High-Energy Transients: Thermonuclear (Type-I) X-Ray Bursts

D. K. Galloway, Z. Johnston, A. Goodwin, A. Heger, E. Griffin

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Many distinct classes of high-energy variability have been observed in astrophysical sources, and over a range of time-scales. The widest range, spanning microseconds to decades, is found in accreting, compact, stellar-mass objects, including neutron stars and black holes. Neutron stars are of particular observational interest as they exhibit surface effects giving rise to phenomena-such as thermonuclear bursts and pulsations-not seen in black holes. This talk reviewed briefly the present understanding of thermonuclear (Type-I) X-ray bursts-events that are powered by an extensive chain of nuclear reactions which in many cases are unique to the environments. Thermonuclear bursts have been exploited over the last few years as an avenue to measure a neutron star's mass and radius, although the contribution of systematic errors to the measurements remains contentious. We described recent efforts to match burst models to observations better, with a view to resolving some of the astrophysical uncertainties relating to those events. Our efforts have good prospects for providing information that is complementary to nuclear experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
EditorsR Elizabeth Griffin
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781107192638
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
EventInternational Astronomical Union Symposium 2017 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 13 Nov 201717 Nov 2017
Conference number: 339th

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN (Print)1743-9213


ConferenceInternational Astronomical Union Symposium 2017
Abbreviated titleIAU 2017
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • nuclear reactions
  • Stars: neutron
  • X-rays: bursts

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