Astrophys. J., 903, 113-113 (2020/November-2)
Clumping in the winds of Wolf-Rayet stars.
CHENE A.-N., ST-LOUIS N., MOFFAT A.F.J. and GAYLEY K.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We attempt to determine the driver for clumping in hot-star winds by extending the measure of the spectral variability level of Galactic Wolf-Rayet stars to by far the hottest known among them, the WN2 star WR 2 and the WO2 stars WR 102 and WR 142. These three stars have T* = 140 and 200 kK, the last two being well above the bulk of WR stars with T* ∼ 40-120 kK. This full temperature range for WR stars is much broader than that of their O-star progenitors (∼30-50 kK), so is better suited to look for any temperature dependence of wind clumping. We have obtained multiple observations with high signal-to-noise, moderate-resolution spectroscopy in search of small-scale variability in the strong emission lines from the dense winds of these three extreme stars, and find a very low-level of variability in both stars. Temperature and terminal velocity are correlated, so faster winds show a lower variability, though this trend goes against any predictions made involving Line Deshadowing Instability (LDI) only, implying that instabilities intrinsic to LDI are not the main source of wind clumping. Instead, it could be taken as support for the suggestion that clumps are caused by a subsurface convection zone (SSCZ) at T ∼ 170 kK, since such an SSCZ would have little opportunity to operate under the hydrostatic surface of these hottest WR stars. It is still possible, however, that an SSCZ-related driver could interact with nonlinear line instability effects to enhance or possibly even produce clumps.
© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Wolf-Rayet stars - Stellar winds - Stellar convective zones - Radiative transfer
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