Driving Mass Out of a Close Binary

Nicki Mennekens, Walter Van Rensbergen, Jean De Greve, Kim Jansen, Camiel De Loore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


It has been reported that the observed distribution of Algol binaries contains more systems with large mass-ratios than can be produced by conservative evolution. We developed a code of liberal evolution in which during a short, violent phase of Roche Lobe Overflow (RLOF), the gainer can be incapable of accreting all matter transferred by the donor. Enhanced rotational velocity caused by spin-up of the gainer combined with accretion luminosity, resulting from the concentration of RLOF-material in an equatorial hot spot, drives matter from the system. The development of a non-conservative phase depends on the initial parameters of the system. Low mass binaries never achieve high enough mass transfer rates, and hence do not lose mass. In intermediate mass binaries matter will be blown away by the gainer during the short era of rapid RLOF, before or at the start of the Algol phase. We have calculated the evolution of binaries over a wide range of initial primary masses, orbital periods and mass ratios (VizieR J/A+A/487/1129). We present the results for the cases where RLOF starts during hydrogen core burning of the donor and find systems with non-conservatism during which approximately 50% of the transferred mass is blown into the interstellar medium. Finally, we present the comparison of the observed mass-ratio distribution of Algols with the new theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASP Conference Series
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)978-1-58381-750-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameBinaries - Key to Comprehension of the Universe


ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet


  • binary stars


Dive into the research topics of 'Driving Mass Out of a Close Binary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this