References of "Vreux, Jean-Marie"
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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 detailA search for X-ray sources around WR 22 in the Carina region
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 525

We present the results of a deep search for X-ray sources in a circular field of 30' in diameter situated around WR 22 in the Carina region and observed with the XMM-Newton observatory. This field is ... [more ▼]

We present the results of a deep search for X-ray sources in a circular field of 30' in diameter situated around WR 22 in the Carina region and observed with the XMM-Newton observatory. This field is broadly located to the west of the main part of the Carina nebula. On the basis of six pointings (nominal exposure time: 10 ks each) centred on the WR+O binary star WR 22, we perform a survey with an effective exposure time of 68.8 ks. We introduce a catalogue of 43 bona-fide X-ray point sources, most of which were unknown before the XMM-Newton observations, and perform the first steps towards their identifications by cross-correlating the positions with optical/infrared catalogues. We investigated the possible variability of these sources in the X-ray domain and we extracted a few X-ray spectra for the brightest ones. A short description of the diffuse X-ray emission present in the region is also given. 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 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 detailPhase-resolved XMM-Newton observations of the massive WR+O binary WR 22
Gosset, Eric ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Sana, H. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 508

Aims. To better understand the phenomenon of colliding winds in massive binary stars, we study the X-ray lightcurve of a WR+O system of the Carina region, a system well known for the high mass of its ... [more ▼]

Aims. To better understand the phenomenon of colliding winds in massive binary stars, we study the X-ray lightcurve of a WR+O system of the Carina region, a system well known for the high mass of its primary.<BR /> Methods: Phase-resolved X-ray observations of the massive WR+O binary system WR 22 were performed with the XMM-Newton facility. We observed the object at seven different phases from near apastron to near periastron.<BR /> Results: The X-ray spectrum can be represented by a two-component, optically thin, thermal plasma model with a first one at a typical temperature of 0.6 keV and a second hotter one in the range 2.0-4.5 keV. The hot component is indicative of a colliding wind phenomenon, but its flux is remarkably constant with time despite the high eccentricity of the orbit. Although surprising at first, this actually does not contradict the results of the hydrodynamical simulations of the wind collision that we performed. When the system goes from apastron to periastron, the soft part of the X-ray flux is progressively lowered by an increasing intervening absorbing column. This behaviour can be interpreted in terms of an X-ray emitting plasma located near the O star, but not fully intrinsic to it, and accompanying the star when it dives into the wind of the WR component. A model is presented that interprets most of the observational constraints. This model suggests that the mass-loss rate of dot{M}[SUB]WR[/SUB] 1.6 à 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] {M}[SUB]ȯ[/SUB] yr[SUP]-1[/SUP] assumed for the WR could still be slightly too high, whereas it is already lower than other published values. From the comparison of the observed and the expected absorptions at phases near periastron, we deduce that the hard X-ray emitting collision zone should at least have a typical size of 50-60 R[SUB]ȯ[/SUB], but that the size for the soft X-ray emitting region could reach 244 R[SUB]ȯ[/SUB] if the assumed mass-loss rate is correct. We also present an upper limit to the X-ray luminosity of the WR component that further questions the existence of intrinsic X-ray emission from single WN stars.<BR /> Based on observations with XMM-Newton, an ESA Science Mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). Research Associate FNRS (Belgium). Postdoctoral Researcher FNRS (Belgium). [less ▲]

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See detailA multiwavelength investigation of the massive eclipsing binary Cyg OB2 #5
Linder, Natacha ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 495

Context. The properties of the early-type binary Cyg OB2 #5 have been debated for many years and spectroscopic and photometric investigations yielded conflicting results. Aims. We have attempted to ... [more ▼]

