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Chandra Grating Spectroscopy Finds a Surprising Change in the Wind Mass-Loss Rate of the O Supergiant ζ Puppis Over 18 Years

Presentation #100.06 in the session “Stellar/Compact I (Oral)”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Chandra Grating Spectroscopy Finds a Surprising Change in the Wind Mass-Loss Rate of the O Supergiant ζ Puppis Over 18 Years

The O supergiant ζ Puppis is the prototype single, non-magnetic, early O star with a strong radiation-driven wind. The X-ray emission in this star is produced via shock-heating of the wind, the bulk of which is moderately optically thick to soft X-ray emission. Two observing campaigns with the Chandra HETGS, eighteen years apart, showed an unexpected change in the star’s X-ray spectral properties, which are naturally interpreted as a ~40 percent increase in the wind mass-loss rate. We initially identified this unexpected change in the wind properties via an increase in the asymmetry of the spectrally resolved X-ray emission line profiles, and now we have also confirmed changes in the broadband X-ray spectra that are consistent with a mass-loss rate increase.


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