Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 464, 2066-2074 (2017/January-2)
The spin rates of O stars in WR + O binaries - I. Motivation, methodology, and first results from SALT.
SHARA M.M., CRAWFORD S.M., VANBEVEREN D., MOFFAT A.F.J., ZUREK D. and CRAUSE L.
Abstract (from CDS):
The black holes (BH) in merging BH-BH binaries are likely progeny of binary O stars. Their properties, including their spins, will be strongly influenced by the evolution of their progenitor O stars. The remarkable observation that many single O stars spin very rapidly can be explained if they accreted angular momentum from a mass-transferring, O-type or Wolf-Rayet (WR) companion before that star blew up as a supernova. To test this prediction, we have measured the spin rates of eight O stars in WR + O binaries, increasing the total sample size of such O stars' measured spins from 2 to 10. Polarimetric and other determinations of these systems' sin i allow us to determine an average equatorial rotation velocity from He I (He II) lines of ve = 348 (173) km s–1 for these O stars, with individual star's ve from He I (He II) lines ranging from 482 (237) to 290 (91) km s–1. We argue that the ∼100 per cent difference between He I and He II speeds is due to gravity darkening. Supersynchronous spins, now observed in all 10 O stars in WR + O binaries where it has been measured, are strong observational evidence that Roche lobe overflow mass transfer from a WR progenitor companion has played a critical role in the evolution of WR + OB binaries. While theory predicts that this mass transfer rapidly spins up the O-type mass gainer to a nearly breakup rotational velocity of ve ∼ 530 km s–1, the observed average ve of the O-type stars in our sample is 65 per cent of that speed. This demonstrates that, even over the relatively short WR-phase time-scale, tidal and/or other effects causing rotational spin-down must be efficient. A challenge to tidal synchronization theory is that the two longest period binaries in our sample (with periods of 29.7 and 78.5 d) unexpectedly display supersynchronous rotation.
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
binaries: close - stars: evolution - stars: massive - stars: rotation - stars: Wolf-Rayet - stars: Wolf-Rayet
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