Ref: SCART-2021-0153

Detailed models of interacting short-period massive binary stars

Sen, K. ; Langer, N. ; Marchant, P. ; Menon, A. ; de Mink, S. E. ; Schootemeijer, A. ; Schürmann, C. ; Mahy, L. ; Hastings, B. ; Nathaniel, K. ; Sana, H. ; Wang, C. ; Xu, X. T.

published in Astronomy & Astrophysics (2021)

Abstract: About a quarter of massive binary stars undergo mass transfer while both stars burn hydrogen at their cores, first on the thermal and then on the nuclear timescale. The nuclear timescale mass transfer leads to observable counterparts: the semi-detached so-called massive Algol binaries. However, comprehensive model predictions for these systems are sparse. We study them using a large grid of ~10,000 detailed binary evolution models calculated with the stellar evolution code MESA, covering initial donor masses between 10-40 M$_{\odot}$ and initial orbital periods above 1.4 d, at a metallicity suitable for the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Our models imply ~30, or ~3% of the ~1,000 core hydrogen burning O-star binaries in the LMC to be currently in the semi-detached phase. Our donor models are up to 25-times more luminous than single stars of identical mass and effective temperature, which agrees with the observed Algols. A comparison of our models with the observed orbital periods and mass ratios implies rather conservative mass transfer in some systems, while very inefficient one in others. This is generally well reproduced by our spin-dependent mass transfer algorithm, except for the lowest considered masses. The observations reflect the slow increase of the surface nitrogen enrichment of the donors during the semi-detached phase all the way to CNO equilibrium. We also investigate the properties of our models after core hydrogen depletion of the donor star, when these models correspond to Wolf-Rayet/helium+OB star binaries. A dedicated spectroscopic survey of massive Algol systems may allow to derive the dependence of the efficiency of thermal timescale mass transfer on the binary parameters, as well as the efficiency of semiconvective mixing in the stellar interior. This would be a crucial step towards reliable binary models up to the formation of supernovae and compact objects.

DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202142574

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Astronomy & Astrophysics
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles

 Record created 2021-12-17, last modified 2022-09-23