621 research outputs found

    Hydrodynamic simulations of irradiated secondaries in dwarf novae

    Full text link
    We investigate numerically the surface flow on the secondary star during outbursts. We use a simple model for the irradiation and the geometry of the secondary star: the irradiation temperature is treated as a free parameter and the secondary is replaced by a spherical star with a space-dependent Coriolis force that mimics the effect of the Roche geometry. The Euler equations are solved in spherical coordinates with the TVD-MacCormack scheme. We show that the Coriolis force leads to the formation of a circulation flow from high latitude region to the close vicinity of the L1L_1 point. However no heat can be efficiently transported to the L1L_1 region due to the rapid radiative cooling of the hot material as it enters the equatorial belt shadowed from irradiation. Under the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, the Coriolis force could lead to a moderate increase of the mass transfer rate by pushing the gas in the vertical direction at the L1L_1 point, but only during the initial phases of the outburst (about 15 -- 20 orbital periods). We conclude that the Coriolis force does not prevent a flow from the heated regions of the secondary towards the L1L_1 region, at least during the initial phase of an outburst, but the resulting increase of the mass transfer rate is moderate, and it is unlikely to be able to account for the duration of long outbursts.Comment: 11 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Illumination in binaries

    Get PDF
    We give a simple, but accurate method that can be used to account for illumination in compact binary systems which have a low-mass companion, even if spherically symmetric illumination of the secondary star (not necessarily on the main sequence) is not assumed. This is done by introducing a multiplicative factor Phi in the Stefan-Boltzmann surface boundary condition, which accounts for the blocking of the intrinsic secondary flux by X-ray heating of the photospheric layers. Numerical fits and tables for Phi are given for unperturbed effective temperatures in the range 2500 - 5600 K and log g in the range 1.0 - 5.0Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Serie

    The disappearance and reformation of the accretion disc during a low state of FO Aquarii

    Full text link
    FO Aquarii, an asynchronous magnetic cataclysmic variable (intermediate polar) went into a low-state in 2016, from which it slowly and steadily recovered without showing dwarf nova outbursts. This requires explanation since in a low-state, the mass-transfer rate is in principle too low for the disc to be fully ionized and the disc should be subject to the standard thermal and viscous instability observed in dwarf novae. We investigate the conditions under which an accretion disc in an intermediate polar could exhibit a luminosity drop of 2 magnitudes in the optical band without showing outbursts. We use our numerical code for the time evolution of accretion discs, including other light sources from the system (primary, secondary, hot spot). We show that although it is marginally possible for the accretion disc in the low-state to stay on the hot stable branch, the required mass-transfer rate in the normal state would then have to be extremely high, of the order of 1019^{19} gs‚ąí1^{-1} or even larger. This would make the system so intrinsically bright that its distance should be much larger than allowed by all estimates. We show that observations of FO Aqr are well accounted for by the same mechanism that we have suggested as explaining the absence of outbursts during low states of VY Scl stars: during the decay, the magnetospheric radius exceeds the circularization radius, so that the disc disappears before it enters the instability strip for dwarf nova outbursts. Our results are unaffected, and even reinforced, if accretion proceeds both via the accretion disc and directly via the stream during some intermediate stages; the detailed process through which the disc disappears still needs investigations.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in A&

    Outbursts in ultracompact X-ray binaries

    Full text link
    Very faint X-ray binaries appear to be transient in many cases with peak luminosities much fainter than that of usual soft X-ray transients, but their nature still remains elusive. We investigate the possibility that this transient behaviour is due to the same thermal/viscous instability which is responsible for outbursts of bright soft X-ray transients, occurring in ultracompact binaries for adequately low mass-transfer rates. More generally, we investigate the observational consequences of this instability when it occurs in ultracompact binaries. We use our code for modelling the thermal-viscous instability of the accretion disc, assumed here to be hydrogen poor. We also take into account the effects of disc X-ray irradiation, and consider the impact of the mass-transfer rate on the outburst brightness. We find that one can reproduce the observed properties of both the very faint and the brighter short transients (peak luminosity, duration, recurrence times), provided that the viscosity parameter in quiescence is slightly smaller (typically a factor of between two and four) than in bright soft X-ray transients and normal dwarf nova outbursts, the viscosity in outburst being unchanged. This possibly reflects the impact of chemical composition on non-ideal MHD effects affecting magnetically driven turbulence in poorly ionized discs.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figures, Astronomy and Astrophysics, in pres

