Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 382, 1124-1132 (2007/December-2)
X-rays from massive OB stars: thermal emission from radiative shocks.
ZHEKOV S.A. and PALLA F.
Abstract (from CDS):
Chandra grating spectra of a sample of 15 massive OB stars were analysed under the basic assumption that the X-ray emission is produced in an ensemble of shocks formed in the winds driven by these objects. Shocks develop either as a result of radiation-driven instabilities or due to confinement of the wind by a relatively strong magnetic field, and since they are radiative, a simple model of their X-ray emission was developed that allows a direct comparison with observations. According to our model, the shock structures (clumps, complete or fractional shells) eventually become `cold' clouds in the X-ray sky of the star. As a result, it is expected that for large covering factors of the hot clumps, there is a high probability for X-ray absorption by the `cold' clouds, resulting in blueshifted spectral lines. Our analysis has revealed that such a correlation indeed exists for the considered sample of OB stars. As to the temperature characteristics of the X-ray emission plasma, the studied OB stars fall in two groups: (i) one with plasma temperature limited to ∼0.1-0.4 keV and (ii) the other with X-rays produced in plasmas at considerably higher temperatures. We argue that the two groups correspond to different mechanisms for the origin of X-rays: in radiation-driven instability shocks and in magnetically confined wind shocks, respectively.