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Today's colloquium: Sub-Eddington accretion in neutron-star X-ray binaries

Submitter: Rudy Wijnands (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy)
Description: Accreting neutron stars have been studied intensively, although the investigations of the accretion physics involved have focused on systems with relatively high accretion rates: typically >1% of the Eddington mass accretion rate. However, a wide variety of physics is involved in sub-Eddington accretion flows such as the physics of radiative inefficient accretion flows, physics of jets, influence of stellar magnetic fields and surfaces on the accretion process, and instabilities in the accretion flow.

Over the last decade a lot of new and exciting observational information has been obtained for systems accreting at rates that are orders of magnitude lower than commonly observed. During this colloquium I will present an overview of our current understanding of sub-Eddington accretion flows in neutron-star low-mass X-ray binaries and I will also highlight the differences and similarities between those systems and the transitional millisecond pulsars (i.e., during their accretion phase), which are a recently recognized special class of neutron-star binaries that can accrete at very low rates.
Copyright: ESA, NASA & Felix Mirabel
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