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See detailNon-thermal radio emission from O-type stars. II. HD167971
Blomme, Ronny; De Becker, Michaël ULg; Runacres, M. C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 464(2), 701-148

HD 167971 is a triple system consisting of a 3.3-day eclipsing binary (O5- 8 V + O5- 8 V) and an O8 supergiant. It is also a well known non-thermal radio emitter. We observed the radio emission of HD ... [more ▼]

HD 167971 is a triple system consisting of a 3.3-day eclipsing binary (O5- 8 V + O5- 8 V) and an O8 supergiant. It is also a well known non-thermal radio emitter. We observed the radio emission of HD 167971 with the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). By combining these data with VLA archive observations we constructed a radio lightcurve covering a 20-yr time-range. We searched for, but failed to find, the 3.3-day spectroscopic period of the binary in the radio data. This could be due to the absence of intrinsic synchrotron radiation in the colliding-wind region between the two components of the eclipsing binary, or due to the large amount of free-free absorption that blocks the synchrotron radiation. We are able to explain many of the observed characteristics of the radio data if the non-thermal emission is produced in a colliding-wind region between the supergiant and the combined winds of the binary. Furthermore, if the system is gravitationally bound, the orbital motion occurs over a period of similar to 20 years or longer, as suggested by the long-term variability in the radio data. We argue that the variability is due to the free-free absorption that changes with orbital phase or may also in part be due to changes in separation, should the orbit be eccentric. [less ▲]

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See detailXMM-Newton observations of the massive colliding wind binary and non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2#8A [O6If+O5.5III(f)]
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Sana, H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 371(3), 1280-1294

We report on the results of four XMM-Newton observations separated by about ten days from each other of Cyg OB2 #8A [O6If + O5.5III(f)]. This massive colliding wind binary is a very bright X-ray emitter ... [more ▼]

We report on the results of four XMM-Newton observations separated by about ten days from each other of Cyg OB2 #8A [O6If + O5.5III(f)]. This massive colliding wind binary is a very bright X-ray emitter-one of the first X-ray emitting O-stars discovered by the Einstein satellite-as well as a confirmed non-thermal radio emitter whose binarity was discovered quite recently. The X-ray spectrum between 0.5 and 10.0 keV is essentially thermal, and is best fitted with a three-component model with temperatures of about 3, 9 and 20 MK. The X-ray luminosity corrected for the interstellar absorption is rather large, i.e. about 1034 erg s(-1). Compared to the 'canonical' L-X/L-bol ratio of O-type stars, Cyg OB2 # 8A was a factor of 19-28 overluminous in X-rays during our observations. The EPIC spectra did not reveal any evidence for the presence of a non-thermal contribution in X-rays. This is not unexpected considering that the simultaneous detections of non-thermal radiation in the radio and soft X-ray (below 10.0 keV) domains is unlikely. Our data reveal a significant decrease in the X-ray flux from apastron to periastron with an amplitude of about 20 per cent. Combining our XMM Newton results with those from previous ROSAT-PSPC and ASCA-SIS observations, we obtain a light curve suggesting a phase-locked X-ray variability. The maximum emission level occurs around phase 0.75, and the minimum is probably seen shortly after the periastron passage. Using hydrodynamic simulations of the wind-wind collision, we find a high X-ray emission level close to phase 0.75, and a minimum at periastron as well. The high X-ray luminosity, the strong phase-locked variability and the spectral shape of the X-ray emission of Cyg OB2 # 8A revealed by our investigation point undoubtedly to X-ray emission dominated by colliding winds. [less ▲]

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See detailNon-thermal radio emission from O-type stars. I. HD168112
Blomme, Ronny; Van Loo, S.; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005), 436(3), 1033-1040

We present a radio lightcurve of the O5.5 III(f(+)) star HD 168112, based on archive data from the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). The fluxes show considerable ... [more ▼]

We present a radio lightcurve of the O5.5 III(f(+)) star HD 168112, based on archive data from the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). The fluxes show considerable variability and a negative spectral index, thereby confirming that HD 168112 is a non-thermal radio emitter. The non-thermal radio emission is believed to be due to synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons that have been Fermi accelerated in shocks. For HD 168112, it is not known whether these shocks are due to a wind-wind collision in a binary system or to the intrinsic instability of the stellar wind driving mechanism. Assuming HD 168112 to be a single star, our synchrotron model shows that the velocity jump of the shocks should be very high, or there should be a very large number of shocks in the wind. Neither of these is compatible with time-dependent hydrodynamical calculations of O star winds. If, on the other hand, we assume that HD 168112 is a binary, the high velocity jump is easily explained by ascribing it to the wind-wind collision. By further assuming the star to be an eccentric binary, we can explain the observed radio variability by the colliding-wind region moving in and out of the region where free-free absorption is important. The radio data presented here show that the binary has a period of between one and two years. By combining the radio data with X-ray data, we find that the most likely period is similar to 1.4 yr. [less ▲]

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See detailA multi-wavelength investigation of the non-thermal radio emitting O-star 9 Sgr
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Blomme, R.; Waldron, W. L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2002), 394(3), 993-1008

We report the results of a multi-wavelength investigation of the O4 V star 9 Sgr (= HD164794). Our data include observations in the X-ray domain with XMM-Newton, in the radio domain with the VLA as well ... [more ▼]

We report the results of a multi-wavelength investigation of the O4 V star 9 Sgr (= HD164794). Our data include observations in the X-ray domain with XMM-Newton, in the radio domain with the VLA as well as optical spectroscopy. 9 Sgr is one of a few presumably single OB stars that display non-thermal radio emission. This phenomenon is attributed to synchrotron emission by relativistic electrons accelerated in strong hydrodynamic shocks in the stellar wind. Given the enormous supply of photospheric UV photons in the wind of 9 Sgr, inverse Compton scattering by these relativistic electrons is a priori expected to generate a non-thermal power law tail in the X-ray spectrum. Our EPIC and RGS spectra of 9 Sgr reveal a more complex situation than expected from this simple theoretical picture. While the bulk of the thermal X-ray emission from 9 Sgr arises most probably in a plasma at temperature similar to3 x 10(6) K distributed throughout the wind, the nature of the hard emission in the X-ray spectrum is less clear. Assuming a non-thermal origin, our best fitting model yields a photon index of greater than or equal to2.9 for the power law component which would imply a low compression ratio of less than or equal to1.79 for the shocks responsible for the electron acceleration. However, the hard emission can also be explained by a thermal plasma at a temperature greater than or equal to2 x 10(7) K. Our VLA data indicate that the radio emission of 9 Sgr was clearly non-thermal at the time of the XMM-Newton observation. Again, we derive a low compression ratio (1.7) for the shocks that accelerate the electrons responsible for the synchrotron radio emission. Finally, our optical spectra reveal long-term radial velocity variations suggesting that 9 Sgr could be a long-period spectroscopic binary. [less ▲]

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