Multiwavelength studies of WR 21a and its surroundings

Paula Benaglia(1,2), Gustavo E. Romero(1,2), Baerbel Koribalski(3), A. M. T. Pollock(4)

(1): Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomia, C.C.5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
(2): Facultad de Cs. Astronomicas y Geofisicas, UNLP, Paseo del Bosque S/N, (1900) La Plata, Argentina
(3): Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
(4): XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre, Apartado 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain.

We present results of high-resolution radio continuum observations towards the binary star WR 21a (Wack 2134) obtained with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at 4.8 and 8.64 GHz. We detected the system at 4.8 GHz (6 cm) with a flux density of 0.25+-0.06 mJy and set an upper limit of 0.3 mJy at 8.64 GHz (3 cm). The derived spectral index of alpha < 0.3 (S(nu) = k . nu^(alpha)) suggests the presence of non-thermal emission, probably originating in a colliding-wind region. A second, unrelated radio source was detected ~10" north of WR 21a at (RA, Dec)(J2000)=(10h 25m 56.49s, -57deg 48' 34.4"), with flux densities of 0.36 and 0.55 mJy at 4.8 and 8.64 GHz, respectively, resulting in alpha = 0.72. HI observations in the area are dominated by absorption against the prominent H II region RCW 49. Analysis of a complete set of archived X-ray observations of WR 21a confirms its strong variability but throws into doubt previous suggestions by Reig (1999) of a period of years for the system. Finally, we comment on the association with the nearby EGRET source 3EG J1027-5817.

Reference: A&A, in press
Status: Manuscript has been accepted