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Gregor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

Context. Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in their evolution, and produce several observational signatures such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical ... [more ▼]

Context. Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in their evolution, and produce several observational signatures such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain after the stars detach again. Aims: We investigated these effects for the detached massive O-star binary HD 149 404 (O7.5 If + ON9.7 I, P = 9.81 days), which is thought to have experienced a past episode of case A Roche-lobe overflow (RLOF). Methods: Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we performed the disentangling of the optical spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra were then analysed with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code to determine stellar parameters, such as the effective temperatures and surface gravities, and to constrain the chemical composition of the components. We complemented the optical study with the study of IUE spectra, which we compare to the synthetic binary spectra. The properties of the stars were compared to evolutionary models. Results: We confirmed a strong overabundance in nitrogen ([N/C] ~ 150[N/C][SUB]⊙[/SUB]) for the secondary and a slight nitrogen overabundance ([N/C] ~ 5[N/C][SUB]⊙[/SUB]) for the primary star. Comparing the two stars, we found evidence for asynchronous rotation, with a rotational period ratio of 0.50 ± 0.11. Conclusions: The hypothesis of a past case A RLOF interaction in HD 149 404 is most plausible to explain its chemical abundances and rotational asynchronicity. Some of the observed properties, such as the abundance pattern, are clearly a challenge for current case A binary evolution models, however. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries: The cases of HD 149 404 and HD 17505
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 30)

Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in the evolution of such systems and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered ... [more ▼]

Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in the evolution of such systems and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects for a sample of detached massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche Lobe Overflow. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra are then analyzed to determine a range of stellar effective temperatures and gravity, and rotational velocities. Using model atmosphere codes we also constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the results of our analyses of HD149404 (O7.5If + ON9.5I, P = 9.81 days) and the first results of our analyses of HD17505 ([O7.5V + O7.5V, P = 8.57 days] + O6.5III). [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous X-ray and optical spectroscopy of the Oef supergiant λ Cephei
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Hervé, A.; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 580

Probing the structures of stellar winds is of prime importance for the understanding of massive stars. Based on their optical spectral morphology and variability, it has been suggested that the stars in ... [more ▼]

Probing the structures of stellar winds is of prime importance for the understanding of massive stars. Based on their optical spectral morphology and variability, it has been suggested that the stars in the Oef class feature large-scale structures in their wind. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy and time-series of X-ray observations of presumably single O-type stars can help us understand the physics of their stellar winds. We have collected XMM-Newton observations and coordinated optical spectroscopy of the O6 Ief star λ Cep to study its X-ray and optical variability and to analyse its high-resolution X-ray spectrum. We investigate the line profile variability of the He ii λ 4686 and Hα emission lines in our time series of optical spectra, including a search for periodicities. We further discuss the variability of the broadband X-ray flux and analyse the high-resolution spectrum of λ Cep using line-by-line fits as well as a code designed to fit the full high-resolution X-ray spectrum consistently. During our observing campaign, the He ii λ 4686 line varies on a timescale of ~18 h. On the contrary, the Hα line profile displays a modulation on a timescale of 4.1 days which is likely the rotation period of the star. The X-ray flux varies on timescales of days and could in fact be modulated by the same 4.1-day period as Hα, although both variations are shifted in phase. The high-resolution X-ray spectrum reveals broad and skewed emission lines as expected for the X-ray emission from a distribution of wind-embedded shocks. Most of the X-ray emission arises within less than 2 R∗ above the photosphere. The properties of the X-ray emission of λ Cep generally agree with the expectations of the wind-embedded shock model. There is mounting evidence for the existence of large-scale structures that modulate the Hα line and about 10% of the X-ray emission of λ Cep. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2014, September 05)

Mass and momentum exchanges in massive binaries can produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, which remain once the stars detach again. We ... [more ▼]

Mass and momentum exchanges in massive binaries can produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, which remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects for a sample of detached massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche lobe overflow. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra are then analyzed to determine a range of stellar effective temperatures and gravity, as well as rotational velocities. Using model atmosphere codes we also constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the first results of our analyses of HD149404 (O7.5If + ON9.5I, P = 9.81 days). [less ▲]

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See detailNIR interferometric observations of massive hierarchical triple systems: Tr16-104 and HD150136
Gosset, Eric ULg; Le Bouquin, Jean-Baptiste; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in de Grijs, Richard (Ed.) Binary Systems: their Evolution and Environments (2014, September)

We report on an observational astrometric study of the orbit of the tertiary stars in two massive hierarchical triple systems. The work is complemented by radial velocity data with the aim of deriving the ... [more ▼]

