X-ray emission from magnetic massive stars

Yael Naze (1), Veronique Petit (2), Melanie Rinbrand (3), David Cohen (4), Stan Owocki (3), Asif ud-Doula (5), Gregg A Wade (6)

(1) ULg, (2) FIT, (3) Udel, (4) Swarthm. Col., (5) Penn State Wor. Sc., (6) RMC

Magnetically confined winds of early-type stars are expected to be sources of bright and hard X-rays. To clarify the systematics of the observed X-ray properties, we have analyzed a large series of Chandra and XMM observations, corresponding to all available exposures of known massive magnetic stars (over 100 exposures covering ~60% of stars compiled in the catalog of Petit et al. 2013). We show that the X-ray luminosity is strongly correlated with the stellar wind mass-loss-rate, with a power-law form that is slightly steeper than linear for the majority of the less luminous, lower-Mdot B stars and flattens for the more luminous, higher-Mdot O stars. As the winds are radiatively driven, these scalings can be equivalently written as relations with the bolometric luminosity. The observed X-ray luminosities, and their trend with mass-loss rates, are well reproduced by new MHD models, although a few overluminous stars (mostly rapidly rotating objects) exist. No relation is found between other X-ray properties (plasma temperature, absorption) and stellar or magnetic parameters, contrary to expectations (e.g. higher temperature for stronger mass-loss rate). This suggests that the main driver for the plasma properties is different from the main determinant of the X-ray luminosity. Finally, variations of the X-ray hardnesses and luminosities, in phase with the stellar rotation period, are detected for some objects and they suggest some temperature stratification to exist in massive stars' magnetospheres.

Reference: accepted by ApJ
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1690


Email: naze@astro.ulg.ac.be