X-rays, clumping and wind structures

Lidia M. Oskinova1, Wolf-Rainer Hamann1, Richard Ignace2, Achim Feldmeier1

1 Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam, Germany
2 East Tennessee State University, USA

X-ray emission is ubiquitous among massive stars. In the last decade, X-ray observations revolutionized our perception of stellar winds but opened a Pandora's box of urgent problems. X-rays penetrating stellar winds suffer mainly continuum absorption, which greatly simplifies the radiative transfer treatment. The small and large scale structures in stellar winds must be accounted for to understand the X-ray emission from massive stars. The analysis of X-ray spectral lines can help to infer the parameters of wind clumping, which is prerequisite for obtaining empirically correct stellar mass-loss rates. The imprint of large scale structures, such as CIRs and equatorial disks, on the X-ray emission is predicted, and new observations are testing theoretical expectations. The X-ray emission from magnetic stars proves to be more diverse than anticipated from the direct application of the magnetically-confined wind model. Many outstanding questions about X-rays from massive stars will be answered when the models and the observations advance.

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