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Sample records for accreting x-ray pulsars

  1. Accreting X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2009-01-01

    This presentation describes the behavior of matter in environments with extreme magnetic and gravitational fields, explains the instability/stability of accretion disks in certain systems, and discusses how emergent radiation affects accretion flow. Magnetic field measurements are obtained by measuring the lowest cyclotron absorption line energy, observing the cutoff of accretion due to centrifugal inhibition and measuring the spin-up rate at high luminosity.

  2. Accretion powered X-ray pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, N. E.; Swank, J. H.; Holt, S. S.

    1982-01-01

    A unified description of the properties of 14 X-ray pulsars is presented and compared with the current theoretical understanding of these systems. The sample extends over six orders of magnitude in luminosity, with the only trend in the phase averaged spectra being that the lower luminosity systems appear to have less abrupt high energy cutoffs. There is no correlation of luminosity with power law index, high energy cutoff energy or iron line EW. Detailed pulse phase spectroscopy is given for five systems.

  3. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakura, Nikolai I.; Postnov, Konstantin A.; Kochetkova, A. Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2013-04-01

    A theoretical model is considered for quasispherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars. In this regime, the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasistatic shell. Angular momentum transfer in the shell occurs via large-scale convective motions resulting, for observed pulsars, in an almost iso-angular-momentum \\omega \\sim 1/R^2 rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, with allowance for cooling. A settling accretion regime is possible for moderate accretion rates \\dot M \\lesssim \\dot M_* \\simeq 4\\times 10^{16} g s ^{-1}. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and the accretion becomes highly nonstationary. Observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasispherically wind accreting equilibrium X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods (e.g., GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable us to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate surface magnetic field of the neutron star. For equilibrium pulsars, the independent measurements of the neutron star magnetic field allow for an estimate of the stellar wind velocity of the optical companion without using complicated spectroscopic measurements. For nonequilibrium pulsars, a maximum value is shown to exist for the spin-down rate of the accreting neutron star. From observations of the spin-down rate and the X-ray luminosity in such pulsars (e.g., GX 1+4, SXP 1062, and 4U 2206+54), a lower limit can be put on the neutron star magnetic field, which in all cases turns out to be close to the standard value and which agrees with cyclotron line measurements. Furthermore, both explains the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and also accounts for the irregular short

  4. Partial accretion in the propeller stage of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gungor, Can; Gogus, Ersin; Eksi, Kazim Yavuz; Guver, Tolga

    2016-07-01

    Accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (AMXPs) are very important objects for studying the stages of disk - magnetosphere interaction as these objects may show different stages in an observable duration. A typical X-ray light curve of an outburst of AMXP has a fast rise and an exponential decay phases. Most of the outbursts have a knee where the flux goes from the slow decay stage to the rapid decay stage. This knee may be linked to the transition from accretion to propeller stage. Since, after the knee, the X-ray luminosity of the source is still higher than its quiescent level, the accretion from inner disc must be continuing in the propeller stage with a lower fraction than in the accretion stage. The X-ray does not only come from accretion onto the poles but the inner parts of the disk may also contribute to the total X-ray luminosity. To infer what fraction (f) of the inflowing matter accretes onto the star the light curve in the propeller stage, one should first separate the emission originating from the disk and obtain a light curve of X-ray emission only from the magnetic poles. We provide a new method to infer from the observational data the fraction of accreting matter onto the neutron star pole to the mass transferring from outer layers of the disc to the inner disc (f), as a function of the fastness parameter (ω_{*}), assuming the knee is due to the transition from accretion to the propeller stage. We transform X-ray luminosities to the mass fraction, f, and the time scale of outburst to fastness parameter, ω_*. It allows us to compare different types of outbursts of an AMXP in f - ω_* space which is universal for a unique system. We analysed the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer/Proportional Counter Array (RXTE/PCA) observations of the 2000 and the 2011 outbursts and the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission/X-ray Telescope (SWIFT/XRT) data of the 2013 outburst of the most known AMXP, Aql X-1 using a combination of blackbody representing hot spot, disk blackbody

  5. Spectral Modeling of the Comptonized Continua of Accreting X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Michael Thomas; Pottschmidt, Katja; Becker, Peter A.; Marcu, Diana; Wilms, Jörn; Wood, Kent S.

    2015-01-01

    We are undertaking a program to analyze the X-ray spectra of the accretion flows onto strongly magnetic neutron stars in high mass binary systems such as Cen X-3, and XTE J1946+274. These accreting pulsars typically have X-ray spectra consisting of broad Comptonized cutoff power-laws. Current theory suggests these X-ray spectra result from radiation-dominated shocks that develop in the high-velocity magnetically channeled plasma accretion flows onto the surfaces of the neutron stars. These X-ray pulsars often, but not always, show cyclotron resonant scattering features implying neutron star surface magnetic field strengths above 1012 G. Proper fitting of cyclotron line centroids (for example, to investigate how the line centroid varies with X-ray luminosity) requires a robust model for the Comptonized X-ray continuum upon which the cyclotron lines are superposed, and this can be provided by a continuum model based on the physics of the accretion column.We discuss in this presentation our ongoing program for the analysis of the X-ray spectra formed in these systems. Our program consists of two parts. First, we are modeling the X-ray spectra from the Suzaku X-ray satellite of accreting X-ray pulsars Cen X-3 and XTE J1946+274 utilizing the best currently existing empirical models. The second part of our program is building a new analysis tool based on the analytical model of Becker and Wolff (2007). In the high temperature optically thick plasma flows, the processes of bremsstrahlung emission from the hot plasma, black body emission from a thermal mound near the neutron star surface, and cyclotron emission from electrons in the first Landau excited state, all contribute to the total observed X-ray spectrum. We show recent results from our new implementation and its comparison with the Suzaku data for these X-ray pulsars.This research is supported by the NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program.

  6. On the dependence of the X-ray continuum variations with luminosity in accreting X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postnov, K. A.; Gornostaev, M. I.; Klochkov, D.; Laplace, E.; Lukin, V. V.; Shakura, N. I.

    2015-09-01

    Using RXTE/ASM archival data, we investigate the behaviour of the spectral hardness ratio as a function of X-ray luminosity in a sample of six transient X-ray pulsars (EXO 2030+375, GX 304-1, 4U 0115+63, V 0332+63, A 0535+26 and MXB 0656-072). In all sources we find that the spectral hardness ratio defined as F5-12 keV/F1.33-3 keV increases with the ASM flux (1.33-12 keV) at low luminosities and then saturates or even slightly decreases above some critical X-ray luminosity falling into the range ˜(3-7) × 1037 erg s-1. Two-dimensional structure of accretion columns in the radiation-diffusion limit is calculated for two possible geometries (filled and hollow cylinder) for mass accretion rates dot{M} ranging from 1017 to 1.2 × 1018 g s-1. The observed spectral behaviour in the transient X-ray pulsars with increasing dot{M} can be reproduced by a Compton-saturated sidewall emission from optically thick magnetized accretion columns with taking into account the emission reflected from the neutron star atmosphere. At dot{M} above some critical value dot{M}_cr˜ (6-8)× 10^{17} g s-1, the height of the column becomes such that the contribution of the reflected component to the total emission starts decreasing, which leads to the saturation and even slight decrease of the spectral hardness. Hollow-cylinder columns have a smaller height than the filled-cylinder ones, and the contribution of the reflected component in the total emission does not virtually change with dot{M} (and hence the hardness of the continuum monotonically increases) up to higher mass accretion rates than dot{M}_cr for the filled columns.

  7. A new model for the X-ray continuum of the magnetized accreting pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farinelli, Ruben; Ferrigno, Carlo; Bozzo, Enrico; Becker, Peter A.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high-quality broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray observations are available, the spectral energy distribution of these sources is usually investigated by adopting pure phenomenological models rather than models linked to the physics of accretion. Aims: In this paper, a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission recorded from the high-mass X-ray binary pulsars Cen X-3, 4U 0115+63, and Her X-1 is carried out by using BeppoSAX and joined Suzaku +NuStar data, together with an advanced version of the compmag model, which provides a physical description of the high-energy emission from accreting pulsars, including the thermal and bulk Comptonization of cyclotron and bremsstrahlung seed photons along the neutron star accretion column. Methods: The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been improved and consolidated during the preparation of this paper. Results: Our analysis shows that the broad-band X-ray continuum of all considered sources can be self-consistently described by the compmag model. The cyclotron absorption features (not included in the model) can be accounted for by using Gaussian components. From the fits of the compmag model to the data we inferred the physical properties of the accretion columns in all sources, finding values reasonably close to those theoretically expected according to our current understanding of accretion in highly magnetized neutron stars. Conclusions: The updated version of the compmag model has been tailored to the physical processes that are known to occur in the columns of highly magnetized accreting neutron stars and it can thus provide a better understanding of the high-energy radiation from these sources. The availability of broad-band high-quality X-ray data, such as those provided by BeppoSAX in

  8. On the maximum accretion luminosity of magnetized neutron stars: connecting X-ray pulsars and ultraluminous X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mushtukov, Alexander A.; Suleimanov, Valery F.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Poutanen, Juri

    2015-12-01

    We study properties of luminous X-ray pulsars using a simplified model of the accretion column. The maximal possible luminosity is calculated as a function of the neutron star (NS) magnetic field and spin period. It is shown that the luminosity can reach values of the order of 1040 erg s-1 for the magnetar-like magnetic field (B ≳ 1014 G) and long spin periods (P ≳ 1.5 s). The relative narrowness of an area of feasible NS parameters which are able to provide higher luminosities leads to the conclusion that L ≃ 1040 erg s-1 is a good estimate for the limiting accretion luminosity of an NS. Because this luminosity coincides with the cut-off observed in the high-mass X-ray binaries luminosity function which otherwise does not show any features at lower luminosities, we can conclude that a substantial part of ultraluminous X-ray sources are accreting neutron stars in binary systems.

  9. Application of a physical continuum model to recent X-ray observations of accreting pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana Monica; Pottschmidt, Katja; Wolff, Michael Thomas; Becker, Peter A.; Wood, Kent S.; Wilms, Joern; Britton Hemphill, Paul; Gottlieb, Amy; Fuerst, Felix; Schwarm, Fritz-Walter; Ballhausen, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    We present a uniform spectral analysis in the 0.5-50 keV energy range of a sample of accreting pulsars by applying an empirical broad-band continuum cut-off power-law model. We also apply the newly implemented physical continuum model developed by Becker and Wolff (2007, ApJ 654, 435) to a number of high-luminosity sources. The X-ray spectral formation process in this model consists of the Comptonization of bremsstrahlung, cyclotron, and black body photons emitted by the hot, magnetically channeled, accreting plasma near the neutron star surface. This model describes the spectral formation in high-luminosity accreting pulsars, where the dominant deceleration mechanism is via a radiation-dominated radiative shock. The resulting spectra depend on five physical parameters: the mass accretion rate, the radius of the accretion column, the electron temperature and electron scattering cross-sections inside the column, and the magnetic field strength. The empirical model is fitted to Suzaku data of a sample of high-mass X-ray binaries covering a broad luminosity range (0.3-5 x 10 37 erg/s). The physical model is fitted to Suzaku data from luminous sources: LMC X-4, Cen X-3, GX 304-1. We compare the results of the two types of modeling and summarize how they can provide new insight into the process of accretion onto magnetized neutron stars.

  10. Signs of magnetic accretion in the young Be/X-ray pulsar SXP 1062

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, N. R.

    2012-07-01

    The spin behaviour of the neutron star in the newly discovered young Be/X-ray long-period pulsar SXP 1062 is discussed. The star is observed to rotate with the period of 1062 s, and spin down at the rate ˜-2.6 × 10-12 Hz s-1. I show that all of the conventional accretion scenarios encounter major difficulties in explaining the rapid spin-down of the pulsar. These difficulties can be, however, avoided within the magnetic accretion scenario in which the neutron star is assumed to accrete from a magnetized wind. The spin-down rate of the pulsar can be explained within this scenario provided the surface magnetic field of the neutron star is B*˜ 4 × 1013 G. I show that the age of the pulsar in this case lies in the range (2-4) × 104 yr, which is consistent with observations. The spin evolution of the pulsar is briefly discussed.

  11. Spectral formation in accreting X-ray pulsars: bimodal variation of the cyclotron energy with luminosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, P. A.; Klochkov, D.; Schönherr, G.; Nishimura, O.; Ferrigno, C.; Caballero, I.; Kretschmar, P.; Wolff, M. T.; Wilms, J.; Staubert, R.

    2012-08-01

    Context. Accretion-powered X-ray pulsars exhibit significant variability of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature (CRSF) centroid energy on pulse-to-pulse timescales, and also on much longer timescales. Two types of spectral variability are observed. For sources in group 1, the CRSF energy is negatively correlated with the variable source luminosity, and for sources in group 2, the opposite behavior is observed. The physical basis for this bimodal behavior is currently not well understood. Aims: We explore the hypothesis that the accretion dynamics in the group 1 sources is dominated by radiation pressure near the stellar surface, and that Coulomb interactions decelerate the gas to rest in the group 2 sources. Methods: We derive a new expression for the critical luminosity, Lcrit, such that radiation pressure decelerates the matter to rest in sources with X-ray luminosity LX > Lcrit. The formula for Lcrit is based on a simple physical model for the structure of the accretion column in luminous X-ray pulsars that takes into account radiative deceleration, the energy dependence of the cyclotron cross section, the thermodynamics of the accreting gas, the dipole structure of the pulsar magnetosphere, and the diffusive escape of radiation through the column walls. We show that for typical neutron star parameters, Lcrit = 1.5 × 1037 B1216/15 erg s-1, where B12 is the surface magnetic field strength in units of 1012 G. Results: The formula for the critical luminosity is evaluated for five sources, using the maximum value of the CRSF centroid energy to estimate the surface magnetic field strength B12. The results confirm that the group 1 sources are supercritical (LX > Lcrit) and the group 2 sources are subcritical (LX < Lcrit), although the situation is less clear for those highly variable sources that cross over the line LX = Lcrit. We also explain the variation of the CRSF energy with luminosity as a consequence of the variation of the characteristic emission

  12. Pulse-to-pulse variations in accreting X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kretschmar, Peter; Marcu, Diana; Kühnel, Matthias; Klochkov, Dmitry; Pottschmidt, Katja; Staubert, Rüdiger; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Jenke, Peter A.; Caballero, Isabel; Fürst, Felix

    2014-01-01

    In most accreting X-ray pulsars, the periodic signal is very clear and easily shows up as soon as data covering sufficient pulse periods (a few ten) are available. The mean pulse profile is often quite typical for a given source and with minor variations repeated and recognisable across observations done years or even decades apart. At the time scale of individual pulses, significant pulse-to-pulse variations are commonly observed. While at low energies some of these variations might be explained by absorption, in the hard X-rays they will reflect changes in the accretion and subsequent emission. The amount of these variations appears to be quite different between sources and contains information about the surrounding material as well ass possibly interactions at the magnetosphere. We investigate such variations for a sample of well-known sources.

  13. An Investigation of Luminous X-Ray Pulsars: Exploring Accretion Onto the Magnetized Neutron Star LMC X-4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumback, McKinley

    2016-04-01

    X-ray pulsars are neutron stars in which magnetic forces dominate accretion within the magnetosphere. These systems offer unique laboratories to study magnetic accretion and the behavior of matter under extreme densities, magnetic fields, and gravitational forces. Using joint observations with NuSTAR and XMM-Newton, we observe the complete precession of the warped accretion disk around the X-ray pulsar LMC X-4, and measure the relative phase between the pulsar beam and the softer X-ray photons reprocessed by the disk. This allows us to perform tomography to explore the inner magnetized accretion flow. Additionally, we investigate the unusual flaring events observed from LMC X-4 during October and November of 2015.

  14. SIGNS OF MAGNETIC ACCRETION IN THE X-RAY PULSAR BINARY GX 301-2

    SciTech Connect

    Ikhsanov, Nazar R.; Finger, Mark H.

    2012-07-01

    Observations of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature in the X-ray spectrum of GX 301-2 suggest that the surface field of the neutron star is B{sub CRSF} {approx} 4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12} G. The same value has been derived in modeling the rapid spin-up episodes in terms of the Keplerian disk accretion scenario. However, the spin-down rate observed during the spin-down trends significantly exceeds the value expected in currently used spin-evolution scenarios. This indicates that either the surface field of the star exceeds 50 B{sub CRSF} or a currently used accretion scenario is incomplete. We show that the above discrepancy can be avoided if the accreting material is magnetized. The magnetic pressure in the accretion flow increases more rapidly than its ram pressure and, under certain conditions, significantly affects the accretion picture. The spin-down torque applied to the neutron star in this case is larger than that evaluated within a non-magnetized accretion scenario. We find that the observed spin evolution of the pulsar can be explained in terms of the magnetically controlled accretion flow scenario provided the surface field of the neutron star is {approx}B{sub CRSF}.

  15. Contrasting Behaviour from Two Be/X-ray Binary Pulsars: Insights into Differing Neutron Star Accretion Modes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, L. J.; Drave, S. P.; Hill, A. B.; Coe, M. J.; Corbet, R. H. D.; Bird, A. J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present the identification of two periodic X-ray signals coming from the direction of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). On detection with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), the 175.4 s and 85.4 s pulsations were considered to originate from new Be/X-ray binary (BeXRB) pulsars with unknown locations. Using rapid follow-up INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton observations, we show the first pulsar (designated SXP175) to be coincident with a candidate high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) in the northern bar region of the SMC undergoing a small Type II outburst. The orbital period (87d) and spectral class (B0-B0.5IIIe) of this system are determined and presented here for the first time. The second pulsar is shown not to be new at all, but is consistent with being SXP91.1 - a pulsar discovered at the very beginning of the 13 year long RXTE key monitoring programme of the SMC. Whilst it is theoretically possible for accreting neutron stars to change spin period so dramatically over such a short time, the X-ray and optical data available for this source suggest this spin-up is continuous during long phases of X-ray quiescence, where accretion driven spin-up of the neutron star should be minimal.

