Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||21 June 2019|
Magnetic wind-driven accretion in dwarf novae⋆
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
Accepted: 6 April 2019
Context. Dwarf novae (DNe) and X-ray binaries exhibit outbursts thought to be due to a thermal-viscous instability in the accretion disk. The disk instability model (DIM) assumes that accretion is driven by turbulent transport, customarily attributed to the magneto-rotational instability (MRI). However, recent results point out that MRI turbulence alone fails to reproduce the light curves of DNe.
Aims. Our aim is to study the impact of wind-driven accretion on the light curves of DNe. Local and global simulations show that magneto-hydrodynamic winds are present when a magnetic field threads the disk, even for relatively high ratios of thermal pressure to magnetic pressure (β ≈ 105). These winds are very efficient in removing angular momentum but do not heat the disk, thus they do not behave as MRI-driven turbulence.
Methods. We add the effect of wind-driven magnetic braking in the angular momentum equation of the DIM but neglect the mass loss due to the wind. We assume a fixed magnetic configuration: dipolar or constant with radius. We use prescriptions for the wind torque and the turbulent torque derived from shearing box simulations.
Results. The wind torque enhances the accretion of matter, resulting in light curves that look like DNe outbursts when assuming a dipolar field with a moment μ ≈ 1030 G cm3. In the region where the wind torque dominates the disk is cold and optically thin, and the accretion speed is super-sonic. The inner disk behaves as if truncated, leading to higher quiescent X-ray luminosities from the white dwarf boundary layer than expected with the standard DIM. The disk is stabilized if the wind-dominated region is large enough, potentially leading to “dark” disks that emitting little radiation.
Conclusion. Wind-driven accretion can play a key role in shaping the light curves of DNe and X-ray binaries. Future studies will need to include the time evolution of the magnetic field threading the disk to fully assess its impact on the dynamics of the accretion flow.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / stars: dwarf novae / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / ISM: jets and outflows / binaries : close
The movie associated to Fig. 5 is available at https://www.aanda.org
© N. Scepi et al. 2019
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