Effects of stellar evolution and ionizing radiation on the environments of massive stars

Mackey, J.; Langer, N.; Mohamed, S.; Gvaramadze, V. V.; Neilson, H. R.; Meyer, D. M.-A.

We discuss two important effects for the astrospheres of runaway stars: the propagation of ionizing photons far beyond the astropause, and the rapid evolution of massive stars (and their winds) near the end of their lives. Hot stars emit ionizing photons with associated photoheating that has a significant dynamical effect on their surroundings. 3-D simulations show that H ii regions around runaway O stars drive expanding conical shells and leave underdense wakes in the medium they pass through. For late O stars this feedback to the interstellar medium is more important than that from stellar winds. Late in life, O stars evolve to cool red supergiants more rapidly than their environment can react, producing transient circumstellar structures such as double bow shocks. This provides an explanation for the bow shock and linear bar-shaped structure observed around Betelgeuse.

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Mackey, J. / Langer, N. / Mohamed, S. / et al: Effects of stellar evolution and ionizing radiation on the environments of massive stars. 2014. Copernicus Publications.

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