A Model of AC211
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A model of AC211

Suggested model

AC 211 is considered to be an eclipsing, or near-eclipsing binary with an inclination >80°. The accretion disc has considerable vertical structure, probably in the form of a rim aropund the outer edge. The height of this wall varies with position around the disc, being highest at the point where the accretion stream strikes the disc edge. The thickness of the disc and the high inclination of AC211 effectively obscured the compact object from us. The X-rays we detect are therefore from an 'accretion disc corona' which surrounds the compact object, but which is sufficiently large to be visible from Earth despite the disc structure. The relative sizes of the disc structure, accretion disc and accretion disc corona are uncertain, but the figure illustrates how the blueshifted (left-hand) side of the corona is obscured more than the red.  [ TIFF ]

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Last modified: 13 December 2010