Illustration of the self-accretion process. At time t = t0, the donor star moves along its orbital path (solid black curve), with an orbital velocity v0 (cyan arrow). At t′, a particle of mass is ejected from the inner-Lagrangian point located at rℒ1 with respect to the donor’s mass centre. The ejection shifts the centre of mass by δr1, and the donor follows a new orbit (long dashed curve) with velocity v′. At t′′ just before the particle is re-accreted (at ), the orbital velocity is v′′. Subsequently, self-accretion shifts the donor’s mass centre by δrself, and it follows the orbit indicated by the dot-dashed curve, with a velocity v′′′. The dashed circles represent the locations of the donor if no mass ejection had taken place, while the dotted circle indicates the donor’s location had no self-accretion occurred.
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