HEAD 2000, November 2000
Session 24. X-Ray Binaries - Timing and Transients
Display, Wednesday, November 8, 2000, 8:00am-6:00pm, Bora Bora Ballroom

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[24.12] X-ray bursts at extreme mass accretion rates

E. Kuulkers (SRON & Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University), J. Homan, M. van der Klis (Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", Univ. of Amsterdam)

We show results of an XTE campaign and public data on one of the brightest persistent low-mass X-ray binaries, GX 17+2. X-ray bursts are seen which display a diversity in their properties. They are either short (~10 sec) or long (>min), and sometimes show (for the first time) evidence for radius expansion. One of the longest bursts (~30 min!) seen from this source shows evidence for a rather long hydrogen burning phase which is ignited by a short helium burst.

We compare the X-ray burst properties to bursts seen in other sources with high inferred mass accretion, such as Cyg X-2 and GX 3+1. We also discuss their properties in the framework of standard X-ray burst theory, which in principle predicts NO X-ray bursts at such extreme high accretion rates.

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