Found 11 talks width keyword X-ray binaries

Friday October 24, 2014
Dr. Pere Blay


High Mas X-ray Binary Systems are important sources of information for many astrophysical fields of research. They are composed by a compact object (black hole or neutron star) and an early type star (usually known as the optical companion). Mass transfer from the later onto the compact companion ends up as very bright emission of high energy photons. The multi-wavelength approach becomes mandatory in order to understand these systems: a) Optical and IR bands are used to characterize the optical companion, b) Mass transfer and the local ambient matter in these systems can be traced in UV and IR bands, c) The behavior and properties of the compact companion can be inferred from X-rays/gamma-rays observations, etc. We will review how this approach helps to understand the behavior of several peculiar systems, including the discovery of optical counterparts, the estimation of compact object masses, the characterization of the ambient matter (local extinction), etc.

Tuesday February 11, 2014
Dr. Jorge Casares


Stellar-mass black holes have all been discovered through X-ray emission, which arises from the accretion of gas from their binary companions. Currently known black holes are fed by material stripped from a low-mass star or by the wind of a massive companion. Binary evolution models also predict the existence of black holes accreting from the equatorial envelope of rapidly spinning Be-type stars. However, among the ~80 Be X-ray binaries known in the Galaxy (~150 including the Magellanic Clouds), only pulsating neutron stars have been found as companions, which is known as the missing Be/black-hole X-ray binary problem. In this talk I present the first dynamical evidence for a 3.8-6.9 Msun black hole orbiting the Be star and gamma-ray candidate MWC 656 (=AGL J2241+4454). This discovery has been allowed by the detection of a HeII emission line from an accretion disc encircling the black hole. We find the black hole is X-ray quiescent with Lx<1.6 × 10−7 times the Eddington luminosity. This implies that Be binaries with black-hole companions are difficult to detect by conventional X-ray surveys and may be more abundant than predicted by population synthesis models.


Tuesday May 14, 2013
Dr. Manuel Linares


Neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries (NS-LMXBs) are unique laboratories of accretion physics, strong gravity and ultra-dense matter. I will give an overview of what we have learned in recent years by studying accretion flows and thermonuclear bursts in these systems.

I will first present and discuss the main result of a systematic study of their different accretion states: the discovery of a correlation between luminosity and spectral hardness. I will also show ongoing work on the connection between active (1-100% of the Eddington luminosity) and quiescent (down to 10^-6 times Eddington) phases of NS-LMXBs.

In the second part I will focus on the relation between mass accretion rate and the recurrence time of thermonuclear bursts (explosive nuclear burning on the neutron star surface), presenting results at the lowest and highest mass accretion rates. In particular, I will argue that rotation plays a larger role than we thought in setting the nuclear burning regimes on an accreting neutron star.

Wednesday March 6, 2013
Dr. Jesús Corral Santana


X-ray transients are binary systems composed by a 'normal' star which is transfering mass onto a compact object (either a black hole or a neutron star) through Roche lobe overflow. These systems show sporadic outburst episodes and long quiescence states, being ideal systems to search for stellar-mass black holes. Different studies predict a Galactic population of ~10^3-10^4 X-ray transients, however, there are only 18 stellar-mass black holes dynamically confirmed (and other ~32 candidates whichc share similar timing and spectral properties).

In this talk I'll present the case of Swift J1357.2-0933, a new X-ray transient discovered in 2011. Our analysis shows that Swift J1357.2-0933 is the first black hole transient seen at a large inclination (>75º). High time resolution lightcurves show dips or eclipses produced by a vertical structure present in the inner accretion rather than the companion star. Some dips display up to ~50% reduction of flux in ~2min (~30% reduction of flux in 7s). Moreover, the dips present a recurrence period of a few minutes which increases with time. This can only be explained by the expansion of the obscuring structure outward in the accretion. Swift J1357.2-0933 could be the prototype of an hytherto Galactic population of black hole transients with large inclinations.

Tuesday January 24, 2012
Dr. Nanda Rea
Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai, Spain


I will review our current knowledge of soft gamma repeaters (SGR) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXP), two peculiar classes of pulsars believed to be 'magnetars', i.e. neutron stars powered by a huge magnetic field. Recent studies of transient events from SGRs and AXPs allowed a large jump in our understanding of these objects, although they also prompted new unanswered questions. In particular, the recent discovery of a low magnetic field magnetar is causing a re-think of some of the basic ingredients of the magnetar model.

Friday May 20, 2011
Prof. Ramesh Narayan
Harvard-Smithsonian Center, USA.


In his public talk, Prof. Narayan will summarize our knowledge of Black Holes in the universe. He will describe how Black Holes are discovered, how their properties are measured, and what the results mean. He will also discuss the many ways in which Black Holes influence their surroundings and the profound effect they have had on the evolution of the universe.

Thursday May 19, 2011
Prof. Ramesh Narayan
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA


An astrophysical black hole is completely described with just two parameters: its mass and its dimensionless spin. A few dozen black holes have mass estimates, but until recently none had a reliable spin estimate. The first spins have now been measured for black holes in X-ray binaries. The talk will describe the method used to make these measurements and will discuss implications of the results obtained so far.

Thursday November 4, 2010
Dr. Felix Mirabel
CEA, Service d'Astrophysique, France


The so called "dark ages" of the universe began about 400.000 years after the Big Bang as matter cooled down and space became filled with neutral hydrogen for hundreds of millions years. How the Universe was heated and reionized during the first billion years after the Big Bang is a question of topical interest in cosmology. I will show that current theoretical models on the formation and collapse of primordial stars suggest that a large fraction of massive stars should have imploded, forming high-mass black hole X-ray binaries. Then, I will review the recent observations of compact stellar remnants in the near and distant universe that support this theoretical expectation, showing that the thermal (UV and soft X-rays) and non-thermal (hard X-rays, winds and jets) emission from a large population of stellar black holes in high mass binaries heated the intergalactic medium over large volumes of space, complementing the reionization by their stellar progenitors. Feedback from accreting stellar black holes at that epoch would have prevented the formation of the large quantities of low mass dwarf galaxies that are predicted by the cold dark matter model of the universe. A large population of black hole binaries may be important for future observations of gravitational waves as well as for the existing and future atomic hydrogen radio surveys of HI in the early universe.

Tuesday July 20, 2010
Dr. Remon Cornelisse
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


For most persistent low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and transients in outbursts the optical emission is dominated by reprocessing of the X-rays in the outer accretion disk. This has severely hampered any dynamical studies and thereby our knowledge of their system parameters. A new avenue opened thanks to the discovery of narrow high-excitation emission components arising from the irradiated companion star. These lines are most prominent in the Bowen region (a blend of N III and C III lines between 4630 and 4650 Å). In this talk I will discuss this new technique, give an overview of the main results of our survey on the optically brightest LMXBs, and discuss the implications for their system parameters. Furthermore, I will point out the main limitations of this technique and how they might be overcome.

Friday November 20, 2009
Dr. Pasi Hakala
Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland


I present some recent results from our Optical and NIR studies of five short period low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXB's; X1822-371, X1957+115, UW CrB, X1916-05 and X0614+091). Optical photometry and spectroscopy reveal some surprising results on the geometry and evolution of accretions discs in LMXB's. Based on our data, it is increasingly clear that accretion discs in these systems are far from being stable and must undergo substantial precession and/or warping behaviour on timescales less than a day in case of the shortest period systems.

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