Wind dynamics in SMC X-1. 1: Hydrodynamic simulations

Blondin, John M.; Woo, Jonathan W.

Published in: ApJ, 445, 889


We present a three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation of the disrupted stellar wind in the high-mass X-ray binary system SMC X-1. The three dominant processes that determine the geometry of the wind in high X-ray luminosity systems such as SMC X-1 are the X-ray suppression of the stellar wind from the X-ray irradiated face of the primary star, the focusing of the radiatively driven wind in the X-ray shadow by the effects of stellar rotation, and the rapid X-ray heating of gas in the vicinity of the X-ray source, including the X-ray illuminated surface of the primary star. The resulting distribution of circumstellar gas provides a successful explanation for the asymmetric, extended eclipse transitions and the intensity of the deep eclipse X-ray emission in SMC X-1, as well as a possible explanation for the X-ray dips seen near superior conjunction of the X-ray source in Cyg X-1.