Rudy Wijnands - Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek'

Rudy Wijnands
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Rudy Wijnands
Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek'

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (33)
Astrophysics (16)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (3)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (2)
Nuclear Theory (1)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Rudy Wijnands

Affiliations: 1Leiden Observatory, 2ASTRON, 3SRON, 4U. Amsterdam, 5ASTRON, 6Southampton, 7Leicester, 8U. Amsterdam, 9U. Amsterdam

The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) SAX J1808.4-3658, shows a peculiar orbital evolution that proceeds at a much faster pace than predicted by conservative binary evolution models. It is important to identify the underlying mechanism responsible for this behavior because it can help to understand how this system evolves. Read More

Neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries exhibit oscillations during thermonuclear bursts, attributed to asymmetric brightness patterns on the burning surfaces. All models that have been proposed to explain the origin of these asymmetries (spreading hotspots, surface waves, and cooling wakes) depend on the accretion rate. By analysis of archival RXTE data of six oscillation sources, we investigate the accretion rate dependence of the amplitude of burst oscillations. Read More

Crustal cooling of accretion-heated neutron stars provides insight into the stellar interior of neutron stars. The neutron star X-ray transient, KS~1731$-$260, was in outburst for 12.5 years before returning to quiescence in 2001. Read More

Using a theoretical model, we track the thermal evolution of a cooling neutron star crust after an accretion induced heating period with the goal of constraining the crustal parameters. We present for the first time a crust cooling model $-\text{ } NSCool\text{ } -$ that takes into account detailed variability during the full outburst based on the observed light curve. We apply our model to KS 1731-260. Read More

The Be/X-ray transients V0332+53 and 4U 0115+63 exhibited giant, type-II outbursts in 2015. Here we present Swift/XRT follow-up observations at the end of those outbursts. Surprisingly, the sources did not decay back to their known quiescent levels but stalled at a (slowly decaying) meta-stable state with luminosities ~10 times that observed in quiescence. Read More

In quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (qLMXBs) containing neutron stars, the origin of the thermal X-ray component may be either release of heat from the core of the neutron star, or continuing low-level accretion. In general, heat from the core should be stable on timescales $<10^4$ years, while continuing accretion may produce variations on a range of timescales. While some quiescent neutron stars (e. Read More

Current and future astronomical survey facilities provide a remarkably rich opportunity for transient astronomy, combining unprecedented fields of view with high sensitivity and the ability to access previously unexplored wavelength regimes. This is particularly true of LOFAR, a recently-commissioned, low-frequency radio interferometer, based in the Netherlands and with stations across Europe. The identification of and response to transients is one of LOFAR's key science goals. Read More

The PSR J1023+0038 binary system hosts a neutron star and a low-mass, main-sequence-like star. It switches on year timescales between states as an eclipsing radio millisecond pulsar and a low-mass X-ray binary. We present a multi-wavelength observational campaign of PSR J1023+0038 in its most recent low-mass X-ray binary state. Read More

Accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars are an important subset of low-mass X-ray binaries in which coherent X-ray pulsations can be observed during occasional, bright outbursts (X-ray luminosity $L_X\sim 10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$). These pulsations show that matter is being channeled onto the neutron star's magnetic poles. However, such sources spend most of their time in a low-luminosity, quiescent state ($L_X\lesssim 10^{34}$ erg s$^{-1}$), where the nature of the accretion flow onto the neutron star (if any) is not well understood. Read More

We present Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Swift observations of the quiescent neutron star in the transient low-mass X-ray binary MAXI J0556-332. Observations of the source made during outburst (with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) reveal tracks in its X-ray color--color and hardness--intensity diagrams that closely resemble those of the neutron-star Z sources, suggesting that MAXI J0556-332 had near- or super-Eddington luminosities for a large part of its ~16 month outburst. A comparison of these diagrams with those of other Z sources suggests a source distance of 46+/-15 kpc. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Suffolk University, 6University of Southampton

We use K-band spectroscopy of the counterpart to the rapidly variable X-ray transient XMMU J174445.5-295044 to identify it as a new symbiotic X-ray binary. XMMU J174445. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 6Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research, 7Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 8Sam Houston State University, 9University of Michigan, 10University of Alberta

We report and study the outburst of a new transient X-ray binary (XRB) in Terzan 5, the third detected in this globular cluster, Swift J174805.3-244637 or Terzan 5 X-3. We find clear spectral hardening in Swift/XRT data during the outburst rise to the hard state, thanks to our early coverage (starting at L_X ~ 4x10^{34} ergs/s) of the outburst. Read More

