X-ray Observations of Binary and Single Wolf-Rayet Stars with XMM-Newton and Chandra

Authors: Skinner, Stephen; Güdel, Manuel; Schmutz, Werner; Zhekov, Svetozar

Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 304, Numbers 1-4, August 2006 , pp. 97-99(3)

Publisher: Springer

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We present an overview of recent X-ray observations of Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars with XMM-Newton and Chandra. These observations are aimed at determining the differences in X-ray properties between massive WR + OB binary systems and putatively single WR stars. A new XMM spectrum of the nearby WN8 + OB binary WR 147 shows hard absorbed X-ray emission (including the Fe Kα line complex), characteristic of colliding wind shock sources. In contrast, sensitive observations of four of the closest known single WC (carbon-rich) WR stars have yielded only non-detections. These results tentatively suggest that single WC stars are X-ray quiet. The presence of a companion may thus be an essential factor in elevating the X-ray emission of WC + OB stars to detectable levels.

Keywords: Stars:Wolf-Rayet; Stars:X-rays

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10509-006-9082-3

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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