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Title: Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars

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:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-88ER40387; AST-1516969; PHY-1430152
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)
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) (SC-26); National Science Foundation (NSF); International Space Science Inst. (ISSI), Bern (Switzerland); Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Inst. for Nuclear Theory (INT)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
OSTI Identifier:
1454430

Meisel, Zach, and Deibel, Alex. Constraints on Bygone Nucleosynthesis of Accreting Neutron Stars. United States: N. p., 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. 2017. "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}
}