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The Multiplicity of Wolf-Rayet StarsThe most massive stars drastically reconfigure their surroundings via their strong stellar winds and powerful ionizing radiation. With this mass fueling their large luminosities, these stars are frequently used as standard candles in distance determination, and as tracers of stellar evolution in different regions and epochs. In their dieing burst, some of the once massive stars will enter a Wolf-Rayet (WR) phase lasting approx.10% of the stellar lifetime. This phase is particularly useful for study because these stars have strong spectroscopic signatures that allow them to be easily identified at great distances. But how accurate are these identifications? Increasingly, the relatively nearby stars we once assumed to be single are revealing themselves to be binary or multiple. New techniques, such as high-resolution imaging and interferometry, are changing our knowledge of these objects. I will discuss recent results in the literature and how this affects the binary distribution of WR stars. I will also discuss the implications of binary vs. single star evolution on evolution through the WR phase. Finally, I will discuss the implications of these revised numbers on both massive stellar evolution itself, and the impact that this has on the role of WR stars as calibrators.
Document ID
20040171515
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
Wallace, Debra J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Astronomy
Meeting Information
Meeting: Massive Stars in Interacting Binaries
Location: Quebec
Country: Canada
Start Date: August 16, 2004
End Date: August 20, 2004
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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