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A compact, variable radio nebula around P Cygni

Skinner, CJ; Exter, KM; Barlow, MJ; Davis, RJ; Bode, MF; (1997) A compact, variable radio nebula around P Cygni. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , 288 (1) L7-L10. 10.1093/mnras/288.1.L7. Green open access

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Abstract

We present high spatial resolution images, at a wavelength of 6 cm, of the luminous blue variable star P Cygni. The images fully resolve the core of the stellar wind, and show that it is very clumpy. Two images were taken, separated in time by approximately a month, during which the structure in the wind has changed radically. The total flux observed has also changed significantly. We show that the clump sizes and electron densities are consistent with the radio variability being due to recombination of the ionized gas within the clumps, after key cooling lines become optically thin, causing the free-free emission to disappear. This is the first time that resolved radio images of a hot star wind have been obtained. It also represents important confirmation of a previous observation that thermal free-free wind emission can vary rapidly in a hot stellar wind.

Type: Article
Title: A compact, variable radio nebula around P Cygni
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/288.1.L7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/288.1.L7
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096118
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