Magnetically confined wind shock

Asif ud-Doula and Stan Owocki

Submitted on 18 September 2022


Many stars across all classes possess strong enough magnetic fields to influence dynamical flow of material off the stellar surface. For the case of massive stars (O and B types), about 10\% of them harbour strong, globally ordered (mostly dipolar) magnetic fields. The trapping and channeling of their stellar winds in closed magnetic loops leads to {\it magnetically confined wind shocks} (MCWS), with pre-shock flow speeds that are some fraction of the wind terminal speed that can be a few thousand km s1. These shocks generate hot plasma, a source of X-rays. In the last decade, several developments took place, notably the determination of the hot plasma properties for a large sample of objects using \xmm\ and \ch, as well as fully self-consistent MHD modelling and the identification of shock retreat effects in weak winds. In addition, these objects are often sources of Hα emission which is controlled by either sufficiently high mass loss rate or centrifugal breakout. Here we review the theoretical aspects of such magnetic massive star wind dynamics.


Comment: Accepted for publication invited chapter of the Handbook of X-ray and Gamma-ray Astrophysics published by Nature Springer. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1509.06482, arXiv:1605.04979

Subjects: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena