SIMBAD references

2021MNRAS.501..548K - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 501, 548-563 (2021/February-2)

The chemical composition of the accretion disc and donor star in ultra-compact X-ray binaries: A comprehensive X-ray analysis.


Abstract (from CDS):

We have analysed the X-ray spectra of all known Ultra-Compact X-ray Binaries (UCXBs), with the purpose of constraining the chemical composition of their accretion disc and donor star. Our investigation was focused on the presence (or absence) of the Fe Kα emission line, which was used as the probe of chemical composition of the disc, based on previously established theoretical predictions for the reflection of X-ray radiation off the surface of C/O-rich or He-rich accretion discs in UCXBs. We have contrasted the results of our spectral analysis to the history of type I X-ray bursts from these systems, which can also indicate donor star composition. We found that UCXBs with prominent and persistent iron Kα emission also featured repeat bursting activity. On the other hand, the UCXBs for which no iron line was detected, appear to have few or no type I X-ray bursts detected over more than a decade of monitoring. Based on Monte Carlo simulations, demonstrating a strong correlation between the Fe Kα line strength and the abundance of C and O in the accretion disc material and given the expected correlation between the H/He abundance and the recurrence rate of type I X-ray bursts, we propose that there is a considerable likelihood that UCXBs with persistent iron emission have He-rich donors, while those that do not, likely have C/O or O/Ne/Mg-rich donors. Our result strongly advocate for the development of more sophisticated simulations of X-ray reflection from hydrogen-poor accretion discs.

Abstract Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): accretion, accretion discs - line: formation - line: profiles - X-rays: binaries

Simbad objects: 18

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