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Accurate Ray-tracing of Realistic Neutron Star Atmospheres for Constraining Their Parameters

Abstract : Thermal-dominated X-ray spectra of neutron stars in quiescent, transient X-ray binaries and neutron stars that undergo thermonuclear bursts are sensitive to mass and radius. The mass–radius relation of neutron stars depends on the equation of state (EoS) that governs their interior. Constraining this relation accurately is therefore of fundamental importance to understand the nature of dense matter. In this context, we introduce a pipeline to calculate realistic model spectra of rotating neutron stars with hydrogen and helium atmospheres. An arbitrarily fast-rotating neutron star with a given EoS generates the spacetime in which the atmosphere emits radiation. We use the Lorene/nrotstar code to compute the spacetime numerically and the Atm24 code to solve the radiative transfer equations self-consistently. Emerging specific intensity spectra are then ray-traced through the neutron star’s spacetime from the atmosphere to a distant observer with the Gyoto code. Here, we present and test our fully relativistic numerical pipeline. To discuss and illustrate the importance of realistic atmosphere models, we compare our model spectra to simpler models like the commonly used isotropic color-corrected blackbody emission. We highlight the importance of considering realistic model-atmosphere spectra together with relativistic ray-tracing to obtain accurate predictions. We also insist upon the crucial impact of the star’s rotation on the observables. Finally, we close a controversy that has been ongoing in the literature in the recent years, regarding the validity of the Atm24 code.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01758220
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 12:09:55 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 17, 2022 - 3:50:03 AM

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Frederic H. Vincent, Michał Bejger, Agata Różańska, Odele Straub, Thibaut Paumard, et al.. Accurate Ray-tracing of Realistic Neutron Star Atmospheres for Constraining Their Parameters. Astrophys.J., 2018, 855 (2), pp.116. ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/aab0a3⟩. ⟨hal-01758220⟩

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