Magnetically Confined Wind Shocks in X-rays - a Review

Asif ud-Doula (1), Yael Naze (2)

1 - Penn State Worth. Scranton ;
2 - ULg

A subset ($\sim$ 10\%) of massive stars present strong, globally ordered (mostly dipolar) magnetic fields. The trapping and channeling of their stellar winds in closed magnetic loops leads to magnetically confined wind shocks (MCWS), with pre-shock flow speeds that are some fraction of the wind terminal speed. These shocks generate hot plasma, a source of X-rays. In the last decade, several developments took place, notably the determination of the hot plasma properties for a large sample of objects using XMM-Newton and Chandra, as well as fully self-consistent MHD modelling and the identification of shock retreat effects in weak winds. Despite a few exceptions, the combination of magnetic confinement, shock retreat and rotation effects seems to be able to account for X-ray emission in massive OB stars. Here we review these new observational and theoretical aspects of this X-ray emission and envisage some perspectives for the next generation of X-ray observatories.

Reference: accepted for publication by Advances in Space Research (special issue "X-ray emission from hot stars and their winds")
Status: Manuscript has been accepted