  16. A radiation-hydrodynamics model of accretion columns for ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawashima, Tomohisa; Mineshige, Shin; Ohsuga, Ken; Ogawa, Takumi

    2016-09-01

    Prompted by the recent discovery of pulsed emission from an ultra-luminous X-ray source, M 82 X-2 ("ULX-pulsar"), we perform a two-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamics simulation of a supercritical accretion flow onto a neutron star through a narrow accretion column. We set an accretion column with a cone shape filled with tenuous gas with the density of 10-4 g cm-3 above a neutron star and solve the two-dimensional gas motion and radiative transfer within the column. The side boundaries are set such that radiation can freely escape, but gas cannot. Since the initial gas layer is not in a hydrostatic balance, the column gas falls onto the neutron-star surface, and thereby a shock is generated. As a result, the accretion column is composed of two regions: an upper, nearly free-fall region and a lower settling region, as noted by Basko and Sunyaev (1976, MNRAS, 175, 395). The average accretion rate is very high; dot{M}}˜ 10^{2-3} L_E/c2 (with LE being the Eddington luminosity), and so radiation energy dominates over gas internal energy entirely within the column. Despite the high accretion rate, the radiation flux in the laboratory frame is kept barely below LE/(4πr2) at a distance r in the settling region so that matter can slowly accrete. This adjustment is made possible, since a large amount of photons produced via dissipation of kinetic energy of matter can escape through the side boundaries. The total luminosity can greatly exceed LE by several orders of magnitude, whereas the apparent luminosity observed from the top of the column is much less. Due to such highly anisotropic radiation fields, the observed flux should exhibit periodic variations with the rotation period, provided that the rotation and magnetic axes are misaligned.

  17. AN ACCRETION MODEL FOR THE ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSAR 4U 0142+61

    SciTech Connect

    Truemper, J. E.; Dennerl, K.; Kylafis, N. D.; Zezas, A.; Ertan, Ue.

    2013-02-10

    We propose that the quiescent emission of anomalous X-ray pulsars/soft gamma-ray repeaters (AXPs/SGRs) is powered by accretion from a fallback disk, requiring magnetic dipole fields in the range 10{sup 12}-10{sup 13} G, and that the luminous hard tails of their X-ray spectra are produced by bulk-motion Comptonization in the radiative shock near the bottom of the accretion column. This radiation escapes as a fan beam, which is partly absorbed by the polar cap photosphere, heating it up to relatively high temperatures. The scattered component and the thermal emission from the polar cap form a polar beam. We test our model on the well-studied AXP 4U 0142+61, whose energy-dependent pulse profiles show double peaks, which we ascribe to the fan and polar beams. The temperature of the photosphere (kT {approx} 0.4 keV) is explained by the heating effect. The scattered part forms a hard component in the polar beam. We suggest that the observed high temperatures of the polar caps of AXPs/SGRs, compared with other young neutron stars, are due to the heating by the fan beam. Using beaming functions for the fan beam and the polar beam and taking gravitational bending into account, we fit the energy-dependent pulse profiles and obtain the inclination angle and the angle between the spin axis and the magnetic dipole axis, as well as the height of the radiative shock above the stellar surface. We do not explain the high-luminosity bursts, which may be produced by the classical magnetar mechanism operating in super-strong multipole fields.

  18. Monitoring Accreting X-ray Pulsars with the GLAST Burst Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Patel, Sandeep K.; Bhat, P. Narayana; Preece, Robert D.; Meegan, Charles A.

    2007-01-01

    Accreting pulsars are exceptionally good laboratories for probing the detailed physics of accretion onto magnetic stars. While similar accretion flows also occur in other types of astrophysical systems, e.g. magnetic CVs, only neutron stars have a small enough moment of inertia for the accretion of angular momentum to result in measurable changes in spin-frequency in a timescale of days. Long-term monitoring of accreting pulsar spin-frequencies and fluxes was demonstrated with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Here we present sample results from BATSE, discuss measurement techniques appropriate for GBM, and estimate the expected GBM sensitivity.

  19. Monitoring Accreting X-ray Pulsars with the GLAST Burst Monitor

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Patel, Sandeep K.; Bhat, P. Narayana; Preece, Robert D.; Meegan, Charles A.

    2007-07-12

    Accreting pulsars are exceptionally good laboratories for probing the detailed physics of accretion onto magnetic stars. While similar accretion flows also occur in other types of astrophysical systems, e.g. magnetic CVs, only neutron stars have a small enough moment of inertia for the accretion of angular momentum to result in measurable changes in spin-frequency in a timescale of days. Long-term monitoring of accreting pulsar spin-frequencies and fluxes was demonstrated with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Here we present sample results from BATSE, discuss measurement techniques appropriate for GBM, and estimate the expected GBM sensitivity.

  20. Can the Subsonic Accretion Model Explain the Spin Period Distribution of Wind-fed X-Ray Pulsars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Shao, Yong; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2016-06-01

    Neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) generally accrete from the wind matter of their massive companion stars. Recently, Shakura et al. suggested a subsonic accretion model for low-luminosity (<4 × 1036 erg s‑1), wind-fed X-ray pulsars. To test the feasibility of this model, we investigate the spin period distribution of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with a supergiant companion star, using a population synthesis method. We find that the modeled distribution of supergiant HMXBs in the spin period–orbital period diagram is consistent with observations, provided that the winds from the donor stars have relatively low terminal velocities (≲1000 km s‑1). The measured wind velocities in several supergiant HMXBs seem to favor this viewpoint. The predicted number ratio of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with persistent X-ray luminosities that are higher and lower than 4 × 1036 erg s‑1 is about 1:10.

  1. NuSTAR DETECTION OF HARD X-RAY PHASE LAGS FROM THE ACCRETING PULSAR GS 0834–430

    SciTech Connect

    Miyasaka, Hiromasa; Harrison, Fiona A.; Fürst, Felix; Bellm, Eric C.; Grefenstette, Brian W.; Madsen, Kristin K.; Walton, Dominic J.; Bachetti, Matteo; Barret, Didier; Boggs, Steven E.; Craig, William W.; Tomsick, John A.; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chenevez, Jerome; Christensen, Finn E.; Hailey, Charles J.; Natalucci, Lorenzo; Pottschmidt, Katja; Stern, Daniel; Wilms, Jörn; and others

    2013-09-20

    The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array hard X-ray telescope observed the transient Be/X-ray binary GS 0834–430 during its 2012 outburst—the first active state of this system observed in the past 19 yr. We performed timing and spectral analysis and measured the X-ray spectrum between 3-79 keV with high statistical significance. We find the phase-averaged spectrum to be consistent with that observed in many other magnetized, accreting pulsars. We fail to detect cyclotron resonance scattering features that would allow us to constrain the pulsar's magnetic field in either phase-averaged or phase-resolved spectra. Timing analysis shows a clearly detected pulse period of ∼12.29 s in all energy bands. The pulse profiles show a strong, energy-dependent hard phase lag of up to 0.3 cycles in phase, or about 4 s. Such dramatic energy-dependent lags in the pulse profile have never before been reported in high-mass X-ray binary pulsars. Previously reported lags have been significantly smaller in phase and restricted to low energies (E < 10 keV). We investigate the possible mechanisms that might produce this energy-dependent pulse phase shift. We find the most likely explanation for this effect is a complex beam geometry.

  2. THE QUIESCENT X-RAY PROPERTIES OF THE ACCRETING MILLISECOND X-RAY PULSAR AND ECLIPSING BINARY SWIFT J1749.4-2807

    SciTech Connect

    Degenaar, N.; Patruno, A.; Wijnands, R.

    2012-09-10

    Swift J1749.4-2807 is a transient neutron star low-mass X-ray binary that contains an accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar spinning at 518 Hz. It is the first of its kind that displays X-ray eclipses, which holds significant promise to precisely constrain the mass of the neutron star. We report on a {approx_equal} 105 ks long XMM-Newton observation performed when Swift J1749.4-2807 was in quiescence. We detect the source at a 0.5-10 keV luminosity of {approx_equal}1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 33}(D/6.7 kpc){sup 2} erg s{sup -1}. The X-ray light curve displays three eclipses that are consistent in orbital phase and duration with the ephemeris derived during outburst. Unlike most quiescent neutron stars, the X-ray spectrum can be adequately described with a simple power law, while a pure-hydrogen atmosphere model does not fit the data. We place an upper limit on the 0.01-100 keV thermal luminosity of the cooling neutron star of {approx}< 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 33} erg s{sup -1} and constrain its temperature to be {approx}< 0.1 keV (for an observer at infinity). Timing analysis does not reveal evidence for X-ray pulsations near the known spin frequency of the neutron star or its first overtone with a fractional rms of {approx}< 34% and {approx}< 28%, respectively. We discuss the implications of our findings for dynamical mass measurements, the thermal state of the neutron star, and the origin of the quiescent X-ray emission.

  3. Broad-band spectral analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pintore, F.; Sanna, A.; Di Salvo, T.; Del Santo, M.; Riggio, A.; D'Aì, A.; Burderi, L.; Scarano, F.; Iaria, R.

    2016-04-01

    We analysed a 115-ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 d of INTEGRAL observations, taken during the raise of the 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. The source showed numerous type-I burst episodes during the XMM-Newton observation, and for this reason we studied separately the persistent and burst epochs. We described the persistent emission with a combination of two soft thermal components, a cold thermal Comptonization component (˜2 keV) and an additional hard X-ray emission described by a power law (Γ ˜ 2.3). The continuum components can be associated with an accretion disc, the neutron star (NS) surface and a thermal Comptonization emission coming out of an optically thick plasma region, while the origin of the high-energy tail is still under debate. In addition, a number of broad (σ = 0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated with reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity of the source is ˜5 × 1037 erg s-1, about 25 per cent of the Eddington limit assuming a 1.4 M⊙ NS. We suggest that the spectral properties of SAX J1748.9-2021 are consistent with a soft state, differently from many other accreting X-ray millisecond pulsars which are usually found in the hard state. Moreover, none of the observed type-I burst reached the Eddington luminosity. Assuming that the burst ignition and emission are produced above the whole NS surface, we estimate an NS radius of ˜7-8 km, consistent with previous results.

  4. Generation of ultrahigh-energy gamma rays in accreting x ray pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gnedin, Yu. N.; Ikhsanov, N. R.

    1991-01-01

    Relativistic protons producing ultrahigh energy gamma rays as a result of nuclear collisions ought to be generated in close proximity to the surface of a neutron star due to accretion. The main features of the mechanism in question are a high efficiency of conversion of the gravitational energy of the accreting matter into acceleration energy and a high efficiency of the acceleration itself. It is shown that in accretion to a neutron star with a strong magnetic field, a loss cone type distribution of accreting protons is formed, which due to instability effectively generates small scale Alfven and proton cyclotron waves, as well as nonlinear waves (magneto-acoustic and Alfven solitons). The electric field of the moving solitons may accelerate the protons to energies of greater than 10(exp 15) eV. The region of acceleration is not locally isolated, but extends from its surface. New possible sources of ultrahigh energy gamma rays are predicted. They may be binary x ray systems containing neutron stars with magnetic fields of about 10(exp 9) gauss.

  5. NuSTAR Discovery of a Cyclotron Line in the Accreting X-Ray Pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodaghee, Arash; Tomsick, John A.; Fornasini, Francesca M.; Krivonos, Roman; Stern, Daniel; Mori, Kaya; Rahoui, Farid; Boggs, Steven E.; Christensen, Finn E.; Craig, William W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Harrison, Fiona A.; Zhang, William W.

    2016-06-01

    The high-mass X-ray binary and accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 was observed by the Nuclear Spectroscope Telescope Array in the 3–79 keV energy band for a net exposure time of 50 ks. We present the results of this observation which enabled the discovery of a cyclotron resonant scattering feature with a centroid energy of {29.3}-1.3+1.1 keV. This allowed us to measure the magnetic field strength of the neutron star for the first time: B = (2.5 ± 0.1) × 1012 G. The known pulsation period is now observed at 904.0 ± 0.1 s. Since 2006, the neutron star has undergone a long-term spin-up trend at a rate of \\dot{P}=-2× {10}-8 s s‑1 (‑0.6 s per year, or a frequency derivative of \\dot{ν }=3× {10}-14 Hz s‑1). In the power density spectrum, a break appears at the pulse frequency which separates the zero slope at low frequency from the steeper slope at high frequency. This addition of angular momentum to the neutron star could be due to the accretion of a quasi-spherical wind, or it could be caused by the transient appearance of a prograde accretion disk that is nearly in corotation with the neutron star whose magnetospheric radius is around 2 × 108 cm.

  6. DISCOVERY OF ECLIPSES FROM THE ACCRETING MILLISECOND X-RAY PULSAR SWIFT J1749.4-2807

    SciTech Connect

    Markwardt, C. B.; Strohmayer, T. E.

    2010-07-10

    We report the discovery of X-ray eclipses in the recently discovered accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SWIFT J1749.4-2807. This is the first detection of X-ray eclipses in a system of this type and should enable a precise neutron star mass measurement once the companion star is identified and studied. We present a combined pulse and eclipse timing solution that enables tight constraints on the orbital parameters and inclination and shows that the companion mass is in the range 0.6-0.8 M{sub sun} for a likely range of neutron star masses, and that it is larger than a main-sequence star of the same mass. We observed two individual eclipse egresses and a single ingress. Our timing model shows that the eclipse features are symmetric about the time of 90{sup 0} longitude from the ascending node, as expected. Our eclipse timing solution gives an eclipse duration (from the mid-points of ingress to egress) of 2172 {+-} 13 s. This represents 6.85% of the 8.82 hr orbital period. This system also presents a potential measurement of 'Shapiro' delay due to general relativity; through this technique alone, we set an upper limit to the companion mass of 2.2 M{sub sun}.

  7. Discovery of Eclipses from the Accreting Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar Swift J1749.4-2807

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markwardt, C. B.; Stromhmayer, T. E.

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of X-ray eclipses in the recently discovered accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SWIFT J1749.4-2807. This is the first detection of X-ray eclipses in a system of this type and should enable a precise neutron star mass measurement once the companion star is identified and studied. We present a combined pulse and eclipse timing solution that enables tight constraints on the orbital parameters and inclination and shows that the companion mass is in the range 0.6-0.8 solar mass for a likely range of neutron star masses, and that it is larger than a main-sequence star of the same mass. We observed two individual eclipse egresses and a single ingress. Our timing model shows that the eclipse features are symmetric about the time of 90 longitude from the ascending node, as expected. Our eclipse timing solution gives an eclipse duration (from the mid-points of ingress to egress) of 2172+/-13 s. This represents 6.85% of the 8.82 hr orbital period. This system also presents a potential measurement of "Shapiro" delay due to general relativity; through this technique alone, we set an upper limit to the companion mass of 2.2 Solar mass .

  8. Application of the relativistic precession model to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefanov, I. Zh.

    2016-03-01

    The observation of a pair of simultaneous twin kHz QPOs in the power density spectrum of a neutron star or a black hole allows its mass-angular-momentum relation to be constrained. Situations in which the observed simultaneous pairs are more than one allow the different models of the kHz QPOs to be falsified. Discrepancy between the estimates coming from the different pairs would call the used model into question. In the current paper, the relativistic precession model is applied to the twin kHz QPOs that appear in the light curves of three groups of observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057. It was found that the predictions of one of the groups are practically in conflict with the other two. Another interesting result is that the region in which the kHz QPOs have been born is rather broad and extends quite far from the ISCO.

  9. High Mass X-ray Binary Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naik, Sachindra

    2016-07-01

    High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs) are interesting objects that provide a wide range of observational probes to the nature of the two stellar components, accretion process, stellar wind and orbital parameters of the systems. Most of the transient HMXBs are found to Be/X-ray binaries (~67%), consisting of a compact object (neutron star) in orbit around the companion Be star. The orbit of the compact object around the Be star is wide and highly eccentric. Be/X-ray binaries are generally quiescent in X-ray emission. The transient X-ray outbursts seen in these objects are known to be due to interaction between the compact object and the circumstellar disk surrounding the Be star. In the recent years, another class of transient HMXBs have been found which have supergiant companions and show shorter X-ray outbursts. X-ray, infrared and optical observations of these HMXBs provide vital information regarding these systems. The timing and broad-band X-ray spectral properties of a few HMXB pulsars, mainly Be/X-ray binary pulsars during regular X-ray outbursts will be discussed.

  10. X-Ray and Near-infrared Observations of the Obscured Accreting Pulsar IGR J18179-1621

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, M. A.; Paizis, A.; Rodriguez, J.; Chaty, S.; Del Santo, M.; Grinberg, V.; Wilms, J.; Ubertini, P.; Chini, R.

    2012-10-01

    IGR J18179-1621 is an obscured accreting X-ray pulsar discovered by INTEGRAL on 2012 February 29. We report on our 20 ks Chandra-High Energy Transmission Gratings Spectrometer observation of the source performed on 2012 March 17, on two short contemporaneous Swift observations, and on our two near-infrared (Ks , Hn , and Jn ) observations performed on 2012 March 13 and 26. We determine the most accurate X-ray position of IGR J18179-1621, αJ2000 = 18h17m52.s18, δJ2000 = -16°21'31farcs68 (90% uncertainty of 0farcs6). A strong periodic variability at 11.82 s is clearly detected in the Chandra data, confirming the pulsating nature of the source, with the light-curve softening at the pulse peak. The quasi-simultaneous Chandra-Swift spectra of IGR J18179-1621 can be well fit by a heavily absorbed hard power law (N H = 2.2 ± 0.3 × 1023 cm-2 and photon index Γ = 0.4 ± 0.1) with an average absorbed 2-8 keV flux of 1.4 × 10-11 erg cm-2 s-1. At the Chandra-based position, a source is detected in our near-infrared (NIR) maps with Ks = 13.14 ± 0.04 mag, Hn = 16 ± 0.1 mag, and no Jn -band counterpart down to ~18 mag. The NIR source, compatible with 2MASS J18175218-1621316, shows no variability between 2012 March 13 and 26. Searches of the UKIDSS database show similar NIR flux levels at epochs six months prior to and after a 2007 February 11 archival Chandra observation where the source's X-ray flux was at least 87 times fainter. In many ways IGR J18179-1621 is unusual: its combination of a several week long outburst (without evidence of repeated outbursts in the historical record), high absorption column (a large fraction of which is likely local to the system), and 11.82 s period does not fit neatly into existing X-ray binary categories.

