Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Matter supply mechanisms in X-ray binaries

  • 30 Accesses


The six best known X-ray binaries are investigated according to the two different assumptions on the mechanism of matter supply. From the model of a semi-detached system with a point-like component, rather good estimates for the masses of the stars and the radius of the optical component can be deduced. The stellar wind model appears to be generally insufficient for driving the X-luminosity. Therefore, according to the mass-ratios, the stars may be at the beginning of mass-exchange. Only 3U 1700-37 shows inconsistent observational data.

In the frame of the Roche model, the values of the contact phase angles, in the case of one star filling its lobe and a point-like companion, are given in tabular form in the Appendix, as a function of the mass-ratio and the orbital inclination angle. The limiting minimum inclination angle to have an eclipse is also given.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Allen, C. W.: 1973,Astrophysical Quantities, 3rd Ed., Athlone Press, London Univ.

  2. Avni, Y. and Bahcall, J. N.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 195, L27.

  3. Avni, Y. and Bahcall, J. N.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 197, 675.

  4. Baym, G., Pethick, C. J., and Sutherland, P.: 1971,Astrophys. J. 170, 299.

  5. Cassinelli, J. P. and Castor, J. I.: 1973,Astrophys. J. 179, 189.

  6. Castor, J. I., Abbott, D. C., and Klein, R. I.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 195, 157.

  7. Davidson, K. and Ostriker J. P.: 1973,Astrophys. J. 179, 585.

  8. Gursky, H. and Schreier, E.: 1975,I.A.U. Symposium No. 67, Moscow 1974, Reidel Pub. Co., p. 413.

  9. Hunt, R.: 1971,Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 154, 141.

  10. Kopal, Z.: 1959,Close Binary Systems, Chapman & Hall, London.

  11. Lucy, L. B. and Solomon, P. M.: 1970,Astrophys. J. 159, 879.

  12. Mauder, H.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 195, L27.

  13. Moulton, F. R.: 1923,An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics, Chapt. 8, Macmillan, New York.

  14. Osmer, P. S. and Hiltner, W. A.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 188, L5.

  15. Paczyński, B.: 1971,Ann. Review Astron. Astrophys. 9, 183.

  16. Plavec, M. and Kratochvíl, P.: 1964,Bull. Astron. Czechosl. 15, 165.

  17. Pounds, K. A., Cooke, B. A., Ricketts, M. J., Turner, M. J., and Elvis, M.: 1975,Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 172, 473.

  18. Prendergast, K. H. and Taam, R. E.: 1974,Astrophys. J. 189, 125.

  19. Ruffini, R.: 1973, in C. DeWitt and B. S. DeWitt (eds.),Black Holes, Gordon & Breach Sci. Pub., pp. 494, R11.

  20. Ruffini, R.: 1974, inAstrophysics and Gravitation Proc. 16th Solvay Conf., Ed. Univ. Bruxelles, p. 383.

  21. Russell, H. N. and Merrill, J. E.: 1952,Princeton Univ. Obs. Contr. No. 26.

  22. Tuohy, I. R. and Rapley, C. G.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 198, L69.

  23. van den Heuvel, E. P. J.: 1975,Summer Course on UV Astronomy ‘E. Majorana’. X-ray Binaries.

  24. van den Heuvel, E. P. J. and De Loore, C.: 1973,Astron. Astrophys. 25, 387.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

This work has been partly supported by a contract of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cester, B., Mezzetti, M. Matter supply mechanisms in X-ray binaries. Astrophys Space Sci 45, 337–352 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00642669

Download citation


  • Observational Data
  • Phase Angle
  • Inclination Angle
  • Optical Component
  • Stellar Wind