Generation of Type I X‐Ray Burst Oscillations by Unstable Surface Modes
Cooper, Randall L.
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CitationNarayan, Ramesh, and Randall L. Cooper. 2007. “Generation of Type I X‐Ray Burst Oscillations by Unstable Surface Modes.” The Astrophysical Journal 665 (1): 628–36. https://doi.org/10.1086/519552.
AbstractThe Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer has detected nearly coherent oscillations in the tails of type I X-ray bursts from 17 low-mass X-ray binaries. The oscillations are thought to be generated by brightness fluctuations associated with a surface mode on the rotating neutron star. The mechanism that drives the modes is, however, not understood, since the burning layer is stable to thermal perturbations. We show here via a linear perturbation analysis that even under conditions when pure thermal perturbations are stable, nonradial surface modes may still be unstable by the is an element of mechanism. Specifically, we find that if helium-burning reactions supply a reasonable fraction of the outgoing flux during burst decay, nonradial surface modes will grow in time. On the other hand, the same modes are likely to be stable in the presence of hydrogen burning via the rp-process. The results naturally explain why oscillations in the decay phase of type I X-ray bursts are detected only from short-duration bursts.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41384868
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