An X-ray view of HD166734, a massive supergiant system

Yael Naze, Eric Gosset, Laurent Mahy, Elliot Ross Parkin

Univ. Liege, Belgium

The X-ray emission of the O+O binary HD166734 was monitored using Swift and XMM-Newton observatories, leading to the discovery of phase-locked variations. The presence of an f line in the He-like triplets further supports a wind-wind collision as the main source of the X-rays in HD166734. While temperature and absorption do not vary significantly along the orbit, the X-ray emission strength varies by one order of magnitude, with a long minimum state (Delta(phi)~0.1) occurring after a steep decrease. The flux at minimum is compatible with the intrinsic emission of the O-stars in the system, suggesting a possible disappearance of colliding wind emission. While this minimum cannot be explained by eclipse or occultation effects, a shock collapse may occur at periastron in view of the wind properties. Afterwards, the recovery is long, with an X-ray flux proportional to the separation d (in hard band) or to d^2 (in soft band). This is incompatible with an adiabatic nature for the collision (which would instead lead to "F_X propto 1/d"), but could be reconciled with a radiative character of the collision, though predicted temperatures are lower and more variable than in observations. An increase in flux around phi~0.65 and the global asymmetry of the light curve remain unexplained, however.

Reference: A&A, in press
Status: Manuscript has been accepted