In this paper, we investigate the relationship between the maximal luminosity of X-ray outburst and the orbital period in transient low mass X-ray binaries (or soft X-ray transients) observed by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) in the past decade. We find that the maximal luminosity (3-200 keV) in Eddington units generally increases with increasing orbital period, which does not show a luminosity saturation but in general agrees with theoretical prediction. The peak luminosities in ultra-compact binaries might be higher than those with an orbital period of 2-4 hr, but more data are needed to make this claim. We also find that there is no significant difference in the 3-200 keV peak outburst luminosity between neutron star (NS) systems and black hole (BH) systems with orbital periods above 4 hr; however, there might be a significant difference at smaller orbital periods where only NS systems are observed and radiatively inefficient accretion flow is expected to work at low luminosities for BH accreters.
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2010|
- Accretion, accretion disks
- Binaries: close
- X-rays: binaries