  11. X-ray radiation from accreting, magnetized neutron stars

    SciTech Connect

    Pavlov, G.G.

    1984-01-01

    A review is given of recent developments in the theory of emission from a magnetized plasma for accreting neutron star conditions. Some observational data on X-ray pulsars are discussed, and present problems are indicated. 26 references.

  12. The Transient Accreting X-Ray Pulsar XTE J1946+274: Stability of X-Ray Properties at Low Flux and Updated Orbital Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana M.; Pottschmidt, Katja; Kühnel, Matthias; Müller, Sebastian; Falkner, Sebastian; Caballero, Isabel; Finger, Mark H.; Jenke, Peter J.; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Fürst, Felix; Grinberg, Victoria; Hemphill, Paul B.; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Klochkov, Dmitry; Rothschild, Richard E.; Terada, Yukikatsu; Enoto, Teruaki; Iwakiri, Wataru; Wolff, Michael T.; Becker, Peter A.; Wood, Kent S.; Wilms, Jörn

    2015-12-01

    We present a timing and spectral analysis of the X-ray pulsar XTE J1946+274 observed with Suzaku during an outburst decline in 2010 October and compare with previous results. XTE J1946+274 is a transient X-ray binary consisting of a Be-type star and a neutron star with a 15.75 s pulse period in a 172 days orbit with 2-3 outbursts per orbit during phases of activity. We improve the orbital solution using data from multiple instruments. The X-ray spectrum can be described by an absorbed Fermi-Dirac cut-off power-law model along with a narrow Fe Kα line at 6.4 keV and a weak Cyclotron Resonance Scattering Feature (CRSF) at ˜35 keV. The Suzaku data are consistent with the previously observed continuum flux versus iron line flux correlation expected from fluorescence emission along the line of sight. However, the observed iron line flux is slightly higher, indicating the possibility of a higher iron abundance or the presence of non-uniform material. We argue that the source most likely has only been observed in the subcritical (non-radiation dominated) state since its pulse profile is stable over all observed luminosities and the energy of the CRSF is approximately the same at the highest (˜5 × 1037 erg s-1) and lowest (˜5 × 1036 erg s-1) observed 3-60 keV luminosities.

  13. X-Ray States of Redback Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linares, M.

    2014-11-01

    Compact binary millisecond pulsars with main-sequence donors, often referred to as "redbacks," constitute the long-sought link between low-mass X-ray binaries and millisecond radio pulsars and offer a unique probe of the interaction between pulsar winds and accretion flows. We present a systematic study of eight nearby redbacks, using more than 100 observations obtained with Swift's X-ray Telescope. We distinguish between three main states: pulsar, disk, and outburst states. We find X-ray mode switching in the disk state of PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859, similar to what was found in the other redback that showed evidence for accretion: rapid, recurrent changes in X-ray luminosity (0.5-10 keV, L X), between (6-9) × 1032 erg s-1 (disk-passive state) and (3-5) × 1033 erg s-1 (disk-active state). This strongly suggests that mode switching—which has not been observed in quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries—is universal among redback millisecond pulsars in the disk state. We briefly explore the implications for accretion disk truncation and find that the inferred magnetospheric radius in the disk state of PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859 lies outside the light cylinder. Finally, we note that all three redbacks that have developed accretion disks have relatively high L X in the pulsar state (>1032 erg s-1).

  14. Positive correlation between the cyclotron line energy and luminosity in sub-critical X-ray pulsars: Doppler effect in the accretion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mushtukov, Alexander A.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Serber, Alexander V.; Suleimanov, Valery F.; Poutanen, Juri

    2015-12-01

    Cyclotron resonance scattering features observed in the spectra of some X-ray pulsars show significant changes of the line centroid energy with the pulsar luminosity. Whereas for bright sources above the so-called critical luminosity, these variations are established to be connected with the appearance of the high-accretion column above the neutron star surface, at low, sub-critical luminosities the nature of the variations (but with the opposite sign) has not been discussed widely. We argue here that the cyclotron line is formed when the radiation from a hotspot propagates through the plasma falling with a mildly relativistic velocity on to the neutron star surface. The position of the cyclotron resonance is determined by the Doppler effect. The change of the cyclotron line position in the spectrum with luminosity is caused by variations of the velocity profile in the line-forming region affected by the radiation pressure force. The presented model has several characteristic features: (i) the line centroid energy is positively correlated with the luminosity; (ii) the line width is positively correlated with the luminosity as well; (iii) the position and the width of the cyclotron absorption line are variable over the pulse phase; (iv) the line has a more complicated shape than widely used Lorentzian or Gaussian profiles; (v) the phase-resolved cyclotron line centroid energy and the width are negatively and positively correlated with the pulse intensity, respectively. The predictions of the proposed theory are compared with the variations of the cyclotron line parameters in the X-ray pulsar GX 304-1 over a wide range of sub-critical luminosities as seen by the INTEGRAL observatory.

  15. The superslow pulsation X-ray pulsars in high mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei

    2013-03-01

    There exists a special class of X-ray pulsars that exhibit very slow pulsation of P spin > 1000 s in the high mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs). We have studied the temporal and spectral properties of these superslow pulsation neutron star binaries in hard X-ray bands with INTEGRAL observations. Long-term monitoring observations find spin period evolution of two sources: spin-down trend for 4U 2206+54 (P spin ~ 5560 s with Ṗ spin ~ 4.9 × 10-7 s s-1) and long-term spin-up trend for 2S 0114+65 (P spin ~ 9600 s with Ṗ spin ~ -1 × 10-6 s s-1) in the last 20 years. A Be X-ray transient, SXP 1062 (P spin ~ 1062 s), also showed a fast spin-down rate of Ṗ spin ~ 3 × 10-6 s s-1 during an outburst. These superslow pulsation neutron stars cannot be produced in the standard X-ray binary evolution model unless the neutron star has a much stronger surface magnetic field (B > 1014 G). The physical origin of the superslow spin period is still unclear. The possible origin and evolution channels of the superslow pulsation X-ray pulsars are discussed. Superslow pulsation X-ray pulsars could be younger X-ray binary systems, still in the fast evolution phase preceding the final equilibrium state. Alternatively, they could be a new class of neutron star system - accreting magnetars.

  16. X-ray states of redback millisecond pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Linares, M.

    2014-11-01

    Compact binary millisecond pulsars with main-sequence donors, often referred to as 'redbacks', constitute the long-sought link between low-mass X-ray binaries and millisecond radio pulsars and offer a unique probe of the interaction between pulsar winds and accretion flows. We present a systematic study of eight nearby redbacks, using more than 100 observations obtained with Swift's X-ray Telescope. We distinguish between three main states: pulsar, disk, and outburst states. We find X-ray mode switching in the disk state of PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859, similar to what was found in the other redback that showed evidence for accretion: rapid, recurrent changes in X-ray luminosity (0.5-10 keV, L {sub X}), between (6-9) × 10{sup 32} erg s{sup –1} (disk-passive state) and (3-5) × 10{sup 33} erg s{sup –1} (disk-active state). This strongly suggests that mode switching—which has not been observed in quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries—is universal among redback millisecond pulsars in the disk state. We briefly explore the implications for accretion disk truncation and find that the inferred magnetospheric radius in the disk state of PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859 lies outside the light cylinder. Finally, we note that all three redbacks that have developed accretion disks have relatively high L {sub X} in the pulsar state (>10{sup 32} erg s{sup –1}).

  17. Be/X-Ray Pulsar Binary Science with LOFT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2011-01-01

    Accretion disks are ubiquitous in astronomical sources. Accretion powered pulsars are a good test bed for accretion disk physics, because unlike for other objects, the spin of the neutron star is directly observable allowing us to see the effects of angular momentum transfer onto the pulsar. The combination of a sensitive wide-field monitor and the large area detector on LOFT will enable new detailed studies of accretion powered pulsars which I will review. RXTE observations have shown an unusually high number of Be/X-ray pulsar binaries in the SMC. Unlike binaries in the Milky Way, these systems are all at the same distance, allowing detailed population studies using the sensitive LOFT WFM, potentially providing connections to star formation episodes. For Galactic accreting pulsar systems, LOFT will allow measurement of spectral variations within individual pulses, mapping the accretion column in detail for the first time. LOFT will also provide better constraints on magnetic fields in accreting pulsars, allowing measurements of cyclotron features, observations of transitions into the centrifugal inhibition regime, and monitoring of spin-up rate vs flux correlations. Coordinated multi-wavelength observations are crucial to extracting the best science from LOFT from these and numerous other objects.

  18. Thermonuclear X-ray bursts from the 401-Hz accreting pulsar IGR J17498-2921: indication of burning in confined regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Manoneeta; Bhattacharyya, Sudip

    2012-05-01

    We use the 2011 Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) Proportional Counter Array (PCA) data of the 401-Hz accreting pulsar and burster IGR J17498-2921 to perform timing analysis and time-resolved spectroscopy of 12 thermonuclear X-ray bursts. We confirm previously reported burst oscillations from this source with a much higher significance (8.8σ). We note that the bursts can be divided into three groups: big photospheric radius expansion (PRE) bursts are about 10 times more luminous than medium bursts, while the latter are about 10 times more luminous than small bursts. The PCA field of view of these observations contains several known bursters, and hence some of the observed bursts might not be from IGR J17498-2921. The oscillations during big bursts at the known pulsar frequency show that these bursts were definitely from IGR J17498-2921. We find that at least several of the other bursts were also likely originated from IGR J17498-2921. Spectral analysis reveals that the luminosity differences among various bursts are primarily due to differences in normalizations, and not temperatures, even when we consider the effects of colour factor. This shows burning on a fraction of the stellar surface for those small and medium bursts, which originated from IGR J17498-2921. The low values of the upper limits of burst oscillation amplitude for these bursts suggest a small angle between the spin axis and the magnetic axis. We find indications of the PRE nature of a medium burst, which likely originated from IGR J17498-2921. If true, then, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that two PRE bursts with a peak count rate ratio of as high as ≈12 have been detected from the same source.

  19. Classical Accreting Pulsars with NICER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2014-01-01

    Soft excesses are very common center dot Lx > 1038 erg/s - reprocessing by optically thick material at the inner edge of the accretion disk center dot Lx < 1036 erg/s - photoionized or collisionally heated diffuse gas or thermal emission from the NS surface center dot Lx 1037 erg/s - either or both types of emission center dot NICER observations of soft excesses in bright X-ray pulsars combined with reflection modeling will constrain the ionization state, metalicity and dynamics of the inner edge of the magnetically truncated accretion disk Reflection models of an accretion disk for a hard power law - Strong soft excess below 3 keV from hot X-ray heated disk - For weakly ionized case: strong recombination lines - Are we seeing changes in the disk ionization in 4U1626-26? 13 years of weekly monitoring with RXTE PCA center dot Revealed an unexpectedly large population of Be/X-ray binaries compared to the Milky Way center dot Plotted luminosities are typical of "normal" outbursts (once per orbit) center dot The SMC provides an excellent opportunity to study a homogenous population of HMXBs with low interstellar absorption for accretion disk studies. Monitoring with NICER will enable studies of accretion disk physics in X-ray pulsars center dot The SMC provides a potential homogeneous low-absorption population for this study center dot NICER monitoring and TOO observations will also provide measurements of spinfrequencies, QPOs, pulsed fluxes, and energy spectra.

  20. NuSTAR discovers a cyclotron line and reveals the spinning up of the accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodaghee, Arash; Tomsick, John; Fornasini, Francesca; Krivonos, Roman; Stern, Daniel; Mori, Kaya; Rahoui, Farid; Boggs, Steven E.; Christensen, Finn; Craig, William W.; Hailey, Charles James; Harrison, Fiona; Zhang, William

    2016-04-01

    After several misclassifications, IGR J16393-4643 is now known to be a high-mass X-ray binary consisting of a heavily-absorbed pulsar that is likely paired with a massive and distant B star. It was observed for 50-ks by NuSTAR in the 3--79 keV energy band, complemented by a contemporaneous 2-ks observation with Swift-XRT. These observations enabled the discovery of a cyclotron resonant scattering feature with a centroid energy of 29.3(+1.1/-1.3) keV. This allowed us to measure the magnetic field strength of the neutron star for the first time: B = (2.5±0.1)×1012 G. The known pulsation period is now observed at 904.0±0.1 s. Since 2006, the neutron star has undergone a long-term spin-up trend at a rate of dP/dt = -2×10-8 s s-1 (-0.6 s per year, or a frequency derivative of dν/dt = 3×10-14 Hz s-1). In the power density spectrum, a break appears at the pulse frequency which separates the zero slope at low frequency from the steeper slope at high frequency. This addition of angular momentum to the neutron star could be due to the accretion of a quasi-spherical wind, or it could be caused by the transient appearance of a prograde accretion disk that is nearly in corotation with the neutron star whose magnetospheric radius is around 2×108 cm.

  1. Period clustering of anomalous X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisnovatyi-Kogan, G. S.; Ikhsanov, N. R.

    2015-06-01

    The question of why the observed periods of anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) cluster in the range 2-12 s is discussed. The possibility that AXPs and SGRs are the descendants of high-mass X-ray binaries that have disintegrated in core-collapse supernova explosions is investigated. The spin periods of neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries evolve towards the equilibrium period, which is a few seconds, on average. After the explosion of its massive companion, the neutron star becomes embedded in a dense gaseous envelope, and accretion from this envelope leads to the formation of a residual magnetically levitating disk. It is shown that the expected mass of the disk in this case is 10-7-10-8 M⊙, which is sufficient to support accretion at the rate 1014-1015 g/s over a few thousand years. During this period, the star manifests itself as an isolated X-ray pulsar with a number of parameters similar to those of AXPs and SGRs. The periods of such pulsars can cluster if the lifetime of the residual disk does not exceed the spin-down timescale of the neutron star.

  2. Stellar X-ray accretion signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, C.; Guenther, M.

    2016-06-01

    Accretion is observed in a wide range objects with partially overlapping properties. In this contribution, we study accretion in young stars, where we can directly observe the accretion shock on the stellar surface in the X-ray regime. High-resolution grating spectroscopy allows us to infer the properties of the accretion streams. I will present results from our recent 250 ks XMM-Newton/Chandra program targeting the prototypical T Tau system such as strong X-ray variability despite constant mass accretion, abundances typical for accreting stars, but line ratios typically not found in accreting stars. Finally, I will compare these results with other systems focusing on potentially different accretion modes.

  3. Observations of accreting pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prince, Thomas A.; Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Wilson, Robert B.; Finger, Mark H.

    1994-01-01

    We discuss recent observations of accreting binary pulsars with the all-sky BATSE instrument on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. BATSE has detected and studied nearly half of the known accreting pulsar systems. Continuous timing studies over a two-year period have yielded accurate orbital parameters for 9 of these systems, as well as new insights into long-term accretion torque histories.

  4. A new look at anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisnovatyi-Kogan, G. S.; Ikhsanov, N. R.

    2014-04-01

    We explore the possibility of explaining Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) and Soft Gammaray Repeaters (SGRs) in a scenario with fall-back magnetic accretion onto a young isolated neutron star. The X-ray emission of the pulsar in this case originates due to the accretion of matter onto the surface of the neutron star from a magnetic slab surrounding its magnetosphere. The spin-down rate of the neutron star expected in this picture is close to the observed value. We show that such neutron stars are relatively young and are going through the transition from the propeller state to the accretor state. The pulsar's activity in gamma-rays is connected with its relative youth, and is enabled by energy stored in a non-equilibrium layer located in the crust of the low-mass neutron star. This energy can be released due to the mixing of matter in the neutron star crust with super heavy nuclei approaching its surface and becoming unstable. The fission of nuclei in the low-density region initiates chain reactions leading to a nuclear explosion. Outbursts are probably triggered by instability developing in the region where the matter accreted by the neutron star accumulates in the magnetic polar regions.

  5. X-rays from the eclipsing pulsar 1957+20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fruchter, A. S.; Bookbinder, J.; Garcia, M. R.; Bailyn, C. D.

    1992-01-01

    The detection of soft X-rays of about 1 keV energy from the eclipsing pulsar PSR1957+20 is reported. This high-energy radiation should be a valuable diagnostic of the wind in this recycled pulsar system. Possible sources of the X-ray emission are the interstellar nebula driven by the pulsar wind, the interaction between the pulsar and its evaporating companion, and the pulsar itself. The small apparent size of the X-ray object argues against the first of these possibilities and suggests that the X-rays are produced within the binary.

  6. The X-ray optics for X-ray pulsar navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Dongdong; Li, Wenbin; Lian, Jian; Shi, Yufeng; Song, Juan; Wang, Wencong; Sun, Shukun

    2016-01-01

    The effective X-ray optics is a key premise for X-ray pulsar detection and navigation. However, it is very difficult to focus the X-ray photons through refraction for the reason that the X-ray photon is very easy to be absorbed by the materials. The most effective ways for the X-ray focusing is reflection. In this paper, we will give a brief introduction of the theory of the grazing incidence and the corresponding optical systems. By comparing the design parameters of main X-ray astronomical telescope in NASA and ESA, we will give the development trend of the X-ray optics for X-ray pulsar navigation and introduce several new technology for the manufacture of the micro-pore optics (MPO).

  7. X-Ray Pulsar Studies With RXTE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rappaport, Saul

    2004-01-01

    Our activities here at MIT have largely concentrated on four different binary X-ray pulsars: LMC X-4; 4UO352+3O/XPer; 4U0115+63; and X1908+075. We have also recently initiated a search for millisecond X-ray pulsations in RXTE archival data for several bright LMXBs using a new technique. Since this study is just getting under way, we will not report any results here. Using RXTE timing observations of LMC X-4 we have definitively measured, for the first time, the orbital decay of this high-mass X-ray binary. The e-folding decay time scale is very close to lo6 years, comparable to, but somewhat longer than, the corresponding orbital decay times for SMC X-1 and Cen X-3. We find that the orbital decay in LMC X-4 is likely driven by tidal interactions, where the asynchronism between the orbital motion and the rotation of the companion star is maintained by the evolutionary expansion of the companion. Under NASA grant NAGS7479 we carried out RXTE observations of X Per/4U0352+30 in order to track the pulse phase over a one year interval. This effort was successful in tentatively identifying a N 250-day orbital period. However, due to the fact that the observing interval was only somewhat longer than the orbital period, we asked for the observations of X Per to continue as public, or non-proprietary observations. Dr. Jean Swank kindly agreed to the continuation of the observations and they were carried out on a less frequent basis over the next year and a half. After 72 separate observations of X Per, we have the orbital period and semimajor axis firmly determined. In addition, we were able to measure the orbital eccentricity-which turns out to be remarkably small (e = 0.10) for such a wide binary orbit. This has led us establish the birth of a neutron star with a very small (or zero) natal kick.

