Using the AstroSat spacecraft, Indian astronomers have investigated a lightweight binary X-ray known as the GX 3 + 1. The study provided more details on GX 3 + 1 assets and found a thermonuclear explosion in this source. The findings were reported in a paper published on June 15 on arXiv.org.
Typically, X-ray banners consist of an average star or white mass that transmits the weight to a combined neutron star or black hole. Based on the importance of the companion star, astronomers classify them as low-volume X-ray binaries (LMXB) and high-resolution X-ray binaries (HMXB).
LMXBs may show a temporary eruption when an increase in X-ray light is observed. One of these explosions appears to be an X-ray explosion — a thermonuclear explosion occurring in the upper layers of neutron stars.
Discovered in 1964, the GX 3 + 1 is a dynamic continuous B-ray X-ray source classified as the LMXB of the atoll subtype with a soft spectrum of approximately 2-10 keV. The first type of explosive from GX 3 + 1 was discovered in 1983, and since then, the source has been the most effective X-ray explosion, with explosive work tested in many studies.
However, many structures of this LMXB are still uncertain. That is why a team of astronomers led by Ankur Nath of Tezpur University in India decided to test the GX 3 + 1 with AstroSat’s Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) and the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT).
“In this work, we report the AstroSat detection of a light atoll source, LMXB GX 3 + 1. The bright curve found on the LAXPC 20 [one of three LAXPC calculators] indicated the presence of a thermonuclear explosive element I,” researchers said.
As noted in the study, the detectors detected a single thermonuclear explosion that lasted about 15 seconds. A decrease in the number of calculations on the bright curve of the X-ray explosion was found when the low power bands became heavier. Explosions appeared to be more pronounced in the 5–8 keV power band, with a counting value more significant than in the soft band (3–5 keV). In addition, it was found that the explosion decomposed rapidly with high energy, suggesting that temperatures drop as the eruption shifts.
By analyzing the data, astronomers saw a double point in the explosion of high energy (8–12 keV, 12–20 keV). This was a very fast-moving event, lasting about two seconds, during which the explosion showed twice as high, indicating a phase of radiation expansion.