Relativistic X-ray disklines have been found in multiple neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries, in close analogy with black holes across the mass scale. These lines have tremendous diagnostic power and have been used to constrain stellar radii and magnetic fields, often finding values that are consistent with independent timing techniques. Here, we compare CCD-based data from Suzaku with Fe K line profiles from archival data taken with gas-based spectrometers. In general, we find good consistency between the gas-based line profiles from EXOSAT, BeppoSAX, and RXTE and the CCD data from Suzaku, demonstrating that the broad profiles seen are intrinsic to the line and not broad due to instrumental issues. However, we do find that when fitting with a Gaussian line profile, the width of the Gaussian can depend on the continuum model in instruments with low spectral resolution, though when the different models fit equally well the line widths generally agree. We also demonstrate that three BeppoSAX observations show evidence for asymmetric lines, with a relativistic diskline model providing a significantly better fit than a Gaussian. We test this by using the posterior predictive p-value method, and bootstrapping of the spectra to show that such deviations from a Gaussian are unlikely to be observed by chance.
Cosmology, Relativity, and Gravity | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy
A Comparison of Broad Iron Emission Lines in Archival Data of Neutron Star Low-mass X-Ray Binaries
Edward M. Cackett et al. 2012 ApJ 755 27