Hydrogen‐triggered Type I X‐Ray Bursts in a Two‐Zone Model
Cooper, Randall L.
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CitationCooper, Randall L., and Ramesh Narayan. 2007. “Hydrogen‐triggered Type I X‐Ray Bursts in a Two‐Zone Model.” The Astrophysical Journal 661 (1): 468–76. https://doi.org/10.1086/513461.
AbstractWe use the two-zone model of Cooper & Narayan to study the onset and time evolution of hydrogen-triggered type I X-ray bursts on accreting neutron stars. At the lowest accretion rates, thermally unstable hydrogen burning ignites helium as well and produces a mixed hydrogen and helium burst. For somewhat higher accretion rates, thermally unstable hydrogen burning does not ignite helium and thus triggers only a weak hydrogen flash. For our choice of model parameters, these weak hydrogen flashes occur for 10(-3) less than or similar to M/M-Edd less than or similar to 3x10(-3). The peak luminosities of weak hydrogen flashes are typically much lower than the accretion luminosity. These results are in accord with previous theoretical work. We find that a series of weak hydrogen flashes generates a massive layer of helium that eventually ignites in an energetic pure helium flash. Although previously conjectured, this is the first time such bursting behavior has been actually demonstrated in a theoretical model. For yet higher accretion rates, hydrogen burning is thermally stable and thus steadily generates a layer of helium that ultimately ignites in a pure helium flash. We find that, for a narrow range of accretion rates between the mixed hydrogen and helium burst and weak hydrogen flash regimes, unstable hydrogen burning ignites helium only after a short series of weak hydrogen flashes has generated a sufficiently deep layer of helium. These bursts have fluences that are intermediate between those of normal mixed hydrogen and helium bursts and energetic pure helium flashes.
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