The X-ray under-luminosity of the O-type supergiants HD16691 and HD14947 revealed by XMM-Newton

M. De Becker

Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography, University of Li├Ęge, Belgium

The members of the scarce category of Of^+ supergiants present properties that are intermediate between regular O-stars and Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars. Significant similarities between these transitional stars and WN-type objects are now clearly established, at least in the visible and near-infrared domains, pointing to common stellar wind properties. In this study, we report on the first dedicated X-ray observations of HD16691 (O4If^+) and HD14947 (O5f^+), revealing a soft thermal spectrum in agreement with the expected X-ray emission from a single O-type star. However, the X-ray luminosity of our targets is slightly lower than expected for single O-type stars, suggesting that the particular properties of their stellar wind has also a significant impact on the X-ray emission of these objects on the way to the WN category. We argue that the X-ray under-luminosity of HD16691 and HD14947 may be interpreted as the signature in X-rays of the intermediate stage between O and WR stars, as a consequence of enhanced wind density.

Reference: 2013, New Astronomy, in press
Status: Manuscript has been accepted