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Paper: Non-Thermal Radio Emission from Colliding Wind Binaries
Volume: 422, High Energy Phenomena in Massive Stars
Page: 178
Authors: Blomme, R.
Abstract: In colliding wind binaries, shocks accelerate a fraction of the electrons up to relativistic speeds. These electrons then emit synchrotron radiation at radio wavelengths. Whether or not we detect this radiation depends on the size of the free-free absorption region in the stellar winds of both components of the binary system. One expects long-period binaries to be detectable, but not the short-period ones. It was therefore surprising to find that Cyg OB2 #8A (P = 21.9d) does show variability locked with orbital phase.
To investigate this, we developed a model for the relativistic electron generation (including cooling and advection) and the radiative transfer of the synchrotron emission through the stellar wind. Using this model, we show that the synchrotron emitting region in Cyg OB2 #8A does extend far enough beyond the free-free absorption region to generate orbit-locked variability in the radio flux.
This model can also be applied to other non-thermal emitters and will prove useful in interpreting observations from future surveys, such as COBRaS — the Cyg OB2 Radio Survey.
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