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2007 | 5 | 1 | 1-10

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Pre-low-mass X-ray binaries containing a black hole: investigating a detection mechanism



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This work investigates the feasibility of detecting close, detached, black hole-red dwarf binaries, which are expected to be evolutionary precursors of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Although this pre-low-mass X-ray binary (pre-LMXB) phase of evolution is predicted theoretically, as yet no such systems have been identified observationally. The calculations presented here suggest that the X-ray luminosity of black hole wind accretion in a pre-LMXB system could exceed the intrinsic X-ray luminosity of the red dwarf secondary star, thereby providing a detection mechanism. However, there is significant uncertainty regarding the efficiency of the conversion of gravitational potential energy to X-ray luminosity resulting from accretion onto a black hole, for example energy may be lost via advection across the event horizon. Still, sources with X-ray luminosities greater than that expected for a red dwarf star, but whose positions coincide with that of a red dwarf would represent candidate pre-LMXB systems. These candidates should be surveyed for the radial velocity shifts that would occur as a result of the orbital motion of a red dwarf star within a close binary system containing a black hole.



  • Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan


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