Context. The properties of the early-type binary Cyg OB2 #5 have been debated for many years and spectroscopic and photometric investigations yielded conflicting results. Aims. We have attempted to constrain the physical properties of the binary by collecting new optical and X-ray observations. Methods. The optical light curves obtained with narrow-band continuum and line-bearing filters are analysed and compared. Optical spectra are used to map the location of the He II $\lambda $ 4686 and H$\alpha $ line-emission regions in velocity space. New XMM-Newton as well as archive X-ray spectra are analysed to search for variability and constrain the properties of the hot plasma in this system. Results. We find that the orbital period of the system slowly changes though we are unable to discriminate between several possible explanations of this trend. The best fit solution of the continuum light curve reveals a contact configuration with the secondary star being significantly brighter and hotter on its leading side facing the primary. The mean temperature of the secondary star turns out to be only slightly lower than that of the primary, whilst the bolometric luminosity ratio is found to be 3.1. The solution of the light curve yields a distance of $925 \pm 25$ pc much lower than the usually assumed distance of the Cyg OB2 association. Whilst we confirm the existence of episodes of higher X-ray fluxes, the data reveal no phase-locked modulation with the 6.6 day period of the eclipsing binary nor any clear relation between the X-ray flux and the 6.7 yr radio cycle. Conclusions. The bright region of the secondary star is probably heated by energy transfer in a common envelope in this contact binary system as well as by the collision with the primary's wind. The existence of a common photosphere probably also explains the odd mass-luminosity relation of the stars in this system. Most of the X-ray, non-thermal radio, and possibly $\gamma$-ray emission of Cyg OB2 #5 is likely to arise from the interaction of the combined wind of the eclipsing binary with at least one additional star of this multiple system. [less ▲]

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See detailXMM-Newton X-ray study of early type stars in the Carina OB1 association
Antokhin, I. I.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Vreux, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2008), 477(2), 593-609

Aims. X-ray properties of the stellar population in the Carina OB I association are examined with special emphasis on early-type stars. Their spectral characteristics provide some clues to understanding ... [more ▼]

Aims. X-ray properties of the stellar population in the Carina OB I association are examined with special emphasis on early-type stars. Their spectral characteristics provide some clues to understanding the nature of X-ray formation mechanisms in the winds of single and binary early-type stars. Methods. A timing and spectral analysis of five observations with XMM-Newton is performed using various statistical tests and thermal spectral models. Results. 235 point sources have been detected within the field of view. Several of these sources are probably pre-main sequence stars with characteristic short-term variability. Seven sources are possible background AGNs. Spectral analysis of twenty four sources of type OB and WR 25 was performed. We derived spectral parameters of the sources and their fluxes in three energy bands. Estimating the interstellar absorption for every source and the distance to the nebula, we derived X-ray luminosities of these stars and compared them to their bolometric luminosities. We discuss possible reasons for the fact that, on average, the observed X-ray properties of binary and single early type stars are not very different, and give several possible explanations. [less ▲]

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See detailAn XMM-Newton view of the young open cluster NGC 6231-III. Optically faint X-ray sources
Sana, H.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Sung, H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2007), 377(3), 945-956

We discuss the properties of the X-ray sources with faint optical counterparts in the very young open cluster NGC 6231. From their positions in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, we find that the bulk of ... [more ▼]

We discuss the properties of the X-ray sources with faint optical counterparts in the very young open cluster NGC 6231. From their positions in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, we find that the bulk of these objects probably consists of low-mass pre-main-sequence (PMS) stars with masses in the range 0.3-3.0 M-circle dot. The age distribution of these objects indicates that low-mass star formation in NGC 6231 started more than 10 Myr ago and culminated in a starburst-like event about 1-4 Myr ago when the bulk of the low-mass PMS stars as well as the massive cluster members formed. We find no evidence for a spatial age gradient that could point towards a sequential star formation process. Only a few X-ray sources have counterparts with a reddening exceeding the average value of the cluster or with infrared colours indicating the presence of a moderate near-IR excess. The X-ray spectra of the brightest PMS sources are best fitted by rather hard thermal plasma models and a significant fraction of these sources display flares in their light curve. The X-ray brightest flaring sources have decay times between 2 and 16 ks. The X-ray selected PMS stars in NGC 6231 have log L-X/L-bol values that increase strongly with decreasing bolometric luminosity and can reach a saturation level (log L-X/L-bol similar to -2.4) for non-flaring sources and even more extreme values during flares. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term Spectroscopic Variability of Two Oe Stars
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Marique, P. X. et al

