Narrow atomic features from rapidly spinning neutron stars

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21 Scopus citations


Neutron stars spinning at moderate rates (∼300-600 Hz) become oblate in shape and acquire a nonzero quadrupole moment. In this paper, we calculate the profiles of atomic features from such neutron stars using a ray-tracing algorithm in the Hartle-Thorne approximation. We show that line profiles acquire cores that are much narrower than the widths expected from pure Doppler effects for a large range of observer inclinations. As a result, the effects of both the oblateness and the quadrupole moments of neutron stars need to be taken into account when aiming to measure neutron-star radii from rotationally broadened lines. Moreover, the presence of these narrow cores substantially increases the likelihood of detecting atomic lines from rapidly spinning neutron stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • gravitation
  • relativistic processes
  • stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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