Volume 399, Number 3, March I 2003
|Page(s)||1147 - 1150|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||14 February 2003|
On the accretion luminosity of isolated neutron stars
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pulkovo 65/1, 196140 St. Petersburg, Russia
Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, St. Petersburg Branch, Russia
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 6 December 2002
The accretion process onto a magnetized isolated neutron star, which captures material from the interstellar medium, is discussed. The evolutionary track of such a star can be presented as a sequence of four states: ejector, supersonic propeller, subsonic propeller, and steady accretor. I show that subsonic propeller accretor transition does not occur as long as the magnetic field of the star is strong enough to control the accretion flow in the stellar vicinity. During the subsonic propeller state the accretion rate onto the stellar surface is limited to the rate of plasma diffusion into its magnetosphere. The diffusion rate is at least three orders of magnitude smaller than the maximum possible mass capture rate by the star. Therefore, the expected accretion luminosity of magnetized isolated neutron stars is at least three orders of magnitude smaller than that previously evaluated.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / magnetic fields / stars: neutron / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2003
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