Wind-driven evolution of supersoft X-ray binaries with low-mass secondaries
Received 13 January 1998 / Accepted 6 August 1998
We show that all supersoft X-ray binaries should excite strong winds ( yr-1) from the irradiated companion star. Scattering and absorption in this wind is likely to have a significant effect on the orbital X-ray light curve. In systems with a low-mass companion (), such as the 4 hr supersoft X-ray binary 1E 0035.4-7230, the angular momentum loss in the wind may dominate the binary evolution and drive Roche lobe overflow at a rate comparable to the wind-loss rate. This may self-consistently sustain stable recurrent or steady-state hydrogen burning on the accreting white dwarf and keep the binary as a supersoft X-ray binary. These low-mass wind-driven supersoft X-ray binaries evolve towards longer periods, and can cross the period region populated by supersoft X-ray binaries driven by thermal-timescale mass transfer from a companion star more massive than the white dwarf. Starting from a massive white dwarf, low-mass wind-driven supersoft X-ray binaries may drive the white dwarf over the Chandrasekhar limit and produce a type Ia supernova.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks stars: individual: 1E 0035.4-7230 stars: mass-loss novae, cataclysmic variables supernovae: general X-rays: stars
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998
Online publication: September 17, 1998