  8. X-ray emission from two nearby millisecond pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorsett, S. E.

    1994-01-01

    This grant, titled 'X-Ray Emission from Two Nearby Millisecond Pulsars,' included ROSAT observations of the nearby pulsars PSR J2322+20 and PSR J2019+24. Neither was detected, although the observations were among the most sensitive ever made towards millisecond pulsars, reaching 1.5 x 10(exp 29) and 2.7 x 10(exp 29) erg s(exp -1) (0.1-2.4 keV), respectively. This is about, or slightly below, the predicted level of emission from the Seward and Wang empirical prediction, based on an extrapolation from slower pulsars. To understand the significance of this result, we have compared these limits with observations of four other millisecond pulsars, taken from the ROSAT archives. Except for the case of PSR B1821-21, where we identified a possible x-ray counterpart, only upper limits on x-ray flux were obtained. From these results, we conclude that x-ray emission beaming does not follow the same dependence on pulsar period as that of radio emission: while millisecond pulsars have beaming fractions near unity in the radio, x-ray emission is observed only for favorable viewing geometries.

  9. THERMAL X-RAY EMISSION FROM THE SHOCKED STELLAR WIND OF PULSAR GAMMA-RAY BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Zabalza, V.; Paredes, J. M.; Bosch-Ramon, V.

    2011-12-10

    Gamma-ray-loud X-ray binaries are binary systems that show non-thermal broadband emission from radio to gamma rays. If the system comprises a massive star and a young non-accreting pulsar, their winds will collide producing broadband non-thermal emission, most likely originated in the shocked pulsar wind. Thermal X-ray emission is expected from the shocked stellar wind, but until now it has neither been detected nor studied in the context of gamma-ray binaries. We present a semi-analytic model of the thermal X-ray emission from the shocked stellar wind in pulsar gamma-ray binaries, and find that the thermal X-ray emission increases monotonically with the pulsar spin-down luminosity, reaching luminosities of the order of 10{sup 33} erg s{sup -1}. The lack of thermal features in the X-ray spectrum of gamma-ray binaries can then be used to constrain the properties of the pulsar and stellar winds. By fitting the observed X-ray spectra of gamma-ray binaries with a source model composed of an absorbed non-thermal power law and the computed thermal X-ray emission, we are able to derive upper limits on the spin-down luminosity of the putative pulsar. We applied this method to LS 5039, the only gamma-ray binary with a radial, powerful wind, and obtain an upper limit on the pulsar spin-down luminosity of {approx}6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}. Given the energetic constraints from its high-energy gamma-ray emission, a non-thermal to spin-down luminosity ratio very close to unity may be required.

  10. New Energetic Radio Pulsars: An Archival X-Ray Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This ADP grant was to analyze archival X-ray data obtained in the direction of radio pulsars that were recently discovered as part of the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Search, which was done using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope in Australia. The survey discovered nearly 700 pulsars, of which roughly three dozen were possible candidates for the detection of X-ray emission. Our team looked at 30 of the most interesting candidates. In most cases, there was insufficient data in the archive to conclude anything. However in several cases, there were interesting archival observations. In three cases, a detailed analysis proved scientifically interesting, and two publications have resulted.

  11. Accreting Millisecond Pulsars: Neutron Star Masses and Radii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strohmayer, Tod

    2004-01-01

    High amplitude X-ray brightness oscillations during thermonuclear X-ray bursts were discovered with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) in early 1996. Spectral and timing evidence strongly supports the conclusion that these oscillations are caused by rotational modulation of the burst emission and that they reveal the spin frequency of neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries. The recent discovery of X-ray burst oscillations from two accreting millisecond pulsars has confirmed this basic picture and provided a new route to measuring neutron star properties and constraining the dense matter equation of state. I will briefly summarize the current observational understanding of accreting millisecond pulsars, and describe recent attempts to determine the mass and radius of the neutron star in XTE J1814-338.

  12. X-RAY EVOLUTION OF PULSAR WIND NEBULAE

    SciTech Connect

    Bamba, Aya; Anada, Takayasu; Dotani, Tadayasu; Ebisawa, Ken; Yamazaki, Ryo; Vink, Jacco

    2010-08-20

    During the search for counterparts of very high energy gamma-ray sources, we serendipitously discovered large, extended, low surface brightness emission from pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) around pulsars with the ages up to {approx}100 kyr, a discovery made possible by the low and stable background of the Suzaku X-ray satellite. A systematic study of a sample of eight of these PWNe, together with Chandra data sets, has revealed that the nebulae keep expanding up to {approx}100 kyr, although the timescale of the synchrotron X-ray emission is only {approx}60 yr for typical magnetic fields of 100 {mu}G. Our result suggests that the accelerated electrons up to {approx}80 TeV can escape from the PWNe without losing most energies. Moreover, in order to explain the observed correlation between the X-ray size and the pulsar spin-down age, the magnetic field strength in the PWNe must decrease with time.

  13. X-ray Pulsar Navigation Algorithms and Testbed for SEXTANT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke M. B.; Hasouneh, Monther A.; Mitchell, Jason W.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Grendreau, Keith C.

    2015-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a NASA funded technologydemonstration. SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar-based Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper describes the basic design of the SEXTANT system with a focus on core models and algorithms, and the design and continued development of the GSFC X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) with its dynamic pulsar emulation capability. We also present early results from GXLT modeling of the combined NICER X-ray timing instrument hardware and SEXTANT flight software algorithms.

  14. X-ray observations of black widow pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Gentile, P. A.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Camilo, F.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Kerr, M.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Stairs, I. H.

    2014-03-10

    We describe the first X-ray observations of five short orbital period (P{sub B} < 1 day), γ-ray emitting, binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Four of these—PSRs J0023+0923, J1124–3653, J1810+1744, and J2256–1024—are 'black-widow' pulsars, with degenerate companions of mass <<0.1 M {sub ☉}, three of which exhibit radio eclipses. The fifth source, PSR J2215+5135, is an eclipsing 'redback' with a near Roche-lobe filling ∼0.2 solar mass non-degenerate companion. Data were taken using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and covered a full binary orbit for each pulsar. Two pulsars, PSRs J2215+5135 and J2256–1024, show significant orbital variability while PSR J1124–3653 shows marginal orbital variability. The lightcurves for these three pulsars have X-ray flux minima coinciding with the phases of the radio eclipses. This phenomenon is consistent with an intrabinary shock emission interpretation for the X-rays. The other two pulsars, PSRs J0023+0923 and J1810+1744, are fainter and do not demonstrate variability at a level we can detect in these data. All five spectra are fit with three separate models: a power-law model, a blackbody model, and a combined model with both power-law and blackbody components. The preferred spectral fits yield power-law indices that range from 1.3 to 3.2 and blackbody temperatures in the hundreds of eV. The spectrum for PSR J2215+5135 shows a significant hard X-ray component, with a large number of counts above 2 keV, which is additional evidence for the presence of intrabinary shock emission. This is similar to what has been detected in the low-mass X-ray binary to MSP transition object PSR J1023+0038.

  15. On the magnetic fields of Be/X-ray pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, N. R.; Mereghetti, S.

    2015-12-01

    We explore the possibility of explaining the properties of the Be/X-ray pulsars observed in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) within the magnetic levitation accretion scenario. This implies that their X-ray emission is powered by a wind-fed accretion on to a neutron star (NS) which captures matter from a magnetized stellar wind. The NS in this case is accreting matter from a non-Keplerian magnetically levitating disc which is surrounding its magnetosphere. This allows us to explain the observed periods of the pulsars in terms of spin equilibrium without the need of invoking dipole magnetic fields outside the usual range ˜1011-1013 G inferred from cyclotron features of Galactic high-mass X-ray binaries. We find that the equilibrium period of a NS, under certain conditions, depends strongly on the magnetization of the stellar wind of its massive companion and, correspondingly, on the magnetic field of the massive companion itself. This may help to explain why similar NSs in binaries with similar properties rotate with different periods yielding a large scatter of periods of the accretion-powered pulsar observed in SMC and our galaxy.

  16. Polarized X-rays from accreting neutron stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

    Accreting neutron stars span a wide range in X-ray luminosity and magnetic field strength. Accretion may be wind-fed or disk-fed, and the dominant X-ray flux may originate in the disk or a magnetically confined accretion column. In all such systems X-ray polarization may arise due to Compton or Magneto-Compton scattering, and on some occasions polarization of non-thermal emission from jet-like ejection may also be detectable. Spectral and temporal behaviour of the polarized X-rays would carry information regarding the radiation process, as well as of the matter dynamics - and can assist the detection of effects such as the Lense-Thirring precession. This talk will review our current knowledge of the expected X-ray polarization from accreting neutron stars and explore the prospects of detection with upcoming polarimetry missions.

  17. X-ray observations of Fermi LAT gamma-ray pulsars and pulsar candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saz Parkinson, P.; Belfiore, A.; Caraveo, P.; De Luca, A.; Marelli, M.

    2014-07-01

    Since the launch of Fermi, in 2008, the population of known gamma-ray pulsars has exploded from just a handful, to over 150. X-ray observations have been crucial in both the discovery and the understanding of this new pulsar population. I will discuss our ongoing program of XMM, Chandra, and Swift observations of Fermi-LAT pulsars and pulsar candidates and present some of the latest results we have obtained.

  18. Profile bias' influence in x-ray pulsar based navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Dapeng; Zheng, Wei; Wang, Yidi; Zhang, Lu

    2016-01-01

    X-ray pulsar-based navigation is a novel autonomous navigation method. The pulsar is a kind of neutron star rotating with high speed. Its angle position is stationary in space and its rotation period is extremely stable. In space, the signal with extremely stable period could be detected. Its long-term stability is higher than the atomic clock in state-of-the-art. Therefore, the signal of the pulsars in X-ray waveband could be used for the autonomous navigation of the spacecrafts. The signal's profile is a necessary parameter to estimate the navigation information. In this paper, the impact on the navigation precision caused by the flux bias of the signal's profile is analyzed. The impact is not severely proved in theory and simulation.

  19. Accretion Disk Dynamics in X-Ray Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, Norbert S.; Ji, Li; Nowak, M.; Canizares, C. R.; Kallman, T.

    2009-09-01

    The last decade of X-ray observations was an era of true discovery in the study of accretion phenomena in X-ray binaries. With the launch of high resolution X-ray spectrometers on board the Chandra X-ray Observatory and XMM Newton we gained novel insights in feedback processes in accretion disks. At the forefront are dynamics in winds and outflows. Recent observations now also not only reveal properties of accretion disk coronal phenomena but point us to highly variable activity in their appearance. Amongst others these include heating along the spectral branches in the Z-source Cyg X-2, short and longterm variations in the photo-ionized emissions in Cir X-1, highly variable and dynamic Ne edges in the ultra-compact binary 4U 0614+091. This presentation summarizes these recent developments and provides an outlook towards more dynamical accretion disk coronal models and perspectives for future missions.

  20. BOOK REVIEW: Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, V. M.

    2008-03-01

    Pulsar astrophysics has come a long way in the 40 years since the discovery of the first pulsar by Bell and Hewish. From humble beginnings as bits of 'scruff' on the Cambridge University group's chart recorder paper, the field of pulsars has blossomed into a major area of mainstream astrophysics, with an unparalleled diversity of astrophysical applications. These range from Nobel-celebrated testing of general relativity in the strong-field regime to constraining the equation-of-state of ultradense matter; from probing the winds of massive stars to globular cluster evolution. Previous notable books on the subject of pulsars have tended to focus on some particular topic in the field. The classic text Pulsars by Manchester and Taylor (1977 San Francisco, CA: Freeman) targeted almost exclusively rotation-powered radio pulsars, while the Mészáros book High-Energy Radiation from Magnetized Neutron Stars (1992 Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press) considered both rotation- and accretion-powered neutron stars, but focused on their radiation at x-ray energies and above. The recent book Neutron Stars 1 by Haensel et al (2007 Berlin: Springer) considers only the equation of state and neutron-star structure. Into this context appears Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars, by Pranab Ghosh. In contrast to other books, here the author takes an encyclopedic approach and attempts to synthesize practically all of the major aspects of the two main types of neutron star. This is ambitious. The only comparable undertaking is the useful but more elementary Lyne and Graham-Smith text Pulsar Astronomy (1998 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), or Compact Stellar X-ray Sources (eds Lewin and van der Klis, 2006 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), an anthology of technical review articles that also includes black hole topics. Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars thus fills a clear void in the field, providing a readable, graduate-level book that covers nearly everything you

  1. New micro pore optics for x-ray pulsar navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Ge; Zhang, Qindong; Xu, Zhao; Zhang, Zhengjun; Zhang, Zhiyong; Xu, Wei; Li, Jingwen; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Solutions of focusing pulsars X-ray is a key factor in improving the accuracy of pulsar navigation. Based on the focusing principle of lobster eye grazing incidence, new micro pore optics (MPO) for pulsar navigation which is glass-substrated X-ray MPO is researched and developed. The effective areas on MPO when single grazing incidence or double grazing incidence happens are analyzed in detail and the first generation of MPO is produced. By illumination of parallel X-ray beam with 1.49keV and 8.05keV on the MPO, it is found that the crossing focusing image can be clearly visible, and the arm of cross image of 1.49keV and 8.05keV are is respectively 30mm and 17mm in length. Moreover, the center intensity was significantly higher than the cross arm which is consistent with theoretical calculation. Besides, the angular resolution of first generation of MPO with 8.05keV parallel X-ray beam illuminated is 4.19'.

  2. Synchrotron X-ray emission from old pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kisaka, Shota; Tanaka, Shuta J.

    2014-09-01

    We study the synchrotron radiation as the observed non-thermal emission by the X-ray satellites from old pulsars (≳1-10 Myr) to investigate the particle acceleration in their magnetospheres. We assume that the power-law component of the observed X-ray spectra is caused by the synchrotron radiation from electrons and positrons in the magnetosphere. We consider two pair-production mechanisms of X-ray emitting particles, the magnetic and the photon-photon pair productions. High-energy photons, which ignite the pair production, are emitted via the curvature radiation of the accelerated particles. We use the analytical description for the radiative transfer and estimate the luminosity of the synchrotron radiation. We find that for pulsars with the spin-down luminosity Lsd ≲ 1033 erg s-1, the locations of the particle acceleration and the non-thermal X-ray emission are within ≲107 cm from the centre of the neutron star, where the magnetic pair production occurs. For pulsars with the spin-down luminosity Lsd ≲ 1031 erg s-1 such as J0108-1431, the synchrotron radiation is difficult to explain the observed non-thermal component even if we consider the existence of the strong and small-scale surface magnetic field structures.

  3. Torque Reversals in Disk Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jianke; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.

    1998-07-01

    X-ray binaries in which the accreting component is a neutron star commonly exhibit significant changes in their spin. In the system Cen X-3, a disk accreting binary system, the pulsar was observed to spin up at a rate ḟ = 8 × 10-13 Hz s-1 when averaged over the past twenty years, but significant fluctuations were observed above this mean. Recent BASTE observations have disclosed that these fluctuations are much larger than previously noted, and appeared to be a system characteristic. The change in the spin state from spin-up to spin-down or vice-versa occurs on a time scale that is much shorter than the instrument can resolve (≤1 d), but appears always to be a similar amplitude, and to occur stochastically. These observations have posed a problem for the conventional torque-mass accretion relation for accreting pulsars, because in this model the spin rate is closely related to the accretion rate, and the latter needs to be finely tuned and to change abruptly to explain the observations. Here we review recent work in this direction and present a coherent picture that explains these observations. We also draw attention to some outstanding problems for future studies.

  4. Models for X-Ray Emission from Isolated Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, F. Y.-H.; Ruderman, M.; Halpern, Jules P.; Zhu, T.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A model is proposed for the observed combination of power-law and thermal X-rays from rotationally powered pulsars. For gamma-ray pulsars with accelerators very many stellar radii above the neutron star surface, 100 MeV curvature gamma-rays from e(-) or e(+) flowing starward out of such accelerators are converted to e1 pairs on closed field lines all around the star. These pairs strongly affect X-ray emission from near the star in two ways. (1) The pairs are a source of synchrotron emission immediately following their creation in regions where B approx. 10(exp 10) G. This emission, in the photon energy range 0.1 keV less than E(sub X) less than 5 MeV, has a power-law spectrum with energy index 0.5 and X-ray luminosity that depends on the back-flow current, and is typically approx. 10(exp 33) ergs/ s. (2) The pairs ultimately a cyclotron resonance "blanket" surrounding the star except for two holes along the open field line bundles which pass through it. In such a blanket the gravitational pull on e(+,-) pairs toward the star is balanced by the hugely amplified push of outflowing surface emitted X-rays wherever cyclotron resonance occurs. Because of it the neutron star is surrounded by a leaky "hohlraum" of hot blackbody radiation with two small holes, which prevents direct X-ray observation of a heated polar cap of a gamma-ray pulsar. Weakly spin modulated radiation from the blanket together with more strongly spin-modulated radiation from the holes through it would then dominate observed low energy (0.1-10 keV) emission. For non-y-ray pulsars, in which no such accelerators with their accompanying extreme relativistic back-flow toward the star are expected, optically thick e1 resonance blankets should not form (except in special cases very close to the open field line bundle). From such pulsars blackbody radiation from both the warm stellar surface and the heated polar caps should be directly observable. In these pulsars, details of the surface magnetic field

  5. A scenario of the formation of isolated X-ray pulsars with anomalously long period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, N. R.; Kim, V. Yu.; Beskrovnaya, N. G.

