Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 314, 521-540 (1996/10-2)
The Wolf-Rayet counterpart of Cygnus X-3.
VAN KERKWIJK M.H., GEBALLE T.R., KING D.L., VAN DER KLIS M. and VAN PARADIJS J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present orbital-phase resolved I and K-band spectroscopy of Cygnus X-3. All spectra show emission lines characteristic of Wolf-Rayet stars of the WN subclass. On time scales longer than about one day, the line strengths show large changes, both in flux and in equivalent width. In addition, the line ratios change, corresponding to a variation in spectral subtype of WN6/7 to WN4/5. We confirm the finding that at times when the emission lines are weak, they shift in wavelength as a function of orbital phase, with maximum blueshift coinciding with infrared and X-ray minimum, and maximum redshift half an orbit later. Furthermore, we confirm the prediction - made on the basis of previous observations - that at times when the emission lines are strong, no clear wavelength shifts are observed. We describe a simplified, but detailed model for the system, in which the companion of the X-ray source is a Wolf-Rayet star whose wind is at times ionised by the X-ray source, except for the part in the star's shadow. With this model, the observed spectral variations can be reproduced with only a small number of free parameters. We discuss and verify the ramifications of this model, and find that, in general, the observed properties can be understood. We conclude that Cyg X-3 is a Wolf-Rayet/X-ray binary.
stars: individual: Cygnus X-3 - stars: Wolf-Rayet - X-rays: stars
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