in Information Bulletin on Variable Stars (2007), 5773

HD 45314 and HD 60848 are poorly studied Oe-type stars. Spectroscopic monitoring over 5 years reveals strong variations in the strength of the emission lines and for HD 45314 in the V/R ratio of the ... [more ▼]

HD 45314 and HD 60848 are poorly studied Oe-type stars. Spectroscopic monitoring over 5 years reveals strong variations in the strength of the emission lines and for HD 45314 in the V/R ratio of the double-peaked emissions. Part of these long-term variations could be recurrent. [less ▲]

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See detailNGC6231: X-ray Properties of the Early-Type Star Population
Sana, H.; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Massive Stars in Interactive Binaries (2007)

Based on a deep XMM-Newton observation of the young open cluster NGC6231, we derive the main X-ray properties of its early-type star population. Among the 610 X-ray sources detected in the field, 42 are ... [more ▼]

Based on a deep XMM-Newton observation of the young open cluster NGC6231, we derive the main X-ray properties of its early-type star population. Among the 610 X-ray sources detected in the field, 42 are associated with early-type stars. We investigate their L[SUB]X[/SUB]/L[SUB]bol[/SUB] relationship and confirm the clear dichotomy between O- and B-type stars. The cut-off line between the two behaviours occurs at L[SUB]bol[/SUB] ~ 10[SUP]38[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] as previously proposed by Berghöfer et al. (1997). The distinction between single and binary stars is not clear cut, except for the colliding wind system HD152248. The X-ray detected B-stars in NGC6231 appear to be more luminous than predicted from the Berghöfer et al. relation. Though this suggests a bimodal distribution of the B-star X-ray emission, we caution however that these results might be biased by detection limits. Finally we investigate the X-ray variability of the detected sources and we find that about 40% of the X-ray emitters in the field of view present consistent signs of variability in the EPIC instruments. This fraction is much larger than previously thought. About one third of the early-type star population, either singles or binaries, further show variability. These variations do not seem to be exclusively related to binarity and could thus not be systematically interpreted in the framework of a wind-wind collision phenomenon. [less ▲]

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See detailXMM-Newton Studies of the Wolf-Rayet Colliding-Wind Binaries WR 25 (WN6h+O4f) and WR 11 (WC8+O7.5III)
van der Hucht, K. A.; Raassen, A. J. J.; Mewe, R. et al

in Massive Stars in Interactive Binaries (2007)

We report the analysis of high- and medium-resolution X-ray spectra of the Wolf-Rayet (WR) objects WR25 (HD93162, WN6h+O4f) and WR11 (gamma[SUP]2[/SUP] Velorum, WC8+O7.5III, P =78.53 d), obtained with the ... [more ▼]

We report the analysis of high- and medium-resolution X-ray spectra of the Wolf-Rayet (WR) objects WR25 (HD93162, WN6h+O4f) and WR11 (gamma[SUP]2[/SUP] Velorum, WC8+O7.5III, P =78.53 d), obtained with the reflection grating spectrometers (rgs) and the european photon imaging cameras (epicmos and <small>PN</small>) <small>CCD</small> spectrometers on board the XMM-Newton satellite. [less ▲]

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See detailAn XMM-Newton view of the young open cluster NGC 6231 - II. The OB star population
Sana, H.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 372(2), 661-678

In this second paper of the series, we pursue the analysis of the 180-ks XMM-Newton campaign towards the young open cluster NGC 6231 and we focus on its rich OB star population. We present a literature ... [more ▼]

