EDP Sciences

Vol. 621
In section 7. Stellar structure and evolution

Searching for the most powerful thermonuclear X-ray bursts with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory

by J.J.M. in 't Zand, M.J.W. Kries, D.M. Palmer, and N. Degenaar, 2019, A&A, 621, A53


Type I bursts occur onto the surface of a neutron star when the infalling matter from the companion star piles up, increases the overall pressure and temperature, and then suddenly undergoes a thermonuclear flash. In this paper, in ’t Zand and collaborators carry out a comprehensive search for type I bursts in accreting neutron stars in our Galaxy over 13 years observations from the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. They find more than 100 bursts. Particularly interesting is the dozen intermediate-duration bursts that show strong dipping activity. These fluctuations should stem for a resettling accretion disc that was disrupted by the burst of radiation.