AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 111. Supernovae and Atmospheric Phenomena in Binaries
Oral, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 6 (A and B)

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[111.06D] Colliding Winds in Massive Binaries

M.L. Thaller (CalTech)

In close binary systems of massive stars, the individual stellar winds will collide and form a bow shock between the stars, which may have significant impact on the mass-loss and evolution of the system. The existence of such a shock can be established through orbital-phase related variations in the UV resonance lines and optical emission lines. High density regions near the shock will produce H-Alpha and Helium I emission which can be used to map the mass-flow structure of the system. The shock front between the stars may influence the balance of mass-loss versus mass-transfer in massive binary evolution, as matter lost to one star due to Roche lobe overflow may hit the shock and be deflected before it can accrete onto the surface of the other star.

I have completed a high-resolution spectroscopic survey of 37 massive binaries, and compared the incidence and strength of emission to an independent survey of single massive stars. Binary stars show a statistically significant overabundance of optical emission, especially when one of the binary stars is in either a giant or supergiant phase of evolution. Seven systems in my survey exhibited clear signs of orbital phase related emission, and for three of the stars (HD 149404, HD 152248, and HD 163181), I present qualitative models of the mass-flow dynamics of the systems.

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