Clumping in the inner winds of hot, massive stars from hydrodynamical line-driven instability simulations

Jon O. Sundqvist(1), Stanley P. Owocki(1)

1: University of Delaware, Bartol Research Institute, Newark, DE 19716, USA

We investigate the effects of stellar limb-darkening and photospheric perturbations for the onset of wind structure arising from the strong, intrinsic line-deshadowing instability (LDI) of a line-driven stellar wind. A linear perturbation analysis shows that including limb-darkening reduces the stabilizing effect of the diffuse radiation, leading to a net instability growth rate even at the wind base. Numerical radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the non-linear evolution of this instability then show that, in comparison with previous models assuming a uniformly bright star without base perturbations, wind structure now develops much closer ($r la 1.1 R_star$) to the photosphere. This is in much better agreement with observations of O-type stars, which typically indicate the presence of strong clumping quite near the wind base.

Reference: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. Pre-print on astro-ph.
Status: Manuscript has been accepted