EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 476, Number 3, December IV 2007
Page(s) 1283 - 1287
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077637

A&A 476, 1283-1287 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077637

Thermal timescale mass transfer rates in intermediate-mass X-ray binaries

Xiao-Jie Xu and Xiang-Dong Li

Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, PR China
    e-mail: lixd@nju.edu.cn

(Received 13 April 2007 / Accepted 2 August 2007)

Thermal timescale mass transfer generally occurs in close binaries where the donor star is more massive than the accreting star. The mass transfer rates are usually estimated in terms of the Kelvin-Helmholtz timescale of the donor star. However, recent investigations indicate that this method may overestimate the real mass transfer rates in accreting white dwarf or neutron star binary systems. We have systematically investigated the thermal timescale mass transfer processes in intermediate-mass X-ray binaries, by calculating binary evolution sequences with various initial donor masses and orbital periods. From the calculated results we find that on average the mass transfer rates are lower than traditional estimates by a factor of ~4.

Key words: binaries: close -- stars: neutron -- X-rays: binaries

© ESO 2007