References of "De Becker, Michaël"
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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 detailWhat is the role of the VLTI in the study of particle acceleration in massive binaries?
De Becker, Michaël ULg

Conference (2014, March 12)

Among massive binaries, a fraction is known to accelerate particles up to relativistic energies. The acceleration process is believed to take place in the wind-wind interaction region, and most of these ... [more ▼]

Among massive binaries, a fraction is known to accelerate particles up to relativistic energies. The acceleration process is believed to take place in the wind-wind interaction region, and most of these systems are identified through the production of synchrotron radiation in the radio domain. Considering the crucial role played by binarity in the physics of particle acceleration, tools such as the VLTI appear to be highly relevant to explore the basic properties of this population of objects. A few recent results and prospects for future studies will be briefly presented. [less ▲]

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See detailThe feedback of massive stars on interstellar astrochemical processes
De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Astrophysics & Space Science (2014), 350(1), 237-243

Astrochemistry is a discipline that studies physico-chemical processes in astrophysical environments. Such environments are characterized by conditions that are substantially different from those existing ... [more ▼]

Astrochemistry is a discipline that studies physico-chemical processes in astrophysical environments. Such environments are characterized by conditions that are substantially different from those existing in usual chemical laboratories. Models which aim to explain the formation of molecular species in interstellar environments must take into account various factors, including many that are directly, or indirectly related to the populations of massive stars in galaxies. The aim of this paper is to review the influence of massive stars, whatever their evolution stage, on the physico-chemical processes at work in interstellar environments. These influences include the ultraviolet radiation field, the production of high energy particles, the synthesis of radionuclides and the formation of shocks that permeate the interstellar medium. [less ▲]

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See detailWR 138: new results from X-ray and optical spectroscopy
Palate, Matthieu ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 560

Massive-binary evolution models predict that some systems will go through an evolutionary phase where the original primary has become a supernova and left a compact object behind that then orbits a Wolf ... [more ▼]

Massive-binary evolution models predict that some systems will go through an evolutionary phase where the original primary has become a supernova and left a compact object behind that then orbits a Wolf-Rayet (WR) star. WR 138 is an X-ray bright WR star that has been described as a triple system, including a compact companion in a short-period orbit. Our goal is to search for spectroscopic evidence of a compact companion around WR 138. We used optical and X-ray spectra to search for signatures of a compact companion, which can be revealed by systematic variations in WR optical spectral lines induced by orbital motion of the compact companion or by hard, luminous X-rays from accretion onto this companion. The optical spectra display emission-line profile variations that are most probably caused by clumps inside the stellar winds. The radial velocities do not vary on a short time-scale compatible with the suggested orbital period of a putative compact companion. The X-ray spectra are found to be normal for a WN5-6+OB system with no indication of accretion by a compact companion. There is no evidence for the presence of a compact companion, and we therefore conclude that WR 138 is a normal long-period (P ~ 1521 d) eccentric WR+OB system. [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray under-luminosity of the O-type supergiants HD16691 and HD14947 revealed by XMM-Newton
De Becker, Michaël ULg

in New Astronomy (2013), 25

The members of the scarce category of Of^+ supergiants present properties that are intermediate between regular O-stars and Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars. Significant similarities between these transitional stars ... [more ▼]

The members of the scarce category of Of^+ supergiants present properties that are intermediate between regular O-stars and Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars. Significant similarities between these transitional stars and WN-type objects are now clearly established, at least in the visible and near-infrared domains, pointing to common stellar wind properties. In this study, we report on the first dedicated X-ray observations of HD16691 (O4If^+) and HD14947 (O5f^+), revealing a soft thermal spectrum in agreement with the expected X-ray emission from a single O-type star. However, the X-ray luminosity of our targets is slightly lower than expected for single O-type stars, suggesting that the particular properties of their stellar wind has also a significant impact on the X-ray emission of these objects on the way to the WN category. We argue that the X-ray under-luminosity of HD16691 and HD14947 may be interpreted as the signature in X-rays of the intermediate stage between O and WR stars, as a consequence of enhanced wind density. [less ▲]

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See detailCatalogue of particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Raucq, Françoise ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 558

