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    Type I X-ray Bursts at Low Accretion Rates

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    Neutron stars, with their strong surface gravity, have interestingly short timescales for the sedimentation of heavy elements. Recent observations of unstable thermonuclear burning (observed as X-ray bursts) on the surfaces of slowly accreting neutron stars (<0.01< 0.01 of the Eddington rate) motivate us to examine how sedimentation of CNO isotopes affects the ignition of these bursts. We further estimate the burst development using a simple one-zone model with a full reaction network. We report a region of mass accretion rates for weak H flashes. Such flashes can lead to a large reservoir of He, the unstable burning of which may explain some observed long bursts (duration 1000\sim 1000 s).Comment: 6 pages, 2 figures, submitted to the proceedings of the conference "The Multicoloured Landscape of Compact Objects and Their Explosive Origins'', 2006 June 11--24, Cefalu, Sicily (Italy), to be published by AI