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Finding Common Ground: Comparative Spectropolarimetry of WN+O Binaries

Published onJun 01, 2020
Finding Common Ground: Comparative Spectropolarimetry of WN+O Binaries

Massive Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars in binary systems may produce supernovae capable of emitting long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRB). The canonical WR+O eclipsing binary is V444 Cygni, which is a WN5+O system that has X-ray emitting colliding winds and a well-constrained geometry. I will present new time-dependent spectropolarimetric data, collected using RSS at the Southern African Large Telescope, from several Southern WN+O binary systems that may be analogs to V444 Cygni. By analyzing their polarimetric variations with respect to V444 Cygni, I investigate their wind geometries and assess the similarities among the WN subclass. Characterizing the mass loss and transfer structures within these systems will help to constrain the future evolution of the WN stars and their role as LGRB progenitors.

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