SYSTEMATIC UNCERTAINTIES in the SPECTROSCOPIC MEASUREMENTS of NEUTRON STAR MASSES and RADII from THERMONUCLEAR X-RAY BURSTS. III. ABSOLUTE FLUX CALIBRATION

Tolga Güver, Feryal Ozel, Herman Marshall, Dimitrios Psaltis, Matteo Guainazzi, Maria Díaz-Trigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many techniques for measuring neutron star radii rely on absolute flux measurements in the X-rays. As a result, one of the fundamental uncertainties in these spectroscopic measurements arises from the absolute flux calibrations of the detectors being used. Using the stable X-ray burster, GS 1826-238, and its simultaneous observations by Chandra HETG/ACIS-S and RXTE/PCA as well as by XMM-Newton EPIC-pn and RXTE/PCA, we quantify the degree of uncertainty in the flux calibration by assessing the differences between the measured fluxes during bursts. We find that the RXTE/PCA and the Chandra gratings measurements agree with each other within their formal uncertainties, increasing our confidence in these flux measurements. In contrast, XMM-Newton EPIC-pn measures 14.0 ±0.3% less flux than the RXTE/PCA. This is consistent with the previously reported discrepancy with the flux measurements of EPIC-pn, compared with EPIC MOS1, MOS2, and ACIS-S detectors. We also show that any intrinsic time-dependent systematic uncertainty that may exist in the calibration of the satellites has already been implicity taken into account in the neutron star radius measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume829
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2016

Keywords

  • stars: neutron
  • X-rays: bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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