What can NuSTAR do for thermonuclear X-ray bursts?
Author(s)Chenevez, Jerome; Tomsick, John A.; Paerels, Frits; Christensen, Finn Erland; Chakrabarty, Deepto
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Unstable thermonuclear burning on the surface of accreting neutron stars is commonly observed as type I X-ray bursts. The flux released during some strong bu rsts can temporarily exceed the Eddington limit, driving the neutron star photosphere to such large radii that heavy-element ashes of nuclear burning are ejected in the burst expansion wind. We have investigated the possibility of observing with NuSTAR some X-ray bursters selected for their high burst rate and trend to exhibit so-called superexpansion bursts. Our main ambition is to detect the photoionization edges associated with the ejected nuclear ashes, and identify the corresponding heavy elements. A positive identification of such edges would probe the nuclear burning processes, and provide a measure of the expans ion wind velocity as well as the gravitational redshift from the neutron star. Moreover, we expect that the high sensitivity of NuSTAR in hard X-rays will make it possible to study the behavi our of the accretion emission during the bursts, which is an important parameter to constrain the properties of the X-ray burst emission and thermonuclear burning.
Proceedings of An INTEGRAL view of the high-energy sky (the first 10 years) - 9th INTEGRAL Workshop and celebration of the 10th anniversary of the launch — PoS(INTEGRAL 2012)
Chenevez, Jerome, John A. Tomsick, Deepto Chakrabarty, Frits Paerels, and Finn Erland Christensen. “What Can NuSTAR Do for Thermonuclear X-Ray Bursts?” Proceedings of An INTEGRAL View of the High-Energy Sky (the First 10 Years) - 9th INTEGRAL Workshop and Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Launch — PoS(INTEGRAL 2012) (July 18, 2013).
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