skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars

Abstract

Nuclear burning near the surface of an accreting neutron star produces ashes that, when compressed deeper by further accretion, alter the star’s thermal and compositional structure. Bygone nucleosynthesis can be constrained by the impact of compressed ashes on the thermal relaxation of quiescent neutron star transients. In particular, Urca cooling nuclei pairs in nuclear burning ashes that cool the neutron star crust via neutrino emission from e--capture/β--decay cycles and provide signatures of prior nuclear burning over the ~century timescales it takes to accrete to the e--capture depth of the strongest cooling pairs. By using crust cooling models of the accreting neutron star transient MAXI J0556-332, we show that this source likely lacked Type I X-ray bursts and superbursts ≳120 years ago. Reduced nuclear physics uncertainties in rp-process reaction rates and e--capture weak transition strengths for low-lying transitions will improve nucleosynthesis constraints using this technique.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States). Inst. of Nuclear and Particle Physics and Dept. of Physics and Astronomy; Joint Inst. for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), East Lansing, MI (United States). Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE)
  2. Joint Inst. for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), East Lansing, MI (United States). Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE); Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States); Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP); National Science Foundation (NSF); International Space Science Inst. (ISSI), Bern (Switzerland); Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Inst. for Nuclear Theory (INT)
OSTI Identifier:
1454430
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-88ER40387; AST-1516969; PHY-1430152
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 837; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Meisel, Zach, and Deibel, Alex. Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa618d.
Meisel, Zach, & Deibel, Alex. Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa618d.
Meisel, Zach, and Deibel, Alex. Mon . "Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa618d. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1454430.
@article{osti_1454430,
title = {Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars},
author = {Meisel, Zach and Deibel, Alex},
abstractNote = {Nuclear burning near the surface of an accreting neutron star produces ashes that, when compressed deeper by further accretion, alter the star’s thermal and compositional structure. Bygone nucleosynthesis can be constrained by the impact of compressed ashes on the thermal relaxation of quiescent neutron star transients. In particular, Urca cooling nuclei pairs in nuclear burning ashes that cool the neutron star crust via neutrino emission from e--capture/β--decay cycles and provide signatures of prior nuclear burning over the ~century timescales it takes to accrete to the e--capture depth of the strongest cooling pairs. By using crust cooling models of the accreting neutron star transient MAXI J0556-332, we show that this source likely lacked Type I X-ray bursts and superbursts ≳120 years ago. Reduced nuclear physics uncertainties in rp-process reaction rates and e--capture weak transition strengths for low-lying transitions will improve nucleosynthesis constraints using this technique.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aa618d},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 837,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 5 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: (color online.) Abundance distributions for ashes from model calculations of superbursts (gray-shaded histogram), stable burning (black histogram), and Type I X-ray bursts for a nominal nuclear reaction rate library (red-dashed histogram) and with the 59Cu(p, γ) rate reduced by a factor of 100 (blue-dotted histogram) to demonstrate themore » sensitivity to nuclear reaction rates. The black filled-circles indicate mass-numbers with intrinsically strong Urca cooling strengths, according to Schatz et al. (2014).« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The Ame2012 atomic mass evaluation
journal, December 2012


Mapping Crustal Heating with the Cooling Light Curves of Quasi-Persistent Transients
journal, May 2009


The nature of the X-ray transient MAXI J0556−332: MAXI J0556−332
journal, January 2012


Dependence of X-Ray Burst Models on Nuclear Reaction Rates
journal, October 2016


The jina Reaclib Database: its Recent Updates and Impact on Type-I X-Ray Bursts
journal, June 2010

  • Cyburt, Richard H.; Amthor, A. Matthew; Ferguson, Ryan
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 189, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/189/1/240

A Strong Shallow heat Source in the Accreting Neutron star maxi J0556-332
journal, August 2015


Urca Cooling Pairs in the Neutron star Ocean and Their Effect on Superbursts
journal, October 2016


Periodic Thermonuclear X‐Ray Bursts from GS 1826−24 and the Fuel Composition as a Function of Accretion Rate
journal, January 2004

  • Galloway, Duncan K.; Cumming, Andrew; Kuulkers, Erik
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 601, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/380445

Thermonuclear (Type I) X‐Ray Bursts Observed by the Rossi X‐Ray Timing Explorer
journal, December 2008

  • Galloway, Duncan K.; Muno, Michael P.; Hartman, Jacob M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 179, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/592044

Neutrino Theory of Stellar Collapse
journal, April 1941


Heating in the Accreted Neutron Star Ocean: Implications for Superburst Ignition
journal, June 2007

  • Gupta, Sanjib; Brown, Edward F.; Schatz, Hendrik
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 662, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/517869

Models of Type I X-Ray Bursts from GS 1826-24: A Probe of rp-Process Hydrogen Burning
journal, November 2007

  • Heger, Alexander; Cumming, Andrew; Galloway, Duncan K.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 671, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/525522

A Strongly Heated Neutron star in the Transient z Source maxi J0556-332
journal, October 2014


