The evolutionary status of SS 433

Andrew R. King*, Ronald E. Taam, Mitchell C. Begelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We consider possible evolutionary models for SS 433. We assume that common envelope evolution is avoided if radiation pressure is able to expel most of a super-Eddington accretion flow from a region smaller than the accretor's Roche lobe. This condition is satisfied, at least initially, for largely radiative donors with masses in the range 4-12 M. For donors more massive than about 5 M, moderate mass ratios q = M2/M1 ≳ 1 are indicated, thus tending to favor black hole accretors. For lower mass donors, evolutionary considerations do not distinguish between a neutron star or black hole accretor. In all cases the mass transfer (and mass-loss) rates Mlr ∼ 7 × 10-6 to 4 × 10-4 M yr-1 are much larger than the likely mass-loss rate Mjet ∼ 10-6 M yr-1 in the processing jets. Almost all of the transferred mass is expelled at radii considerably larger than the jet acceleration region, producing the "stationary" Hα line and the infrared luminosity and accounting for the low X-ray luminosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L25-L28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2000


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Binaries: Close
  • Stars: Individual (SS 433)
  • X-rays: Stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolutionary status of SS 433'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this