X-ray astronomy is the prime available window on astrophysical compact objects: black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs. In the last ten years new observational opportunities have led to an explosion of knowledge in this field. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the astrophysics of compact objects that emit X-rays. Sixteen chapters written by the foremost experts in the field cover the observations and the astrophysical interpretation of these objects. Topics covered include binary systems, gamma ray burst sources, soft gamma ray repeaters, anomalous X-ray pulsars, super-soft sources, and enigmatic fast X-ray transients. Further chapters are dedicated to isolated neutron stars and the X-ray source populations of globular clusters. The properties of X-ray binaries are discussed in depth in chapters on quasi-periodic oscillations and related aperiodic X-ray variability, X-ray bursts, black holes, and relativistic jets. This is a valuable reference for both graduate students and active researchers.
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