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2009A&A...497..469I - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 497, 469-480 (2009/4-2)

Long tails on thermonuclear X-ray bursts from neutron stars: a signature of inward heating?

IN'T ZAND J.J.M., KEEK L., CUMMING A., HEGER A., HOMAN J. and MENDEZ M.

Abstract (from CDS):

We report the discovery of one-hour long tails on the few-minutes long X-ray bursts from the clocked burster'' GS 1826-24. We propose that the tails are due to enduring thermal radiation from the neutron star envelope. The enduring emission can be explained by cooling of deeper neutron star layers that were heated up through inward conduction of heat produced in the thermonuclear shell flash responsible for the burst. Similar, though somewhat shorter, tails are seen in bursts from EXO 0748-676 and 4U 1728-34. Only a small amount of cooling is detected in all these tails. This is either due to compton upscattering of the tail photons or, more likely, to a neutron star that is already fairly hot due to other stable nuclear processes.

Journal keyword(s): X-rays: binaries - X-rays: bursts - accretion, accretion disks - stars: neutron - X-rays: individual: GS 1826-24 - X-rays: individual: EXO 0748-676 - X-rays: individual: 4U 1728-34 = GX354-0

CDS comments: Table 2 OSO-8 long burst not in Simbad. Paragraph. 5.1 XTE J1747-214 is a misprint for XTE J1747-274.