Accretion shocks in a close binary system

Keisuke Sawada, Takuya Matsuda, Izumi Hachisu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical simulations of gas flow in a semi-detached close binary system with mass-ratio unity are performed by solving the two-dimensional Euler equation. A star filling its own critical Roche lobe loses mass, while the other compact star accretes it. Two types of flow, i.e. a Roche lobe overflow and a stellar wind, are found to exist. The parameter deciding which type of flow is realized is the sound speed of gas at the surface of the mass-losing star. If the sound speed of the gas is less than A Ω, where A is the separation of the two stars and Ω is the rotational angular frequency of the system, Roche lobe overflow is realized and an accretion disc around the compact star is formed. Two spiral-shaped shock waves are formed on the accretion disc. If the sound speed is larger than A Ω, a stellar wind type of flow is formed. A conical shock originating at the compact star is observed. The transition of these two types of flow is investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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