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Sudden Radiative Braking in Colliding Hot-Star WindsWhen two hot-star winds collide, their interaction centers at the point where the momentum fluxes balance. However, in WR+O systems, the imbalance in the corporeal momentum fluxes may be extreme enough to preclude a standard head-on wind/wind collision. On the other hand, an important component of the total momentum flux in radiatively driven winds is carried by photons. Thus, if the wind interaction region has sufficient scattering opacity, it can reflect stellar photons and cause important radiative terms to enter the momentum balance. This radiative input would result in additional braking of the wind. We use a radiative-hydrodynamics calculation to show that such radiative braking can be an important effect in many types of colliding hot-star winds. Characterized by sudden deceleration of the stronger wind in the vicinity of the weak-wind star, it can allow a wind ram balance that would otherwise be impossible in many WR+O systems with separations less than a few hundred solar radii. It also greatly weakens the shock strength and the encumbent X ray production. We demonstrate the significant features of this effect using V444 Cygni as a characteristic example. We also derive a general analytic theory that applies to a wide class of binaries, yielding simple predictions for when radiative braking should play an important role.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gayley, K. G.
(Delaware Univ. Newark, DE United States)
Owocki, S. P.
(Delaware Univ. Newark, DE United States)
Cranmer, S. R.
(Delaware Univ. Newark, DE United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: Workshop on Colliding Winds in Binary Stars to Honor Jorge Sahade
Volume: 5
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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