Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Ultra-luminous X-ray Pulsars
6 - 8 June 2018
European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC)
Villafranca del Castillo
Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are accreting compact objects in nearby galaxies, which emit X-rays in excess of their spherical Eddington limit. Due their brightness, most of them are believed to be black holes. However, recently a new class of ULXs was discovered, through the detection of coherent pulsations:
Ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars (ULPs)
The presence of pulsations unambiguously identifies the compact objects as neutron stars, which are typically less massive than black holes. In ULPs the neutron star accretes matter from a companion star at inferred rates much higher than previously expected.
Currently three of these systems are known: M82 X-2, NGC 5907 ULX, and NGC 7793 P13 (with NGC 300 ULX-1 a likely fourth). Their existence challenges our understanding of accretion physics and stellar evolution. Today, no widely accepted theory has emerged to explain all their observational properties. Furthermore, a clear path forward to obtain a full sample of the ULP population is missing.
In order to further our understanding of ULPs, we will have a workshop at ESAC from June 6 to June 8, 2018.
At this workshop, we will bring together experts in observations, accretion models, and stellar evolution for an exchange of knowledge, ideas, and expertise. The goal of the workshop is to collect the observational evidence, make progress on our theoretical understanding, and identify open questions and projects to work on for the coming years in order to obtain a better understanding of the physics and evolution of ULPs.
To this end, the format of the workshop will consist of a mix between review talks by international experts, talks and posters by all participants, and ample time for discussion and project work.
We will in particular discuss observational opportunities with current (e.g. XMM-Newton, Chandra, NuSTAR and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory) and upcoming (e.g. XARM and Athena) X-ray telescopes and multi-wavelength follow up.
For questions please contact Felix Fuerst (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of the SOC members.
- What are the observational facts we have about ULPs? What are similarities, what are differences between the known sources?
- How do they compare to standard ULXs? Are their other properties besides pulsations to identifiy neutron star accretors?
- How do they compare to transient X-ray binaries in our galaxy and the SMC/LMC, which can reach Eddington luminosities? What can we learn from those sources?
- How can we explain the apperant super-Eddington luminosity? What can we infer about the properties of the neutron star?
- Where do the super-orbital periods come from? How do they influence the pulse and orbital period?
- What evolutionary tracks are available to form ULPs? What kind of environment is needed?
- Is it more or less likely to form neutron star ULXs instead of black hole ULXs? What does the ratio of accretors imply about stellar and galaxy evolution?
- What can we learn from other exotic neutron stars, like magnetars, and what does the ULPs phase imply about neutron star-neutron star mergers and kilo-novae?
Registration and abstract submission
The registration and abstract submission page can be found here.
The number of participants is strictly limited to 50 people, and registration will happen on a first-come, first-serve basis, with an additional waiting list. There is no conference fee.
The deadline for registration and abstract submission is March 31st. Registration has now closed.
Laptops will be provided for talks, with Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat, and Keynote available. Poster size is A0.
|Tim Roberts||Durham, UK|
|Juri Poutanen||Turku, Finland|
|Jean-Pierre Lasota||Paris, France|
|Selma de Mink||Amsterdam, the Netherlands|
|Matteo Bachetti||INAF/OA Cagliari|
|Fabio Pintore||IASF Milano|
|Christian Motch||Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg|
|Alexander Mushtukov||University of Amsterdam|
|Kyle Parfrey||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory|
|Tassos Fragos||Observatoire Astronomique de l'Univerite de Geneve|
|Thomas Tauris||Argelander Institut fur Astronomie, Universitat Bonn|
|Nanda Rea||Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC)|
|Ken Ohsuga||University of Tsukuba|
Scientific Organising Committee
|Fiona Harrison (chair)||Caltech, USA|
|Matteo Bachetti||INAF/OA Cagliari, Italy|
|Felix Fuerst||ESA/ESAC, Spain|
|Marianne Heida||Caltech, USA|
|Gian Luca Israel||INAF/OA Roma, Italy|
|Andrew King||Leicester, UK|
|Michela Mapelli||University of Innsbruck, Austria and INAF/OA Padova, Italy|
|Ken Ohsuga||University of Tsukuba, Japan|
|Philipp Podsiadlowski||Oxford, UK|
|Sergey Tsygankov||Turku, Finland|
|Dominic Walton||Cambridge, UK|
|Natalie Webb||IRAP, France|
Local Organising Committee
|Celia Sanchez Fernandez|