Document Type


Publication Date


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Review Of Scientific Instruments


The launch of high-spectral-resolution x-ray telescopes (Chandra, XMM) has provided a host of new spectralline diagnostics for the astrophysics community. In this paper we discuss Doppler-broadened emission line profiles from highly supersonic outflows of massive stars. These outflows, or winds, are driven by radiation pressure and carry a tremendous amount of kinetic energy, which can be converted to x rays by shock-heating even a small fraction of the wind plasma. The unshocked, cold wind is a source of continuum opacity to the x rays generated in the shock-heated portion of the wind. Thus the emergent line profiles are affected by transport through a two-component, moving, optically thick medium. While complicated, the interactions among these physical effects can provide quantitative information about the spatial distribution and velocity of the x-ray-emitting and absorbing plasma in stellar winds. We present quantitative models of both a spherically symmetric wind and a wind with hot plasma confined in an equatorial disk by a dipole magnetic field.


14th Topical Conference On High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics

Conference Dates

July 8-11, 2002

Conference Location

Madison, WI


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Institute of Physics.