Journal Article

Population synthesis for symbiotic X-ray binaries

G.-L. Lü, C.-H. Zhu, K. A. Postnov, L. R. Yungelson, A. G. Kuranov and N. Wang

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 424, issue 3, pages 2265-2275
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21395.x
Population synthesis for symbiotic X-ray binaries

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Abstract

Symbiotic X-ray binaries (SyXBs) comprise a rare class of low-mass X-ray binaries. We study the Galactic SyXBs, which we consider as detached binaries composed of low-mass giants and wind-fed neutron star (NS) companions, by simulation of the interaction of a magnetized NS with its environment and utilizing a population synthesis code. We focus mainly on the parameters that influence the observational appearance of an SyXB: the donor wind velocity (vw) and the angular momentum distribution in the shell of matter settling on to an NS. We estimate the birthrate of SyXBs as ∼4.1 × 10−5 to ∼6.6 × 10−6 yr−1 and their number in the Galaxy as ∼100–1000. The assumed stellar wind velocity from cool giants is the input parameter that influences the model SyXB population most.

Among known SyXBs or candidate systems, 4U 1954+31 and IGR J16358−4724 in which the NSs have very long spin periods may host quasi-spherically accreting NSs. GX 1+4 has a peculiar long-term spin behaviour and it may also be a quasi-spherical wind-accreting source. We cannot identify whether there are wind-fed accretion discs in 4U 1700+24, Sct X-1, IRXS J180431.1−273932 and 2XMM J174016.0−290337.

Keywords: binaries: symbiotic; stars: neutron; X-rays: stars

Journal Article.  8241 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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