On the Role of Continuum-driven Eruptions in the Evolution of Very Massive Stars and Population III Stars

  title={On the Role of Continuum-driven Eruptions in the Evolution of Very Massive Stars and Population III Stars},
  author={Nathan Smith and Stanley P. Owocki},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal Letters},
  pages={L45 - L48}
We suggest that the mass lost during the evolution of very massive stars may be dominated by optically thick, continuum-driven outbursts or explosions, instead of by steady line-driven winds. In order for a massive star to become a Wolf-Rayet star, it must shed its hydrogen envelope, but new estimates of the effects of clumping in winds from O-type stars indicate that line driving is vastly insufficient. We discuss massive stars above roughly 40-50 M☉, which do not become red supergiants and… 

Figures from this paper

Mass loss from hot massive stars
Mass loss is a key process in the evolution of massive stars, and must be understood quantitatively if it is to be successfully included in broader astrophysical applications such as galactic and
Mass Loss: Its Effect on the Evolution and Fate of High-Mass Stars
Our understanding of massive star evolution is in flux due to recent upheavals in our view of mass loss and observations of a high binary fraction among O-type stars. Mass-loss rates for standard
Luminous blue variables and the fates of very massive stars
  • N. Smith
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2017
Evidence suggests a clear continuum in pre-SN mass loss from super-luminous S Ne IIn, to regular SNe I in, to SNe II-L and II-P, whereas most stripped-envelope SNe seem to arise from a separate channel of lower-mass binary stars rather than massive WR stars.
Eruptive outflow phases of massive stars
  • N. Smith
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • 2010
Abstract I review recent progress on understanding eruptions of unstable massive stars, with particular attention to the diversity of observed behavior in extragalatic optical transient sources that
A giant outburst two years before the core-collapse of a massive star
It is reported that the peculiar type Ib supernova SN 2006jc is spatially coincident with a bright optical transient that occurred in 2004, andSpectroscopic and photometric monitoring of the supernova leads us to suggest that the progenitor was a carbon-oxygen Wolf–Rayet star embedded within a helium-rich circumstellar medium.
Revealing evolved massive stars with Spitzer
Massive evolved stars lose a large fraction of their mass via copious stellar wind or instant outbursts. During certain evolutionary phases, they can be identified by the presence of their
Spectroscopy of complete populations of Wolf-Rayet binaries in the Magellanic Clouds
Abstract Classical Wolf-Rayet stars are evolved, hydrogen depleted massive stars that exhibit strong mass-loss. In theory, these stars can form either by intrinsic mass loss (stellar winds or
Observed Consequences of Preupernova Instability in Very Massive Stars
This chapter concentrates on the deaths of very massive stars, the events leading up to their deaths, and how mass loss affects the resulting death. The previous four chapters emphasized the theory
Relic proto-stellar discs and the origin of luminous circumstellar interaction in core-collapse supernovae
A small fraction of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) show evidence that the outgoing blast wave has encountered a substantial mass ∼1–10 M⊙ of circumstellar matter (CSM) at radii ∼102–103 au, much more
Instabilities in the Envelopes and Winds of Very Massive Stars
The high luminosity of Very Massive Stars (VMS) means that radiative forces play an important, dynamical role both in the structure and stability of their stellar envelope, and in driving strong


η Carinae's second eruption and the light curves of the η Carinae variables
Within the general class of highly unstable massive stars called luminous blue variables (LBVs), four stars have experienced “giant eruptions” during which the total luminosities of the stars
Massive Stars in the Quintuplet Cluster
We present near-infrared photometry and K-band spectra of newly identified massive stars in the Quintuplet cluster, one of the three massive clusters projected within 50 pc of the Galactic center. We
How Massive Single Stars End Their Life
How massive stars die—what sort of explosion and remnant each produces—depends chiefly on the masses of their helium cores and hydrogen envelopes at death. For single stars, stellar winds are the
Studies of luminous stars in nearby galaxies. III. Comments on the evolution of the most massive stars in the Milky Way and the large magellanic cloud
An empirical comparison of the observed H-R diagrams for the supergiants in our region of the Galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud reveals comparable distributions of spectral types and luminosities
The Type IIn supernova 1994W: evidence for the explosive ejection of a circumstellar envelope
We present and analyse spectra of the Type IIn supernova (SN) 1994W obtained between 18 and 203d after explosion. During the luminous phase (first 100 d) the line profiles are composed of three major
Hubble Space Telescope Proper-Motion Measurements of the η Carinae Nebula
We present proper-motion measurements of the bipolar lobes and equatorial disk features ejected from η Carinae during the last century and deduce their relative ages in order to determine the
Lower mass loss rates in O-type stars: Spectral signatures of dense clumps in the wind of two Galactic O4 stars
We have analyzed the far-ultraviolet spectrum of two Galactic O4 stars, the O4If+ supergiant HD 190429A and the O4V((f)) dwarf HD 96715, using archival FUSE and IUE data. We have conducted a
Constraints on the Ionization Balance of Hot-Star Winds from FUSE Observations of O Stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud
We present Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) spectra for 25 O stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We analyze wind profiles for the resonance lines from C III, N III, S IV, P V, S VI, and
A New Luminous Blue Variable in the Giant Extragalactic H II Region NGC 2363
We report the discovery of an erupting luminous blue variable (LBV) star in the giant H II region NGC 2363, the most massive star-forming region in the Magellanic irregular galaxy NGC 2366. This LBV,
X-ray emission lines from inhomogeneous stellar winds
It is commonly adopted that X-rays from O stars are produced deep inside the stellar wind, and transported outwards through the bulk of the expanding matter which attenuates the radiation and affects