Fr.: flash thermonucléaire
A theoretical interpretation for the → X-ray bursts observed toward → low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) stars. According to models, X-ray bursts are produced on the surface of → neutron stars as a result of violent thermonuclear processes in a → hydrogen or → helium rich → layer. It is the → nuclear energy released in the → fusion of hydrogen and helium to heavier elements (e.g., Ni, Zn, and Se) in the → accreted matter which heats the upper layers of the neutron star so that X-rays are emitted from the surface (see, e.g., Taam, R.E., 1984, AIP Conf. Proc. 115, 263).