On the Size of the Non-Thermal Component in the Radio Emission from Cyg OB2 #5

Luis F. Rodríguez, Yolanda Gómez, Laurent Loinard, Amy J. Mioduszewski


Cyg OB2 #5 is a contact binary system with variable radio continuum emission. This emission has a low-flux state where it is dominated by thermal emission from the ionized stellar wind and a high-flux state where an additional non-thermal component appears. The variations are now known to have a period of 6.7±0.2 yr. The non-thermal component has been attributed to different agents: an expanding envelope ejected periodically from the binary, emission from a wind-collision region, or a star with non-thermal emission in an eccentric orbit around the binary. The determination of the angular size of the non-thermal component is crucial to discriminate between these alternatives. We present the analysis of VLA archive observations made at 8.46 GHz in 1994 (low state) and 1996 (high state), that allow us to subtract the effect of the persistent thermal emission and to estimate an angular size of ≤ 0.′′02 for the non-thermal component. This compact size favors the explanation in terms of a star with non-thermal emission or of a wind-collision region.


radio continuum: stars; stars: individual (Cyg OB2 #5)

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