A Hard Look at the Neutron Stars and Accretion Disks in 4U 1636-53, GX 17+2, and 4U 1705-44 with NuStar

Tiziana Di Salvo, Degenaar, Paerels, Bachetti, Michael L. Parker, Bostrom, Ludlam, Tomsick, Natalucci, Didier Barret, Jon M. Miller, Edward M. Cackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We present NuSTAR observations of neutron star (NS) low-mass X-ray binaries: 4U 1636-53, GX 17+2, and 4U 1705-44. We observed 4U 1636-53 in the hard state, with an Eddington fraction, FEdd, of 0.01; GX 17+2 and 4U 1705-44 were in the soft state with fractions of 0.57 and 0.10, respectively. Each spectrum shows evidence for a relativistically broadened Fe Kα line. Through accretion disk reflection modeling, we constrain the radius of the inner disk in 4U 1636-53 to be ISCO (innermost stable circular orbit), assuming a dimensionless spin parameter a∗ = cJ/ GM2 = 0.0, and Rin = 1.08 ± 0.06 ISCO for a∗ = 0.3, and ISCO for (errors quoted at 1σ). This value proves to be model independent. For a∗ = 0.3 and M = 1.4 Mo, for example, 1.08 ±0.06 ISCO translates to a physical radius of km, and the NS would have to be smaller than this radius (other outcomes are possible for allowed spin parameters and masses). For GX 17+2, Rin = 1.00-1.04 ISCO for and ISCO fora∗ = 0.0 and Rin = 1.03-1.30 ISCO for a∗ = 0.3. For a∗ = 0.3 and M = 1.4 M⊙, Rin = 1.03-1.30 ISCO translates to R = 10.3-13.0 km. The inner accretion disk in 4U 1705-44 may be truncated just above the stellar surface, perhaps by a boundary layer or magnetosphere; reflection models give a radius of 1.46-1.64 ISCO for and 1.69-1.93 ISCO for a∗ = 0.0 and 1.69-1.93 ISCO for a∗ = 0.3. We discuss the implications our results may have on the equation of state of ultradense, cold matter and our understanding of the innermost accretion flow onto NSs with low surface magnetic fields, and systematic errors related to the reflection models and spacetime metric around less idealized NSs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A Hard Look at the Neutron Stars and Accretion Disks in 4U 1636-53, GX 17+2, and 4U 1705-44 with NuStar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this