Stellar winds from hot low-mass stars

W.-R. Hamann

Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam, Germany

Stellar winds appear as a persistent feature of hot stars, irrespective of their wide range of different luminosities, masses, and chemical composition. Among the massive stars, the Wolf-Rayet types show considerably stronger mass loss than the O stars. Among hot low-mass stars, stellar winds are seen at central stars of planetary nebulae, where again the hydrogen-deficient stars show much stronger winds than those central stars with ``normal'' composition. We also studied mass-loss from a few extreme helium stars and sdOs. Their mass-loss rate roughly follows the same proportionality with luminosity to the power 1.5 as the massive O stars. This relation roughly marks a lower limit for the mass loss from hot stars of all kinds, and provides evidence that radiation pressure on spectral lines is the basic mechanism at work. For certain classes of stars the mass-loss rates lie significantly above this relation, for reasons that are not yet fully understood. Mass-loss from low-mass stars may affect their evolution, by reducing the envelope mass, and can easily prevent diffusion from establishing atmospheric abundance patterns. In close binary systems, their winds can feed the accretion onto a companion.

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