The influence of stellar spin on thermonuclear runaways
Many burst sources exhibit inexplicable decreases in burst rate even as the accretion rate increases. However, not all burst sources show the same type of behaviour, which hasn't been understood to date. Using the MINBAR sample, we measured the burst rate as a function of accretion rate, from seven neutron stars with known spin rates. At the highest accretion rates, the burst rate is lower for faster spinning stars. The observations imply that fast (> 400 Hz) rotation encourages stabilization of nuclear burning, suggesting a dynamical dependence of nuclear ignition on the spin rate. This dependence is unexpected, because faster rotation entails less shear between the surrounding accretion disk and the star. Although we don't yet fully understand this behaviour, it's hoped that further analysis and simulations will help to explain it. Our paper has now been accepted by ApJL.
Read the paper arXiv:1804.03380