Evidence of a broad relativistic iron line from the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary Serpens X-1.
BHATTACHARYYA S. and STROHMAYER T.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report on an analysis of XMM-Newton data from the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) Serpens X-1 (Ser X-1). Spectral analysis of EPIC PN data indicates that the previously known broad iron Kα emission line from this source has a significantly skewed structure with a moderately extended red wing. The asymmetric shape of the line is well described with the \typ laor and \typ diskline models in XSPEC and strongly supports an inner accretion disk origin of the line. To our knowledge, this is the first strong evidence of a relativistic line in a neutron star LMXB. This finding suggests that the broad lines seen in other neutron star LMXBs likely originate from the inner disk as well. Detailed study of such lines opens up a new way to probe neutron star parameters and their strong gravitational fields. The red wing of the iron line from Ser X-1 is not as broad as that observed from some black hole systems. This is not unreasonable for a neutron star system, as the accretion disk has to terminate at or before the hard stellar surface. Finally, the inferred source inclination angle in the approximate range 40°-60° is consistent with the lack of dips and eclipses from Ser X-1.