X-ray emission from the Wolf-Rayet bubble NGC 6888 - II. XMM-Newton EPIC observations

J. A. Toalá, M. A. Guerrero, Y. H. Chu, S. J. Arthur, D. Tafoya, R. A. Gruendl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present deep XMM-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera observations of the Wolf-Rayet (WR) bubble NGC 6888 around the star WR 136. The complete X-ray mapping of the nebula confirms the distribution of the hot gas in three maxima spatially associated with the caps and north-west blowout hinted at by previous Chandra observations. The global X-ray emission is well described by a two-temperature optically thin plasma model (T1 = 1.4 × 106 K, T2 = 8.2 × 106 K) with a luminosity of LX = 7.8 × 1033 erg s-1 in the 0.3-1.5 keV energy range. The rms electron density of the X-ray-emitting gas is estimated to be ne = 0.4 cm-3. The high-quality observations presented here reveal spectral variations within different regions in NGC 6888, which allowed us for the first time to detect temperature and/or nitrogen abundance inhomogeneities in the hot gas inside a WR nebula. One possible explanation for such spectral variations is that the mixing of material from the outer nebula into the hot bubble is less efficient around the caps than in other nebular regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4305-4314
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 9 2016


  • ISM: Bubbles
  • ISM: Individual objects: (NGC 6888)
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet
  • X-rays: Individual (WR 136)
  • X-rays: Individual: (NGC 6888)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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