Volume 432, Number 3, March IV 2005
|Page(s)||985 - 998|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||07 March 2005|
The spectrum of the very massive binary system WR 20a (WN6ha + WN6ha): Fundamental parameters and wind interactions*
Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août 17, Bât. B5c, 4000 Liège, Belgium e-mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Rd., Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK
3 SRON National Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
4 Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
Accepted: 23 November 2004
We analyse the optical spectrum of the very massive binary system WR 20a (WN6ha + WN6ha). The most prominent emission lines, Hα and He ii λ 4686, display strong phase-locked profile variability. From the variations of their equivalent widths and from a tomographic analysis, we find that part of the line emission probably arises in a wind interaction region between the stars. Our analysis of the optical spectrum of WR 20a indicates a reddening of mag and a distance of ~ kpc, suggesting that the star actually belongs to the open cluster Westerlund 2. The location of the system at ∼1.1 pc from the cluster core could indicate that WR 20a was gently ejected from the core via dynamical interactions. Using a non-LTE model atmosphere code, we derive the fundamental parameters of each component: K, , yr-1 (assuming a clumped wind with a volume filling factor ). Nitrogen is enhanced in the atmospheres of the components of WR 20a, while carbon is definitely depleted. Finally, the position of the binary components in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram suggests that they are core hydrogen burning stars in a pre-LBV stage and their current atmospheric chemical composition probably results from rotational mixing that might be enhanced in a close binary compared to a single star of same age.
Key words: stars: binaries: spectroscopic / stars: early-type / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: individual: WR 20a / stars: Wolf-Rayet
© ESO, 2005
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