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Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society


We present an analysis of Chandra grating spectra of key helium-like line complexes to put constraints on the location with respect to the photosphere of the hottest (T ≳ 6 × 10⁶ K) plasma in the wind of the O supergiant ζ Pup and to explore changes in the 18 yr between two sets of observations of this star. We fit two models—one empirical and one wind-shock-based—to the S XV, Si XIII, and Mg XI line complexes and show that an origin in the wind flow, above r ≈ 1.5 R∗, is strongly favoured over an origin less than 0.3 R* above the photosphere (r ≲ 1.3 R∗), especially in the more recent, very long-exposure data set. There is a modest increase in the line and continuum fluxes, line widths, wind absorption signatures, and of the hot plasma’s distance from the photosphere in the 18 yr since the first Chandra grating observation of ζ Pup. Both modes of modelling include the effects of dielectronic recombination satellite emission line blending on the helium-like complexes—the first time this has been accounted for in the analysis of He-like line ratios in O stars.


techniques: spectroscopic, stars: early-type, stars: individual: ζ Puppis, stars: winds, outflows, X-rays: stars


This article has been published in Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society. © 2022 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.