Accretion by isolated neutron stars

Conference paper

Abstract

Accretion of interstellar material by an isolated neutron star is discussed. The point I address here is the interaction between the accretion flow and the stellar magnetosphere. I show that the interchange instabilities of the magnetospheric boundary under the conditions of interest are basically suppressed. The entry of the material into the magnetosphere is governed by diffusion. Due to this reason the persistent accretion luminosity of isolated neutron stars is limited to <4×1026 erg s−1. These objects can also appear as X-ray bursters with the burst durations of ∼30 min and repetition time of ∼105 yr. This indicates that the number of the accreting isolated neutron stars which could be observed with recent and modern X-ray missions is a few orders of magnitude smaller than that previously estimated.

Keywords

Accretion Neutron stars Magnetic field 

PACS

97.10.Gz 97.60.Jd 98.38.Am 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of AstronomyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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