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Stellar winds in binary X-ray systemsIt is thought that accretion from a strong stellar wind by a compact object may be responsible for the X-ray emission from binary systems containing a massive early-type primary. To investigate the effect of X-ray heating and ionization on the mass transfer process in systems of this type, an idealized model is constructed for the flow of a radiation-driven wind in the presence of an X-ray source of specified luminosity, L sub x. It is noted that for low values of L sub x, X-ray photoionization gives rise to additional ions having spectral lines with wavelengths situated near the peak of the primary continuum flux distribution. As a consequence, the radiation force acting on the gas increases in relation to its value in the absence of X-rays, and the wind is accelerated to higher velocities. As L sub x is increased, the degree of ionization of the wind increases, and the magnitude of the radiation force is diminished in comparison with the case in which L sub x = 0. This reduction leads at first to a decrease in the wind velocity and ultimately (for L sub x sufficiently large) to the termination of radiatively driven mass loss.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Macgregor, K. B.
(Chicago, University Chicago, IL, United States)
Vitello, P. A. J.
(Science Applications, Inc. McLean, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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