NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory Guest Observer program (AO-1) at CASAIn this research program, we obtained and analyzed X-ray observations of the Wolf-Rayet (WR) star WR 110 (HD 165688) using the XMM-Newton space-based observatory. Radio observations were also obtained using the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope located in New Mexico and operated by the Natl. Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). This star was targeted for observations primarily because it is believed to be a single WR star without a companion. Single WR stars are thought to emit X-rays from cool plasma in shocks distributed throughout their powerful stellar winds. However, there has been little observational work done to test this idea since single WR stars are relatively weak X-ray sources and have been difficult to detect with previous generation telescopes. The launch of XMM-Newton provides a new telescope that is much more sensitive than its predecessors, allowing single WR stars to be studied in detail for the first time. X-ray emission was clearly detected from WR 110. Analysis of its spectrum yields a surprising result. Its X-ray emitting plasma is distributed over a range of temperatures and is dominated by relatively cool plasma with a characteristic temperature T is approximately 6 million K. Such plasma can be explained by existing theoretical wind shock models. However, the spectrum also shows hotter plasma whose temperature is uncertain but is thought to be in excess of T approximately 30 million K. The origin of this hotter plasma is yet unknown, but possible mechanisms are identified
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
Skinner, Stephen L. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 572
Issue: Part 1
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry