Recombination Lines and Free-Free Continua Formed in Asymptotic Ionized
Winds: Analytic solution for the radiative transfer

Richard Ignace

Physics and Astronomy, East Tennessee State University

In dense hot star winds, the infrared and radio continua are dominated by free-free opacity and recombination emission line spectra. In the case of a spherically symmetric outflow that is isothermal and expanding at constant radial speed, the radiative transfer for the continuum emission from a dense wind is analytic. Even the emission profile shape for a recombination line can be derived. Key to these derivations is that the opacity scales with only the square of the density. These results are well-known. Here an extension of the derivation is developed that also allows for line blends and the inclusion of an additional power-law dependence beyond just the density dependence. The additional power-law is promoted as a representation of a radius dependent clumping factor. It is shown that differences in the line widths and equivalent widths of the emission lines depend on the steepness of the clumping power-law. Assuming relative level populations in LTE in the upper levels of He,{sc ii}, an illustrative application of the model to {em Spitzer}/IRS spectral data of the carbon-rich star WR~90 is given.

Reference: to appear in Astronomische Nachrichten
Status: Manuscript has been accepted