In this second paper of the series, we pursue the analysis of the 180-ks XMM-Newton campaign towards the young open cluster NGC 6231 and we focus on its rich OB star population. We present a literature-based census of the OB stars in the field of view with more than one hundred objects, among which 30 per cent can be associated with an X-ray source. All the O-type stars are detected in the X-ray domain as soft and reasonably strong emitters. In the 0.5-10.0 keV band, their X-ray luminosities scale with their bolometric luminosities as log L-X - log L-bol = -6.912 +/- 0.153. Such a scaling law holds in the soft (0.5-1.0 keV) and intermediate (1.0-2.5 keV) bands but breaks down in the hard band. While the two colliding wind binaries in our sample clearly deviate from this scheme, the remaining O-type objects show a very limited dispersion (40 or 20 per cent according to whether 'cool' dwarfs are included or not), much smaller than that obtained from previous studies. At our detection threshold and with our sample, the sole identified mechanism that produces significant modulations in the O star X-ray emission is related to wind interaction. We thus propose that the intrinsic X-ray emission of non-peculiar O-type stars can be considered as constant for a given star. In addition, the level of X-ray emission is accurately related to the star luminosity or, equivalently, to its wind properties. Among B-type stars, the detection rate is only about 25 per cent in the subtype range B0-B4 and remains mostly uniform throughout the different subpopulations while it drops significantly at later subtypes. The associated X-ray spectra are harder than those of O-type stars. Our analysis points towards the detected emission being associated with a physical (in a multiple system) PMS companion. However, we still observe a correlation between the bolometric luminosity of the B stars and the measured X-ray luminosity. The best-fitting power law in the 0.5-10.0 keV band yields log L-X = 0.22(+/- 0.06) log L-bol + 22.8(+/- 2.4). [less ▲]

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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 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 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 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 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 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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See detailXMM-Newton observations of the giant H II region N 11 in the LMC
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Antokhin, I. I.; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2004), 418(3), 841-855

Using the sensitive XMM-Newton observatory, we have observed the giant H II region N11 in the LMC for similar to30 ks. We have detected several large areas of soft diffuse X-ray emission along with 37 ... [more ▼]

Using the sensitive XMM-Newton observatory, we have observed the giant H II region N11 in the LMC for similar to30 ks. We have detected several large areas of soft diffuse X-ray emission along with 37 point sources. One of the most interesting results is the possible association of a faint X-ray source with BSDL 188, a small extended object of uncertain nature, The OB associations in the field-of-view (LH9, LH10 and LH13) are all detected with XMM-Newton, but they appear very different from one another. The diffuse soft X-ray emission associated with LH9 peaks near HD 32228, a dense cluster of massive stars. The combined emission of all individual massive stars of LH9 and of the superbubble they have created is not sufficient to explain the high level of emission observed: hidden SNRs, colliding-wind binaries and the numerous pre-main sequence stars of the cluster are most likely the cause of this discrepancy. The superbubble may also be leaking some hot gas in the ISM since faint, soft emission can be observed to the south of the cluster. The X-ray emission from LH10 consists of three pointlike sources and a soft extended emission of low intensity. The two brightest point sources are clearly associated with the fastest expanding bubbles blown by hot stars in the SW part of the cluster. The total X-ray emission from LH10 is rather soft, although it presents a higher temperature than the other soft emissions of the field. The discrepancy between the combined emission of the stars and the observed luminosity is here less severe than for LH9 and could be explained in terms of hot gas filling the wind-blown bubbles. On the other hand, the case of LH13 is different: it does not harbour any extended emission and its X-ray emission could most probably be explained by the Sk -66degrees41 cluster alone. Finally, our XMM-Newton observation included simultaneous observations with the OM camera that provide us with unique UV photometry of more than 6000 sources and enable the discovery of the UV emission from the SNR N11L. [less ▲]

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