We report on an observational astrometric study of the orbit of the tertiary stars in two massive hierarchical triple systems. The work is complemented by radial velocity data with the aim of deriving the full 3D orbit and constraints on the orbital planes. This is the first report of the tertiary star's detection for Tr16-104. The work is a natural extension of the search for binaries among massive O-stars. The basic motivation of the study of hierarchical triple systems is the determination of the masses of the individual components and the derivation of the relative orientation of the two orbital planes, with the ultimate aim of understanding the related star formation processes. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of the stellar content in the western part of the Carina nebula
Kumar, Brajesh; Sharma, Saurabh; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 567

Context. The low obscuration and proximity of the Carina nebula make it an ideal place to study the ongoing star formation process and impact of massive stars on low-mass stars in their surroundings. <BR ... [more ▼]

Context. The low obscuration and proximity of the Carina nebula make it an ideal place to study the ongoing star formation process and impact of massive stars on low-mass stars in their surroundings. <BR /> Aims: To investigate this process, we generated a new catalog of the pre-main-sequence stars in the Carina west (CrW) region and studied their nature and spatial distribution. We also determined various parameters (reddening, reddening law, age, mass), which are used further to estimate the initial mass function and K-band luminosity function for the region under study. <BR /> Methods: We obtained deep UBVRI Hα photometric data of the field situated to the west of the main Carina nebula and centered on WR 22. Medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of a subsample of X-ray selected objects along with archival data sets from Chandra, XMM-Newton and 2MASS surveys were used for the present study. Different sets of color-color and color-magnitude diagrams are used to determine reddening for the region and to identify young stellar objects (YSOs) and estimate their age and mass. <BR /> Results: Our spectroscopic results indicate that the majority of the X-ray sources are late spectral type stars. The region shows a large amount of differential reddening with minimum and maximum values of E(B - V) as 0.25 and 1.1 mag, respectively. Our analysis reveals that the total-to-selective absorption ratio R[SUB]V[/SUB] is ~3.7 ± 0.1, suggesting an abnormal grain size in the observed region. We identified 467 YSOs and studied their characteristics. The ages and masses of the 241 optically identified YSOs range from ~0.1 to 10 Myr and ~0.3 to 4.8 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB], respectively. However, the majority of them are younger than 1 Myr and have masses below 2 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The high mass star WR 22 does not seem to have contributed to the formation of YSOs in the CrW region. The initial mass function slope, Γ, in this region is found to be -1.13 ± 0.20 in the mass range of 0.5 < M/M[SUB]⊙[/SUB] < 4.8. The K-band luminosity function slope (α) is also estimated as 0.31 ± 0.01. We also performed minimum spanning tree analysis of the YSOs in this region, which reveals that there are at least ten YSO cores associated with the molecular cloud, and that leads to an average core radius of 0.43 pc and a median branch length of 0.28 pc. Full Table 3 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/567/A109">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/567/A109</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray properties of lambda Cep, a true twin of zeta Pup?
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Gonzalez-Perez, Nicolas et al

Conference (2014, June)

Oef stars are O-stars that display a double-peaked He II λ 4686 line in their optical spectra, suggesting that the inner part of the stellar wind is co-rotating with the star. This hypothesis is also ... [more ▼]

Oef stars are O-stars that display a double-peaked He II λ 4686 line in their optical spectra, suggesting that the inner part of the stellar wind is co-rotating with the star. This hypothesis is also often used to explain their ubiquitous spectral variability in the optical domain. In this context, the fact that the high-resolution X-ray spectra of ζ Pup (O4Ief) meet the expectations of the wind-embedded shock model, assuming a spherically symmetric wind came as a surprise. To understand what is going on, we have obtained a 300 ksec observation of λ Cephei, the second brightest Oef star. This observation not only allows to collect the RGS high-resolution spectrum of the star, but further enables us to search for X-ray variability. To correlate the potential X-ray variability with that of the optical spectrum of λ Cep, we monitored the optical spectrum simultaneously with the TIGRE telescope. We present here the first results of this campaign, both in terms of the line profiles in the RGS spectrum and the search for X-ray variability in correlation with the optical variations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-Newton view of the yellow hypergiant IRC+10420 and its surroundings
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg

in New Astronomy (2014), 29

Among evolved massive stars likely in transition to the Wolf-Rayet phase, IRC +10420 is probably one of the most enigmatic. It belongs to the category of yellow hypergiants and it is characterized by ... [more ▼]

