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Title:
On the evolutionary status of bright, low-mass X-ray sources
Authors:
Webbink, R. F.; Rappaport, S.; Savonije, G. J.
Affiliation:
AA(Illinois, University, Urbana, IL), AB(MIT, Cambridge, MA), AC(Amsterdam, Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 270, July 15, 1983, p. 678-693. Sponsorship: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Zuiver-Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
07/1983
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Binary Stars, Giant Stars, Stellar Evolution, Stellar Luminosity, Stellar Mass Accretion, X Ray Sources, Galactic Bulge, Neutron Stars, Stellar Mass Ejection, Stellar Models, White Dwarf Stars, X Ray Binaries
DOI:
10.1086/161159
Bibliographic Code:
1983ApJ...270..678W

Abstract

A model of bright, low-mass X-ray binaries is proposed which features a lower giant-branch star losing mass on a nuclear time scale to an accreting compact companion. Simple numerical models show that mass transfer rates equal to or greater than 10 to the -9th solar masses per yr are sustained at very nearly a constant rate until the envelope of the donor star is exhausted. The model predicts orbital periods in the range 1-200 days and X-ray to optical luminosity ratios Lx/Lopt = 200-1000 for these sources. It accounts in a natural way for the large fraction of the total galactic bulge luminosity emitted by a few bright (10 to the 37th erg/s or greater) sources. It also accords very well with the observed X-ray and optical properties of the halo source Cyg X-2 and also with those of 2S 0921-63, provided this latter system contains a massive accreting white dwarf rather than a neutron star. Problems of the prior evolution of low-mass X-ray sources are also briefly delineated.

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