A subset (∼10%) of massive stars present strong, globally ordered (mostly dipolar) magnetic fields. The trapping and channeling of their stellar winds in closed magnetic loops leads to magnetically confined wind shocks (MCWS), with pre-shock flow speeds that are some fraction of the wind terminal speed. These shocks generate hot plasma, a source of X-rays. In the last decade, several developments took place, notably the determination of the hot plasma properties for a large sample of objects using XMM and Chandra, as well as fully self-consistent MHD modeling and the identification of shock retreat effects in weak winds. Despite a few exceptions, the combination of magnetic confinement, shock retreat and rotation effects seems to be able to account for X-ray emission in massive OB stars. Here we review these new observational and theoretical aspects of this X-ray emission and envisage some perspectives for the next generation of X-ray observatories.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)