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Superburst Oscillations: ocean and crustal modes excited by X-Ray bursts

  • Frank R. N. Chambers (a1) and Anna L. Watts (a1)

Abstract

Superburst oscillations are high frequency X-ray variations observed during hours’ long superbursts on accreting neutron stars. We investigate a potential mechanism to explain these observations; a buoyant r-mode, excited in the ocean layers of the star. These modes are affected by ash composition in the ocean so are a good probe of nuclear burning processes. The phenomenon could be used in pulse profile modelling as a way of measuring neutron star mass and radius, and so the dense matter equation of state.

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Berkhout, R. G., Levin, T., 2008 MNRAS. 385:10291035
Cumming, A., MacBeth, J., 2004 ApJ. Lett. 603:L37L40
Chambers, F. R. N., Watts, A. L., Cavecchi, Y., Garcia, F., Keek, L., in prep.
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