Massive systems made of two or more stars are known to be the site for interesting physical processes -- including at least in some cases -- particle acceleration. Over the past decade, this topic ... [more ▼]

Massive systems made of two or more stars are known to be the site for interesting physical processes -- including at least in some cases -- particle acceleration. Over the past decade, this topic motivated a particular effort to unveil the properties of these systems and characterize the circumstances responsible for the acceleration of particles and the potential role of pre-supernova massive stars in the production of high energy particles in our Galaxy. Although previous studies on this topic were mostly devoted to processes in general, or to a few individual objects in particular, a unified target-oriented census of particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries (hereafter PACWBs) does not exist yet. This paper aims at making a general and unified census of these systems, emphasizing their main properties. A general discussion includes energetic considerations along with wind properties in relation with non-thermal emission processes that are likely at work in colliding-wind binaries. Finally, some guidelines for future observational and theoretical studies are drawn. [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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See detailThree-dimensional orbits of the triple-O stellar system HD 150136
Sana, H.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Mahy, Laurent et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Context. HD 150136 is a triple hierarchical system and a non-thermal radio emitter. It is formed by an O3-3.5 V + O5.5-6 V close binary and a more distant O6.5-7 V tertiary. So far, only the inner orbital ... [more ▼]

Context. HD 150136 is a triple hierarchical system and a non-thermal radio emitter. It is formed by an O3-3.5 V + O5.5-6 V close binary and a more distant O6.5-7 V tertiary. So far, only the inner orbital properties have been reliably constrained. Aims. To quantitatively understand the non-thermal emission process, accurate knowledge of the physical and orbital properties of the object is crucial. Here, we aim to investigate the orbital properties of the wide system and to constrain the inclinations of the inner and outer binaries, and with these the absolute masses of the system components. Methods. We used the PIONIER combiner at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to obtain the very first interferometric measurements of HD 150136. We combined the interferometric observations with new and existing high resolution spectroscopic data to derive the orbital solution of the outer companion in the three-dimensional space. Results. The wide system is clearly resolved by PIONIER, with a projected separation on the plane of the sky of about 9 milli-arcsec. The best-fit orbital period, eccentricity, and inclination are 8.2 yr, 0.73 and 108 degr. We constrain the masses of the three stars of the system to 63 +/- 10, 40 +/- 6, and 33 +/- 12 Msun for the O3-3.5 V, O5.5-6 V and O6.5-7 V components. Conclusions. The dynamical masses agree within errors with the evolutionary masses of the components. Future interferometric and spectroscopic monitoring of HD 150136 should allow one to reduce the uncertainties to a few per cent only and to accurately constrain the distance to the system. This makes HD 150136 an ideal system to quantitatively test evolutionary models of high-mass stars as well as the physics of non-thermal processes occurring in O-type systems. [less ▲]

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See detailAstrochemistry: The issue of molecular complexity in astrophysical environments
De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège (2013), 83

Astrochemistry aims at studying chemical processes in astronomical environments. This discipline -- located at the crossroad between astrophysics and chemistry -- is rapidly evolving and explores the ... [more ▼]

Astrochemistry aims at studying chemical processes in astronomical environments. This discipline -- located at the crossroad between astrophysics and chemistry -- is rapidly evolving and explores the issue of the formation of molecules of increasing complexity in particular physical conditions that deviate signi - cantly from those frequently encountered in chemistry laboratories. The main goal of this paper is to provide an overview of this discipline. So far, about 170 molecules have been identi ed in the interstellar medium (ISM). The presence of this molecular diversity constitutes a rm evidence that e cient formation processes are at work in the interstellar medium. This paper aims at summarizing most of present ideas that are explored by astrochemists to investigate the chemistry taking place in various astronomical environments, with emphasis on the particular conditions which are met in space (including radiation elds, cosmic-rays, low densities...). The more ambitious question of the molecular complexity is addressed following two approaches presented to be converging. The rst approach considers the growing complexity starting from the most simple chemical species in interstellar environments, and the second approach envisages successive precursors of the most complex species commonly found on Earth, and in particular in our biochemistry. The issue of molecular complexity constitutes one of the main modern scienti c questions addressed by astrochemistry, and it is used as a guideline across this paper. [less ▲]

