Vol 22, No 5

Crust Cooling of Soft X-Ray Transients—the Uncertainties of Shallow Heating

Xiang-Yang Lu, Guo-Liang Lü, He-Lei Liu, Chun-Hua Zhu, Zhao-Jun Wang


Abstract Crust cooling of soft X-ray transients has been observed after outbursts, but an additional shallow heating during accretion in outburst is needed to explain the quiescent light curve. However, shallow heating is significantly different between sources and even within one source between different outbursts, and the source of shallow heat is as yet unknown. Using the open source code “dStar” which solves the fully general relativistic heat diffusion equation for the crust, we investigate the effect of magnitude and depth of shallow heating on crust cooling and find that some exceptional sources (Swift J174805.3-244637, MAXI J0556-332 during outburst II and GRO J1750-27) in which shallow heating may be inactive could be explained by a deeper shallow heating mechanism. We compare our results with those from previous works and find that the shallow heating is model dependent. In addition, the effects of mass and radius of a neutron star on shallow heating are studied, and it is shown that the more compact the star, the less shallow heating will be needed to fit the crust cooling light curves.


Keywords stars: neutron – X-rays: binaries – stars: individual (GRO J1750-27) – X-rays: bursts

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