Accreting white dwarfs as supersoft X-ray sources

M. Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


I review various phenomena associated with mass-accreting white dwarfs (WDs) in the view of supersoft X-ray sources. When the mass-accretion rate is low (Macc < afew×10-7 MȮyr-1), hydrogen nuclear burning is unstable and nova outbursts occur. A nova is a transient supersoft X-ray source (SSS) in its later phase which timescale depends strongly on the WD mass. The X-ray turn on/off time is a good indicator of the WD mass. At an intermediate mass-accretion rate an accreting WD becomes a persistent SSS with steady hydrogen burning. For a higher mass-accretion rate, the WD undergoes "accretion wind evolution" in which the WD accretes matter from the equatorial plane and loses mass by optically thick winds from the other directions. Two SSS, namely RXJ0513-6951 and V Sge, are corresponding objects to this accretion wind evolution. We can specify mass increasing WDs from light-curve analysis based on the optically thick wind theory using multiwavelength observational data including optical, IR, and supersoft X-rays. Mass estimates of individual objects give important information for the binary evolution scenario of type Ia supernovae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomische Nachrichten
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb


  • Binaries: Close
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: Winds, outflows
  • White dwarfs
  • X-rays: Binaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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