Binary Stars and Accretion Disks
The 'living' catalogue by Ritter and Kolb lists coordinates, apparent magnitudes, orbital parameters, stellar parameters of the components and other characteristic properties of cataclysmic binaries, low-mass X-ray binaries and related objects with known or suspected orbital periods, together with a comprehensive selection of the relevant recent literature. In addition, the catalogue contains a list of references to published finding charts for a subset of the objects, and a cross-reference list of alias object designations. The current edition has entries for 1166 CVs, 105 LMXBs, and 500 related objects.
The observations of binary stars, especially of low-mass X-ray binaries document different accretion regimes where soft and hard radiation is present in very different amounts, indicating main contributions from an optically thick accretion disk or from a hot optically thin corona. The understanding of how the different spectral states are caused is one of the research areas at the MPA.
Ulrich Kolb, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Bifang Liu, National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, Beijing
Vadim Burwitz, MPE, Garching