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IAU Symposium 346: High-mass X-ray binaries: illuminating the passage from massive binaries to merging compact objects

27th August 2018 - 31st August 2018
Vienna, Austria


Recent observational and theoretical advances led to an extremely rapid progress in the research on high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs). Consisting of a young massive donor star and an accreting degenerate object (a neutron star or a black hole), these objects provide unique astrophysical laboratories for studies of stellar evolution, donor star winds and disks, and compact objects they feed. HMXBs are among our cosmic neighbors and hence allow deep and detailed insights into the physics of stellar winds, accretion and matter under extreme conditions. HMXBs are also present in the farther realms, and are important sources of stellar feedback across cosmic times. As the key transitional stage between young massive stars and degenerate binaries, HMXBs are put in the focus of current astrophysical research by the revolutionary detection of gravitational waves from merging stellar-mass black holes. The Symposium will bring together a broad range of scientists with the aim to share their insights and further advance our understanding of HMXBs. New powerful synergetic approaches in studies of HMXBs will be developed and put in a broad astrophysical context during the XXX IAU General Assembly. The IAUS346 will build a bridge between mature field of massive binary astrophysics and nascent field of gravitational wave astronomy. This international meeting will consolidate our knowledge on massive stars, binary evolution, accretion physics, compact objects and gravitational wave sources to give us a new perspective on the cosmos illuminated by HMXBs.

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