O Star Wind Mass-Loss Rates and Shock Physics from X-Ray Line Profiles in Archival XMM RGS Data
Donor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP)
Award Date: 1/14/2011
Previous work by Prof. Cohen's group showed how the X-rays we observe from massive stars are affected by their passage through these stars' stellar winds. The winds absorb some of the X-rays, changing the observed spectra in characteristic ways. By modeling these changes, thewind densities and thus the wind mass-loss rates can be inferred. Knowing stellar wind mass-loss rates is important because this mass-loss represents a means by which chemically enriched elements make their way into the Galactic environment and also because the amount of mass lost by a star via its stellar wind will affect the nature of its eventual supernova explosion. This project extends Prof. Cohen's stellar wind X-ray absorption analysis from a small number of stars observed with the Chandra X-ray telescope to a larger, previously unanalyzed group of stars, observed with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray telescope.
Project End Date: 12/31/2013