Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 487, 5129-5142 (2019/August-3)
Atmospheric oscillations provide simultaneous measurement of neutron star mass and radius.
BOLLIMPALLI D.A., WIELGUS M., ABARCA D. and KLUZNIAK W.
Abstract (from CDS):
Neutron stars with near-Eddington observable luminosities were shown to harbour levitating atmospheres, suspended above their surfaces. We report a new method to simultaneously measure the mass and radius of a neutron star based on oscillations of such atmospheres. In this paper, we present an analytic derivation of a family of relativistic, oscillatory, spherically symmetric eigenmodes of the optically and geometrically thin levitating atmospheres, including the damping effects induced by the radiation drag. We discover characteristic maxima in the frequencies of the damped oscillations and show that from a measurement of the frequency maximum and of the luminosity one can determine the mass and radius of the neutron star. In addition to the stellar parameters, observation of the variation of the oscillation frequencies with flux would allow us to estimate the stellar luminosity and therefore the distance to the source with an accuracy of a few per cent. We also show that the ratio of any two undamped eigenfrequencies depends only on the adiabatic index of the atmosphere, while for the damped eigenfrequencies, this ratio varies with the luminosity. The damping coefficient is independent of the mode number of the oscillations. Signatures of the dynamics of such atmospheres will be reflected in the source's X-ray light curves.