A comprehensive look at a mysterious X-ray binary
University of Amsterdam
I will report on my work on the Rapid Burster, a neutron star (NS) X-ray binary that has puzzled astronomers for almost 40 years because of its burst-like accretion behaviour. Studying the entire sample of RXTE data on this source, we have discovered that it probably hosts a slow-spinning NS; that its thermonuclear (type I) bursts can cause disc disturbances that sometimes eclipse the entire stellar surface; that it occasionally reproduces variability patterns seen in another unique source, the black-hole X-ray binary GRS 1915+105; that new models of magnetospheric accretion can account for the accretion (type II) bursts; and that it is a promising candidate for the detection of the redshift z at the stellar surface, an important step in constraining the NS equation of state.
Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 Time: 15:30 Where: McGill University McGill Space Institute (3550 University), Conference Room Contact: Robert Rutledge