    2015-01-01

    A scenario of the formation of isolated X-ray pulsars is discussed with an application to one of the best studied objects of this class 1E 161348-5055. This moderately luminous, 1033-1035 erg s-1, pulsar with a relatively soft spectrum, kT ˜ 0.6-0.8 keV, is associated with an isolated neutron star, which is located near the center of the young (˜2000 yr) compact supernova remnant RCW 103 and rotates steadily ( Hz s-1) with the period of 6.7 h. We show that in the current epoch the neutron star is in the accretor state. The parameters of the source emission can be explained in terms of the magnetic-levitation accretion scenario in which the star with the surface magnetic field of 1012 G accretes material onto its surface from a non-Keplerian magnetic fossil disk at the rate 1014 g s-1. A neutron star could evolve to this state in a High-Mass X-ray Binary (HMXB), which had disintegrated during the supernova explosion powered by the core-collapse of its massive component. The life-time of an isolated X-ray pulsar formed this way can be as long as a few thousand years.

  6. Heating Before Eating: X-Ray Observations of Redback Millisecond Pulsar Systems in the Ablation State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Mallory; McLaughlin, Maura; Ray, Paul S.; Ransom, Scott M.; Hessels, Jason

    2015-01-01

    Redbacks are eclipsing millisecond radio pulsars in close orbits around companions which are non-degenerate and nearly Roche-lobe filling. Several have been observed to transition between a state where the radio pulsar is visible and there is X-ray emission from a shock between the pulsar wind and the ablated material off of the companion, and a state where there appears to be an accretion disk and the radio pulsations are not visible. Here we present X-Ray studies of two recently discovered systems. A Chandra observation of PSR J1628-3205 over its entire 5 hour orbit with Chandra shows little evidence for X-Ray variability. An XMM-Newton observation of PSR J2129-0429 over its 15.2 hour orbit shows strong orbital variability with an intriguing two peaked light curve. We compare these systems' X-Ray properties to other redbacks and comment on the differences between their properities and those of black widows.

  7. Energy-dependent effects of scattering atmospheres on X-ray pulsar pulse profiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturner, Steven J.; Dermer, Charles D.

    1994-01-01

    We propose that radiation-supported scattering atmospheres near accreting X-ray pulsars (XRPs) can explain energy-dependent features observed in the pulse profiles of 4U 1626-67, 4U 1538-52, 4U 1907+09 and Vela X-1. These atmospheres provide a physical model for the phenomenological annular emitting regions employed by Leahy to fit X-ray pulsar pulse profiles. We examine the effects of the scattering atmospheres under the assumptions that stable, optically thick atmospheres exist in a region where the optically thin resonant radiation force exceeds the force of gravity on ionized hydrogen. We predict that less complex pulse profiles will be observed at higher photon energies because the scattering atmospheres, which are supported by resonant Compton radiation pressure, become transparent to photons with energies greater than the cyclotron energy at the neutron star surface.

  8. Observations of x ray pulsars from the Kvant module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilfanov, M.; Sunyaev, Rashid A.; Churazov, E.; Loznikov, V.; Efremov, V. V.; Kaniovskiy, A.; Kuznetsov, A. V.; Yamburenko, N.; Melioranskiy, A.; Skinner, G. K.

    1991-01-01

    The Roentgen international x ray observatory on the Kvant module of the Mir space station has been successfully operating since the beginning of June 1987. Many x ray sources were observed and among them were several x ray pulsars. Four telescopes mounted on board the Kvant module cover a wide energy range with good timing resolution. Timing analysis of the Kvant module data suffers from the presence of only short continuous intervals of source observations, separated by 90 min gaps (90 min is the orbital period of the Mir space station around the Earth). The presence of 90 min gaps leads to the appearance of beat frequencies v=v sub 0 + or - n/90 min (n = 1, 2, 3). Special analysis was applied to avoid this difficulty. Results are presented of the pulsation period measurements of the x ray pulsars Her X-1, Cen X-3, SMC X-1, Vela X-1, A0535 + 26 by the instruments on board the Kvant module in 1987 to 1989. The values of the periods are reduced to the solar system barycenter and to the binary system barycenter (excluding A0535 + 26).

  9. The soft X-ray spectrum of transient pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Palombara, N.; Sidoli, L.; Esposito, P.; Pintore, F.; Tiengo, A.; Mereghetti, S.

    2016-06-01

    The Small Magellanic Cloud is characterized by a high number of transient accreting pulsars, which can reach luminosities up to 10^{38} erg s^{-1} during their outbursts. Due to the low Galactic interstellar absorption in the SMC direction, these sources offer a unique opportunity to investigate the soft end of the X-ray spectrum in accreting pulsars. In the last two years we observed with XMM-Newton the large outburst of two of these transient pulsars (RX J0059.2-7138 and SMC X-2). Thanks to the high throughput and spectral resolution of XMM, these observations allowed us to investigate at an unprecedented level of detail their spectral and timing properties at soft X-ray energies. We found that both sources show a pulsed emission also at low energies, and that they are characterized by a thermal component which dominates the source spectrum below 0.5 keV; moreover, we discovered several emission and absorption features, which are very likely produced by photoionization of plasma located above the inner regions of the accretion disc.

  10. EXTINCTION AND DISTANCE TO ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSARS FROM X-RAY SCATTERING HALOS

    SciTech Connect

    Rivera-Ingraham, A.; Van Kerkwijk, M. H. E-mail: mhvk@astro.utoronto.c

    2010-02-10

    We analyze the X-ray scattering halos around three Galactic Anomalous X-ray Pulsars in order to constrain the distance and the optical extinction of each source. We obtain surface brightness distributions from EPIC-pn data obtained with XMM-Newton, compare the profiles of different sources, and fit them with a model based on the standard theory of X-ray scattering by dust grains, both for a uniform distribution of dust along the line of sight, and for dust distributions constrained by previous measurements. Somewhat surprisingly, we find that for all three sources, the uniform distribution reproduces the observed surface brightness as well as or better than the distributions that are informed by previous constraints. Nevertheless, the inferred total dust columns are robust, and serve to confirm that previous measurements based on interstellar edges in high-resolution X-ray spectra and on modeling of broadband X-ray spectra were reliable. Specifically, we find A{sub V} {approx_equal} 4, 6, and 8 mag for 4U 0142+61, 1E 1048.1 - 5937, and 1RXS J170849.0 - 400910, respectively. For 1E 1048.1 - 5937, this is well in excess of the extinction expected toward an H I bubble along the line of sight, thus casting further doubt on the suggested association with the source.

  11. Anomalous X-ray Pulsars and Soft Gamma Repeaters as Magnetars: The RXTE Legacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria M.

    2012-01-01

    Prior to the launch of RXTE, the hypothesis by Thompson and Duncan that there exists a class of ultra-highly magnetized young neutron stars whose emission is powered by the decay of their magnetic field -- the so-called `magnetar' model -- was beautiful, yet unproven. The magnetar model was motivated the existence of Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs), which had been observed to exhibit dramatic X-ray and soft gamma ray bursts and in one case, 8-s pulsations in the tail of a major flare. Meanwhile, there was recognized another puzzling group of seemingly very different objects, the 'Anomalous X-ray Pulsars' (AXPs), so-called due to their bright, several-second X-ray pulsations, steady spin down, low spin-down power and absence of any binary companion from which mass could be accreted. AXPs had also been suggested to be magnetars by Thompson and Duncan, though this too was unproven. Today, thanks to multiple landmark RXTE results, these two groups of object have been united into a single source class, which is now nearly universally identified with magnetars. Specifically, the discovery from SGRs of regular X-ray pulsations and steady spin-down (as had been observed in AXPs), as well as the discovery of bright X-ray bursts from AXPs (as had been observed in SGRs) has demonstrated unambiguously the common nature of AXPs and SGRs, as was predicted uniquely in the magnetar model. Moreover, RXTE discoveries of several observational links between AXPs, SGRs and rotation-powered pulsars, specifically the detection of spin-up glitches in AXPs, as well as the observation of a temporary metamorphosis of one rotation-powered pulsar into a magnetar-like source, hint at a broader unification of the magnetars with the general radio pulsar population, with the observational differences attributable to a combination of age and magnetic field.

  12. Exploring the Time Evolution of Luminosity and Pulse Profile in X-Ray Pulsars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laycock, Silas; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Cappallo, Rigel; Ho, Wynn; Coe, Malcolm; Corbet, Robin; Klus, Helen; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Galache, Jose Luis; Fingerman, Samuel; Yang, Jun; Norton, Scott

    2015-01-01

    We report progress in our effort to analyze and model the large collection of observations made by RXTE, XMM-Newton and Chandra of X-ray Binary Pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds. There are >2000 individual RXTE PCA, and > 200 XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of the Magellanic clouds. Each observation covers a large fraction of the whole SMC (or LMC) population, and we are able to deconvolve the often simultaneous signals to create a 20 year record of individual pulsar's activity. Together, these datasets cover the entire range of variability timescales and accretion regimes in High Mass X-ray Binaries. We are compiling a library of energy-resolved pulse profiles covering the entire luminosity and spin-period parameter space. In parallel we are developing a suite of computational models to parameterize the pulse profile morphology. We begin with a pair of isotropically emitting poles with general relativity, and then add complexity in the form of fan and pencil beam components. The initial goal is to discover the ratio of the beam components as a function of accretion rate and luminosity, and ultimately the distribution of offsets between magnetic and spin axes. These products are needed for the next generation of advances in neutron star theory and modeling. This unique dataset enables us to determine the upper and lower limits of accretion powered luminosity in a large statistically complete sample of neutron stars, and hence make several direct tests of fundamental NS parameters and accretion physics.

  13. Optical pulsations from the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U0142+61.

    PubMed

    Kern, B; Martin, C

    2002-05-30

    Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) differ from ordinary radio pulsars in that their X-ray luminosity is orders of magnitude greater than their rate of rotational energy loss, and so they require an additional energy source. One possibility is that AXPs are highly magnetized neuron stars or 'magnetars' having surface magnetic fields greater than 10(14) G. This would make them similar to the soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), but alternative models that do not require extreme magnetic fields also exist. An optical counterpart to the AXP 4U0142+61 was recently discovered, consistent with emission from a magnetar, but also from a magnetized hot white dwarf, or an accreting isolated neutron star. Here we report the detection of optical pulsations from 4U0142+61. The pulsed fraction of optical light (27 per cent) is five to ten times greater than that of soft X-rays, from which we conclude that 4U0142+61 is a magnetar. Although this establishes a direct relationship between AXPs and the soft gamma-ray repeaters, the evolutionary connection between AXPs, SGRs and radio pulsars remains controversial. PMID:12037561

  14. A REFLECTION MODEL FOR THE CYCLOTRON LINES IN THE SPECTRA OF X-RAY PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Poutanen, Juri; Mushtukov, Alexander A.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Nagirner, Dmitrij I.; Suleimanov, Valery F.; Doroshenko, Victor; Lutovinov, Alexander A.

    2013-11-10

    Cyclotron resonance scattering features observed in the spectra of some X-ray pulsars show significant changes of the line energy with the pulsar luminosity. At high luminosities, these variations are often associated with the onset and growth of the accretion column, which is believed to be the origin of the observed emission and of the cyclotron lines. However, this scenario inevitably implies a large gradient of the magnetic field strength within the line-forming region, which makes the formation of the observed line-like features problematic. Moreover, the observed variation of the cyclotron line energy is much smaller than could be anticipated for the corresponding luminosity changes. We argue here that a more physically realistic situation is that the cyclotron line forms when the radiation emitted by the accretion column is reflected from the neutron star surface, where the gradient of the magnetic field strength is significantly smaller. Here we develop a reflection model and apply it to explain the observed variations of the cyclotron line energy in a bright X-ray pulsar V 0332+53 over a wide range of luminosities.

  15. Accretion disk dynamics in X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peris, Charith Srian

    Accreting X-ray binaries consist of a normal star which orbits a compact object with the former transferring matter onto the later via an accretion disk. These accretion disks emit radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. This thesis exploits two regions of the spectrum, exploring the (1) inner disk regions of an accreting black hole binary, GRS1915+105, using X-ray spectral analysis and (2) the outer accretion disks of a set of neutron star and black hole binaries using Doppler Tomography applied on optical observations. X-ray spectral analysis of black hole binary GRS1915+105: GRS1915+105 stands out as an exceptional black hole primarily due to the wild variability exhibited by about half of its X-ray observations. This study focused on the steady X-ray observations of the source, which were found to exhibit significant curvature in the harder coronal component within the RXTE/PCA band-pass. The roughly constant inner-disk radius seen in a majority of the steady-soft observations is strongly reminiscent of canonical soft state black-hole binaries. Remarkably, the steady-hard observations show the presence of growing truncation in the inner-disk. A majority of the steady observations of GRS1915+105 map to the states observed in canonical black hole binaries which suggests that within the complexity of this source is a simpler underlying basis of states. Optical tomography of X-ray binary systems: Doppler tomography was applied to the strong line features present in the optical spectra of X-ray binaries in order to determine the geometric structure of the systems' emitting regions. The point where the accretion stream hits the disk, also referred to as the "hotspot'', is clearly identified in the neutron star system V691 CrA and the black hole system Nova Muscae 1991. Evidence for stream-disk overflows exist in both systems, consistent with relatively high accretion rates. In contrast, V926 Sco does not show evidence for the presence of a hotspot which

  16. X-ray flares from postmerger millisecond pulsars.

    PubMed

    Dai, Z G; Wang, X Y; Wu, X F; Zhang, B

    2006-02-24

    Recent observations support the suggestion that short-duration gamma-ray bursts are produced by compact star mergers. The x-ray flares discovered in two short gamma-ray bursts last much longer than the previously proposed postmerger energy-release time scales. Here, we show that they can be produced by differentially rotating, millisecond pulsars after the mergers of binary neutron stars. The differential rotation leads to windup of interior poloidal magnetic fields and the resulting toroidal fields are strong enough to float up and break through the stellar surface. Magnetic reconnection-driven explosive events then occur, leading to multiple x-ray flares minutes after the original gamma-ray burst. PMID:16497927

  17. X-ray properties of accreting black holes

    SciTech Connect

    White, N.E.

    1984-01-01

    The X-ray signatures of Cyg X-1 and IMC X-3 have been taken as templates of binary systems which include a black hole component. Cyg X-1 exhibits rapid flickering on a time scale varying from 0.001-1 sec and bimodal spectral behavior in its X-ray emissions. Similar emissions from IMC X-3 have been detected, along with an absence of X-ray eclipses. Taking three characteristics, i.e., flickering, bimodal spectra and the estimated masses of the X ray components, of assumed black hole companions for Cyg X-1 and IMC X-3, an estimate is made of the number of black holes a whole sky survey would reveal, based on data from the HEAO-1 and Einstein Observatory satellites. Cin X-1, BX 339-4 and LMC X-1 are concluded to probably be accreting black holes. Eleven other objects are identified as possible candidates, as are active galactic nuclei.

  18. Soft x ray properties of the Geminga pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, J. P.; Ruderman, M.

    1993-01-01

    The ROSAT soft x ray spectrum and pulse profile of the Geminga pulsar are analyzed and interpreted in terms of thermal emission from the surface of the neutron star. The x ray spectrum appears to consist of two blackbody components with T(sub 1) = (5.2 +/- 1.0) x 10 (exp 5) K and T(sub 2) approximately 3 x 10(exp 6) K, respectively. The inferred ratio of surface areas, A(sub 2)/A(sub 1), is approximately 3 x 10(exp -5). Both components are highly modulated at the pulsar rotation period, but the harder x ray pulse is narrower, and leads the main (soft) x ray pulse by about 105 deg of phase. The soft x ray component is interpreted as photospheric cooling of much of the neutron star's surface area, while the small, hot region could be part of the much smaller polar cap heated by energetic particles flowing inward from the magnetospheric accelerator which is responsible for the production of Geminga's gamma rays. Geminga's gamma ray emission is consistent with outer-magnetosphere accelerator models for highly inclined dipoles. These predict the beaming of energetic gamma rays close enough to the star to give copious e(+/-) production in the stellar magnetic field and a large circumstellar pair density from pair inflow toward the surface. These pairs may quench radio emission, and also reflect most of the hard polar cap x rays back to the stellar surface by cyclotron resonance scattering. They are then reemitted from that much larger area at the lower temperature T(sub 1). The single-peaked nature of the x ray pulse and its energy-dependent phase suggest an off-center dipole geometry for the surface magnetic field. Under the assumption that the soft x ray emission comes from the full surface of a neutron star of radius R = 10 km, a distance estimate of (150-400) pc is derived. This range is consistent with the fit interstellar column density of (1.5 +/- 0.5) x 10(exp 20) cm(exp -2). Distances less than 150 pc are probably ruled out both by the lower limit on the column

  19. X-Ray Spectroscopy of Accretion Shocks in Young Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brickhouse, Nancy S.

    2011-01-01

    High resolution X-ray spectroscopy of accreting young stars is providing new insights into the physical conditions of the shocked plasma. While young stars exhibit exceedingly active coronae (>10 MK) with highly energetic flares, the relatively low temperature ( 3 MK), high density (>1012 cm-3) accretion shock can only be clearly distinguished at high spectral resolution. The nearby Classical T Tauri star TW Hydrae was the first to show evidence of accretion using 50 ks with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating (HETG). More recently a Chandra HETG Large Program (489 ks obtained over the course of one month) on TW Hydrae has found evidence for a new type of coronal structure. In the standard model, the accreting gas shocks near the atmosphere of the star and gently settles onto the surface as it slows down and cools. On TW Hydrae the observed post-shock region is not this predicted settling flow, since its mass is 30 times the mass of material that passes through the shock. Instead the stellar atmosphere must be heated to soft X-ray emitting temperatures. Of the CTTS systems observed with the gratings on Chandra and XMM-Newton not all show the accretion shock signature; however, all of them show excess soft X-ray emission related to accretion. The production of highly charged ions in the proximity of both open and closed magnetic field lines has important implications for coronal heating, winds and jets in the presence of accretion. This work is supported by the Chandra X-ray Observatory through a NASA contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

  20. On the power spectra of the wind-fed X-ray binary pulsar GX 301 - 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orlandini, Mauro; Morfill, G. E.

