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Paper: Solving the Puzzle of the Massive Star System θ2 Orionis A
Volume: 464, Circumstellar Dynamics at High Resolution
Page: 397
Authors: Petit, V.; Gagné, M.; Cohen, D. H.; Townsend, R. H. D.; Leutenegger, M. A.; Savoy, M. R.; Fehon, G.; Cartagena, C. A.
Abstract: The young O9.5 V spectroscopic binary θ2 Ori A shows moderately hard X-ray emission and relatively narrow X-ray lines, suggesting that it may be a Magnetically Confined Wind Shock (MCWS) source, similar to its more massive analogue θ1 Ori C. X-ray flares occurring near periastron led to the suggestion that the flares are produced via magnetic reconnection as magnetospheres on both components of the θ2 Ori A binary interact at closest approach. We use a series of high-resolution spectropolarimetric observations of θ2 Ori A to place an upper limit on the magnetic field strength of 135 G (95% credible region). Such a weak dipole field would not produce magnetic confinement, or a large magnetosphere. A sub-pixel analysis of the Chandra ACIS images of θ2 Ori A obtained during quiescence and flaring show that the hard, flaring X-rays are offset from the soft, quiescent emission by 0.4 arcsec. If the soft emission is associated with the A1/A2 spectroscopic binary, the offset and position angle of the hard, flaring source place it at the location of the intermediate-mass A3 companion, discovered via speckle interferometry. The spectropolarimetric and X-ray results taken together point to the A3 companion, not the massive A1/A2 binary, as the source of hard, flaring X-ray emission. We also discuss a similar analysis performed for the magnetic Bp star σ Ori E. We find a similar origin for its X-ray flaring.
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