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An electrically powered binary star?

Wu, KW; Cropper, M; Ramsay, G; Sekiguchi, K; (2002) An electrically powered binary star? MON NOT R ASTRON SOC , 331 (1) 221 - 227. Green open access

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Abstract

We propose a model for stellar binary systems consisting of a magnetic and a non-magnetic white dwarf pair which is powered principally by electrical energy. In our model the luminosity is caused by resistive heating of the stellar atmospheres arising from induced currents driven within the binary. This process is reminiscent of the Jupiter-Io system, but greatly increased in power because of the larger companion and stronger magnetic field of the primary. Electrical power is an alternative stellar luminosity source, following on from nuclear fusion and accretion. We find that this source of heating is sufficient to account for the observed X-ray luminosity of the 9.5-min binary RX J1914+24, and provides an explanation for its puzzling characteristics.

Type: Article
Title: An electrically powered binary star?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: binaries : close, stars : individual : RX J1914+24, stars : magnetic fields, X-rays : stars, DOUBLE-DEGENERATE POLAR, IO
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10200
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