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This content will become publicly available on February 1, 2023

Title: Ionization-Gasdynamic Simulations of Wind-Blown Nebulae around Massive Stars
Using a code that employs a self-consistent method for computing the effects of photo-ionization on circumstellar gas dynamics, we model the formation of wind-driven nebulae around massive stars. We take into account changes in stellar properties and mass-loss over the star’s evolution. Our simulations show how various properties, such as the density and ionization fraction, change throughout the evolution of the star. The multi-dimensional simulations reveal the presence of strong ionization front instabilities in the main-sequence phase, similar to those seen in galactic ionization fronts. Hydrodynamic instabilities at the interfaces lead to the formation of filaments and clumps that are continually being stripped off and mixed with the low density interior. Even though the winds start out as completely radial, the spherical symmetry is quickly destroyed, and the shocked wind region is manifestly asymmetrical. The simulations demonstrate that it is important to include the effects of the photoionizing photons from the star, and simulations that do not include this may fail to reproduce the observed density profile and ionization structure of wind-blown bubbles around massive stars.
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National Science Foundation
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