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The enigmatic oxygen sequence Wolf-Rayet (WO) stars represent a very late stage in massive star evolution, although their exact nature is still under debate. The spectra of most of the WO stars have never been analysed through detailed modelling with a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium expanding atmosphere code. Here we present preliminary results of the first homogeneous analysis of the (apparently) single WOs.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
Blue supergiants (BSGs) to the right the main sequence band in the HR diagram can not be reproduced by standard stellar evolution calculations. We investigate whether a reduced convective core mass due to strong internal magnetic fields during the main sequence might be able to recover this population of stars. We perform calculations with a reduced mass of the hydrogen burning convective core of stars in the mass range 3–30 M⊙ in a parametric way, which indeed lead to BSGs. It is expected that these BSGs would still show large scale magnetic fields in the order of 10 G.
Rotation is a key parameter in the evolution of massive stars, affecting their evolution, chemical yields, ionizing photon budget, and final fate. We determined the projected rotational velocity, υe sin i, of ~330 O-type objects, i.e. ~210 spectroscopic single stars and ~110 primaries in binary systems, in the Tarantula nebula or 30 Doradus (30 Dor) region. The observations were taken using VLT/FLAMES and constitute the largest homogeneous dataset of multi-epoch spectroscopy of O-type stars currently available. The most distinctive feature of the υe sin i distributions of the presumed-single stars and primaries in 30 Dor is a low-velocity peak at around 100 km s−1. Stellar winds are not expected to have spun-down the bulk of the stars significantly since their arrival on the main sequence and therefore the peak in the single star sample is likely to represent the outcome of the formation process. Whereas the spin distribution of presumed-single stars shows a well developed tail of stars rotating more rapidly than 300 km s−1, the sample of primaries does not feature such a high-velocity tail. The tail of the presumed-single star distribution is attributed for the most part – and could potentially be completely due – to spun-up binary products that appear as single stars or that have merged. This would be consistent with the lack of such post-interaction products in the binary sample, that is expected to be dominated by pre-interaction systems. The peak in this distribution is broader and is shifted toward somewhat higher spin rates compared to the distribution of presumed-single stars. Systems displaying large radial velocity variations, typical for short period systems, appear mostly responsible for these differences.
Various types of magnetic fields occur in stars: small scale fields, large scale fields, and internal toroidal fields. While the latter may be ubiquitous in stars due to differential rotation, small scale fields (spots) may be associated with envelop convection in all low and high mass stars. The stable large scale fields found in only about 10% of intermediate mass and massive stars may be understood as a consequence of dynamical binary interaction, e.g., the merging of two stars in a binary. We relate these ideas to magnetic fields in white dwarfs and neutron stars, and to their role in core-collapse and thermonuclear supernova explosions.
It is now believed that magnetohydrodynamic equilibria can exist in stably stratified stars due to the seminal works of Braithwaite & Spruit (2004) and Braithwaite & Nordlund (2006). What is still not known is whether magnetohydrodynamic equilibria can exist in a barotropic star, in which stable stratification is not present. It has been conjectured by Reisenegger (2009) that there will likely not exist any magnetohydrodynamical equilibria in barotropic stars. We aim to test this claim by presenting preliminary MHD simulations of barotropic stars using the three dimensional stagger code of Nordlund & Galsgaard (1995).
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
We present a Bayesian method that simultaneously takes all available observables for a given star, their uncertainties and prior knowledge like the initial mass function into account to determine probability distributions of the stellar parameters based on grids of stellar evolutionary models. This allows to homogeneously analyse stars, to determine stellar parameters including robust uncertainties and to identify stars that cannot be reproduced by current stellar models. Our code is available through an easy-to-use web-interface.
The nearby red supergiant (RSG) Betelgeuse has a complex circumstellar medium out to at
least 0.5 parsecs from its surface, shaped by its mass-loss history within the past ≈ 0.1
Myr, its environment, and its motion through the interstellar medium (ISM). In principle
its mass-loss history can be constrained by comparing hydrodynamic models with
observations. Observations and numerical simulations indicate that Betelgeuse has a very
young bow shock, hence the star may have only recently become a RSG. To test this
possibility we calculated a stellar evolution model for a single star with properties
consistent with Betelgeuse. We incorporated the resulting evolving stellar wind into 2D
hydrodynamic simulations to model a runaway blue supergiant (BSG) undergoing the
transition to a RSG near the end of its life. The collapsing BSG wind bubble induces a bow
shock-shaped inner shell which at least superficially resembles Betelgeuse’s bow shock,
and has a similar mass. Surrounding this is the larger-scale retreating bow shock
generated by the now defunct BSG wind’s interaction with the ISM. We investigate whether
this outer shell could explain the bar feature located (at least in projection) just in
front of Betelgeuse’s bow shock.
The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey is an ESO Large Program from which we have obtained multi-epoch optical spectroscopy of over 800 massive stars in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This unprecedented dataset is being used to address outstanding questions in how massive stars evolve from the early main sequence to their deaths as core collapse supernovae. Here we focus on the rotation properties of the population of presumably single O stars and use binary population synthesis predictions to show that the rapid rotators among this population likely are post-interaction binaries. The same type of population synthesis can be used to study the mass function of massive young clusters. We argue – on the basis of predictions for the Arches and Quintuplet clusters – that a sizable fraction of the very massive WNh stars in 30 Doradus may also have such a binary interaction history. We single out the WNh star discovered in the VFTS, VFTS 682, and discuss its properties.
