On the detection of pre-low-mass X-ray binaries

Willems, B. and Kolb, U. (2003). On the detection of pre-low-mass X-ray binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 343(3) pp. 949–958.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06750.x


We explore the population of candidate pre-low-mass X-ray binaries in which a neutron star accretes mass from the wind of a low-mass companion (mass 2 M) in the framework of a binary population synthesis study. The simulated accretion–luminosity distribution shows a primary peak close to 1031 erg s-1 and a secondary peak near 1028 erg s-1. The relative contribution of the two peaks depends primarily on the magnitude of the kick velocity imparted to the neutron star at birth. The secondary peak is negligible for average kick velocities larger than 200 km s-1, but becomes dominant for average kick velocities smaller than 50 km s-1. Regardless of the relative contributions of the two peaks, our calculations suggest that pre-low-mass X-ray binaries may provide a non-negligible contribution to the population of discrete low-luminosity X-ray sources in the Galaxy.

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