    1992-01-01

    A phenomenological model of accretion which is applied to the wind-fed X-ray binary pulsar GX 301 - 2 is developed, assuming that the accretion onto the neutron star does not occur from a continuous flux of plasma, but from blobs of matter which are threaded by the magnetic field lines onto the magnetic polar caps of the neutron star. These 'lumps' are produced at the magnetospheric limit by magnetohydrodynamical instability, introducing a 'noise' in the accretion process, due to the discontinuity in the flux of matter onto the neutron star. This model is able to describe the change of slope observed in the continuum component of the power spectra of the X-ray binary pulsar GX 301 - 2, in the frequency range 0.01 - 0.1 Hz. The physical properties of the infalling blobs derived in the model are in agreement with the constraints imposed by observations.

  1. Accreting Millisecond Pulsars and Fundamental Physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strohmayer, Tod

    2005-01-01

    X-ray emission from the surfaces of rapidly rotating neutron stars encodes information about their global properties as well as physical conditions locally. Detailed modelling of, for example, the energy dependent pulse profiles observed from accreting millisecond pulsars and thermonuclear burst oscillations can be used to derive constraints on the masses and radii of neutron stars. These measurements provide direct information on the properties of the dense matter equation of state of the supranuclear density matter in their interiors. Study of absorption lines created in the surface layers can also provide measurements of masses and radii, and may be able to probe aspects of relativistic gravity, such as frame dragging. I will discuss the results of recent efforts to carry out such measurements and their implications for the properties of dense matter.

  2. TW Hya: Spectral Variability, X-Rays, and Accretion Diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupree, A. K.; Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Luna, G. J. M.; Schneider, E. E.; Bessell, M. S.; Bonanos, A.; Crause, L. A.; Lawson, W. A.; Mallik, S. V.; Schuler, S. C.

    2012-05-01

    The nearest accreting T Tauri star, TW Hya was intensively and continuously observed over ~17 days with spectroscopic and photometric measurements from four continents simultaneous with a long segmented exposure using the Chandra satellite. Contemporaneous optical photometry from WASP-S indicates a 4.74 day period was present during this time. The absence of a similar periodicity in the Hα flux and the total X-ray flux which are dominated by accretion processes and the stellar corona, respectively, points to a different source of photometric variations. The Hα emission line appears intrinsically broad and symmetric, and both the profile and its variability suggest an origin in the post-shock cooling region. An accretion event, signaled by soft X-rays, is traced spectroscopically for the first time through the optical emission line profiles. After the accretion event, downflowing turbulent material observed in the Hα and Hβ lines is followed by He I (λ5876) broadening near the photosphere. Optical veiling resulting from the heated photosphere increases with a delay of ~2 hr after the X-ray accretion event. The response of the stellar coronal emission to an increase in the veiling follows ~2.4 hr later, giving direct evidence that the stellar corona is heated in part by accretion. Subsequently, the stellar wind becomes re-established. We suggest a model that incorporates the dynamics of this sequential series of events: an accretion shock, a cooling downflow in a supersonically turbulent region, followed by photospheric and later, coronal heating. This model naturally explains the presence of broad optical and ultraviolet lines, and affects the mass accretion rates determined from emission line profiles.

  3. TW Hya: SPECTRAL VARIABILITY, X-RAYS, AND ACCRETION DIAGNOSTICS

    SciTech Connect

    Dupree, A. K.; Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Luna, G. J. M.; Schneider, E. E.; Bessell, M. S.; Bonanos, A.; Crause, L. A.; Lawson, W. A.; Mallik, S. V.; Schuler, S. C.

    2012-05-01

    The nearest accreting T Tauri star, TW Hya was intensively and continuously observed over {approx}17 days with spectroscopic and photometric measurements from four continents simultaneous with a long segmented exposure using the Chandra satellite. Contemporaneous optical photometry from WASP-S indicates a 4.74 day period was present during this time. The absence of a similar periodicity in the H{alpha} flux and the total X-ray flux which are dominated by accretion processes and the stellar corona, respectively, points to a different source of photometric variations. The H{alpha} emission line appears intrinsically broad and symmetric, and both the profile and its variability suggest an origin in the post-shock cooling region. An accretion event, signaled by soft X-rays, is traced spectroscopically for the first time through the optical emission line profiles. After the accretion event, downflowing turbulent material observed in the H{alpha} and H{beta} lines is followed by He I ({lambda}5876) broadening near the photosphere. Optical veiling resulting from the heated photosphere increases with a delay of {approx}2 hr after the X-ray accretion event. The response of the stellar coronal emission to an increase in the veiling follows {approx}2.4 hr later, giving direct evidence that the stellar corona is heated in part by accretion. Subsequently, the stellar wind becomes re-established. We suggest a model that incorporates the dynamics of this sequential series of events: an accretion shock, a cooling downflow in a supersonically turbulent region, followed by photospheric and later, coronal heating. This model naturally explains the presence of broad optical and ultraviolet lines, and affects the mass accretion rates determined from emission line profiles.

  4. Accretion turnoff and rapid evaporation of very light secondaries in low-mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruderman, M.; Shaham, J.; Tavani, M.

    1989-01-01

    The illumination of companion stars in very low mass X-ray binaries by various kinds of radiation from the neighborhood of the neutron star after accretion has terminated or during accretion is considered. If a neutron star's spun-up period approaches 0.001 s, pulsar kHz radiation can quench accretion by pushing surrounding plasma away from the neutron star, and may leave the companion to be evaporated by the high-energy radiation component expected from an 'isolated' millisecond radiopulsar. Expected accretion-powered MeV gamma-rays and e(+ or -) winds may also be effective in evaporating dwarf companions. Neutron star spin-down energy release may sustain the power in these radiation mechanisms even while accretion falls. Accretion-powered soft X-rays may speed the mass loss of highly evolved dwarf companions, particularly those with a large fraction of carbon and oxygen.

  5. HIGH-RESOLUTION X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY OF THE BURSTING PULSAR GRO J1744-28

    SciTech Connect

    Degenaar, N.; Miller, J. M.; Harrison, F. A.; Kennea, J. A.; Kouveliotou, C.; Younes, G.

    2014-11-20

    The bursting pulsar GRO J1744-28 is a Galactic low-mass X-ray binary that distinguishes itself by displaying type-II X-ray bursts: brief, bright flashes of X-ray emission that likely arise from spasmodic accretion. Combined with its coherent 2.1 Hz X-ray pulsations and relatively high estimated magnetic field, it is a particularly interesting source to study the physics of accretion flows around neutron stars. Here we report on Chandra/High Energy Transmission Grating observations obtained near the peak of its bright 2014 accretion outburst. Spectral analysis suggests the presence of a broad iron emission line centered at E {sub l} ≅ 6.7 keV. Fits with a disk reflection model yield an inclination angle of i ≅ 52° and an inner disk radius of R {sub in} ≅ 85 GM/c {sup 2}, which is much further out than typically found for neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries. Assuming that the disk is truncated at the magnetospheric radius of the neutron star, we estimate a magnetic field strength of B ≅ (2-6) × 10{sup 10} G. Furthermore, we identify an absorption feature near ≅ 6.85 keV that could correspond to blue-shifted Fe XXV and point to a fast disk wind with an outflow velocity of v {sub out} ≅ (7.5-8.2) × 10{sup 3} km s{sup –1} (≅ 0.025c-0.027c). If the covering fraction and filling factor are large, this wind could be energetically important and perhaps account for the fact that the companion star lost significant mass while the magnetic field of the neutron star remained strong.

  6. A new transient pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud with an unusual x-ray spectrum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, John P.

    1994-01-01

    This article reports the discovery of a luminous (3.5 x 10(exp 37) ergs/sec over the 0.2 to 2 keV band) transient X-ray pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) with an extremely soft component to its X-ray spectrum. This is the first time that a spectrum of this type has been seen in this class of X-ray source. The pulse period is 2.7632 s, and the pulse modulation appears to vary with energy from nearly unpulsed in the low-energy band of the ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) (0.07 to 0.4 keV) to about 50% in the high-energy band (1.0 to 2.4 keV). The object, RX J0059.2-7138, also shows flickering variability in its X-ray emission on timescales of 50 to 100s. The pulse-phase-averaged PSPC X-ray spectrum can be well described by a two-component source model seen through an absorbing column density of approximately 10(exp 21) atoms cm(exp -2). One spectral component is a power law with photon index 2.4. The other component is significantly softer and can be described by either a steeply falling power law or a blackbody with a temperature KT(sub BB) approximately 35 eV. Ths component is transient, but evidently upulsed, and, for the blackbody model fits, requires a large bolometric luminosity: near, or even several times greater than, the Eddington luminosity for a 1.4 solar mass object. When these characteristics of its soft emission are considered, RX J0059.2-7138 appears quite similar to other X-ray sources in the magellanic Clouds, such as CAL 83, CAL 87, and RX J0527.8-6954, which show only extreme ultrasoft (EUS) X-ray spectra. The discovery of RX J0059.2-7138, a probably high-mass X-ray binary, clearly indicates that EUS spectra may arise from accretion-powered neutron-star X-ray sources. This result lends support to the idea that some of the 'pure' EUS sources may be shrouded low-mass X-ray binaries rather than accreting white dwarfs.

  7. X-RAY AND GAMMA-RAY EMISSIONS FROM ROTATION POWERED MILLISECOND PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Takata, J.; Cheng, K. S.; Taam, Ronald E. E-mail: hrspksc@hkucc.hku.hk

    2012-01-20

    The Fermi Large Area Telescope has revealed that rotation powered millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are a major contributor to the Galactic {gamma}-ray source population. Such pulsars may also be important in modeling the quiescent state of several low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), where optical observations of the companion star suggest the possible existence of rotation powered MSPs. To understand the observational properties of the different evolutionary stages of MSPs, the X-ray and {gamma}-ray emissions associated with the outer gap model are investigated. For rotation powered MSPs, the size of the outer gap and the properties of the high-energy emission are controlled by either the photon-photon pair-creation process or magnetic pair-creation process near the surface. For these pulsars, we find that the outer gap model controlled by the magnetic pair-creation process is preferable in explaining the possible correlations between the {gamma}-ray luminosity or non-thermal X-ray luminosity versus the spin-down power. For the accreting MSPs in quiescent LMXBs, the thermal X-ray emission at the neutron star (NS) surface resulting from deep crustal heating can control the conditions in the outer gap. We argue that the optical modulation observed in the quiescent state of several LMXBs originates from the irradiation of the donor star by {gamma}-rays from the outer gap. In these systems, the irradiation luminosity required for the optical modulation of the source such as SAX J1808.4-3658 can be achieved for a NS of high mass. Finally, we discuss the high-energy emission associated with an intra-binary shock in black widow systems, e.g., PSR B1957+20.

  8. Swings between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar.

    PubMed

    Papitto, A; Ferrigno, C; Bozzo, E; Rea, N; Pavan, L; Burderi, L; Burgay, M; Campana, S; Di Salvo, T; Falanga, M; Filipović, M D; Freire, P C C; Hessels, J W T; Possenti, A; Ransom, S M; Riggio, A; Romano, P; Sarkissian, J M; Stairs, I H; Stella, L; Torres, D F; Wieringa, M H; Wong, G F

    2013-09-26

    It is thought that neutron stars in low-mass binary systems can accrete matter and angular momentum from the companion star and be spun-up to millisecond rotational periods. During the accretion stage, the system is called a low-mass X-ray binary, and bright X-ray emission is observed. When the rate of mass transfer decreases in the later evolutionary stages, these binaries host a radio millisecond pulsar whose emission is powered by the neutron star's rotating magnetic field. This evolutionary model is supported by the detection of millisecond X-ray pulsations from several accreting neutron stars and also by the evidence for a past accretion disc in a rotation-powered millisecond pulsar. It has been proposed that a rotation-powered pulsar may temporarily switch on during periods of low mass inflow in some such systems. Only indirect evidence for this transition has hitherto been observed. Here we report observations of accretion-powered, millisecond X-ray pulsations from a neutron star previously seen as a rotation-powered radio pulsar. Within a few days after a month-long X-ray outburst, radio pulses were again detected. This not only shows the evolutionary link between accretion and rotation-powered millisecond pulsars, but also that some systems can swing between the two states on very short timescales. PMID:24067710

  9. Physics of Accretion in X-Ray Binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrtilek, Saeqa D.

    2004-01-01

    This project consists of several related investigations directed to the study of mass transfer processes in X-ray binaries. Models developed over several years incorporating highly detailed physics will be tested on a balanced mix of existing data and planned observations with both ground and space-based observatories. The extended time coverage of the observations and the existence of {\\it simultaneous} X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical observations will be particularly beneficial for studying the accretion flows. These investigations, which take as detailed a look at the accretion process in X-ray binaries as is now possible, test current models to their limits, and force us to extend them. We now have the ability to do simultaneous ultraviolet/X-ray/optical spectroscopy with HST, Chandra, XMM, and ground-based observatories. The rich spectroscopy that these Observations give us must be interpreted principally by reference to detailed models, the development of which is already well underway; tests of these essential interpretive tools are an important product of the proposed investigations.

  10. Long-term evolution of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma repeaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benli, O.; Ertan, Ü.

    2016-04-01

    We have investigated the long-term evolution of individual anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) with relatively well constrained X-ray luminosity and rotational properties. In the frame of the fallback disc model, we have obtained the ranges of disc mass and dipole field strength that can produce the observed source properties. We have compared our results with those obtained earlier for dim isolated neutron stars (XDINs). Our results show that (1) the X-ray luminosity, period and period derivative of the individual AXP/SGR sources can be produced self-consistently in the fallback disc model with very similar basic disc parameters to those used earlier in the same model to explain the long-term evolution of XDINs, (2) except two sources, AXP/SGRs are evolving in the accretion phase; these two exceptional sources, like XDINs, completed their accretion phase in the past and are now evolving in the final propeller phase and still slowing down with the disc torques, (3) the dipole field strengths (at the poles) of XDINs are in the 1011-1012 G range, while AXP/SGRs have relatively strong dipole fields between 1 and 6 × 1012 G, and (4) the source properties can be obtained with large ranges of disc masses which do not allow a clear test of correlation between disc masses and the magnetic dipole fields for the whole AXP/SGRs and XDIN population.

  11. Cyclotron Resonance in Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

    Cyclotron Resonance Absorption/Scattering features provide direct measurement of magnetic field strength in the line forming region. This has enabled the estimation of magnetic field strengths of nearly two dozen neutron stars in accreting high mass binary systems. With improved spectroscopic sensitivity, new X-ray observatories such as NuSTAR, Astrosat and Hitomi are opening the doors to studying detailed features such as the line shape and phase dependence with high significance. Such studies will help understand the nature of matter accumulation in, and outflow from, the magnetically confined accretion column on the neutron star. This talk will describe the results of MHD simulations of the matter flow in such systems, the diagnostics of such flows using cyclotron lines, and comparison with recent observations from NuSTAR and Astrosat.

  12. CHANDRA PHASE-RESOLVED X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY OF THE CRAB PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; O'Dell, Stephen L.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Yakovlev, Dmitry G.; Harding, Alice; Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.; Becker, Werner

    2011-12-20

    We present a new study of the X-ray spectral properties of the Crab Pulsar. The superb angular resolution of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory enables distinguishing the pulsar from the surrounding nebulosity. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase allows the least-biased measure of interstellar X-ray extinction due primarily to photoelectric absorption and secondarily to scattering by dust grains in the direction of the Crab Nebula. We modify previous findings that the line of sight to the Crab is underabundant in oxygen and provide measurements with improved accuracy and less bias. Using the abundances and cross sections from Wilms et al. we find [O/H] = (5.28 {+-} 0.28) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -4} (4.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -4} is solar abundance). We also measure for the first time the impact of scattering of flux out of the image by interstellar grains. We find {tau}{sub scat} = 0.147 {+-} 0.043. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase also measures the X-ray spectral index even at pulse minimum-albeit with increasing statistical uncertainty. The spectral variations are, by and large, consistent with a sinusoidal variation. The only significant variation from the sinusoid occurs over the same phase range as some rather abrupt behavior in the optical polarization magnitude and position angle. We also compare these spectral variations to those observed in gamma-rays and conclude that our measurements are both a challenge and a guide to future modeling and will thus eventually help us understand pair cascade processes in pulsar magnetospheres. The data are also used to set new, and less biased, upper limits to the surface temperature of the neutron star for different models of the neutron star atmosphere. We discuss how such data are best connected to theoretical models of neutron star cooling and neutron star interiors. The data restrict the neutrino emission rate in the pulsar core and the amount of light elements in the heat

  13. 10 micron detection of the hard X-ray transient GRO J0422+32: Free-free emission from an X-ray-driven accretion disk wind?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paradijs, Van J.; Telesco, C. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Fishman, G. J.

    1994-01-01

    We report the detection of 10 micrometer emission from the transient low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) and optical nova GRO J0422+32 near the maximum of its outburst. We discuss this result in terms of (1) a 'standard' model according to which low-energy radiation of LMXB is caused by reprocessing of X-rays in an accretion disk; (2) emission from a cool secondary star; (3) emission from dust grains heated by the transient X-rays, and (4) free-free emission from an X-ray-driven wind from the accretion disk. Only the fourth alternative provides a viable explanation for the observed 10 micrometer emission, with a mass-loss rate in the disk wind that may be substantially higher than the rate of accretion onto the compact star. The presence of such a wind may have a profound effect on the evolution of the binary, and contribute to the solution of the 'birthrate problem' of millisecond ratio pulsars.

  14. Properties and observability of glitches and anti-glitches in accreting pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducci, L.; Pizzochero, P. M.; Doroshenko, V.; Santangelo, A.; Mereghetti, S.; Ferrigno, C.

