Volume 624, April 2019
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||15 April 2019|
Consistent accretion-induced heating of the neutron-star crust in MXB 1659−29 during two different outbursts⋆
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Postbus 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico DF 04510, Mexico
3 International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research – Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, 567 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI 48864, USA
5 Department of Physics & Astronomy, Wayne State University, 666 W. Hancock Street, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
6 Department of Physics and McGill Space Institute, McGill University, 3600 Rue University, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8, Canada
7 Department of Physics, University of Alberta, CCIS 4-181, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada
8 SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584, CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
9 Eureka Scientific Inc., 2452 Delmer Street, Oakland, CA 94602, USA
10 Mathematical Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ Southampton, UK
Accepted: 4 March 2019
Monitoring the cooling of neutron-star crusts heated during accretion outbursts allows us to infer the physics of the dense matter present in the crust. We examine the crust cooling evolution of the low-mass X-ray binary MXB 1659−29 up to ∼505 days after the end of its 2015 outburst (hereafter outburst II) and compare it with what we observed after its previous 1999 outburst (hereafter outburst I) using data obtained from the Swift, XMM-Newton, and Chandra observatories. The observed effective surface temperature of the neutron star in MXB 1659 − 29 dropped from ∼92 eV to ∼56 eV from ∼12 days to ∼505 days after the end of outburst II. The most recently performed observation after outburst II suggests that the crust is close to returning to thermal equilibrium with the core. We model the crust heating and cooling for both its outbursts collectively to understand the effect of parameters that may change for every outburst (e.g. the average accretion rate, the length of outburst, the envelope composition of the neutron star at the end of the outburst) and those which can be assumed to be the same during these two outbursts (e.g. the neutron star mass, its radius). Our modelling indicates that all parameters were consistent between the two outbursts with no need for any significant changes. In particular, the strength and the depth of the shallow heating mechanism at work (in the crust) were inferred to be consistent during both outbursts, contrary to what has been found when modelling the cooling curves after multiple outburst of another source, MAXI J0556−332. This difference in source behaviour is not understood. We discuss our results in the context of our current understanding of cooling of accretion-heated neutron-star crusts, and in particular with respect to the unexplained shallow heating mechanism.
Key words: accretion / accretion disks / stars: neutron / X-rays: binaries / X-rays: individuals: MXB 1659–29
A movie is available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2019
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