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journal id: "astrophysicalxjournal"
| Authors||E.M. Cackett, J.M. Miller, D.R. Ballantyne, D. Barret, S. Bhattacharyya, M. Boutelier, M.C. Miller, T.E. Strohmayer, R. Wijnands|
|Title||Relativistic lines and reflection from the inner accretion disks around neutron stars|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Institute/dept.||FNWI: Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek (IAP)|
|Abstract||A number of neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) have recently been discovered to show broad, asymmetric Fe K emission lines in their X-ray spectra. These lines are generally thought to be the most prominent part of a reflection spectrum, originating in the inner part of the accretion disk where strong relativistic effects can broaden emission lines. We present a comprehensive, systematic analysis of Suzaku and XMM-Newton spectra of 10 neutron star LMXBs, all of which display broad Fe K emission lines. Of the 10 sources, 4 are Z sources, 4 are atolls, and 2 are accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (also atolls). The Fe K lines are fit well by a relativistic line model for a Schwarzschild metric, and imply a narrow range of inner disk radii (6-15 GM/c 2) in most cases. This implies that the accretion disk extends close to the neutron star surface over a range of luminosities. Continuum modeling shows that for the majority of observations, a blackbody component (plausibly associated with the boundary layer) dominates the X-ray emission from 8 to 20 keV. Thus it appears likely that this spectral component produces the majority of the ionizing flux that illuminates the accretion disk. Therefore, we also fit the spectra with a blurred reflection model, wherein a blackbody component illuminates the disk. This model fits well in most cases, supporting the idea that the boundary layer illuminates a geometrically thin disk.|
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