    2015-06-01

    Several glitches have been observed in young, isolated radio pulsars, while a clear detection in accretion-powered X-ray pulsars is still lacking. We use the Pizzochero snowplow model for pulsar glitches as well as starquake models to determine for the first time the expected properties of glitches in accreting pulsars and their observability. Since some accreting pulsars show accretion-induced long-term spin-up, we also investigate the possibility that anti-glitches occur in these stars. We find that glitches caused by quakes in a slow accreting neutron star are very rare and their detection extremely unlikely. On the contrary, glitches and anti-glitches caused by a transfer of angular momentum between the superfluid neutron vortices and the non-superfluid component may take place in accreting pulsars more often. We calculate the maximum jump in angular velocity of an anti-glitch and we find that it is expected to be ΔΩa - gl ≈ 10-5 - 10-4 rad s-1. We also note that since accreting pulsars usually have rotational angular velocities lower than those of isolated glitching pulsars, both glitches and anti-glitches are expected to have long rise and recovery timescales compared to isolated glitching pulsars, with glitches and anti-glitches appearing as a simple step in angular velocity. Among accreting pulsars, we find that GX 1+4 is the best candidate for the detection of glitches with currently operating X-ray instruments and future missions such as the proposed Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT).

  15. An ultraluminous X-ray source powered by an accreting neutron star.

    PubMed

    Bachetti, M; Harrison, F A; Walton, D J; Grefenstette, B W; Chakrabarty, D; Fürst, F; Barret, D; Beloborodov, A; Boggs, S E; Christensen, F E; Craig, W W; Fabian, A C; Hailey, C J; Hornschemeier, A; Kaspi, V; Kulkarni, S R; Maccarone, T; Miller, J M; Rana, V; Stern, D; Tendulkar, S P; Tomsick, J; Webb, N A; Zhang, W W

    2014-10-01

    The majority of ultraluminous X-ray sources are point sources that are spatially offset from the nuclei of nearby galaxies and whose X-ray luminosities exceed the theoretical maximum for spherical infall (the Eddington limit) onto stellar-mass black holes. Their X-ray luminosities in the 0.5-10 kiloelectronvolt energy band range from 10(39) to 10(41) ergs per second. Because higher masses imply less extreme ratios of the luminosity to the isotropic Eddington limit, theoretical models have focused on black hole rather than neutron star systems. The most challenging sources to explain are those at the luminous end of the range (more than 10(40) ergs per second), which require black hole masses of 50-100 times the solar value or significant departures from the standard thin disk accretion that powers bright Galactic X-ray binaries, or both. Here we report broadband X-ray observations of the nuclear region of the galaxy M82 that reveal pulsations with an average period of 1.37 seconds and a 2.5-day sinusoidal modulation. The pulsations result from the rotation of a magnetized neutron star, and the modulation arises from its binary orbit. The pulsed flux alone corresponds to an X-ray luminosity in the 3-30 kiloelectronvolt range of 4.9 × 10(39) ergs per second. The pulsating source is spatially coincident with a variable source that can reach an X-ray luminosity in the 0.3-10 kiloelectronvolt range of 1.8 × 10(40) ergs per second. This association implies a luminosity of about 100 times the Eddington limit for a 1.4-solar-mass object, or more than ten times brighter than any known accreting pulsar. This implies that neutron stars may not be rare in the ultraluminous X-ray population, and it challenges physical models for the accretion of matter onto magnetized compact objects. PMID:25297433

  16. Revealing accretion onto black holes through X-ray reflection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, D.; Fender, R.; Ponti, G.; Munoz-Darias, T.; Coriat, M.

    2014-07-01

    Understanding the dynamics behind black hole state transitions and the changes they reflect in outbursts has become long-standing problem. The X-ray reflection spectrum describes the interaction between the hard X-ray source (the power-law continuum) and the cool accretion disc it illuminates, and thus permits an indirect view of how the two evolve. We present a systematic analysis of the reflection spectrum throughout three outbursts (500+ RXTE observations) of the black hole binary GX 339-4, representing the largest study applying a self-consistent treatment of reflection to date. Particular attention is payed to the coincident evolution of the power-law and reflection, which can be used to determine the accretion geometry. The hard state is found to be distinctly reflection weak, however the ratio of reflection to power-law gradually increases as the source luminosity rises. In contrast the reflection is found dominate the power-law throughout most of the soft state, with increasing supremacy as the source decays. Using results from archival and AO-12 observations of GX 339-4 with XMM-Newton we reveal the dynamics driving this evolution and the nature of accretion onto black holes in outburst.

  17. THE RADIATIVE X-RAY AND GAMMA-RAY EFFICIENCIES OF ROTATION-POWERED PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Vink, Jacco; Bamba, Aya; Yamazaki, Ryo

    2011-02-01

    We present a statistical analysis of the X-ray luminosity of rotation-powered pulsars and their surrounding nebulae using the sample of Kargaltsev and Pavlov, and we complement this with an analysis of the {gamma}-ray emission of Fermi-detected pulsars. We report a strong trend in the efficiency with which spin-down power is converted to X-ray and {gamma}-ray emission with characteristic age: young pulsars and their surrounding nebulae are efficient X-ray emitters, whereas in contrast old pulsars are efficient {gamma}-ray emitters. We divided the X-ray sample in a young ({tau}{sub c} < 1.7 x 10{sup 4} yr) and old sample and used linear regression to search for correlations between the logarithm of the X-ray and {gamma}-ray luminosities and the logarithms of the periods and period derivatives. The X-ray emission from young pulsars and their nebulae are both consistent with L{sub X}{proportional_to} P-dot{sup 3}/P{sup 6}. For old pulsars and their nebulae the X-ray luminosity is consistent with a more or less constant efficiency {eta}{identical_to}L{sub X}/ E-dot{sub rot}{approx}8x10{sup -5}. For the {gamma}-ray luminosity we confirm that L{sub {gamma}} {proportional_to} {radical}E-dot{sub rot}. We discuss these findings in the context of pair production inside pulsar magnetospheres and the striped wind model. We suggest that the striped wind model may explain the similarity between the X-ray properties of the pulsar wind nebulae and the pulsars themselves, which according to the striped wind model may both find their origin outside the light cylinder, in the pulsar wind zone.

  18. Distance Estimation for Eclipsing X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Robert E.; Paul, B.; Raichur, H.

    2006-06-01

    Recent interest in eclipsing binaries as distance indicators leads naturally into direct distance estimation for X-ray pulsars by combination of pulse arrival times, radial velocities, X-ray eclipse duration, and spectra. Optical light curves may help in some cases by measuring tides and irradiation, although dynamical tides in eccentric systems limit light curve usefulness. Pulse arrivals give an absolute scale and also orbit shape and orientation, which may be poorly known from radial velocities. For example, orbital eccentricity of 0.09 is known from Vela X1 pulse arrivals, although optical velocities are too noisy to measure eccentricity accurately. Combined pulse and optical velocity data give mass information. A lower limit to sin i from eclipse duration sets a lower limit to R2, and for the general eccentric case. A mass ratio sets lobe size and thus an upper limit to R2, so boxing R2 within a narrow range may be possible. T2 can be assessed from spectra so EB distance estimation can work if magnitude is known in one or more standard bands such as B or V. Realistic distance uncertainties are explored. In regard to new observations, Vela X-1 was observed by RXTE over about nine days in January 2005, including an eclipse of about 3.5 days. We extracted the light curves with time resolution 0.125 s. Spin period measurements by the Chi square criterion show Doppler variation with orbital phase and mean spin period 283.5 s. Pulse profiles of that period were averaged in sets of 10 at 138 phases. Cross correlation for the first 40 pulses show the expected Doppler arrival time variation. As the Vela X-1 pulse period is large compared to light travel time across the orbit, the pulses are already phase connected. Support is by U.S. National Science Foundation grant 0307561.

  19. Testing Models of Resonant Compton Scattering in X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brainerd, Jerome J.

    2000-01-01

    Over the performance period covered by the grant, the principal investigator modified a Monte Carlo Compton scattering code to model the propagation of x-rays through the magnetosphere of accreting neutron stars. These modifications were made to enable the author to compare the observations of x-ray pulsars to theoretical models of the system. The original code was designed to study relativistic plasmas with one of two geometries: a plane parallel plasma with a differential relativistic bulk velocity, and a static spherically symmetric plasma.- This code did not treat gravitational bending or bulk motion in the magnetosphere of a neutron star. Under the grant, the author incorporated code to trace light paths in a Schwarzschild metric. The code was modified to keep track of the photon polarization during propagati on. The investigator also modified the code so that bulk motion in an axisymmetric system is treated properly. An approximate treatment for resonant Compton scattering was added to the code. Finally, code was added that creates model observables that can be compared to observations, such as projected x-ray emission maps and energy-dependent light curves. Comparison to observations is now commencing.

  20. Testing accretion disk instabilities in X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagińska, Patrycja; Różańska, Agata; Janiuk, Agnieszka; Czerny, Bożena

    2014-12-01

    We study disk instabilities in black hole binaries in which X-ray novae outbursts were observed. Typically, one outburst occurs in each light curve, with total duration from 30 up to 400 days. The shape of an outburst can be very regular fast rise exponential decay (FRED) characteristic for ionisation instability mechanism that occurs in accretion disks, or irregular suggesting that, beside FRED, additional flickering occurs. We use the model which predicts time dependent evolution of ionisation instability in an accretion disk around black hole, assuming viscosity parameter to be proportional to the total pressure. We test it in detail for two objects: GX 339-4 and XTE J1818-245. The modelled light curves agree with the collected RXTE light curves, indicating that disk instability works in those objects.

  1. X-RAY POLARIZATION FROM ACCRETING BLACK HOLES: CORONAL EMISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Krolik, Julian H. E-mail: jhk@pha.jhu.ed

    2010-04-01

    We present new calculations of X-ray polarization from accreting black holes (BHs), using a Monte Carlo ray-tracing code in full general relativity. In our model, an optically thick disk in the BH equatorial plane produces thermal seed photons with polarization oriented parallel to the disk surface. These seed photons are then inverse-Compton scattered through a hot (but thermal) corona, producing a hard X-ray power-law spectrum. We consider three different models for the corona geometry: a wedge 'sandwich' with aspect ratio H/R and vertically integrated optical depth tau{sub 0} constant throughout the disk; an inhomogeneous 'clumpy' corona with a finite number of hot clouds distributed randomly above the disk within a wedge geometry; and a spherical corona of uniform density, centered on the BH and surrounded by a truncated thermal disk with inner radius R{sub edge}. In all cases, we find a characteristic transition from horizontal polarization at low energies to vertical polarization above the thermal peak; the vertical direction is defined as the projection of the BH spin axis on the plane of the sky. We show how the details of the spectropolarization signal can be used to distinguish between these models and infer various properties of the corona and BH. Although the bulk of this paper focuses on stellar-mass BHs, we also consider the effects of coronal scattering on the X-ray polarization signal from supermassive BHs in active galactic nuclei.

  2. Pulsar Polar Cap Heating and Surface Thermal X-ray Emission. 1; Curvature Radiation Pair Fronts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Muslimov, Alexander G.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We investigate the effect of pulsar polar cap (PC) heating produced by positrons returning from the upper pair formation front. Our calculations are based on a self-consistent treatment of the pair dynamics and the effect of electric field screening by the returning positrons. We calculate the resultant X-ray luminosities and discuss the dependence of the PC heating efficiencies on pulsar parameters, such as characteristic spin-down age, spin period, and surface magnetic field strength. In this study we concentrate on the regime where the pairs are produced in a magnetic field by curvature photons emitted by accelerating electrons. Our theoretical results are not in conflict with the available observational x-ray data and suggest that the effect of PC heating should significantly contribute to the thermal x-ray fluxes from middle-aged and old pulsars. The implications for current and future x-ray observations of pulsars are briefly outlined.

  3. Accretion and Outflows in X-ray Binaries: What's Really Going on During X-ray Quiescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, Rachel K. D.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Buxton, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    X-ray binaries, consisting of a star and a stellar-mass black hole, are wonderful laboratories for studying accretion and outflows. They evolve on timescales quite accessible to us, unlike their supermassive cousins, and allow the possibility of gaining a deeper understanding of these two common astrophysical processes. Different wavelength regimes reveal different aspects of the systems: radio emission is largely generated by outflows and jets, X-ray emission by inner accretion flows, and optical/infrared (OIR) emission by the outer disk and companion star. The search for relationships between these different wavelengths is thus an area of active research, aiming to reveal deeper connections between accretion and outflows.Initial evidence for a strong, tight correlation between radio and X-ray emission has weakened as further observations and newly-discovered sources have been obtained. This has led to discussions of multiple tracks or clusters, or the possibility that no overall relation exists for the currently-known population of X-ray binaries. Our ability to distinguish among these options is hampered by a relative lack of observations at lower luminosities, and especially of truly X-ray quiescent (non-outbursting) systems. Although X-ray binaries spend the bulk of their existence in quiescence, few quiescent sources have been observed and multiple observations of individual sources are largely nonexistent. Here we discuss new observations of the lowest-luminosity quiescent X-ray binary, A0620-00, and the place this object occupies in investigations of the radio/X-ray plane. For the first time, we also incorporate simultaneous OIR data with the radio and X-ray data.In December 2013 we took simultaneous observations of A0620-00 in the X-ray (Chandra), the radio (EVLA), and the OIR (SMARTS 1.3m). These X-ray and radio data allowed us to investigate similarities among quiescent X-ray binaries, and changes over time for this individual object, in the radio/X-ray

  4. ORBITAL DECAY AND EVIDENCE OF DISK FORMATION IN THE X-RAY BINARY PULSAR OAO 1657-415

    SciTech Connect

    Jenke, P. A.; Wilson-Hodge, C. A.

    2012-11-10

    OAO 1657-415 is an eclipsing X-ray binary wind-fed pulsar that has exhibited smooth spin-up/spin-down episodes and has undergone several torque reversals throughout its long history of observation. We present a frequency history spanning nearly 19 years of observations from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment and from the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor (Fermi/GBM). Our analysis suggests two modes of accretion: one resulting in steady spin-up correlated with flux during which we believe a stable accretion disk is present and one in which the neutron star is spinning down at a lesser rate which is uncorrelated with flux. Orbital elements of the pulsar system are determined at several intervals throughout this history. With these ephemerides, statistically significant orbital decay with a P-dot {sub orb}=(-9.74{+-}0.78) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -8} is established.

  5. Radiation-driven evolution of low-mass x-ray binaries and the formation of millisecond pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Tavani, M. California Univ., Berkeley, CA . Dept. of Astronomy)

    1991-08-08

    Recent data on low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and millisecond pulsars (MSPs) pose a challenge to evolutionary theories which neglect the effects of disk and comparison irradiation. Here we discuss the main features of a radiation-driven (RD) evolutionary model that may be applicable to several LMXBs. According to this model, radiation from the accreting compact star in LMXBs vaporizes'' the accretion disk and the companion star by driving a self-sustained mass loss until a sudden accretion-turn off occurs. The main characteristics of the RD-evolution are: (1) lifetime of RD-LMXB's is of order 10{sup 7} years or less; (2) both the orbital period gap and the X-ray luminosity may be consequences of RD-evolution of LMXB's containing lower main sequence and degeneration companion stars; (3) the companion star may transfer mass to the primary even if it underfills its Roche lobe; (4) a class of recycled MSPs can continue to vaporize the low-mass companions by a strong pulsar wind even after the accretion turn-off; (5) the RD-evolutionary model resolves the apparent statistical descrepancy between the number of MSPs and their LMXB progenitors in the Galaxy. We discuss the implications of the discovery of single MSPs in low-density globular clusters and the recent measurements of short orbital timescales of four LMXBs. 34 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Analysis and design of grazing incidence x-ray optics for pulsar navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Fuchang; Chen, Jianwu; Li, Liansheng; Mei, Zhiwu

    2013-10-01

    As a promising new technology for deep space exploration due to autonomous capability, pulsar navigation has attracted extensive attentions from academy and engineering domains. The pulsar navigation accuracy is determined by the measurement accuracy of Time of Arrival (TOA) of X-ray photon, which can be enhanced through design of appropriate optics. The energy band of X-ray suitable for pulsar navigation is 0.1-10keV, the effective focusing of which can be primely and effectively realized by the grazing incidence reflective optics. The Wolter-I optics, originally proposed based on a paraboloid mirror and a hyperboloid mirror for X-ray imaging, has long been widely developed and employed in X-ray observatory. Some differences, however, remain in the requirements on optics between astronomical X-ray observation and pulsar navigation. X-ray concentrator, the simplified Wolter-I optics, providing single reflection by a paraboloid mirror, is more suitable for pulsar navigation. In this paper, therefore, the requirements on aperture, effective area and focal length of the grazing incidence reflective optics were firstly analyzed based on the characteristics, such as high time resolution, large effective area and low angular resolution, of the pulsar navigation. Furthermore, the preliminary design of optical system and overall structure, as well as the diaphragm, was implemented for the X-ray concentrator. Through optical and FEA simulation, system engineering analysis on the X-ray concentrator was finally performed to analyze the effects of environmental factors on the performance, providing basis and guidance for fabrication of the X-ray concentrator grazing incidence optics.

  7. X-ray and γ-ray studies of the millisecond pulsar and possible X-ray binary/radio pulsar transition object PSR J1723-2837

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Esposito, Paolo; Crawford III, Fronefield; Possenti, Andrea; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Freire, Paulo

    2014-01-20

    We present X-ray observations of the 'redback' eclipsing radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) and candidate radio pulsar/X-ray binary transition object PSR J1723-2837. The X-ray emission from the system is predominantly non-thermal and exhibits pronounced variability as a function of orbital phase, with a factor of ∼2 reduction in brightness around superior conjunction. Such temporal behavior appears to be a defining characteristic of this variety of peculiar MSP binaries and is likely caused by a partial geometric occultation by the main-sequence-like companion of a shock within the binary. There is no indication of diffuse X-ray emission from a bow shock or pulsar wind nebula associated with the pulsar. We also report on a search for point source emission and γ-ray pulsations in Fermi Large Area Telescope data using a likelihood analysis and photon probability weighting. Although PSR J1723-2837 is consistent with being a γ-ray point source, due to the strong Galactic diffuse emission at its position a definitive association cannot be established. No statistically significant pulsations or modulation at the orbital period are detected. For a presumed detection, the implied γ-ray luminosity is ≲5% of its spin-down power. This indicates that PSR J1723-2837 is either one of the least efficient γ-ray producing MSPs or, if the detection is spurious, the γ-ray emission pattern is not directed toward us.

