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Numerical simulations of wind accretion in symbiotic binaries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Harvard University, USA.
2009 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 700, no 2, 1148-1160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

About half of the binary systems are close enough to each other for mass to be exchanged between them at some point in their evolution, yet the accretion mechanism in wind accreting binaries is not well understood. We study the dynamical effects of gravitational focusing by a binary companion on winds from late-type stars. In particular, we investigate the mass transfer and formation of accretion disks around the secondary in detached systems consisting of an asymptotic giant branch (AGB) mass-losing star and an accreting companion. The presence of mass outflows is studied as a function of mass-loss rate, wind temperature, and binary orbital parameters. A two-dimensional hydrodynamical model is used to study the stability of mass transfer in wind accreting symbiotic binary systems. In our simulations we use an adiabatic equation of state and a modified version of the isothermal approximation, where the temperature depends on the distance from the mass losing star and its companion. The code uses a block-structured adaptive mesh refinement method that allows us to have high resolution at the position of the secondary and resolve the formation of bow shocks and accretion disks. We explore the accretion flow between the components and formation of accretion disks for a range of orbital separations and wind parameters. Our results show the formation of stream flow between the stars and accretion disks of various sizes for certain orbital configurations. For a typical slow and massive wind from an AGB star the flow pattern is similar to a Roche lobe overflow with accretion rates of 10% of the mass loss from the primary. Stable disks with exponentially decreasing density profiles and masses of the order 10(-4) solar masses are formed when wind acceleration occurs at several stellar radii. The disks are geometrically thin with eccentric streamlines and close to Keplerian velocity profiles. The formation of tidal streams and accretion disks is found to be weakly dependent on the mass loss from the AGB star. Our simulations of gravitationally focused wind accretion in symbiotic binaries show the formation of stream flows and enhanced accretion rates onto the compact component. We conclude that mass transfer through a focused wind is an important mechanism in wind accreting interacting binaries and can have a significant impact on the evolution of the binary itself and the individual components.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 700, no 2, 1148-1160 p.
Keyword [en]
accretion, accretion disks, binaries: symbiotic, hydrodynamics, methods: numerical, stars: mass loss, stars: winds, outflows
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59955DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/700/2/1148ISI: 000268098100026OAI: diva2:432634

authorCount :3

Available from: 2011-08-04 Created: 2011-08-02 Last updated: 2015-07-29Bibliographically approved

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