Astrophysical Journal Letters
American Astronomical Society
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Type I outbursts in Be/X-ray binaries are usually associated with the eccentricity of the binary orbit. The neutron star accretes gas from the outer parts of the decretion disk around the Be star at each periastron passage. However, this mechanism cannot explain type I outbursts that have been observed in nearly circular orbit Be/X-ray binaries. With hydrodynamical simulations and analytic estimates we find that in a circular orbit binary, a nearly coplanar disk around the Be star can become eccentric. The extreme mass ratio of the binary leads to the presence of the 3:1 Lindblad resonance inside the Be star disk and this drives eccentricity growth. Therefore the neutron star can capture material each time it approaches the disk apastron, on a timescale up to a few percent longer than the orbital period. We have found a new application of this mechanism that is able to explain the observed type I outbursts in low-eccentricity Be/X-ray binaries.
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy
Martin, R. G.
Type I Outbursts in Low-eccentricity Be/X-Ray Binaries.
Astrophysical Journal Letters, 881
American Astronomical Society.