X-ray observations of the double-binary OB-star system QZ Car (HD 93206) obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory over a period of roughly 2 years are presented. The respective orbits of systems A (O9.7 I+b2 v, P A = 21 days) and B (O8 III+o9 v, P B = 6 days) are reasonably well sampled by the observations, allowing the origin of the X-ray emission to be examined in detail. The X-ray spectra can be well fitted by an attenuated three-temperature thermal plasma model, characterized by cool, moderate, and hot plasma components at kT ≃ 0.2, 0.7, and 2 keV, respectively, and a circumstellar absorption of ≃0.2 × 1022 cm-2. Although the hot plasma component could be indicating the presence of wind-wind collision shocks in the system, the model fluxes calculated from spectral fits, with an average value of ≃7 × 10-13 erg s-1 cm -2, do not show a clear correlation with the orbits of the two constituent binaries. A semi-analytical model of QZ Car reveals that a stable momentum balance may not be established in either system A or B. Yet, despite this, system B is expected to produce an observed X-ray flux well in excess of the observations. If one considers the wind of the O8 III star to be disrupted by mass transfer, the model and observations are in far better agreement, which lends support to the previous suggestion of mass transfer in the O8 III + o9 v binary. We conclude that the X-ray emission from QZ Car can be reasonably well accounted for by a combination of contributions mainly from the single stars and the mutual wind-wind collision between systems A and B.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science