Betelgeuse, the bright red supergiant (RSG) in Orion, is a runaway star. Its supersonic motion through the interstellar medium has resulted in the formation of a bow shock, a cometary structure pointing in the direction of motion. We present the first 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the formation and evolution of Betelgeuse’s bow shock. We show that the bow shock morphology depends substantially on the growth timescale for Rayleigh-Taylor versus Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. We discuss our models in light of the recent Herschel, GALEX and VLA observations. If the mass in the bow shock shell is low (~few × 10-3M⊙), as seems to be implied by the AKARI and Herschel observations, then Betelgeuse’s bow shock is very young and is unlikely to have reached a steady state. The circular, smooth bow shock shell is consistent with this conclusion. We further discuss the implications of our results, in particular, the possibility that Betelgeuse may have only recently entered the RSG phase.
Although the first millisecond pulsars (MSPs) were discovered 30 years ago we still do not understand all details of their formation process. Here, we present new results from Tauris, Langer & Kramer (2012) on the recycling scenario leading to radio MSPs with helium or carbon-oxygen white dwarf companions via evolution of low- and intermediate mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs, IMXBs). We discuss the location of the spin-up line in the PṖ–diagram and estimate the amount of accreted mass needed to obtain a given spin period and compare with observations. Finally, we constrain the true ages of observed recycled pulsars via calculated isochrones in the PṖ–diagram.
A multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections occurred in the USA in November–December 2006 in patrons of restaurant chain A. We identified 77 cases with chain A exposure in four states – Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Fifty-one (66%) patients were hospitalized, and seven (9%) developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome; none died. In a matched analysis controlling for age in 31 cases and 55 controls, illness was associated with consumption of shredded iceberg lettuce [matched odds ratio (mOR) 8·0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·1–348·1] and shredded cheddar cheese (mOR 6·2, CI 1·7–33·7). Lettuce, an uncooked ingredient, was more commonly consumed (97% of patients) than cheddar cheese (84%) and a single source supplied all affected restaurants. A single source of cheese could not explain the regional distribution of outbreak cases. The outbreak highlights challenges in conducting rapid multistate investigations and the importance of incorporating epidemiological study results with other investigative findings.
We highlight the role of the light elements (Li, Be, B) in the evolution of massive single and binary stars, which is largely restricted to a diagnostic value, and foremost so for the element boron. However, we show that the boron surface abundance in massive early type stars contains key information about their foregoing evolution which is not obtainable otherwise. In particular, it allows to constrain internal mixing processes and potential previous mass transfer event for binary stars (even if the companion has disappeared). It may also help solving the mystery of the slowly rotating nitrogen-rich massive main sequence stars.
Abundance anomalies observed in globular cluster stars indicate pollution with material processed by hydrogen burning. Two main sources have been suggested: asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and massive stars rotating near the break-up limit (spin stars). We discuss the idea that massive binaries may provide an interesting alternative source of processed material. We discuss observational evidence for mass shedding from interacting binaries. In contrast to the fast, radiatively driven winds of massive stars, this material is typically ejected with low velocity. We expect that it remains inside the potential well of a globular cluster and becomes available for the formation or pollution of a second generation of stars. We estimate that the amount of processed low-velocity material that can be ejected by massive binaries is larger than the contribution of the two previously suggested sources combined.
The Tarantula Survey is an ambitious ESO Large Programme that has obtained multi-epoch spectroscopy of over 1000 massive stars in the 30 Doradus region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Here, we introduce the scientific motivations of the survey and give an overview of the observational sample. Ultimately, quantitative analysis of every star, paying particular attention to the effects of rotational mixing and binarity, will be used to address fundamental questions in both stellar and cluster evolution.
Rotational mixing a very important but uncertain process in the evolution of massive stars. We propose to use close binaries to test its efficiency. Based on rotating single stellar models we predict nitrogen surface enhancements for tidally locked binaries. Furthermore we demonstrate the possibility of a new evolutionary scenario for very massive (M > 40M⊙) close (P < 3 days) binaries: Case M, in which mixing is so efficient that the stars evolve quasi-chemically homogeneously, stay compact and avoid any Roche-lobe overflow, leading to very close (double) WR binaries.
Thermohaline mixing has recently been proposed to occur in low mass red giants, with large consequences for the chemical yields of low mass stars. We investigate the role of thermohaline mixing during the evolution of stars between 1 M⊙ and 3 M⊙, in comparison to other mixing processes acting in these stars. We confirm that thermohaline mixing has the potential to destroy most of the 3He which is produced earlier on the main sequence during the red giant stage. In our models we find that this process is working only in stars with initial mass M ≲ 1.5 M⊙. Moreover, we report that thermohaline mixing can be present during core helium burning and beyond in stars which still have a 3He reservoir. While rotational and magnetic mixing is negligible compared to the thermohaline mixing in the relevant layers, the interaction of thermohaline motions with differential rotation and magnetic fields may be essential to establish the time scale of thermohaline mixing in red giants.
The goal of recent shear-transformation-zone (STZ) theories has been to construct a phenomenological description of amorphous plasticity that is based on physical principles and molecular models, and yet is simple enough to be useful in predicting the performance of real materials. In reporting progress toward this goal, I focus on the dynamic role played by the effective disorder temperature (a generalization of the free-volume) in controlling relaxation rates and predicting shear-banding instabilities.