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See detailParticle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries: from the study of a few objects to a science case study
De Becker, Michaël ULg

Conference (2013, April 18)

The study of massive stars, and in particular of colliding-wind binaries, revealed the capability of some of them to accelerate particles up to relativistic energies. Since the 1980's, what appeared at ... [more ▼]

The study of massive stars, and in particular of colliding-wind binaries, revealed the capability of some of them to accelerate particles up to relativistic energies. Since the 1980's, what appeared at first sight to be an anomaly in their observational properties turns out to be the signature of important physical processes at work in a large number of objects. In this contribution, I summarize the current census of information relevant to the catalogue of Particle-Accelerating Colliding-Wind Binaries (PACWBs) that constitute a particular class of objects likely to contribute to the production of low energy Galactic cosmic-rays. On the basis of this census of information, some prospects for future observational strategies are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 2.35 year itch of Cyg OB2 #9. II. Radio monitoring
Blomme, R.; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Volpi, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 550

Cyg OB2 #9 is one of a small set of non-thermal radio emitting massive O-star binaries. The non-thermal radiation is due to synchrotron emission in the colliding-wind region. Cyg OB2 #9 was only recently ... [more ▼]

Cyg OB2 #9 is one of a small set of non-thermal radio emitting massive O-star binaries. The non-thermal radiation is due to synchrotron emission in the colliding-wind region. Cyg OB2 #9 was only recently discovered to be a binary system and a multiwavelength campaign was organized to study its 2011 periastron passage. We want to better determine the parameters of this system and model the wind-wind collision. This will lead to a better understanding of the Fermi mechanism that accelerates electrons up to relativistic speeds in shocks, and its occurrence in colliding-wind binaries. We report here on the results of the radio observations obtained in the monitoring campaign and present a simple model to interpret the data. We used the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) radio interferometer to obtain 6 and 20 cm continuum fluxes during the Cyg OB2 #9 periastron passage in 2011. We introduce a simple model to solve the radiative transfer in the stellar winds and the colliding-wind region, and thus determine the expected behaviour of the radio light curve. The observed radio light curve shows a steep drop in flux sometime before periastron. The fluxes drop to a level that is comparable to the expected free-free emission from the stellar winds, suggesting that the non-thermal emitting region is completely hidden at that time. After periastron passage, the fluxes slowly increase. We use the asymmetry of the light curve to show that the primary has the stronger wind. This is somewhat unexpected if we use the astrophysical parameters based on theoretical calibrations. But it becomes entirely feasible if we take into account that a given spectral type – luminosity class combination covers a range of astrophysical parameters. The colliding-wind region also contributes to the free-free emission, which can help to explain the high values of the spectral index seen after periastron passage. Combining our data with older Very Large Array (VLA) data allows us to derive a period P = 860:0 3:7 days for this system. With this period, we update the orbital parameters that were derived in the first paper of this series. A simple model introduced to explain only the radio data already allows some constraints to be put on the parameters of this binary system. Future, more sophisticated, modelling that will also include optical, X-ray and interferometric information will provide even better constraints. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive Non-Thermal Radio Emitters: New Data and their Modeling
Volpi, D.; Blomme, R.; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2013, January 01)

During recent years some non-thermal radio emitting OB stars have been discovered to be binary or multiple systems. The non-thermal emission is due to synchrotron radiation that is emitted by electrons ... [more ▼]

During recent years some non-thermal radio emitting OB stars have been discovered to be binary or multiple systems. The non-thermal emission is due to synchrotron radiation that is emitted by electrons accelerated up to high energies. The electron acceleration occurs at the strong shocks created by the collision of radiatively-driven winds. Here we summarize the available radio data and more recent observations for the binary Cyg OB2 No. 9. We also show a new emission model which is being developed to compare the theoretical total radio flux and the spectral index with the observed radio light curves. This comparison will be useful in order to solve fundamental questions, such as the determination of the stellar mass-loss rates, which are perturbed by clumping. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative NIR Spectroscopy of Massive Stars
Sana, H.; Stap, F. A.; de Koter, A. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2013, January 01)