The X-ray transient IGR J18245-2452 in the globular cluster M28 contains the first neutron star (NS) seen to switch between rotation-powered and accretion-powered pulsations. We analyse its 2013 March-April 25d-long outburst as observed by Swift, which had a peak bolometric luminosity of ~6% of the Eddington limit (L$_{E}$), and give detailed properties of the thermonuclear burst observed on 2013 April 7. We also present a detailed analysis of new and archival Chandra data, which we use to study quiescent emission from IGR J18245-2452 between 2002 and 2013. Read More

We report on a series of Swift/XRT observations, performed between February and 22 March 2012, during the quiescent state of the neutron-star X-ray binary SAX J1750.8-2900. In these observations, the source was either just detected or undetected, depending on the exposure length (which ranged from ~0. Read More

We report the result of a new Chandra observation of the black hole X-ray transient H 1705-250 in quiescence. H 1705-250 was barely detected in the new 50 ks Chandra observation. With 5 detected counts, we estimate the source quiescent luminosity to be Lx~9. Read More

It is assumed that accreting neutron stars (NSs) in LMXBs are heated due to the compression of the existing crust by the accreted matter which gives rise to nuclear reactions in the crust. It has been shown that most of the energy is released deep in the crust by pycnonuclear reactions involving low-Z elements. We discuss if NSs in very-faint X-ray transients (VFXTs; those which have peak X-ray luminosities < 1E36 erg/s) can be used to test this model. Read More

After a careful analysis of the instrumental effects on the Poisson noise to demonstrate the feasibility of detailed stochastic variability studies with the Swift X-Ray Telescope (XRT), we analyze the variability of the black hole X-ray binary SWIFT J1753.5-0127 in all XRT observations during 2005-2010. We present the evolution of the power spectral components along the outburst in two energy bands: soft (0. Read More

Affiliations: 1Southampton, 2SRON/CfA, 3LSU, 4Warwick, 5LSU, 6SRON/CfA/Radboud University, 7Warwick/CfA, 8Amsterdam, 9Radboud University/KU Leuven

We discuss radio sources in the Chandra Galactic Bulge survey region. By cross-matching the X-ray sources in this field with the NVSS archival data, we find 12 candidate matches. We present a classification scheme for radio/X-ray matches in surveys taken in or near the Galactic Plane, taking into account other multi-wavelength data. Read More

We report on two short XMM-Newton observations performed in August 2006 and February 2007 during the quiescence state of the enigmatic black hole candidate system IGR J17091-3624. During both observations the source was clearly detected. Although the errors on the estimated fluxes are large, the source appears to be brighter by several tens of percents during the February 2007 observation compared to the August 2006 observation. Read More

We present the optical to near-infrared spectrum of MAXI J1659-152, during the onset of its 2010 X-ray outburst. The spectrum was obtained with X-shooter on the ESO - Very Large Telescope (VLT) early in the outburst simultaneous with high quality observations at both shorter and longer wavelengths. At the time of the observations, the source was in the low-hard state. Read More

We explore the use of the bispectrum for understanding quasiperiodic oscillations. The bispectrum is a statistic which probes the relations between the relative phases of the Fourier spectrum at different frequencies. The use of the bispectrum allows us to break the degeneracies between different models for time series which produce identical power spectra. Read More

We present the results of continued monitoring of the quiescent neutron star low-mass X-ray binary XTE J1701-462 with Chandra and Swift. A new Chandra observation from 2010 October extends our tracking of the neutron star surface temperature from ~800 days to ~1160 days since the end of an exceptionally luminous 19 month outburst. This observation indicates that the neutron star crust may still be slowly cooling toward thermal equilibrium with the core; another observation further into quiescence is needed to verify this. Read More

Some neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries have very long outbursts (lasting several years) which can generate a significant amount of heat in the neutron star crust. After the system has returned to quiescence, the crust then thermally relaxes. This provides a rare opportunity to study the thermal properties of neutron star crusts, putting constraints on the thermal conductivity and hence the structure and composition of the crust. Read More

The nearby neutron star low-mass X-ray binary, Cen X-4, has been in a quiescent state since its last outburst in 1979. Typically, quiescent emission from these objects consists of thermal emission (presumably from the neutron star surface) with an additional hard power-law tail of unknown nature. Variability has been observed during quiescence in Cen X-4 on both timescales as short as hundreds of seconds and as long as years. Read More

