A possible signature of lense-thirring precession in dipping and eclipsing neutron-star low-mass X-ray binaries.
Abstract (from CDS):
Relativistic Lense-Thirring precession of a tilted inner accretion disk around a compact object has been proposed as a mechanism for low-frequency (∼0.01-70 Hz) quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the light curves of X-ray binaries. A substantial misalignment angle (∼15°-20°) between the inner-disk rotation axis and the compact-object spin axis is required for the effects of this precession to produce observable modulations in the X-ray light curve. A consequence of this misalignment is that in high-inclination X-ray binaries the precessing inner disk will quasi-periodically intercept our line of sight to the compact object. In the case of neutron-star systems, this should have a significant observational effect, since a large fraction of the accretion energy is released on or near the neutron-star surface. In this Letter, I suggest that this specific effect of Lense-Thirring precession may already have been observed as ∼1 Hz QPOs in several dipping/eclipsing neutron-star X-ray binaries.