The Wolf-Rayet stars at high (spatial) resolution
Author: Niedzielski, A.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 286, Numbers 1-2, 2003 , pp. 237-244(8)
The Wolf-Rayet stars represent an advanced stage of evolution of the most massive stars. Their next immediate stadium will be supernova explosion. The most striking property of this very rare but exceptionally hot and bright objects is their extreme mass loss, of the order of 10-5 solar mass per year. In turn of evolution before and during the Wolf-Rayet phase such stars eject a lot of matter (∼ 10 M⊙) with velocity up to 3000 km/s that surrounds them in the form of gas and dust. In the case of binary Wolf-Rayet star such expanding envelope may interact with a companion (usually hot OB star) wind forming a tail extended for ∼ 100 AU. This spectacular phenomenon as well as some other connected with Wolf-Rayet stars that can be studied with high spatial resolution instruments (both astrometric and imaging) are reviewed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Toruń Centre for Astronomy, N. Copernicus University, Gagarina 11, 87-100 Toruń, Poland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2003-01-01