X-ray Binary Black Hole Models

Models of X-ray binaries differ according to the mass and evolutionary state of the companion star. In either case, the X-rays arise from the accelerated, hot material in the accretion disk around the black hole.

  • High mass stars, even when they are on the main sequence, continuously lose small amounts of mass in a stellar wind, similar to the solar wind. The wind particles may be accreted onto the black hole.

  • Alternatively, a post-main sequence star, even of relatively low mass, will expand as it rises on the giant branch of the HR diagram to a size where it fills its Roche lobe, spilling over onto the black hole.

  • [back to the topics page] [back to astro 2201 home page] [back to Astro 2201 FAQ page] [back to Astro 233 FAQ page]