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Space Science Reviews

, Volume 191, Issue 1–4, pp 171–206 | Cite as

Neutron Stars—Thermal Emitters

  • Alexander Y. Potekhin
  • Andrea De Luca
  • José A. Pons
Article

Abstract

Confronting theoretical models with observations of thermal radiation emitted by neutron stars is one of the most important ways to understand the properties of both, superdense matter in the interiors of the neutron stars and dense magnetized plasmas in their outer layers. Here we review the theory of thermal emission from the surface layers of strongly magnetized neutron stars, and the main properties of the observational data. In particular, we focus on the nearby sources for which a clear thermal component has been detected, without being contaminated by other emission processes (magnetosphere, accretion, nebulae). We also discuss the applications of the modern theoretical models of the formation of spectra of strongly magnetized neutron stars to the observed thermally emitting objects.

Keywords

Neutron stars Magnetic fields Thermal emission Stellar atmospheres 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work of A.P. has been partly supported by the RFBR (grant 14-02-00868) and by the Program “Leading Scientific Schools of RF” (grant NSh 294.2014.2).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Y. Potekhin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea De Luca
    • 3
    • 4
  • José A. Pons
    • 5
  1. 1.Ioffe InstituteSaint PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Central Astronomical Observatory at PulkovoSaint PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.INAF—Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica MilanoMilanoItaly
  4. 4.INFN—Istituto Nazionale di Fisica NuclearePaviaItaly
  5. 5.Departament de Física AplicadaUniversitat d’AlacantAlacantSpain

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