Hydrodynamic Models of type i X-Ray Bursts: Metallicity Effects
journal, June 2010

  • José, Jordi; Moreno, Fermín; Parikh, Anuj
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 189, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/189/1/204

Reaction rate and Composition Dependence of the Stability of Thermonuclear Burning on Accreting Neutron Stars
journal, May 2014


Multi-Zone Models of Superbursts from Accreting Neutron Stars
journal, December 2011


Carbon production on accreting neutron stars in a new regime of stable nuclear burning
journal, November 2015

  • Keek, L.; Heger, A.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 456, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slv167

Superburst Models for Neutron Stars with Hydrogen- and Helium-Rich Atmospheres
journal, June 2012


Mass Measurement of Sc 56 Reveals a Small A = 56 Odd-Even Mass Staggering, Implying a Cooler Accreted Neutron Star Crust
journal, October 2015


Forecasting Neutron Star Temperatures: Predictability and Variability
journal, December 2013


Nucleosynthesis in type I X-ray bursts
journal, March 2013


Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (Mesa)
journal, December 2010

  • Paxton, Bill; Bildsten, Lars; Dotter, Aaron
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 192, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/192/1/3

Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (Mesa): Planets, Oscillations, Rotation, and Massive Stars
journal, August 2013

  • Paxton, Bill; Cantiello, Matteo; Arras, Phil
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 208, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/208/1/4

Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (Mesa): Binaries, Pulsations, and Explosions
journal, September 2015

  • Paxton, Bill; Marchant, Pablo; Schwab, Josiah
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 220, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/220/1/15

Crustal Emission and the Quiescent Spectrum of the Neutron Star in KS 1731−260
journal, November 2002

  • Rutledge, Robert E.; Bildsten, Lars; Brown, Edward F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 580, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/342745

Nuclear Compositions in the Inner Crust of Neutron Stars
journal, October 1979


End Point of the rp Process on Accreting Neutron Stars
journal, April 2001


Photodisintegration-triggered Nuclear Energy Release in Superbursts
journal, February 2003

  • Schatz, Hendrik; Bildsten, Lars; Cumming, Andrew
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 583, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/368107

The Rapid Proton Process Ashes from Stable Nuclear Burning on an Accreting Neutron Star
journal, October 1999

  • Schatz, Hendrik; Bildsten, Lars; Cumming, Andrew
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 524, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/307837

X-ray binaries
journal, October 2006


rp-process nucleosynthesis at extreme temperature and density conditions
journal, February 1998


Strong neutrino cooling by cycles of electron capture and β− decay in neutron star crusts
journal, December 2013


Review Of LogftValues In β Decay
journal, July 1998

  • Singh, B.; Rodriguez, J. L.; Wong, S. S. M.
  • Nuclear Data Sheets, Vol. 84, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1006/ndsh.1998.0015

A Remarkable 3 Hour Thermonuclear Burst from 4U 1820−30
journal, February 2002

  • Strohmayer, Tod E.; Brown, Edward F.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 566, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/338337

Spectral Evolution of a New X-Ray Transient MAXI J0556−332 Observed by MAXI, Swift, and RXTE
journal, June 2013

  • Sugizaki, Mutsumi; Yamaoka, Kazutaka; Matsuoka, Masaru
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Vol. 65, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/pasj/65.3.58

URCA shells in dense stellar interiors
journal, June 1970

  • Tsuruta, Sachiko; Cameron, A. G. W.
  • Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 7, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF00653278

Quiescent thermal emission from neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries
journal, April 2015


Time-variable emission from transiently accreting neutron stars in quiescence due to deep crustal heating
journal, August 2001


Models for Type I X‐Ray Bursts with Improved Nuclear Physics
journal, March 2004

  • Woosley, S. E.; Heger, A.; Cumming, A.
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 151, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/381533

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars
    dataset, January 2019


    Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars
    dataset, January 2019


    Cooling of Accretion-Heated Neutron Stars
    journal, September 2017

    • Wijnands, Rudy; Degenaar, Nathalie; Page, Dany
    • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy, Vol. 38, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1007/s12036-017-9466-5

    Nuclear physics of the outer layers of accreting neutron stars
    journal, July 2018

    • Meisel, Zach; Deibel, Alex; Keek, Laurens
    • Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, Vol. 45, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1088/1361-6471/aad171

    Neutron transfer reactions in accreting neutron stars
    journal, November 2018

    • Chugunov, A. I.
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 483, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/sly218

    Nuclear Reactions in the Crusts of Accreting Neutron Stars
    journal, May 2018


    Crust-cooling Models Are Insensitive to the Crust–Core Transition Pressure for Realistic Equations of State
    journal, September 2019

    • Lalit, Sudhanva; Meisel, Zach; Brown, Edward F.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 882, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab338c

    Spallation-altered Accreted Compositions for X-Ray Bursts: Impact on Ignition Conditions and Burst Ashes
    journal, December 2019

    • Randhawa, J. S.; Meisel, Z.; Giuliani, S. A.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 887, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab4f71

      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.