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X-RAY BINARIES

M.C. RAMADEVI
ISRO Satellite Centre
Bangalore.
YAM Jan, 2007

Discovery of X-ray Binaries

HistoricdiscoveryofabrightXraysourceScoX1in1962
byRiccardoGiacconiandteam;first extra-solar X-ray detection
Detectedduringarocketflightwhichwaslauchedtolookfor
XraysfromMoon
ThesourcewasextremelybrightinXrays.
Anopticalstarof13thmagnitudewasfoundatthislocation

Was Quite Intriguing...

Giacconi et al., 1962

Sco X-1

TRIGGERED
X-RAY
ASTRONOMY

Xraybackground

Later in 1970, the first X-ray satellite, UHURU, discovered another


X-ray source Cen

X-3

counts

Found to have PULSATIONS in X-rays; 4.84 sec

Only a neutron star can produce such pulsations time


Continuous monitoring showed slight variation in the pulse period
These variations - recognised as due to DOPPLER SHIFT; the star is
moving in an ORBIT.
X-rays found to disappear for 11 hours in every 2.09 days; ECLIPSES
counts

time

Ahhhh.. ECLIPSING BINARY SYSTEM !!!!

Here we go
THIS IS A BINARY SYSTEM WITH NEUTRON STAR AND A
COMPANION STAR (OPTICAL COUNTERPART): X-RAY

BINARY

What are X-ray Binaries?


Special class of binaries which emit predominantly in
X-rays
The Most luminous galactic X-ray sources
Lx ~ 10 36 to 10 38 ergs/s
Consist of a compact object and a companion star
orbiting about a common centre of mass.
The compact object can be a white dwarf (cataclysmic
variables), a neutron star or a black hole.
Companion star can be a normal star or a white dwarf.

X-ray emission
What could possibly give rise to such high X-ray luminosities ?

GRAVITY
Compact star accretes matter from the companion star
The gravitational potential energy of the in-falling matter is
converted to kinetic energy eventually giving rise to radiation
Gravitational potential energy
(accreted matter swirls in)
Kinetic energy
(friction between layers)
(viscous heating)
Heat (T ~ 10 7 K)

Radiation (X-rays, UV)

How are X-ray Binaries


formed?
Start off with Binary Stars:
2 stars, gravitationally bound
to each other in an orbit, about
a common centre of mass

Two mechanisms of mass transfer in a


binary system
Accretion from stellar wind

Accretion through
Roche lobe outflow

Accretion from stellar wind

Accretion through
Roche lobe outflow

Classification of X-ray Binaries


High-Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXB)
HMXB :
Mass of the companion star , very
massive, >~ few solar masses.
Usually NS systems accreting
mass from the wind of companion,
a Be star.

Low-Mass X-ray Binaries (LMXB)


LMXB:
Mass of the companion star <~1 solar
mass, can be a late type star
Roche Lobe accretion

Observations from X-ray binaries


X-ray binaries are observed as transient sources which
suddenly brighten up in X-rays by a factor of 100 to 1000

Light Curve has different profiles


Pulsations
Type I bursts
Type II bursts
Eclipses
Persistent outbursts

Spectra suggests different emission processes


Different spectral states
High/Soft State
Very High State
Hard State

X-ray Pulsars - Pulsations


Accretion onto a
magnetized Neutron
Star
Accretion powered
Pulsars
B ~ 1012 G
Cen X-3, observed by UHURU;
4.8 sec (Giacconi et. al., 1971)

THIS IS NOT OBSERVED IN BLACK HOLE SYSTEMS

Accretion onto weakly magnetised NS or WD


Thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a WD or NS

(Type I Bursts)
X-ray bursts H burning

X-ray bursts

15 s

(1735-444)

X-ray Superbursts He burning

Type I Bursts
Observation of thermonuclear energy
Unstable, explosive burning in bursts (release over short time)
Burst energy
thermonuclear
(from the surface of
NS or WD)
Persistent flux
gravitational energy
(from the accretion disk)

THIS IS NOT OBSERVED IN BLACK


HOLES, since they dont have a surface.

Type II Bursts

Transient outbursts
Likely to originate due to
instabilities in the
accretion disk
Observed in both NS and
BH systems

120 days

Accretion onto black holes

There is no hard surface. How can we detect it?


Will there be any radiation from the infalling
matter??
Yes, from the accretion disk around a BH

Black Hole X-Ray Binaries


Accretion disks around black holes

Strong X-ray sources


Rapidly, erratically variable (with flickering
on time scales of less than a second)
Sometimes: Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs)
Sometimes: Radio-emitting jets

Variabilities observed in Black Holes

Understanding Accretion
Evolution of the accretion disk
Spectra suggests different emission processes.

disk

disk

corona

corona

corona

X-ray Properties

Radio Properties

Soft state

Hard state

Example
An outburst observed in 4U 1543-47
June-August 2002, 2-10 keV LC

Spectral and
temporal
analysis is
required
to understand
accretion

SpectralTemporal
States:
HSS:

VHS:

LHS:
(Remillard &
McClintock, 2004;
Park et al 2004)

Why study X-ray Binaries?


To understand accretion:
Accretion - known to power the most luminous objects in the
Universe.
Understanding accretion around the compact objects like the
neutron star and the stellar mass black holes can help
understand accretion around supermassive black holes which
form the heart of Active Galactic Nuclei, Quasars etc.
Accretion is everywhere: be it the formation of stars or planetary
systems or galaxies.

Also to understand behavior of matter very close to the event


horizon of a black hole where General Theory of Relativity is
applicable, Black Hole X-ray Binaries are good candidates.

X-ray Binaries form good laboratories for


these studies.

Evolved picture of a Low-Mass X-ray binary:


accretion through Roche-lobe overflow

Indias first multi-wavelength


ASTROnomy SATellite

ASTROSAT
INDIAS FIRST DEDICATED SATELLITE FOR ASTRONOMY

UV/Optical 130-6000 nm), Soft X-rays (0.2 - 10 keV) , Hard X-rays (10 150

Thank You

LMXB

For NS, there is emission from boundary layer where disk


meets NS and surface of NS (for a less magnetized NS).
Optical emission arises from outer disk, companion star, and
X-rays reprocessed by disk or companion.
For BH, X-ray emission is from disk.

HMXB
Be star

Neutron star

Mostly the compact object is a neutron star, in eccentric orbit around the
companion
X-rays transients occur when the neutron star accretes matter from the wind
of the companion star (Be star)
No prominent disks emission

Binary Orbit
CM

M2

M1

a
Compact star mass = M1 M
Normal star mass = M2 M
Binary separation = a, mass ratio q = M2/M1

Kepler' s law : 4 a = G ( M 1 + M 2 ) M P
2

a = 3.5 10 M
10

1/ 3
1

(1 + q ) P
1/ 3

2/3
hr

cm

Geometry

Observed phenomenology depends on viewing angle.

Typical X-ray bursts:


1036-1038 erg/s
duration 10 s 100s
recurrence: hours-days
regular or irregular

Frequent and very bright


phenomenon !
(stars 1033-1035 erg/s)

Discovery
First X-ray pulsar: Cen X-3 (Giacconi et al. 1971) with UHURU

T~ 5s
Today:
~50

First X-ray burst: 3U 1820-30 (Grindlay et al. 1976) with ANS

Today:
~40
Total ~230 X-ray binaries known
10 s

X-Ray Pulsar Cen X-3

Pulses are
modulated
at orbital
period of
2.09 days

Formation of Accretion disk


around the compact object