Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 319, 1005-1010 (2000/December-3)
Non-thermal emission in Wolf-Rayet stars: are massive companions required?
DOUGHERTY S.M. and WILLIAMS P.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We examine the radio spectral indices of 23 Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars to identify the nature of their radio emission. We identify nine systems as non-thermal emitters. In seven of these systems the non-thermal emission dominates the radio spectrum, while in the remaining two it is of comparable strength to the thermal, stellar wind emission, giving `composite' spectra. Among these nine systems, seven have known spectroscopic or visual binary companions. The companions are all massive O or early B-type stars, strongly supporting a connection between the appearance of non-thermal emission in WR stars and the presence of a massive companion. In three of these binaries, the origin of non-thermal emission in a wind-collision region between the stars has been well established in earlier work. The binary systems that exhibit only thermal emission are all short-period systems where a wind-collision zone is deep within the opaque region of the stellar wind of the WR star. To detect non-thermal emission in these systems requires optically thin lines of sight to the wind-collision region.
2000, Royal Astronomical Society