Strong Stellar Winds

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Science  04 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4439, pp. 9-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4439.9


The hottest and most luminous stars lose a substantial fraction of their mass in strong stellar winds. These winds not only affect the evolution of the star, they also carve huge expanding cavities in the surrounding interstellar medium, possibly affecting star formation. The winds are probably driven by radiation pressure, but uncertainties persist in their theoretical description. Strong x-ray sources associated with a few of these hot stars may be used to probe the stellar winds. The nature of the weak x-ray sources recently observed to be associated with many of these stars is uncertain. It is suggested that roughly 10 percent of the luminous hot stars may have as companions neutron stars or black holes orbiting within the stellar winds.