4,023 research outputs found

    Continued cooling of the crust in the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary KS 1731-260

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    Some neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries have very long outbursts (lasting several years) which can generate a significant amount of heat in the neutron star crust. After the system has returned to quiescence, the crust then thermally relaxes. This provides a rare opportunity to study the thermal properties of neutron star crusts, putting constraints on the thermal conductivity and hence the structure and composition of the crust. KS 1731-260 is one of only four systems where this crustal cooling has been observed. Here, we present a new Chandra observation of this source approximately 8 years after the end of the last outburst, and 4 years since the last observation. We find that the source has continued to cool, with the cooling curve displaying a simple power-law decay. This suggests that the crust has not fully thermally relaxed yet, and may continue to cool further. A simple power law decay is in contrast to theoretical cooling models of the crust, which predict that the crust should now have cooled to the same temperature as the neutron star core.Comment: Accepted to ApJ Letter

    Quasi-periodic oscillations and noise in neutron star and black-hole X-ray binaries

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    Before the launch of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite, the differences in the rapid X-ray variability between the two main types of neutron star binaries (i.e., the Z and atoll sources) could be explained by invoking different mass accretion rates and magnetic field strengths. However, the results obtained with RXTE now show that these systems are more similar than previously thought and although differences in mass accretion rate are still likely, the differences in the magnetic field strength have become questionable. The great similarities between the neutron star systems and the black-hole candidates at low mass accretion rates also point towards a similar origin of their timing phenomena indicating that the presence or absence of a solid surface, a magnetic field, or an event horizon do not play a significant role in the production mechanisms for the rapid X-ray variability.Comment: Talk presented at the 33rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Warsaw, Poland, 16-23 July 2000. Submitted for publication in Advances in Space Researc

    Farming with future: making crop protection sustainable

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    The project Farming with future works with parties with a vested interest to promote sustainable crop protection in practice. Besides developing new knowledge, it spends a good deal of its energy in the embedding of sustainable practices within relevant organisations, businesses and agrarian entrepreneurs in order to make these practices permanent features of their activities

    The crust cooling curve of the neutron star in MXB 1659-29

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    We have monitored the quasi-persistent neutron-star X-ray transient MXB 1659-29 in quiescence using Chandra. The purpose of our observations was to monitor the quiescent behavior of the source after its last prolonged outburst episode and to study the cooling curve of the neutron star in this system. We discuss the results obtained and how they constrain the properties of the neutron star in MXB 1659-29Comment: To appear in Proceedings of IAU Colloquium 194 "Compact binaries in the Galaxy and beyond" (Rev. Mex. A&A Conf. Series), eds. G. Tovmassian and E. Sio

    Coupled HBO and NBO variations in the Z source GX 5-1: inner accretion disk as the location of QPOs

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    The simultaneous and coupled evolution of horizontal branch oscillation (HBO) and normal branch oscillation (NBO) in Z-type sources suggests that the production of HBO is connected to NBO and is caused by changes in the physical/radiative properties of the inner accretion disk, although there is a lack of substantial spectral evidence to support this. In this {\it Letter}, we present the results of an analysis of a RXTE observation of a Z source GX~5-1, where the 6 Hz NBO is simultaneously detected along with a HBO at 51 Hz. The variations in the intensity and the associated power density spectrum indicate that the HBO and NBO are strongly coupled, originating from the same location in the inner accretion disk. The absence of HBO and NBO in the lower energy bands, an increase in the rms amplitude with energy and a smooth transition among them suggest that they are produced in the hot inner regions of the accretion disk. Based on a spectral analysis, we found a signature of changing or physically modified inner disk front during the coupled HBO and NBO evolution. We explore the various models to explain the observed phenomenon and propose that the NBO is affiliated to the oscillations in the thick/puffed-up inner region of the accretion disk.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures, Accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

    XMM-Newton observations of two transient millisecond X-ray pulsars in quiescence

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    We report on XMM-Newton observations of two X-ray transient millisecond pulsars (XRTMSPs). We detected XTE J0929-314 with an unabsorbed luminosity of \~7x10^{31} erg/s. (0.5-10 keV) at a fiducial distance of 10 kpc. The quiescent spectrum is consistent with a simple power law spectrum. The upper limit on the flux from a cooling neutron star atmosphere is about 20% of the total flux. XTE J1807-294 instead was not detected. We can put an upper limit on the source quiescent 0.5-10 keV unabsorbed luminosity <4x10^{31} erg/s at 8 kpc. These observations strenghten the idea that XRTMSPs have quiescent luminosities significantly lower than classical neutron star transients.Comment: 4 pages including 1 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A Letter

    A transient high-coherence oscillation in 4U 1820-30

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    We re-analyzed two Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer archival observations of the atoll source 4U 1820-30 in order to investigate the detailed time-frequency properties of the source during the intervals when a ~7 Hz QPO was detected by Wijnands et al. (1999, ApJ, 512, L39). We find that in both observations, in addition to a QPO signal lasting a couple of minutes as previously reported, there is a much narrower transient oscillation with a life time of only a few seconds. Within this time, the oscillation is consistent with being coherent. Its integrated fractional rms is around 10% and its frequency 7.3 Hz and 5.7 Hz in the two observations. We discuss the possible association of this QPO with other oscillations known both in Neutron-Star and Black-Hole systems, concentrating on the similarities with the narrow 5-7 Hz oscillations observed at high flux in Black-Hole Candidates.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in A&A. FIgure 1 is reduced in resolution, full-resolution version of this text available at http://www.merate.mi.astro.it/~belloni/ms0335.ps.g

    A low-level accretion flare during the quiescent state of the neutron-star X-ray transient SAX J1750.8-2900

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    We report on a series of Swift/XRT observations, performed between February and 22 March 2012, during the quiescent state of the neutron-star X-ray binary SAX J1750.8-2900. In these observations, the source was either just detected or undetected, depending on the exposure length (which ranged from ~0.3 to ~3.8 ks). The upper limits for the non-detections were consistent with the detected luminosities (when fitting a thermal model to the spectrum) of ~1E34 erg/s (0.5-10 keV). This level is consistent with what has been measured previously for this source in quiescence. However, on March 17 the source was found to have an order of magnitude larger count rate. When fitting the flare spectrum with an absorbed power-law model, we obtained a flare luminosity of (3-4) 1E34 erg/s (0.5-10 keV). Follow-up Swift observations showed that this flare lasted <16 days. This event was very likely due to a brief episode of low-level accretion onto the neutron star and provides further evidence that the quiescent state of neutron-star X-ray transients might not be as quiet as is generally assumed. The detection of this low-level accretion flare raises the question whether the quiescent emission of the source (outside the flare) could also be due to residual accretion, albeit continuous instead of episodic. However, we provide arguments which would suggest that the lowest intensity level might instead represent the cooling of the accretion-heated neutron star.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS Main Journal on June 18th, 2013. Minor changes to the original submission to incorporate the comments of the refere
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