From astrobites: “How, what and when of neutron star-white dwarf mergers”

Astrobites bloc

astrobites

Apr 26, 2018
Sanjana Curtis

Title: The demographics of neutron star – white dwarf mergers: rates, delay-time distributions and progenitors
Authors: S. Toonen, H.B. Perets, A.P. Igoshev, E. Michaely, Y. Zenati
First Author’s Institutions: Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Physics, Technion, Israel; Departments of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, USA
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Status: Submitted to A&A [open access on arXiv]

Gather around, because it’s time to talk about compact binary mergers again – but not the usual ones! Today’s paper focuses on neutron star – white dwarf mergers. White dwarfs (WDs), neutron stars (NSs) and black holes (BHs) are all endpoints of stellar evolution. While binary systems involving various combinations of NSs and BHs have been the focus of a lot of work, as have those involving two WDs, the binaries we will discuss here have not received the same amount of attention. This paper presents the first systematic study of the demographics of NS-WD mergers and makes a number of predictions – including their rates and properties.

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Fig 1. Artist’s concept of binary system 4U 0614+091. The larger star (upper left) is a white dwarf while the smaller one (lower right, at the centre of the disk) is a neutron star. The illustration shows jets of material shooting out of the neutron star, the mechanism behind which is not well-understood. JPL-Caltech.

See the full article here .

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