The colliding wind binary (CWB) systems \eta\ Carinae and WR140 provide unique laboratories for X-ray astrophysics. Their wind-wind collisions produce hard X-rays that have been monitored extensively by several X-ray telescopes, including RXTE. To interpret these X-ray light curves and spectra, we apply 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the wind-wind collision using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), with the recent improvements of radiative cooling and the acceleration of the stellar winds according to a \beta\ law. For both systems, the 2-10 keV RXTE light curves are well-reproduced in absolute units for most phases, but the light curve dips associated with the periastron passages are not well matched. In WR140, the dip is too weak, and in \eta\ Carinae, the large difference in wind speeds of the two stars leads to a hot, post-periastron bubble that produces excess emission toward the end of the X-ray minimum.
- Pub Date:
- October 2011
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 3 pages, 3 figures, to appear in "Four Decades of Research on Massive Stars: A Scientific Meeting in Honour of Anthony F. J. Moffatt", eds. L. Drissen, C. Robert, and N. St-Louis, ASP Conference Series