Radial dependence of line profile variability in seven O9--B0.5 stars

F. Martins $^1$, W. Marcolino $^2$, D.J. Hillier $^3$, J.-F. Donati $^4$, J.-C. Bouret $^5$

1- LUPM, CNRS & Montpellier University; 2- Universidade do Rio de Janeiro; 3- University of Pittsburgh; 4- IRAP, CNRS & Toulouse University; 5- LAM, CNRS & Aix-Marseille University

Massive stars show a variety of spectral variability: presence of discrete absorption components in UV P-Cygni profiles, optical line profile variability, X-ray variability, radial velocity modulations. Our goal is to study the spectral variability of single OB stars to better understand the relation between photospheric and wind variability. For that, we rely on high spectral resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra collected with the spectrograph NARVAL on the Telescope Bernard Lyot at Pic du Midi. We investigate the variability of twelve spectral lines by means of the Temporal Variance Spectrum (TVS). The selected lines probe the radial structure of the atmosphere, from the photosphere to the outer wind. We also perform a spectroscopic analysis with atmosphere models to derive the stellar and wind properties, and to constrain the formation region of the selected lines. We show that variability is observed in the wind lines of all bright giants and supergiants, on a daily timescale. Lines formed in the photosphere are sometimes variable, sometimes not. The dwarf stars do not show any sign of variability. If variability is observed on a daily timescale, it can also (but not always) be observed on hourly timescales, albeit with lower amplitude. There is a very clear correlation between amplitude of the variability and fraction of the line formed in the wind. Strong anti-correlations between the different part of the temporal variance spectrum are observed. Our results indicate that variability is stronger in lines formed in the wind. A link between photospheric and wind variability is not obvious from our study, since wind variability is observed whatever the level of photospheric variability. Different photospheric lines also show different degrees of variability.

Reference: A&A accepted
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.5057


Email: fabrice.martins@univ-montp2.fr