Probing Wolf-Rayet winds: Chandra/HETG X-ray spectra of WR 6

David P. Huenemoerder, K. G. Gayley, W. R. Hamann, R. Ignace, J. S. Nichols, L. Oskinova, A. M.T. Pollock, N. S. Schulz, T. Shenar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With a deep Chandra/HETGS exposure of WR 6, we have resolved emission lines whose profiles show that the X-rays originate from a uniformly expanding spherical wind of high X-ray-continuum optical depth. The presence of strong helium-like forbidden lines places the source of X-ray emission at tens to hundreds of stellar radii from the photosphere. Variability was present in X-rays and simultaneous optical photometry, but neither were correlated with the known period of the system or with each other. An enhanced abundance of sodium revealed nuclear-processed material, a quantity related to the evolutionary state of the star. The characterization of the extent and nature of the hot plasma in WR 6 will help to pave the way to a more fundamental theoretical understanding of the winds and evolution of massive stars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • stars: WolfRayet
  • stars: individual (WR 6)
  • stars: massive


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