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AE aurigae: first detection of non-thermal X-ray emission from a bow shock produced by a runaway star

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López Santiago, Javier and Miceli, M. and Valle, M. V. del and Romero, G. E. and Bonito, R. and Albacete Colombo, J. F. and Pereira, V. and Castro Rubio, Elisa de and Damiani, F. (2012) AE aurigae: first detection of non-thermal X-ray emission from a bow shock produced by a runaway star. Astrophysical journal letters, 757 (1). ISSN 2041-8205

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/757/1/L6


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http://iopscience.iop.org/Publisher


Abstract

Runaway stars produce shocks when passing through interstellar medium at supersonic velocities. Bow shocks have been detected in the mid-infrared for several high-mass runaway stars and in radio waves for one star. Theoretical models predict the production of high-energy photons by non-thermal radiative processes in a number sufficiently large to be detected in X-rays. To date, no stellar bow shock has been detected at such energies. We present the first detection of X-ray emission from a bow shock produced by a runaway star. The star is AE Aur, which was likely expelled from its birthplace due to the encounter of two massive binary systems and now is passing through the dense nebula IC 405. The X-ray emission from the bow shock is detected at 30" northeast of the star, coinciding with an enhancement in the density of the nebula. From the analysis of the observed X-ray spectrum of the source and our theoretical emission model, we confirm that the X-ray emission is produced mainly by inverse Compton upscattering of infrared photons from dust in the shock front.


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© 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.This work was supported by the Spanish Government (AYA2011-30147-C03-02 and AYA2011-29754-C03-03). J.L.-S. thanks project AstroMadrid (S2009/ESP-1496) for partial support. G.E.R. and M.V.dV. were supported by PIP 0078 (CONICET) and PICT 2007-00848, Préstamo BID (ANPCyT). G.E.R. received additional support from the Spanish Ministerio de Innovación y Tecnología (AYA 2010-21782-C03-01). We thank the referee for useful comments and suggestions.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Zeta ophiuchi; Simulations
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:30684
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 11:09
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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