Winds from Hot Stars

  • S. P. Owocki
Part of the Reviews in Modern Astronomy book series (MOD.ASTRONOMY, volume 3)


Stellar winds from hot stars (i.e., spectral types O, B, and WR) have been known and studied for about 20 years now. An excellent, succinct summary of both theory and observations was given recently by Abbott [1]. (This was one of Abbott’s last active contributions before giving up astrophysical research, a decision which, given his many contributions to our understanding of hot stars, was most unfortunate for science.) More extensive discussions of both theory and observations are contained in the monograph edited by Conti and Underbill [2], and there have been numerous additional reviews of theory [3–8] or observations [9–11]. In nearly all of these the emphasis has been on steady-state models and time-averaged spectra. The general overview of Kudritzki in this volume emphasizes the now quite impressive sophistication of such models and their quantitative agreement with observations. Given this already rich collection of reviews, I will not attempt here to give any kind of exhaustive list of the Uterature. The next section gives my own general overview of the subject, but the bulk of the remaining discussion will concentrate on examining the physical driving mechanism — line-scattering in the wind of the star’s continuum radiation field — and what it implies for both the basic wind properties (e.g., mass loss rate, M and terminal flow speed, υ) (Sect. 3), as well as for the wind structure (e.g., variability, dumpiness, embedded shocks, etc.) (Sect. 4). The emphasis on structure and variability admittedly reflects a personal bias, but it is also intended to complement the above-mentioned emphasis on steady-state properties in previous reviews. In particular, one goal will be to place in some perspective the successes of the steady-state approach.


Mass Loss Rate Wind Structure Forward Shock Dense Shell Comoving Frame 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. P. Owocki
    • 1
  1. 1.Bartol Research InstituteUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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