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RE: Wolf-Rayet Stars
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Title: Wolf-Rayet content of the Milky Way
Author: Paul A. Crowther (Sheffield)

An overview of the known Wolf-Rayet (WR) population of the Milky Way is presented, including a brief overview of historical catalogues and recent advances based on infrared photometric and spectroscopic observations resulting in the current census of 642 (v1.13 online catalogue). The observed distribution of WR stars is considered with respect to known star clusters, given that <20% of WR stars in the disk are located in clusters. WN stars outnumber WC stars at all galactocentric radii, while early-type WC stars are strongly biased against the inner Milky Way. Finally, recent estimates of the global WR population in the Milky Way are reassessed, with 1,200±100 estimated, such that the current census may be 50% complete. A characteristic WR lifetime of 0.25 Myr is inferred for an initial mass threshold of 25 Msun.

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Title: Spectrum and light curve of a supernova shock breakout through a thick Wolf-Rayet wind
Author: Gilad Svirski, Ehud Nakar

Wolf-Rayet stars are known to eject winds. Thus, when a Wolf-Rayet star explodes as a supernova, a fast, >30,000 km/s, shock is expected to be driven through a wind. We study the signal expected from a fast supernova shock propagating through an optically thick wind, and find that the electrons behind the shock driven into the wind are cooled efficiently, by inverse Compton over soft photons that were deposited by the radiation mediated shock that crossed the star. Therefore, the bolometric luminosity is comparable to the kinetic energy flux through the shock, and the spectrum is found to be a power-law, which slope and frequency range depend on the number flux of soft photons available for cooling. Wolf-Rayet supernovae that explode through a thick wind have a high flux of soft photons, producing a flat spectrum, F=Const, in the X-ray range 0.1=<T=<50 keV. As the shock expands into an optically thin wind, the soft photons are no longer able to cool the shock that plows through the wind, and the bulk of the emission takes the form of a standard core-collapse supernova (without a wind). However, a small fraction of the soft photons is upscattered by the shocked wind and produces a transient unique X-ray signature.

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Title: Gamma-ray emission from Wolf-Rayet stars interacting with AGN jets 
Authors: Anabella T. Araudo, Valenti Bosch-Ramon, Gustavo E. Romero 

Dense populations of stars surround the nuclear regions of galaxies. In this work, we study the interaction of a WR star with relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei. A bow-shaped double-shock structure will form as a consequence of the interaction of the jet and the wind of the star. Particles can be accelerated up to relativistic energies in these shocks and emit high-energy radiation. We compute the produced gamma-ray emission obtaining that this radiation may be significant. This emission is expected to be particularly relevant for nearby non-blazar sources. 

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Title: High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy reveals the special nature of Wolf-Rayet star winds
Authors: L. M. Oskinova, K. G. Gayley, W.-R. Hamann, D. P. Huenemoerder, R. Ignace, A. M. T. Pollock

We present the first high-resolution X-ray spectrum of a putatively single Wolf-Rayet star. 400 ks observations of WR 6 by the XMM-Newton-telescope resulted in a superb quality high-resolution X-ray spectrum. Spectral analysis reveals that the X-rays originate far out in the stellar wind, more than 30 stellar radii from the photosphere, and thus outside the wind acceleration zone where the line-driving instability could create shocks. The X-ray emitting plasma reaches temperatures up to 50\,MK, and is embedded within the un-shocked, "cool" stellar wind as revealed by characteristic spectral signatures. We detect a fluorescent Fe line at approx 6.4 keV. The presence of fluorescence is consistent with a two-component medium, where the cool wind is permeated with the hot X-ray emitting plasma. The wind must have a very porous structure to allow the observed amount of X-rays to escape. We find that neither the line-driving instability nor any alternative binary scenario can explain the data. We suggest a scenario where X-rays are produced when the fast wind rams into slow "sticky clumps" that resist acceleration. Our new data show that the X-rays in single WR-star are generated by some special mechanism different from the one operating in the O-star winds.

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Title: 12 New Galactic Wolf-Rayet Stars Identified via 2MASS+Spitzer/GLIMPSE
Authors: Jon Mauerhan, Schuyler Van Dyk, Pat Morris

We report new results from our effort to identify obscured Wolf-Rayet stars in the Galaxy. Candidates were selected by their near-infrared (2MASS) and mid-infrared (Spitzer/GLIMPSE) colour excesses, which are consistent with free-free emission from ionised stellar winds and thermal excess from hot dust. We have confirmed 12 new Wolf-Rayet stars in the Galactic disk, including 9 of the nitrogen subtype (WN), and 3 of the carbon subtype (WC); this raises the total number of Wolf-Rayet stars discovered with our approach to 27. We classify one of the new stars as a possible dust-producing WC9d+OBI colliding-wind binary, as evidenced by an infrared excess resembling that of known WC9d stars, the detection of OBI features superimposed on the WC9 spectrum, and hard X-ray emission detected by XMM-Newton. A WC8 star in our sample appears to be a member of the stellar cluster Danks 1, in contrast to the rest of the confirmed Wolf-Rayet stars that generally do not appear to reside within dense stellar clusters. Either the majority of the stars are runaways from clusters, or they formed in relative isolation. We briefly discuss prospects for the expansion and improvement of the search for Wolf-Rayet stars throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.

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