Excitation of g modes in Wolf-Rayet stars by a deep opacity bump
R H D Townsend, J MacDonald
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
We examine the stability of l=1 and l=2 g modes in a pair of nitrogen-rich Wolf-Rayet stellar models characterized by differing hydrogen abundances. We find that modes with intermediate radial orders are destabilized by a kappa mechanism operating on an opacity bump at an envelope temperature log T ~ 6.25. This `deep opacity bump' is due primarily to L-shell bound-free transitions of iron. Periods of the unstable modes span ~ 11-21 hr in the model containing some hydrogen, and ~ 3-12 hr in the hydrogen-depleted model. Based on the latter finding, we suggest that self-excited g modes may be the source of the 9.8 hr-periodic variation of WR 123 recently reported by Lefevre et al. (2005).
Status: Manuscript has been submitted