X-ray emission from the giant magnetosphere of the magnetic O-type star NGC 1624-2

V. Petit, D. H. Cohen, G. A. Wade, Y. Nazé, S. P. Owocki, J. O. Sundqvist, A. Ud-Doula, A. Fullerton, M. Leutenegger, M. Gagné

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12 Scopus citations


We observed NGC 1624-2, the O-type star with the largest known magnetic field (Bp ~ 20 kG), in X-rays with the AdvancedCCDImaging Spectrometer (ACIS-S) camera on-board the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Our two observations were obtained at the minimum and maximum of the periodic Hα emission cycle, corresponding to the rotational phases where the magnetic field is the closest to equator-on and pole-on, respectively. With these observations, we aim to characterize the star's magnetosphere via the X-ray emission produced by magnetically confined wind shocks. Our main findings are as follows. (i) The observed spectrum of NGC 1624-2 is hard, similar to the magnetic O-type star θ1 Ori C, with only a few photons detected below 0.8 keV. The emergent X-ray flux is 30 per cent lower at the Hα minimum phase. (ii) Our modelling indicated that this seemingly hard spectrum is in fact a consequence of relatively soft intrinsic emission, similar to other magnetic Of p stars, combined with a large amount of local absorption (~1-3× 1022 cm-2). This combination is necessary to reproduce both the prominent Mg and Si spectral features, and the lack of flux at low energies. NGC 1624-2 is intrinsically luminous in X-rays (logLXem ~ 33.4) but 70-95 per cent of the Xray emission produced by magnetically confined wind shocks is absorbed before it escapes the magnetosphere (logXLISMcor ~ 32.5). (iii) The high X-ray luminosity, its variation with stellar rotation, and its large attenuation are all consistent with a large dynamical magnetosphere with magnetically confined wind shocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3288-3299
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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