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Title: A POSSIBLE SIGNATURE OF LENSE-THIRRING PRECESSION IN DIPPING AND ECLIPSING NEUTRON-STAR LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES

Abstract

Relativistic Lense-Thirring precession of a tilted inner accretion disk around a compact object has been proposed as a mechanism for low-frequency ({approx}0.01-70 Hz) quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the light curves of X-ray binaries. A substantial misalignment angle ({approx}15 Degree-Sign -20 Degree-Sign ) between the inner-disk rotation axis and the compact-object spin axis is required for the effects of this precession to produce observable modulations in the X-ray light curve. A consequence of this misalignment is that in high-inclination X-ray binaries the precessing inner disk will quasi-periodically intercept our line of sight to the compact object. In the case of neutron-star systems, this should have a significant observational effect, since a large fraction of the accretion energy is released on or near the neutron-star surface. In this Letter, I suggest that this specific effect of Lense-Thirring precession may already have been observed as {approx}1 Hz QPOs in several dipping/eclipsing neutron-star X-ray binaries.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22078405
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 760; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8205
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BINARY STARS; COMPACTS; INCLINATION; MASS; MODULATION; NEUTRON STARS; OSCILLATIONS; PERIODICITY; PRECESSION; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; ROTATION; VISIBLE RADIATION; X RADIATION

Citation Formats

Homan, Jeroen, E-mail: jeroen@space.mit.edu. A POSSIBLE SIGNATURE OF LENSE-THIRRING PRECESSION IN DIPPING AND ECLIPSING NEUTRON-STAR LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/760/2/L30.
Homan, Jeroen, E-mail: jeroen@space.mit.edu. A POSSIBLE SIGNATURE OF LENSE-THIRRING PRECESSION IN DIPPING AND ECLIPSING NEUTRON-STAR LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES. United States. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/760/2/L30.
Homan, Jeroen, E-mail: jeroen@space.mit.edu. Sat . "A POSSIBLE SIGNATURE OF LENSE-THIRRING PRECESSION IN DIPPING AND ECLIPSING NEUTRON-STAR LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES". United States. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/760/2/L30.
@article{osti_22078405,
title = {A POSSIBLE SIGNATURE OF LENSE-THIRRING PRECESSION IN DIPPING AND ECLIPSING NEUTRON-STAR LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES},
author = {Homan, Jeroen, E-mail: jeroen@space.mit.edu},
abstractNote = {Relativistic Lense-Thirring precession of a tilted inner accretion disk around a compact object has been proposed as a mechanism for low-frequency ({approx}0.01-70 Hz) quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the light curves of X-ray binaries. A substantial misalignment angle ({approx}15 Degree-Sign -20 Degree-Sign ) between the inner-disk rotation axis and the compact-object spin axis is required for the effects of this precession to produce observable modulations in the X-ray light curve. A consequence of this misalignment is that in high-inclination X-ray binaries the precessing inner disk will quasi-periodically intercept our line of sight to the compact object. In the case of neutron-star systems, this should have a significant observational effect, since a large fraction of the accretion energy is released on or near the neutron-star surface. In this Letter, I suggest that this specific effect of Lense-Thirring precession may already have been observed as {approx}1 Hz QPOs in several dipping/eclipsing neutron-star X-ray binaries.},
doi = {10.1088/2041-8205/760/2/L30},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
issn = {2041-8205},
number = 2,
volume = 760,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {12}
}