MEASURING NEUTRON STAR RADII VIA PULSE PROFILE MODELING WITH NICER
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Astron
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationMEASURING NEUTRON STAR RADII VIA PULSE PROFILE MODELING WITH NICER 2016, 832 (1):92 The Astrophysical Journal
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractThe Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer is an X-ray astrophysics payload that will be placed on the International Space Station. Its primary science goal is to measure with high accuracy the pulse profiles that arise from the non-uniform thermal surface emission of rotation-powered pulsars. Modeling general relativistic effects on the profiles will lead to measuring the radii of these neutron stars and to constraining their equation of state. Achieving this goal will depend, among other things, on accurate knowledge of the source, sky, and instrument backgrounds. We use here simple analytic estimates to quantify the level at which these backgrounds need to be known in order for the upcoming measurements to provide significant constraints on the properties of neutron stars. We show that, even in the minimal-information scenario, knowledge of the background at a few percent level for a background-to-source countrate ratio of 0.2 allows for a measurement of the neutron star compactness to better than 10% uncertainty for most of the parameter space. These constraints improve further when more realistic assumptions are made about the neutron star emission and spin, and when additional information about the source itself, such as its mass or distance, are incorporated.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNASA [NNX16AC56G]; NICER mission within the Explorers Program; NSERC