Interest for near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of massive stars has been dramatically increasing over the last decade. Because it allows one to observe objects inaccessible at optical wavelengths due to ... [more ▼]

Interest for near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of massive stars has been dramatically increasing over the last decade. Because it allows one to observe objects inaccessible at optical wavelengths due to absorption, the infrared domain offers a privileged window to study highly extinguished objects. Yet, a detailed calibration of the massive star properties at NIR wavelength is still missing. Following the lines of the work of Repolust et al. (2005), we have acquired high resolution spectroscopy of several nearby massive stars using VLT/CRIRES, focusing on spectral lines of interest in the J, H, K, and L bands. In this work, we present the earliest results of our quantitative spectroscopic analysis of the main sequence stars in our sample. Using the unique combination of a genetic algorithm approach with the state-of-the-art non-LTE atmosphere model FASTWIND, we compare the stellar and wind properties as derived from the optical and the NIR regime. [less ▲]

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See detailIs the bowshock of the runaway massive star HD 195592 a Fermi source?
del Valle, M.; Romero, G.E.; De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 550

HD 195592 is an O-type super-giant star, known as a well-established runaway. Recently, a Fermi gamma-ray source (2FGL J2030.7+4417) with a position compatible with that of HD 195592 has been reported ... [more ▼]

HD 195592 is an O-type super-giant star, known as a well-established runaway. Recently, a Fermi gamma-ray source (2FGL J2030.7+4417) with a position compatible with that of HD 195592 has been reported. Our goal is to explore the scenario where HD 195592 is the counterpart of the Fermi gamma-ray source modeling the non-thermal emission produced in the bowshock of the runaway star. We calculate the spectral energy distribution of the radiation produced in the bowshock of HD 195592 and we compare it with Fermi observations of 2FGL J2030.7+4417. We present relativistic particle losses and the resulting radiation of the bowshock of HD 195592 and show that the latter is compatible with the detected gamma-ray emission. We conclude that the Fermi source 2FGL J2030.7+4417 might be produced, under some energetic assumptions, by inverse Compton up-scattering of photons from the heated dust in the bowshock of the runaway star. HD 195592 might therefore be the very first object detected belonging to the category of gamma-ray emitting runaway massive stars, whose existence has been recently predicted. [less ▲]

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See detailA spectroscopic investigation of the O-type star population in four Cygnus OB associations. I. Determination of the binary fraction
Mahy, L.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 550

Establishing the multiplicity of O-type stars is the first step towards accurately determining their stellar parameters. Moreover, the distribution of the orbital parameters provides observational clues ... [more ▼]

Establishing the multiplicity of O-type stars is the first step towards accurately determining their stellar parameters. Moreover, the distribution of the orbital parameters provides observational clues to the way that O-type stars form and to the interactions during their evolution. Our objective is to constrain the multiplicity of a sample of O-type stars belonging to poorly investigated OB associations in the Cygnus complex and for the first time to provide orbital parameters for binaries identified in our sample. Such information is relevant to addressing the issue of the binarity in the context of O-type star formation scenarios. We performed a long-term pectroscopic survey of nineteen O-type stars. We searched for radial velocity variations to unveil binaries on timescales from a few days up to a few years, on the basis of a large set of optical spectra. We confirm the binarity for four objects: HD193443, HD228989, HD229234 and HD194649. We derive for the first time the orbital solutions of three systems, and we confirm the values of the fourth, showing that these four systems all have orbital periods shorter than 10 days. Besides these results, we also detect several objects that show non-periodic line profile variations in some of their spectral lines. These variations mainly occur in the spectral lines, that are generally affected by the stellar wind and are not likely to be related to binarity. The minimal binary fraction in our sample is estimated to be 21%, but it varies from one OB association to the next. Indeed, 3 O stars of our sample out of 9 (33%) belonging to CygOB1 are binary systems, 0% (0 out of 4) in CygOB3, 0% (0 out of 3) in CygOB8, and 33% (1 out of 3) in CygOB9. Our spectroscopic investigation also stresses the absence of long-period systems among the stars in our sample. This result contrasts with the case of the O-type stellar population in NGC 2244 among which no object showed radial velocity variations on short timescales. However, we show that it is probably an effect of the sample and that this difference does not a priori suggest a somewhat different star forming process in these two environments. [less ▲]

