Coupling hydrodynamics with comoving frame radiative transfer: I. A unified approach for OB and WR stars

A. A.C. Sander, W. R. Hamann, H. Todt, R. Hainich, T. Shenar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context. For more than two decades, stellar atmosphere codes have been used to derive the stellar and wind parameters of massive stars. Although they have become a powerful tool and sufficiently reproduce the observed spectral appearance, they can hardly be used for more than measuring parameters. One major obstacle is their inconsistency between the calculated radiation field and the wind stratification due to the usage of prescribed mass-loss rates and wind-velocity fields. Aims. We present the concepts for a new generation of hydrodynamically consistent non-local thermodynamical equilibrium (non-LTE) stellar atmosphere models that allow for detailed studies of radiation-driven stellar winds. As a first demonstration, this new kind of model is applied to a massive O star. Methods. Based on earlier works, the PoWR code has been extended with the option to consistently solve the hydrodynamic equation together with the statistical equations and the radiative transfer in order to obtain a hydrodynamically consistent atmosphere stratification. In these models, the whole velocity field is iteratively updated together with an adjustment of the mass-loss rate. Results. The concepts for obtaining hydrodynamically consistent models using a comoving-frame radiative transfer are outlined. To provide a useful benchmark, we present a demonstration model, which was motivated to describe the well-studied O4 supergiant ζPup. The obtained stellar and wind parameters are within the current range of literature values. Conclusions. For the first time, the PoWR code has been used to obtain a hydrodynamically consistent model for a massive O star. This has been achieved by a profound revision of earlier concepts used for Wolf-Rayet stars. The velocity field is shaped by various elements contributing to the radiative acceleration, especially in the outer wind. The results further indicate that for more dense winds deviations from a standard β-law occur.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA86
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Stars: atmospheres
  • Stars: early-type
  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Stars: mass-loss
  • Stars: massive
  • Stars: winds outflows


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