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Burning in the tail: implications for a burst oscillation model

Burning in the tail: implications for a burst oscillation model
Burning in the tail: implications for a burst oscillation model

Accreting neutron stars (NSs) can exhibit high-frequency modulations, known as burst oscillations, in their light curves during thermonuclear X-ray bursts. Their frequencies can be offset from the spin frequency of the NS (known independently) by several Hz, and can drift by 1-3 Hz. One plausible explanation for this phenomenon is that a wave is present in the bursting ocean that decreases in frequency (in the rotating frame) as the burst cools. The strongest candidate is the buoyant r-mode; however, models for the burning ocean background used in previous studies over-predict frequency drifts by several Hz. Using new background models (which include shallow heating, and burning in the tail of the burst) the evolution of the buoyant r-mode is calculated. The resulting frequency drifts are smaller, in line with observations. This illustrates the importance of accounting for the detailed nuclear physics in these bursts.

stars: neutron, stars: oscillations, X-rays: binaries, X-rays: bursts
0004-637X
1-5
Chambers, Frank R.N.
35d0dfb2-0e31-45a5-93a8-0417937b522d
Watts, Anna L.
8c906b14-9fb9-4f04-9cb3-2aabd6561162
Keek, Laurens
9dcd2383-8c45-4f7c-9d3f-fae8c29385f7
Cavecchi, Yuri
939cba7d-c099-4d5a-a962-1fee916ea176
Garcia, Ferran
a17ebd87-30da-4005-a1da-a68a199dfada
Chambers, Frank R.N.
35d0dfb2-0e31-45a5-93a8-0417937b522d
Watts, Anna L.
8c906b14-9fb9-4f04-9cb3-2aabd6561162
Keek, Laurens
9dcd2383-8c45-4f7c-9d3f-fae8c29385f7
Cavecchi, Yuri
939cba7d-c099-4d5a-a962-1fee916ea176
Garcia, Ferran
a17ebd87-30da-4005-a1da-a68a199dfada

Chambers, Frank R.N., Watts, Anna L., Keek, Laurens, Cavecchi, Yuri and Garcia, Ferran (2019) Burning in the tail: implications for a burst oscillation model. The Astrophysical Journal, 871 (1), 1-5. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaf501).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Accreting neutron stars (NSs) can exhibit high-frequency modulations, known as burst oscillations, in their light curves during thermonuclear X-ray bursts. Their frequencies can be offset from the spin frequency of the NS (known independently) by several Hz, and can drift by 1-3 Hz. One plausible explanation for this phenomenon is that a wave is present in the bursting ocean that decreases in frequency (in the rotating frame) as the burst cools. The strongest candidate is the buoyant r-mode; however, models for the burning ocean background used in previous studies over-predict frequency drifts by several Hz. Using new background models (which include shallow heating, and burning in the tail of the burst) the evolution of the buoyant r-mode is calculated. The resulting frequency drifts are smaller, in line with observations. This illustrates the importance of accounting for the detailed nuclear physics in these bursts.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 January 2019
Published date: 22 January 2019
Keywords: stars: neutron, stars: oscillations, X-rays: binaries, X-rays: bursts

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429152
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429152
ISSN: 0004-637X
PURE UUID: 2bfb749c-62f5-48c4-8d73-6e8c49ee1d4f

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Date deposited: 22 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 22 Mar 2019 17:30

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