Gamma rays from colliding winds in massive binaries

Status and prospects
  • Gustavo E. RomeroEmail author
A decade of AGILE
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. A Decade of AGILE: Results, Challenges and Prospects of Gamma-Ray Astrophysics
  2. A Decade of AGILE: Results, Challenges and Prospects of Gamma-Ray Astrophysics
  3. A Decade of AGILE: Results, Challenges and Prospects of Gamma-Ray Astrophysics


Binary systems formed by early-type stars with strong winds are known to display variable non-thermal radio emission, thermal X-rays, and, at least in one case (Eta Carina), γ rays. Some of these systems are quite eccentric and the conditions for efficient particle acceleration and γ-ray production might manifest only occasionally. In this paper, I briefly review the physics of colliding wind binaries with emphasis on the observational signatures of non-thermal particle acceleration. I discuss, in particular, the case of the system HD 93129A which is made up of an O2 If* star (the primary) and an O3.5 V star (the secondary). The primary is among the earliest, hottest, most massive, luminous, and windy O stars in the Galaxy. The periastron passage during 2018 will offer an outstanding observational window that will be exploited by an international multi-wavelength campaign.


Emission-line stars (Of Be Luminous Blue Variables Wolf–Rayet etc.) γ-Ray sources Mass loss and stellar winds Radiation mechanisms 

Mathematics Subject Classification

97.30.Eh 98.70.Rz 97.10.Me 95.30.Gv 



I thank S. del Palacio, V. Bosch Ramon, P. Benaglia, and M. De Becker for many discussions on this topic. My work was supported by the Helmholtz Association through a Helmholtz International Fellow Award. Additional support was provided by the Argentine agency CONICET (PIP 2014-00338) and the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO/FEDER, UE) under grant AYA2016-76012-C3-1-P.


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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR)Villa ElisaArgentina

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