We report on an analysis of RXTE data of the transient neutron star low-mass X-ray binary (NS-LMXB) XTE J1701-462, obtained during its 2006-2007 outburst. The X-ray properties of the source changed between those of various types of NS-LMXB subclasses. At high luminosities the source switched between two types of Z source behavior and at low luminosities we observed a transition from Z source to atoll source behavior. Read More

We present Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer and Swift observations made during the final three weeks of the 2006-2007 outburst of the super-Eddington neutron star (NS) transient XTE J1701-462, as well as Chandra and XMM-Newton observations covering the first ~800 days of the subsequent quiescent phase. The source transitioned quickly from active accretion to quiescence, with the luminosity dropping by over 3 orders of magnitude in ~13 days. The spectra obtained during quiescence exhibit both a thermal component, presumed to originate in emission from the NS surface, and a non-thermal component of uncertain origin, which has shown large and irregular variability. Read More

Discovered in 1996 by BeppoSAX during a single type-I burst event, SAX J1753.5-2349 was classified as "burst-only" source. Its persistent emission, either in outburst or in quiescence, had never been observed before October 2008, when SAX J1753. Read More

We present the identification of the most likely near-infrared/optical counterparts of five low-luminosity X-ray pulsators (AX J1700.1-4157, AX 1740.1-2847, AX J1749. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Amsterdam, 2University of Amsterdam, 3University of Amsterdam, 4University of Amsterdam, 5University of Amsterdam, 6University of Amsterdam, 7University of Amsterdam, 8University of Amsterdam, 9University of Amsterdam, 10University of Amsterdam, 11University of Amsterdam

We report the discovery of burst oscillations from the intermittent accretion-powered millisecond pulsar (AMP) HETE J1900.1-2455, with a frequency approximately 1 Hz below the known spin frequency. The burst oscillation properties are far more similar to those of the non-AMPs and Aql X-1 (an intermittent AMP with a far lower duty cycle), than those of the AMPs SAX J1808. Read More

Affiliations: 1MIT, 2University of Amsterdam, 3MIT, 4MIT, 5University of Amsterdam, 6INAF -- Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

The neutron-star X-ray transient XTE J1701-462 was observed for $\sim$3 Ms with \xte during its 2006-2007 outburst. Here we report on the discovery of three type-I X-ray bursts from XTE J1701-462. They occurred as the source was in transition from the typical Z-source behavior to the typical atoll-source behavior, at $\sim10%$ of the Eddington luminosity. Read More

The measurement of the spin frequency in accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (AMXPs) is strongly affected by the presence of an unmodeled component in the pulse arrival times called 'timing noise'. We show that it is possible to attribute much of this timing noise to a pulse phase offset that varies in correlation with X-ray flux, such that noise in flux translates into timing noise. This could explain many of the pulse frequency variations previously interpreted in terms of true spin up or spin down, and would bias measured spin frequencies. Read More

We analyzed simultaneous archival XMM-Newton and RXTE observations of the X-ray binary and black hole candidate Swift J1753.5-0127. In a previous analysis of the same data a soft thermal component was found in the X-ray spectrum, and the presence of an accretion disk extending close to the innermost stable circular orbit was proposed. Read More

We report the detection of a new transient radio source, GCRT J1742-3001, located ~1 degree from the Galactic center. The source was detected ten times from late 2006 to 2007 May in our 235 MHz transient monitoring program with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). The radio emission brightened in about one month, reaching a peak observed flux density of ~100 mJy on 2007 January 28, and decaying to ~50 mJy by 2007 May when our last monitoring observation was made. Read More

We present results from our Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of two low-luminosity X-ray pulsators SAX J1324.4-6200 and SAX J1452.8-5949 which have spin-periods of 172 s and 437 s respectively. Read More

Affiliations: 1Amsterdam, 2Amsterdam, 3Amsterdam, 4Amsterdam, 5Amsterdam, 6Amsterdam, 7Leicester, 8Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

XTE J1701-407 is a new transient X-ray source discovered on June 8th, 2008. More than one month later it showed a rare type of thermonuclear explosion: a long type I X-ray burst. We report herein the results of our study of the spectral and flux evolution during this burst, as well as the analysis of the outburst in which it took place. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Michigan, 2University of Amsterdam, 3University of Michigan, 4Michigan State University, 5University of Amsterdam

In quasi-persistent neutron star transients, long outbursts cause the neutron star crust to be heated out of thermal equilibrium with the rest of the star. During quiescence, the crust then cools back down. Such crustal cooling has been observed in two quasi-persistent sources: KS 1731-260 and MXB 1659-29. Read More

