Cyclotron line signatures of thermal and magnetic mountains from accreting neutron stars

Maxim Priymak, Andrew Melatos, Paul Lasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Cyclotron resonance scattering features (CRSFs) in the X-ray spectrum of an accreting neutron star are modified differently by accretion mounds sustained by magnetic and thermocompositional gradients. It is shown that one can discriminate, in principle, between mounds of different physical origins by studying how the line energy, width, and depth of a CRSF depend on the orientation of the neutron star, accreted mass, surface temperature distribution, and equation of state. CRSF signatures including gravitational light bending are computed for both phase-resolved and phase-averaged spectra on the basis of self-consistent Grad-Shafranov mound equilibria satisfying a global flux-freezing constraint. The prospects of multimessenger X-ray and gravitational-wave observations with future instruments are canvassed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2710-2724
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion, accretion discs
  • Gravitational waves
  • Pulsars: general
  • Stars: magnetic field
  • Stars: neutron

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