Formation of low-mass X-ray binaries. III. A new formation mechanism: Direct supernova

Vassiliki Kalogera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We propose a new formation mechanism (direct-supernova) for low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) that does not involve any prior phase of mass transfer. Survival through the supernova (SN) explosion and shrinkage of the orbit is achieved by a kick velocity of appropriate magnitude and direction imparted to the neutron star at its birth. We present analytical population synthesis calculations of LMXBs forming via both the direct-SN and the helium star SN mechanisms and compare the results. We find that the direct-SN channel contributes a nonnegligible fraction of the total LMXB population, depending strong-ly on the rms magnitude of the kick velocity. More importantly, the direct-SN mechanism provides a natural way for the formation of low-mass binary pulsars in nearly circular orbits with orbital periods in excess of ~ 100d, which cannot have been formed via the helium star SN mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-374
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998


  • Binaries: close
  • Pulsars: general
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: neutron
  • Supernovae: general
  • X-rays: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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