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Fig. 1.

image

Slices in the orbital plane with the stellar center as the origin and the orbital separation as the length scale. The solid black line shows the contour of the Roche potential at the first Lagrangian point L1. The color map shows ρ/ρiso, the local relative density enhancement with respect to a mass density ρiso evolving with the reverse of the distance to the stellar center and scaled such that it has the same median value as the density ρ we measure. The upper panel is representative of the shape of the flow in Vela X-1 (and possibly P13) while the lower panel is adapted to parameters compatible with M101. The white area stands for the capture region, where material can be accreted, given by the accretion radius in the top panel and the Roche lobe in the bottom panel. The gray area is the wake of the accretor that our simulations do not cover. We note the much larger density enhancement in the bottom panel where the flow is also much more structured compared to that in the top one.

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