8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 25 X-ray Binaries and White Dwarfs
Poster, Friday, September 10, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[25.09] Hot Spots and Variability of Neutron Stars: Results of 3D Simulations

M.M. Romanova, A. Kulkarni (Dept. of Astronomy, Cornell University), R.V.E. Lovelace (Dept.of Astronomy, Cornell University), G.V. Ustyugova (Keldysh Inst. of Appl. Math., Moscow, Russia), A.V. Koldoba (Institute of Math. Modelling, Moscow, Russia)

We performed full 3D MHD simulations of disk accretion to a rotating star with a misaligned dipole magnetic field, with the magnetic axis of the star misaligned relative to its rotational axis at an angle \Theta. We observed that even at very small misalignment angles matter accretes from the disk to the star through the streams, and forms hot spots at the surface of the star. The shape of the spots reflects the shape of the funnel streams and depends on \Theta. At small \Theta, they have a shape of a bow, which curves around the magnetic pole. At large \Theta, the spots have a shape of an elongated bar, which crosses the magnetic pole. The variability curves were calculated for different misalignment angles and different inclination angles relative to the observer. The spots may rotate faster/slower than the star, thus leading to possible quasi-periodic oscillations. Such oscillations are probable during periods of fast, non-stationary accretion. This research was supported by NASA and NSF.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.