Inference of hot star density stream properties from data on rotationally recurrent DACs

Brown, J.C., Barrett, R.K., Oskinova, L.M., Owocki, S.P., Hamann, W.R., de Jong, J.A., Kaper, L. and Henrichs, H.F. (2004) Inference of hot star density stream properties from data on rotationally recurrent DACs. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 413(3), 959 -979. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031557)



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The information content of data on rotationally periodic recurrent discrete absorption components (DACs) in hot star wind emission lines is discussed. The data comprise optical depths tau(w,phi) as a function of dimensionless Doppler velocity w=(Deltalambda/lambda(0))(c/v(infinity)) and of time expressed in terms of stellar rotation angle phi. This is used to study the spatial distributions of density, radial and rotational velocities, and ionisation structures of the corotating wind streams to which recurrent DACs are conventionally attributed. The simplifying assumptions made to reduce the degrees of freedom in such structure distribution functions to match those in the DAC data are discussed and the problem then posed in terms of a bivariate relationship between tau(w, phi) and the radial velocity v(r)(r), transverse rotation rate Omega(r) and density rho(r, phi) structures of the streams. The discussion applies to cases where: the streams are equatorial; the system is seen edge on; the ionisation structure is approximated as uniform; the radial and transverse velocities are taken to be functions only of radial distance but the stream density is allowed to vary with azimuth. The last kinematic assumption essentially ignores the dynamical feedback of density on velocity and the relationship of this to fully dynamical models is discussed. The case of narrow streams is first considered, noting the result of Hamann et al. (2001) that the apparent acceleration of a narrow stream DAC is higher than the acceleration of the matter itself, so that the apparent slow acceleration of DACs cannot be attributed to the slowness of stellar rotation. Thus DACs either involve matter which accelerates slower than the general wind flow, or they are formed by structures which are not advected with the matter flow but propagate upstream (such as Abbott waves). It is then shown how, in the kinematic model approximation, the radial speed of the absorbing matter can be found by inversion of the apparent acceleration of the narrow DAC, for a given rotation law. The case of broad streams is more complex but also more informative. The observed tau(w,phi) is governed not only by v(r)(r) and Omega(r) of the absorbing stream matter but also by the density profile across the stream, determined by the azimuthal (phi(0)) distribution function F-0(phi(0)) of mass loss rate around the stellar equator. When F-0(phi(0)) is fairly wide in phi(0), the acceleration of the DAC peak tau(w, phi) in w is generally slow compared with that of a narrow stream DAC and the information on v(r)(r), Omega(r) and F- 0(phi(0)) is convoluted in the data tau(w, phi). We show that it is possible, in this kinematic model, to recover by inversion, complete information on all three distribution functions v(r)(r), Omega(r) and F-0(phi(0)) from data on tau(w, phi) of sufficiently high precision and resolution since v(r)(r) and Omega(r) occur in combination rather than independently in the equations. This is demonstrated for simulated data, including noise effects, and is discussed in relation to real data and to fully hydrodynamic models.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Professor John and de Jong, Mr Julian
Authors: Brown, J.C., Barrett, R.K., Oskinova, L.M., Owocki, S.P., Hamann, W.R., de Jong, J.A., Kaper, L., and Henrichs, H.F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN (Online):1432-0746
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2004 EDP Sciences
First Published:First published in Astronomy and Astrophysics 413(3):959-979
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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