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Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society


We quantitatively investigate the extent of wind absorption signatures in the X-ray grating spectra of all non-magnetic, effectively single O stars in the Chandra archive via line profile fitting. Under the usual assumption of a spherically symmetric wind with embedded shocks, we confirm previous claims that some objects show little or no wind absorption. However, many other objects do show asymmetric and blueshifted line profiles, indicative of wind absorption. For these stars, we are able to derive wind mass-loss rates from the ensemble of line profiles, and find values lower by an average factor of 3 than those predicted by current theoretical models, and consistent with Hα if clumping factors of fcl ≈ 20 are assumed. The same profile fitting indicates an onset radius of X-rays typically at r ≈ 1.5R*, and terminal velocities for the X-ray emitting wind component that are consistent with that of the bulk wind. We explore the likelihood that the stars in the sample that do not show significant wind absorption signatures in their line profiles have at least some X-ray emission that arises from colliding wind shocks with a close binary companion. The one clear exception is ζ Oph, a weak-wind star that appears to simply have a very low mass-loss rate. We also reanalyse the results from the canonical O supergiant ζ Pup, using a solar-metallicity wind opacity model and find M˙=1.8×10−6 M⊙yr−1, consistent with recent multiwavelength determinations.


stars: early-type, stars: mass-loss, stars: winds, outflows, X-rays: stars


This article has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.