Astronomy Letters

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 7–14 | Cite as

The luminosity function of low-mass X-ray binaries in galaxies

  • K. A. Postnov
  • A. G. Kuranov


The X-ray luminosity function of low-mass binaries constructed from the observations of point like X-ray sources in galactic bulges can be explained in terms of the main evolutionary relations for the rate of mass transfer onto a compact object. The observed scatter of luminosities for individual low-mass X-ray sources in our Galaxy is shown to be satisfactorily described by a symmetric quasi-Lorentz curve with a dispersion proportional to the mean luminosity. Such a form of the mean luminosity function for individual sources does not affect the power-law pattern of the luminosity function for the entire population of sources that is expected for a power-law dependence of the mass transfer rate in a close binary on the mass of the Roche lobe—filling optical component.

Key words

low-mass X-ray binaries mass transfer luminosity functions 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Postnov
    • 1
  • A. G. Kuranov
    • 1
  1. 1.Sternberg Astronomical InstituteMoscowRussia

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