Among evolved massive stars likely in transition to the Wolf-Rayet phase, IRC +10420 is probably one of the most enigmatic. It belongs to the category of yellow hypergiants and it is characterized by quite high mass loss episodes. Even though IRC+10420 benefited of many observations in several wavelength domains, it has never been a target for an X-ray observatory. We report here on the very first dedicated observation of IRC+10420 in X-rays, using the XMM-Newton satellite. Even though the target is not detected, we derive X-ray flux upper limits of the order of 1–3 ×10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 (between 0.3 and 10.0 keV), and we discuss the case of IRC+10420 in the framework of emission models likely to be adequate for such an object. Using the Optical/UV Monitor on board XMM-Newton, we present the very first upper limits of the flux density of IRC +10420 in the UV domain (between 1800 and 2250 Å and between 2050 and 2450 Å). Finally, we also report on the detection in this field of 10 X-ray and 7 UV point sources, and we briefly discuss their properties and potential counterparts at longer wavelengths. [less ▲]

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See detailEpoch-dependent absorption line profile variability in lambda Cep
Uuh-Sonda, J. M.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Eenens, P. et al

in Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica (2014), 50

We present the analysis of a multi-epoch spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the O6 Ief star lambda Cep. Previous observations reported the existence of two modes of non-radial pulsations in this star ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of a multi-epoch spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the O6 Ief star lambda Cep. Previous observations reported the existence of two modes of non-radial pulsations in this star. Our data reveal a much more complex situation. The frequency content of the power spectrum considerably changes from one epoch to the other. We find no stable frequency that can unambiguously be attributed to pulsations. The epoch-dependence of the frequencies and variability patterns are similar to what is seen in the wind emission lines of this and other Oef stars, suggesting that both phenomena likely have the same, currently still unknown, origin. [less ▲]

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See detailA multi-method approach to radial-velocity measurement for single-object spectra
David, M.; Blomme, R.; Frémat, Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 562

Context. The derivation of radial velocities from large numbers of spectra that typically result from survey work, requires automation. However, except for the classical cases of slowly rotating late-type ... [more ▼]

Context. The derivation of radial velocities from large numbers of spectra that typically result from survey work, requires automation. However, except for the classical cases of slowly rotating late-type spectra, existing methods of measuring Doppler shifts require fine-tuning to avoid a loss of accuracy due to the idiosyncrasies of individual spectra. The radial velocity spectrometer (RVS) on the Gaia mission, which will start operating very soon, prompted a new attempt at creating a measurement pipeline to handle a wide variety of spectral types. <BR /> Aims: The present paper describes the theoretical background on which this software is based. However, apart from the assumption that only synthetic templates are used, we do not rely on any of the characteristics of this instrument, so our results should be relevant for most telescope-detector combinations. <BR /> Methods: We propose an approach based on the simultaneous use of several alternative measurement methods, each having its own merits and drawbacks, and conveying the spectral information in a different way, leading to different values for the measurement. A comparison or a combination of the various results either leads to a "best estimate" or indicates to the user that the observed spectrum is problematic and should be analysed manually. <BR /> Results: We selected three methods and analysed the relationships and differences between them from a unified point of view; with each method an appropriate estimator for the individual random error is chosen. We also develop a procedure for tackling the problem of template mismatch in a systematic way. Furthermore, we propose several tests for studying and comparing the performance of the various methods as a function of the atmospheric parameters of the observed objects. Finally, we describe a procedure for obtaining a knowledge-based combination of the various Doppler-shift measurements. [less ▲]

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See detailThe gaia-ESO survey and massive stars
Blomme, R.; Fremat, Y.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in IAU Symposium 307 (2014)

As part of the Gaia-ESO Survey (GES), a number of clusters will be observed that were chosen speci cally for their massive-star content. We report on the procedures we followed to determine the stellar ... [more ▼]

As part of the Gaia-ESO Survey (GES), a number of clusters will be observed that were chosen speci cally for their massive-star content. We report on the procedures we followed to determine the stellar parameters from the massive-star spectra of this survey. We intercompare the results from the di erent techniques used by the nodes of our group to determine these parameters and discuss some of the problems encountered. We present preliminary results for NGC 6705, NGC 3293, and Trumpler 14. We study microturbulence in A-type stars, we use the repeat observation to investigate binarity, and we determine cluster membership from the radial velocity information. The large number of massive-star spectra obtained by the Gaia-ESO Survey will allow us to critically test stellar evolution modelling [less ▲]

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See detailNGC 3293 revisited by the Gaia-ESO Survey
Semaan, Thierry ULg; Morel, Thierry ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in IAU Symposium 307 (2014)