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See detailNon-thermal radiation from a runaway early-type star
del Valle, M.; Romero, G.E.; De Becker, Michaël ULg

in AIP Conference Proceedings (2012, December), 1505

HD 195592 is an O-type supergiant star, known as a well-established runaway. Recently, a Fermi γ-ray source (2FGL J2030.7+4417) with a position compatible with that of HD 195592 has been reported. Our ... [more ▼]

HD 195592 is an O-type supergiant star, known as a well-established runaway. Recently, a Fermi γ-ray source (2FGL J2030.7+4417) with a position compatible with that of HD 195592 has been reported. Our goal is to explore a scenario where HD 195592 is the counterpart of the Fermi γ-ray source. The high-energy emission would be inverse Compton radiation produced in the bowshock of the runaway star. We calculate relativistic particle energy losses and the resulting radiation from the bowshock of HD 195592 and show that the latter is compatible with the detected γ-ray emission. We conclude that the Fermi source 2FGL J2030.7+4417 might be produced, under some energetic assumptions, by inverse Compton up-scattering of infrared photons from locally heated dust. HD 195592 might therefore be the very first object detected belonging to the category of γ-ray emitting runaway massive stars, whose existence has been recently predicted. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiwavelength Observations of Gamma-ray Binary Candidates
McSwain, M.V.; Chernyakova, M.; Malishev, D. et al

in 2012 Fermi Symposium proceedings - eConf C121028 (2012, October)

There are currently only six known high mass X-­‐ray binaries (HMXBs) that also exhibit MeV, GeV, and/or TeV emission ("gamma-­‐ray binaries"). Expanding the sample of gamma-­‐ray binaries and identifying ... [more ▼]

There are currently only six known high mass X-­‐ray binaries (HMXBs) that also exhibit MeV, GeV, and/or TeV emission ("gamma-­‐ray binaries"). Expanding the sample of gamma-­‐ray binaries and identifying unknown Fermi sources are currently of great interest to the community. Based upon their positional coincidence with the unidentified Fermi sources 1FGL J1127.7-­‐6244c and 1FGL J1808.5-­‐1954c, the Be stars HD 99771 and HD 165783 have been proposed as gamma-­‐ray binary candidates. During Fermi Cycle 4, we have performed multiwavelength observations of these sources using XMM-­‐Newton and the CTIO 1.5m telescope. We do not confirm high energy emission from the Be stars. Here we examine other X-­‐ray sources in the X-­‐ray sources in the field of view that are potential counterparts to the Fermi sources. [less ▲]

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See detailThe long period eccentric orbit of the particle accelerator HD 167971 revealed by long baseline interferometry
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Sana, H; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 423

Using optical long baseline interferometry, we resolved for the first time the two wide components of HD167971, a candidate hierarchical triple system known to efficiently accelerate particles. Our multi ... [more ▼]

Using optical long baseline interferometry, we resolved for the first time the two wide components of HD167971, a candidate hierarchical triple system known to efficiently accelerate particles. Our multi-epoch VLTI observations provide direct evidence for a gravitational link between the O8 supergiant and the close eclipsing O + O binary. The separation varies from 8 to 15 mas over the three-year baseline of our observations, suggesting that the components evolve on a wide and very eccentric orbit (most probably e>0.5). These results provide evidence that the wide orbit revealed by our study is not coplanar with the orbit of the inner eclipsing binary. From our measurements of the near-infrared luminosity ratio, we constrain the spectral classification of the components in the close binary to be O6-O7, and confirm that these stars are likely main-sequence objects. Our results are discussed in the context of the bright non-thermal radio emission already reported for this system, and we provide arguments in favour of a maximum radio emission coincident with periastron passage. HD167971 turns out to be an efficient O-type particle accelerator that constitutes a valuable target for future high angular resolution radio imaging using VLBI facilities. [less ▲]

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