Can neutron stars ablate their companions? Academic Article uri icon


  • Ablation of stars by energetic photons from a compact companion is considered for general parameters. It is concluded that pulsars with conventional parameters cannot ablate their companions with gamma rays at orbital separation of 3 x 10 to the 10th cm or more. It is estimated that in the absence of heat conductivity, line cooling is important when the incident radiation flux is less than 10 to the 15th ergs/s cu cm. It is proposed that millisecond pulsars may be able to ablate their companions more readily than in previous scenarios if even a small fraction of the kilohertz radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere/wind of the companion and the heat conducted to the surface.

publication date

  • January 1, 1991