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Probing the possibility of hotspots on the central neutron star in HESSJ1731-347
KTH, Centres, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics NORDITA. University of Turku, Finland.
2017 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 600, A43Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The X-ray spectra of the neutron stars located in the centers of supernova remnants Cas A and HESS J1731-347 are well fit with carbon atmosphere models. These fits yield plausible neutron star sizes for the known or estimated distances to these supernova remnants. The evidence in favor of the presence of a pure carbon envelope at the neutron star surface is rather indirect and is based on the assumption that the emission is generated uniformly by the entire stellar surface. Although this assumption is supported by the absence of pulsations, the observational upper limit on the pulsed fraction is not very stringent. In an attempt to quantify this evidence, we investigate the possibility that the observed spectrum of the neutron star in HESS J1731-347 is a combination of the spectra produced in a hydrogen atmosphere of the hotspots and of the cooler remaining part of the neutron star surface. The lack of pulsations in this case has to be explained either by a sufficiently small angle between the neutron star spin axis and the line of sight, or by a sufficiently small angular distance between the hotspots and the neutron star rotation poles. As the observed flux from a non-uniformly emitting neutron star depends on the angular distribution of the radiation emerging from the atmosphere, we have computed two new grids of pure carbon and pure hydrogen atmosphere model spectra accounting for Compton scattering. Using new hydrogen models, we have evaluated the probability of a geometry that leads to a pulsed fraction below the observed upper limit to be about 8.2%. Such a geometry thus seems to be rather improbable but cannot be excluded at this stage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EDP Sciences, 2017. Vol. 600, A43
Keyword [en]
radiative transfer, methods: numerical, stars: atmospheres, stars: neutron, X-rays: stars
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-208855DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201630028ISI: 000400754000111ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85016569948OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-208855DiVA: diva2:1108799
Note

QC 20170613

Available from: 2017-06-13 Created: 2017-06-13 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved

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