X-ray emission from massive stars with magnetic fields

L. M. Oskinova, W. -R. Hamann, J. P. Cassinelli, J. C. Brown, H. Todt

University of Potsdam, Germany
University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
University of Glasgow, UK

We investigate the connections between the magnetic fields and the X-ray emission from massive stars. Our study shows that the X-ray properties of known strongly magnetic stars are diverse: while some comply to the predictions of the magnetically confined wind model, others do not. We conclude that strong, hard, and variable X-ray emission may be a sufficient attribute of magnetic massive stars, but it is not a necessary one. We address the general properties of X-ray emission from "normal" massive stars, especially the long standing mystery about the correlations between the parameters of X-ray emission and fundamental stellar properties. The recent development in stellar structure modeling shows that small scale surface magnetic fields may be common. We suggest a "hybrid" scenario which could explain the X-ray emission from massive stars by a combination of magnetic mechanisms on the surface and shocks in the stellar wind. The magnetic mechanisms and the wind shocks are triggered by convective motions in sub-photospheric layers. This scenario opens the door for a natural explanation of the well established correlation between bolometric and X-ray luminosities.

Reference: Accepted AN. 2011 Potsdam Thinkshop "Magnetic Fields in Stars and Exoplanets"
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.5345


Email: lida@astro.physik.uni-potsdam.de