Affiliations: 1Univ. Amsterdam, 2Univ. Amsterdam, 3Univ Southampton, 4Univ. Amsterdam, 5Univ. Amsterdam, 6Univ. Amsterdam, 7Univ. Amsterdam, 8INAF-OAB, 9NRAO, 10Univ. Amsterdam, 11Univ. Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

We present preliminary results from the analysis of simultaneous multiwavelength observations of the black hole candidate Swift J1753.5-0127. The source is still continuing its outburst started in May 2005, never leaving the Low/Hard State. Read More

SWIFT J1756.9-2508 is one of the few accreting millisecond pulsars (AMPs) discovered to date. We report here the results of our analysis of its aperiodic X-ray variability, as measured with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer during the 2007 outburst of the source. Read More

During the last few years a class of enigmatic sub-luminous accreting neutron stars has been found in our Galaxy. They have peak X-ray luminosities (2-10 keV) of a few times 1E34 erg/s to a few times 1E35 erg/s, and both persistent and transient sources have been found. I present a short overview of our knowledge of these systems and what we can learn from them. Read More

Affiliations: 1API, Univ. Amsterdam, 2API, Univ. Amsterdam, 3API, Univ. Amsterdam, 4API, Univ. Amsterdam, 5API, Univ. Amsterdam, 6API, Univ. Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

We present a phase-coherent timing analysis of the intermittent accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. A new timing solution for the pulsar spin period and the Keplerian binary orbital parameters was achieved by phase connecting all episodes of intermittent pulsations visible during the 2001 outburst. Read More

We present an analysis of the Swift BAT and XRT data of GRB060602B, which is most likely an accreting neutron star in a binary system and not a gamma-ray burst. Our analysis shows that the BAT burst spectrum is consistent with a thermonuclear flash (type-I X-ray burst) from the surface of an accreting neutron star in a binary system. The X-ray binary nature is further confirmed by the report of a detection of a faint point source at the position of the XRT counterpart of the burst in archival XMM-Newton data approximately 6 years before the burst and in more recent XMM-Newton data obtained at the end of September 2006 (nearly 4 months after the burst). Read More

Using Suzaku observations of three neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries (Ser X-1, 4U 1820-30 and GX 349+2) we have found broad, asymmetric, relativistic Fe K emission lines in all three objects. These Fe K lines can be well fit by a model for lines from a relativistic accretion disk ('diskline'), allowing a measurement of the inner radius of the accretion disk, and hence an upper limit on the neutron star radius. These upper limits correspond to 14. Read More

During a 200 ks observation with the XMM-Newton Reflection Grating Spectrometer, we detected 16 type-I X-ray bursts from GS 1826-24. We combined the burst spectra in an attempt to measure the gravitational redshifts from the surface of the neutron star. We divided the composite GS 1826-24 burst spectrum into three groups based on the blackbody temperature during the bursts. Read More


We present a 7 yr timing study of the 2.5 ms X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658, an X-ray transient with a recurrence time of ~2 yr, using data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer covering 4 transient outbursts (1998-2005). Read More

LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array, is a new radio telescope under construction in the Netherlands, designed to operate between 30 and 240 MHz. The Transients Key Project is one of the four Key Science Projects which comprise the core LOFAR science case. The remit of the Transients Key Project is to study variable and transient radio sources detected by LOFAR, on timescales from milliseconds to years. Read More

Affiliations: 1Amsterdam, 2Amsterdam, 3Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

We report on the X-ray aperiodic timing analysis of two accreting millisecond pulsars: XTE J1807-294 and IGR J00291+5934. On the one hand, we discovered in XTE J1807-294 seven pairs of simultaneous kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs) separated in frequency by nearly the spin frequency of the neutron star. This confirms the suspected dichotomy in the frequency separation of kHz QPOs: sometimes once and sometimes half the spin frequency. Read More

(Abridged) We report on ten weeks of RXTE observations of the X-ray transient XTE J1701-462. Comparisons with other sources suggest it had all the characteristics of the neutron star Z sources (the brightest persistent neutron star LMXBs). These include Z tracks in X-ray color diagrams and typical variability components detected in the power spectra. Read More

IGR J00291+5934 is one of the seven accreting millisecond pulsars (AMPs) discovered so far. We report on the aperiodic timing and color analysis of its X-ray flux, using all the RXTE observations of the 2004 outburst. Flat-top noise and two harmonically related quasi-periodic oscillations, all of them at very low frequencies (0. Read More