The evolution of Rapid Burster outbursts

R. Guerriero, D. W. Fox, J. Kommers, W. H.G. Lewin, R. Rutledge, C. B. Moore, E. Morgan, J. Van Paradijs, M. Van Der Klis, L. Bildsten, T. Dotani

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25 Scopus citations


We describe the evolutionary progression of an outburst of the Rapid Burster. Four outbursts have been observed with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer between 1996 February and 1998 May, and our observations are consistent with a standard evolution over the course of each. An outburst can be divided into two distinct phases. Phase I is dominated by type I bursts, with a strong persistent emission component; it lasts for 15-20 d. Phase II is characterized by type II bursts, which occur in a variety of patterns. The light curves of time-averaged luminosity for the outbursts show some evidence for reflares, similar to those seen in soft X-ray transients. The average recurrence time for Rapid Burster outbursts during this period was 218 d, in contrast to an average ∼180-d recurrence period observed during 1976-1983.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 21 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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