A limit on the number of isolated neutron stars detected in the rosat all-sky-survey bright source catalog

Monica L. Turner, Robert E. Rutledge, Ryan Letcavage, Andrew S.H. Shevchuk, Derek B. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using new and archival observations made with the Swift satellite and other facilities, we examine 147 X-ray sources selected from the ROSAT All-Sky-Survey Bright Source Catalog (RASS/BSC) to produce a new limit on the number of isolated neutron stars (INSs) in the RASS/BSC, the most constraining such limit to date. Independent of X-ray spectrum and variability, the number of INSs is ≤48 (90% confidence). Restricting attention to soft (kT eff < 200eV), non-variable X-ray sources - as in a previous study - yields an all-sky limit of ≤31INSs. In the course of our analysis, we identify five new high-quality INS candidates for targeted follow-up observations. A future all-sky X-ray survey with eROSITA, or another mission with similar capabilities, can be expected to increase the detected population of X-ray-discovered INSs from the 8-50 in the BSC, to (for a disk population) 240-1500, which will enable a more detailed study of neutron star population models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1424-1440
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume714
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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