In the framework of the Gaia-ESO survey we have determined the fundamental parame- ters of a large number of B-type stars in the Galactic, young ope n cluster NGC 3293. The determination of the stellar ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the Gaia-ESO survey we have determined the fundamental parame- ters of a large number of B-type stars in the Galactic, young ope n cluster NGC 3293. The determination of the stellar parameters is based on medium- resolution spectra obtained with FLAMES/GIRAFFE at ESO-VLT. As a second step, we adopted the acc urate parameters to determine the chemical abundances of these hot stars. We pre sent a comparison of our results with those obtained by the ’VLT-FLAMES survey of massive sta rs’ (Evans et al. 2005). Our study increases the number of objects analysed and provides an extended view of this cluster. [less ▲]

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See detailRecent results on the hierarchical triple system HD 150136
Gosset, Eric ULg; Berger, J. P.; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in Bonanos, Alceste (Ed.) Massive Stars: From alpha to Omega (2013, June 01)

HD 150136 is a hierarchical triple system, non-thermal radio emitter, made of three O stars totalling some 130 solar masses. The 2.67-day inner orbit is rather well-known. Recent works derived a good ... [more ▼]

HD 150136 is a hierarchical triple system, non-thermal radio emitter, made of three O stars totalling some 130 solar masses. The 2.67-day inner orbit is rather well-known. Recent works derived a good approximation for the outer orbit with a period of 3000 days. We report here on interferometric observations that allow us to angularly resolve the outer orbit. First evidences for an astrometric displacement are given. The determination of the outer system orbit gives access to the inclinations of the systems and to the masses, including the one of the O3-O3.5 primary star. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Hot and Energetic Universe: Star formation and evolution
Sciortino, S.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Audard, M. et al

Report (2013)

Stars over a wide range of masses and evolutionary stages are nowadays known to emit X-rays. This X-ray emission is a unique probe of the most energetic phenomena occurring in the circumstellar ... [more ▼]

Stars over a wide range of masses and evolutionary stages are nowadays known to emit X-rays. This X-ray emission is a unique probe of the most energetic phenomena occurring in the circumstellar environment of these stars, and provides precious insight on magnetic phenomena or hydrodynamic shocks. Owing to its large collecting area, Athena+ will open up an entirely new window on these phenomena. Indeed, Athena+ will not only allow us to study many more objects with an unprecedented spectral resolution, but will also pioneer the study of the dynamics of these objects via time-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy. In this way, Athena+ will be a unique tool to study accretion processes in TTauri stars, flaring activity in young stars, dynamos in ultra-cool dwarfs, small and large-scale structures in the winds of single massive stars, wind interactions in massive binary systems, hot bubbles in planetary nebula... All these studies will lead to a deeper understanding of yet poorly understood processes which have profound impact in star and planetary system formation as well as in feedback processes on Galactic scale. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Hot and Energetic Universe: A White Paper presenting the science theme motivating the Athena+ mission
Nandra, Kirpal; Barret, Didier; Barcons, Xavier et al

Report (2013)

This White Paper, submitted to the recent ESA call for science themes to define its future large missions, advocates the need for a transformational leap in our understanding of two key questions in ... [more ▼]

This White Paper, submitted to the recent ESA call for science themes to define its future large missions, advocates the need for a transformational leap in our understanding of two key questions in astrophysics: 1) How does ordinary matter assemble into the large scale structures that we see today? 2) How do black holes grow and shape the Universe? Hot gas in clusters, groups and the intergalactic medium dominates the baryonic content of the local Universe. To understand the astrophysical processes responsible for the formation and assembly of these large structures, it is necessary to measure their physical properties and evolution. This requires spatially resolved X-ray spectroscopy with a factor 10 increase in both telescope throughput and spatial resolving power compared to currently planned facilities. Feedback from supermassive black holes is an essential ingredient in this process and in most galaxy evolution models, but it is not well understood. X-ray observations can uniquely reveal the mechanisms launching winds close to black holes and determine the coupling of the energy and matter flows on larger scales. Due to the effects of feedback, a complete understanding of galaxy evolution requires knowledge of the obscured growth of supermassive black holes through cosmic time, out to the redshifts where the first galaxies form. X-ray emission is the most reliable way to reveal accreting black holes, but deep survey speed must improve by a factor ~100 over current facilities to perform a full census into the early Universe. The Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (Athena+) mission provides the necessary performance (e.g. angular resolution, spectral resolution, survey grasp) to address these questions and revolutionize our understanding of the Hot and Energetic Universe. These capabilities will also provide a powerful observatory to be used in all areas of astrophysics. [less ▲]

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