Journal Article

Statistical ages and the cooling rate of X-ray dim isolated neutron stars

Ramandeep Gill and Jeremy S. Heyl

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 435, issue 4, pages 3243-3250
Published in print November 2013 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2013 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Statistical ages and the cooling rate of X-ray dim isolated neutron stars

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The cooling theory of neutron stars is corroborated by its comparison with observations of thermally emitting isolated neutron stars and accreting neutron stars in binary systems. An important ingredient for such an analysis is the age of the object, which, typically, is obtained from the spin-down history. This age is highly uncertain if the object's magnetic field varies appreciably over time. Other age estimators, such as supernova remnant ages and kinematic ages, only apply to a handful of neutron stars. We conduct a population synthesis study of the nearby isolated thermal emitters and obtain their ages statistically from the observed luminosity function of these objects. We argue that a more sensitive blind scan of the Galactic disc with the upcoming space telescopes can help to constrain the ages to higher accuracy.

Keywords: methods: statistical; stars: neutron; pulsars: general; stars: statistics; X-rays: stars

Journal Article.  5666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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