NuSTAR Observation Of A Type I X-Ray Burst From GRS 1741.9-2853

Nicolas M. Barriere, Roman Krivonos, John A. Tomsick, Matteo Bachetti, Steven E. Boggs, Deepto Chakrabarty, Finn Erland Christensen, William W. Craig, Charles J. Hailey, Fiona A. Harrison

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We report on two NuSTAR observations of GRS 1741.9-2853, a faint neutron star (NS) low-mass X-ray binary burster located 10' away from the Galactic center. NuSTAR detected the source serendipitously as it was emerging from quiescence: its luminosity was 6x1034 erg s-1 on 2013 July 31 and 5x1035 erg s-1 in a second observation on 2013 August 3. A bright, 800 s long, H-triggered mixed H/He thermonuclear Type I burst with mild photospheric radius expansion (PRE) was present during the second observation. Assuming that the luminosity during the PRE was at the Eddington level, an H mass fraction X = 0.7 in the atmosphere, and an NS mass M = 1.4 M circle dot, we determine a new lower limit on the distance for this source of 6.3 +/- 0.5 kpc. Combining with previous upper limits, this places GRS 1741.9-2853 at a distance of 7 kpc. Energy independent (achromatic) variability is observed during the cooling of the NS, which could result from the disturbance of the inner accretion disk by the burst. The large dynamic range of this burst reveals a long power-law decay tail. We also detect, at a 95.6% confidence level (1.7σ), a narrow absorption line at 5.46 +/- 0.10 keV during the PRE phase of the burst, reminiscent of the detection by Waki et al. We propose that the line, if real, is formed in the wind above the photosphere of the NS by a resonant K alpha transition from H-like Cr gravitationally redshifted by a factor 1 + z = 1.09, corresponding to a radius range of 29.0-41.4 km for a mass range of 1.4-2.0 M-circle dot.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Accretion
  • Accretion disks
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Abundances
  • Stars: neutron
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: bursts
  • X-rays: individual (GRS 1741.9-2853)


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