    Dwarf nova outbursts in intermediate polars

    Full text link
    The disc instability model (DIM) has been very successful in explaining the dwarf nova outbursts observed in cataclysmic variables. When, as in intermediate polars (IP), the accreting white dwarf is magnetized, the disc is truncated at the magnetospheric radius, but for mass-transfer rates corresponding to the thermal-viscous instability such systems should still exhibit dwarf-nova outbursts. Yet, the majority of intermediate polars in which the magnetic field is not large enough to completely disrupt the accretion disc, seem to be stable, and the rare observed outbursts, in particular in systems with long orbital periods, are much shorter than normal dwarf-nova outbursts. We investigate the predictions of the disc instability model for intermediate polars in order to determine which of the observed properties of these systems can be explained by the DIM. We use our numerical code for the time evolution of accretion discs, modified to include the effects of the magnetic field, with constant or variable mass transfer from the secondary star. We show that intermediate polars have mass transfer low enough and magnetic fields large enough to keep the accretion disc stable on the cold equilibrium branch. We show that the infrequent and short outbursts observed in long period systems, such as e.g., TV Col, cannot be attributed to the thermal-viscous instability of the accretion disc, but instead have to be triggered by an enhanced mass-transfer from the secondary, or, more likely, by some instability coupling the white dwarf magnetic field with that generated by the magnetorotational instability operating in the accretion disc. Longer outbursts (a few days) could result from the disc instability.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figures; submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysic

    Structure and properties of transition fronts in accretion discs

    Get PDF
    We use high-resolution time-dependent numerical simulations of accretion discs around white dwarfs to study the structure and properties of transition fronts in the context of the thermal-viscous disc instability model. The thermal structure of cooling and heating fronts is dominated by radiative cooling and viscous heating, respectively, except in a very narrow precursor region in heating fronts where advection and radial transport of energy dominate. Cooling fronts are much broader than heating fronts, but the widths of both types of fronts scale with the local vertical scale height of the disc. We confirm that during a fair fraction of the propagation time of a cooling front, the structure of the inner disc is close to self-similar. The speed of heating fronts is ~ a few km/s, while the speed of cooling fronts is ~ a fraction of a km/s. We show that direct measurements of the speed of transition fronts probably cannot discriminate between various prescriptions proposed for the viscosity parameter alpha. A natural prediction of the disc instability model is that fronts decelerate as they propagate in the disc, independent of the prescription for alpha. Observation of this effect would confirm that dwarf nova outbursts are driven by the thermal-viscous instability. Most of our results also apply to low mass X-ray binaries in which the accreting object is a neutron star or a black hole.Comment: LateX, 12 pages, 10 figures, uses mn.sty; Submitted to MNRA

    Anomalous Z Cam stars: a response to mass-transfer outbursts

    Full text link
    Recent observations of two unusual Z Cam systems, V513 Cas and IW And have shown light curves that seem to contradict the disc-instability model for dwarf novae: outbursts are appearing during standstills of the system when according to the model, the disc is supposed to be in a hot quasi-equilibrium state. We investigate what additional physical processes need to be included in the model to reconcile it with observations of such anomalous Z Cam systems. We used our code for modeling thermal-viscous outbursts of the accretion discs and determined what types of mass-transfer variations reproduce the observed light curves. Outbursts of mass transfer (with a duration of a few days, with a short rise time and an exponential decay) from the stellar companion will account for the observed properties of V513 Cas and IW And, provided they are followed by a short but significant mass-transfer dip. The total mass involved in outbursts is of the order of 1023^{23}g. We studied the possible origins of these mass transfer outbursts and showed that they most probably result from a giant flare near the secondary star surface, possibly due to the absence of star spots in the L1L_1 region.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures. Misprints corrected, in particular "inside-out" should have read "outside-in

    Condiciones de ambiente controlado

    Get PDF
    • ‚Ķ
    corecore