  8. A CHANDRA OBSERVATION OF THE BURSTING MILLISECOND X-RAY PULSAR IGR J17511-3057

    SciTech Connect

    Paizis, A.; Nowak, M. A.; Rodriguez, J.; Chaty, S.; Del Santo, M.; Ubertini, P. E-mail: mnowak@space.mit.edu

    2012-08-10

    IGR J17511-3057 is a low-mass X-ray binary hosting a neutron star and is one of the few accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars with X-ray bursts. We report on a 20 ks Chandra grating observation of IGR J17511-3057, performed on 2009 September 22. We determine the most accurate X-ray position of IGR J17511-3057, {alpha}{sub J2000} = 17{sup h}51{sup m}08.{sup s}66, {delta}{sub J2000} = -30 Degree-Sign 57'41.''0 (90% uncertainty of 0.''6). During the observation, a {approx}54 s long type-I X-ray burst is detected. The persistent (non-burst) emission has an absorbed 0.5-8 keV luminosity of 1.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1} (at 6.9 kpc) and can be well described by a thermal Comptonization model of soft, {approx}0.6 keV, seed photons upscattered by a hot corona. The type-I X-ray burst spectrum, with average luminosity over the 54 s duration L{sub 0.5-8{sub keV}} = 1.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 37} erg s{sup -1}, can be well described by a blackbody with kT{sub bb} {approx} 1.6 keV and R{sub bb} {approx} 5 km. While an evolution in temperature of the blackbody can be appreciated throughout the burst (average peak kT{sub bb} = 2.5{sup +0.8}{sub -0.4} keV to tail kT{sub bb} = 1.3{sup +0.2}{sub -0.1} keV), the relative emitting surface shows no evolution. The overall persistent and type-I burst properties observed during the Chandra observation are consistent with what was previously reported during the 2009 outburst of IGR J17511-3057.

  9. SXP 214: An X-Ray Pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud, Crossing the Circumstellar Disk of the Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, JaeSub; Antoniou, Vallia; Zezas, Andreas; Haberl, Frank; Drake, Jeremy J.; Plucinsky, Paul P.; Gaetz, Terrance; Sasaki, Manami; Williams, Benjamin; Long, Knox S.; Blair, William P.; Winkler, P. Frank; Wright, Nicholas J.; Laycock, Silas; Udalski, Andrzej

    2016-07-01

    Located in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), SXP 214 is an X-ray pulsar in a high mass X-ray binary system with a Be-star companion. A recent survey of the SMC under a Chandra X-ray Visionary program found that the source was in a transition when the X-ray flux was on a steady rise. The Lomb–Scargle periodogram revealed a pulse period of 211.49 ± 0.42 s, which is significantly (>5σ) shorter than the previous measurements made with XMM-Newton and RXTE. This implies that the system has gone through sudden spin-up episodes recently. The pulse profile shows a sharp eclipse-like feature with a modulation amplitude of >95%. The linear rise of the observed X-ray luminosity from ≲2× to 7× {10}35 erg s‑1 is correlated with a steady softening of the X-ray spectrum, which can be described by the changes in the local absorption from N H ˜ 1024 to ≲1020 cm‑2 for an absorbed power-law model. The soft X-ray emission below 2 keV was absent in the early part of the observation when only the pulsating hard X-ray component was observed, whereas at later times, both soft and hard X-ray components were observed to be pulsating. A likely explanation is that the neutron star was initially hidden in the circumstellar disk of the companion, and later came out of the disk with the accreted material that continued fueling the observed pulsation.

  10. SXP 214: An X-Ray Pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud, Crossing the Circumstellar Disk of the Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, JaeSub; Antoniou, Vallia; Zezas, Andreas; Haberl, Frank; Drake, Jeremy J.; Plucinsky, Paul P.; Gaetz, Terrance; Sasaki, Manami; Williams, Benjamin; Long, Knox S.; Blair, William P.; Winkler, P. Frank; Wright, Nicholas J.; Laycock, Silas; Udalski, Andrzej

    2016-07-01

    Located in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), SXP 214 is an X-ray pulsar in a high mass X-ray binary system with a Be-star companion. A recent survey of the SMC under a Chandra X-ray Visionary program found that the source was in a transition when the X-ray flux was on a steady rise. The Lomb–Scargle periodogram revealed a pulse period of 211.49 ± 0.42 s, which is significantly (>5σ) shorter than the previous measurements made with XMM-Newton and RXTE. This implies that the system has gone through sudden spin-up episodes recently. The pulse profile shows a sharp eclipse-like feature with a modulation amplitude of >95%. The linear rise of the observed X-ray luminosity from ≲2× to 7× {10}35 erg s‑1 is correlated with a steady softening of the X-ray spectrum, which can be described by the changes in the local absorption from N H ∼ 1024 to ≲1020 cm‑2 for an absorbed power-law model. The soft X-ray emission below 2 keV was absent in the early part of the observation when only the pulsating hard X-ray component was observed, whereas at later times, both soft and hard X-ray components were observed to be pulsating. A likely explanation is that the neutron star was initially hidden in the circumstellar disk of the companion, and later came out of the disk with the accreted material that continued fueling the observed pulsation.

  11. Numerical Solution of the Radiative Transfer Equation: X-Ray Spectral Formation from Cylindrical Accretion onto a Magnetized Neutron Star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fairnelli, R.; Ceccobello, C.; Romano, P.; Titarchuk, L.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the emerging X-ray spectra in several astrophysical objects is of great importance, in particular when the observational data are compared with theoretical models. This requires developing numerical routines for the solution of the radiative transfer equation according to the expected physical conditions of the systems under study. Aims. We have developed an algorithm solving the radiative transfer equation in the Fokker-Planck approximation when both thermal and bulk Comptonization take place. The algorithm is essentially a relaxation method, where stable solutions are obtained when the system has reached its steady-state equilibrium. Methods. We obtained the solution of the radiative transfer equation in the two-dimensional domain defined by the photon energy E and optical depth of the system pi using finite-differences for the partial derivatives, and imposing specific boundary conditions for the solutions. We treated the case of cylindrical accretion onto a magnetized neutron star. Results. We considered a blackbody seed spectrum of photons with exponential distribution across the accretion column and for an accretion where the velocity reaches its maximum at the stellar surface and at the top of the accretion column, respectively. In both cases higher values of the electron temperature and of the optical depth pi produce flatter and harder spectra. Other parameters contributing to the spectral formation are the steepness of the vertical velocity profile, the albedo at the star surface, and the radius of the accretion column. The latter parameter modifies the emerging spectra in a specular way for the two assumed accretion profiles. Conclusions. The algorithm has been implemented in the XPEC package for X-ray fitting and is specifically dedicated to the physical framework of accretion at the polar cap of a neutron star with a high magnetic field (approx > 10(exp 12) G). This latter case is expected to be of typical accreting systems such as X-ray

  12. High energy X-ray observations of the 38-second pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byrne, P. F.; Levine, A. M.; Bautz, M.; Howe, S. K.; Lang, F. L.; Primini, F. A.; Lewin, W. H. G.; Gruber, D. E.; Knight, F. K.; Nolan, P. L.

    1981-01-01

    The results of observations of the 38-second pulsar obtained at high X-ray energies (13-180 keV) with the UCSD/MIT instrument aboard HEAO 1 are reported. The results include a measurement of the source location, measurement of the pulse profile, and determination of the average intensity and spectrum during each of three time intervals spanning a baseline of 1 year. The total intensity of the pulsar is seen to vary on a 6-month time scale. The spectrum is hard but, like other X-ray pulsars, steepens at energies above 20 keV.

  13. A Study of the X-Ray Emission from Three Radio Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slane, Patrick O. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The subject grant is for work on a study of x-ray emission from isolated pulsars. The purpose of the study was to: determine whether the pulsars were x-ray sources; and, if so, search for evidence of pulsations at the known radio period; and study the nature of the x-ray emission. Observation of the pulsar PSR 0355+54 were obtained, and the analysis of these data is complete. These results were reported at the 183rd AAS Meeting, and in a paper entitled 'X-Ray Emission from PSR 0355+54' which as published in the The Astrophysical Journal. Also obtained an approx. 3 ks PSPC observations of PSR 1642-03. A summary of the results from these data were reported in a Conference Proceedings for the 'New Horizon of X-ray Astronomy' symposium. In addition, as part of a study with a student from the SAO Summer Intern Program, I incorporated ROSAT archival data in an extended study of pulsar emission. These results were reported at the 185th AAS Meeting, and in a paper entitled 'Soft X-ray Emission from Selected Isolated Pulsars' which was published in The Astrophysical Journal (Letters).

  14. X-RAY STUDIES OF THE BLACK WIDOW PULSAR PSR B1957+20

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, R. H. H.; Kong, A. K. H.; Takata, J.; Cheng, K. S.; Hui, C. Y.; Lin, L. C. C.

    2012-11-20

    We report on Chandra observations of the black widow pulsar, PSR B1957+20. Evidence for a binary-phase dependence of the X-ray emission from the pulsar is found with a deep observation. The binary-phase-resolved spectral analysis reveals non-thermal X-ray emission of PSR B1957+20, confirming the results of previous studies. This suggests that the X-rays are mostly due to intra-binary shock emission, which is strongest when the pulsar wind interacts with the ablated material from the companion star. The geometry of the peak emission is determined in our study. The marginal softening of the spectrum of the non-thermal X-ray tail may indicate that particles injected at the termination shock are dominated by synchrotron cooling.

  15. Synchronous x-ray and radio mode switches: a rapid global transformation of the pulsar magnetosphere.

    PubMed

    Hermsen, W; Hessels, J W T; Kuiper, L; van Leeuwen, J; Mitra, D; de Plaa, J; Rankin, J M; Stappers, B W; Wright, G A E; Basu, R; Alexov, A; Coenen, T; Grießmeier, J-M; Hassall, T E; Karastergiou, A; Keane, E; Kondratiev, V I; Kramer, M; Kuniyoshi, M; Noutsos, A; Serylak, M; Pilia, M; Sobey, C; Weltevrede, P; Zagkouris, K; Asgekar, A; Avruch, I M; Batejat, F; Bell, M E; Bell, M R; Bentum, M J; Bernardi, G; Best, P; Bîrzan, L; Bonafede, A; Breitling, F; Broderick, J; Brüggen, M; Butcher, H R; Ciardi, B; Duscha, S; Eislöffel, J; Falcke, H; Fender, R; Ferrari, C; Frieswijk, W; Garrett, M A; de Gasperin, F; de Geus, E; Gunst, A W; Heald, G; Hoeft, M; Horneffer, A; Iacobelli, M; Kuper, G; Maat, P; Macario, G; Markoff, S; McKean, J P; Mevius, M; Miller-Jones, J C A; Morganti, R; Munk, H; Orrú, E; Paas, H; Pandey-Pommier, M; Pandey, V N; Pizzo, R; Polatidis, A G; Rawlings, S; Reich, W; Röttgering, H; Scaife, A M M; Schoenmakers, A; Shulevski, A; Sluman, J; Steinmetz, M; Tagger, M; Tang, Y; Tasse, C; ter Veen, S; Vermeulen, R; van de Brink, R H; van Weeren, R J; Wijers, R A M J; Wise, M W; Wucknitz, O; Yatawatta, S; Zarka, P

    2013-01-25

    Pulsars emit from low-frequency radio waves up to high-energy gamma-rays, generated anywhere from the stellar surface out to the edge of the magnetosphere. Detecting correlated mode changes across the electromagnetic spectrum is therefore key to understanding the physical relationship among the emission sites. Through simultaneous observations, we detected synchronous switching in the radio and x-ray emission properties of PSR B0943+10. When the pulsar is in a sustained radio-"bright" mode, the x-rays show only an unpulsed, nonthermal component. Conversely, when the pulsar is in a radio-"quiet" mode, the x-ray luminosity more than doubles and a 100% pulsed thermal component is observed along with the nonthermal component. This indicates rapid, global changes to the conditions in the magnetosphere, which challenge all proposed pulsar emission theories. PMID:23349288

  16. X-ray emission from cataclysmic variables with accretion disks. I - Hard X-rays. II - EUV/soft X-ray radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, J.; Raymond, J. C.

    1985-01-01

    Theoretical models explaining the hard-X-ray, soft-X-ray, and EUV emission of accretion-disk cataclysmic variables in terms of the disk boundary layer (DBL) are developed on the basis of a survey of the published observational data. The data are compared with model predictions in graphs for systems with high or low (greater than or less than 10-Pg/s) accretion rates. Good agreement is obtained both at low accretion rates, where an optically thin rarefied hot (Te = 10 to the 8th K) DBL radiates most of its energy as hard X-rays, and at high accretion rates, where an optically thick 100,000-K DBL radiates most of its energy in the EUV and as soft X-rays. Detailed analysis of the old nova V603 Aql suggests that previous models predicting more detections of soft-X-ray/EUV emissions from thick-DBL objects (Ferland et al., 1982) used inappropriate dwarf masses, interstellar column densities, or classical-nova space densities.

  17. X-ray observations of XSS J12270-4859 in a new low state: A transformation to a disk-free rotation-powered pulsar binary

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Patruno, Alessandro; Archibald, Anne M.; Bassa, Cees; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Janssen, Gemma H.; Stappers, Ben W.

    2014-07-01

    We present XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of the low-mass X-ray binary XSS J12270-4859, which experienced a dramatic decline in optical/X-ray brightness at the end of 2012, indicative of the disappearance of its accretion disk. In this new state, the system exhibits previously absent orbital-phase-dependent, large-amplitude X-ray modulations with a decline in flux at superior conjunction. The X-ray emission remains predominantly non-thermal but with an order of magnitude lower mean luminosity and significantly harder spectrum relative to the previous high flux state. This phenomenology is identical to the behavior of the radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) binary PSR J1023+0038 in the absence of an accretion disk, where the X-ray emission is produced in an intra-binary shock driven by the pulsar wind. This further demonstrates that XSS J12270-4859 no longer has an accretion disk and has transformed to a full-fledged eclipsing 'redback' system that hosts an active rotation-powered MSP. There is no evidence for diffuse X-ray emission associated with the binary that may arise due to outflows or a wind nebula. An extended source situated 1.'5 from XSS J12270-4859 is unlikely to be associated, and is probably a previously uncataloged galaxy cluster.

  18. Disentangling X-Ray Emission Processes in Vela-Like Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaensler, Bryan; Mushotzky, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    We present a deep observation with the X-Ray Multimirror Mission of PSR B1823-13, a young pulsar with similar properties to the Vela pulsar. We detect two components to the X-ray emission associated with PSR B1823-13: an elongated core of extent 30 min immediately surrounding the pulsar embedded in a fainter, diffuse component of emission 5 sec in extent, seen only on the southern side of the pulsar. The pulsar itself is not detected, either as a point source or through its pulsations. Both components of the X-ray emission are well fitted by a power-law spectrum, with photon index Gamma approx. 1.6 and X-ray luminosity (0.5-10 keV) L(sub X) approx. 9 x 10(exp 32) ergs/s for the core and Gamma approx. 2.3 and L(sub X) approx. 3 x 10(exp 33) ergs/s for the diffuse emission, for a distance of 4 kpc. We interpret both components of emission as corresponding to a pulsar wind nebula, which we designate G18.0-0.7. We argue that the core region represents the wind termination shock of this nebula, while the diffuse component indicates the shocked downstream wind. We propose that the asymmetric morphology of the diffuse emission with respect to the pulsar is the result of a reverse shock from an associated supernova remnant, which has compressed and distorted the pulsar-powered nebula. Such an interaction might be typical for pulsars at this stage in their evolution. The associated supernova remnant is not detected directly, most likely being too faint to be seen in existing X-ray and radio observations.

  19. Spectral variability in the X-ray pulsar GX 1+4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, R. H.; Boldt, E. A.; Holt, S. S.; Pravdo, S. H.; Rothschild, R. E.; Serlemitsos, P. J.; Swank, J. H.

    1976-01-01

    Observations of the galactic center region, hard X-ray source GX 1+4 by the GSFC X-ray spectroscopy experiment on OSO-8 confirm that GX 1+4 is a slow X-ray pulsar. The amount of absorption by cold matter in the spectrum of GX 1+4 varies significantly within a 24 hour period, behavior typical of many X-ray binary systems. The light curve for the pulsations from GX 1+4 appears to be energy dependent.

  20. The effect of vacuum birefringence on the polarization of X-ray binaries and pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novick, R.; Weisskopf, M. C.; Angel, J. R. P.; Sutherland, P. G.

    1977-01-01

    In a strong magnetic field the vacuum becomes birefringent. This effect is especially important for pulsars at X-ray wavelengths. Any polarized X-ray emission from the surface of a magnetic neutron star becomes depolarized as it propagates through the magnetic field. The soft X-ray emission from AM Her, believed to be a magnetic white dwarf, may show about one radian of phase retardation. In this case, circular polarization of the X-ray flux would be a characteristic signature of vacuum birefringence.

  1. ON THE X-RAY OUTBURSTS OF TRANSIENT ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSARS AND SOFT GAMMA-RAY REPEATERS

    SciTech Connect

    Cal Latin-Small-Letter-Dotless-I skan, Sirin; Ertan, Uenal

    2012-10-20

    We show that the X-ray outburst light curves of four transient anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), namely, XTE J1810-197, SGR 0501+4516, SGR 1627-41, and CXOU J164710.2-455216, can be produced by the fallback disk model that was also applied to the outburst light curves of persistent AXPs and SGRs in our earlier work. The model solves the diffusion equation for the relaxation of a disk that has been pushed back by a soft gamma-ray burst. The sets of main disk parameters used for these transient sources are very similar to each other and to those employed in our earlier models of persistent AXPs and SGRs. There is a characteristic difference between the X-ray outburst light curves of transient and persistent sources. This can be explained by the differences in the disk surface density profiles of the transient and persistent sources in quiescence indicated by their quiescent X-ray luminosities. Our results imply that a viscous disk instability operating at a critical temperature in the range of {approx}1300-2800 K is a common property of all fallback disks around AXPs and SGRs. The effect of the instability is more pronounced and starts earlier for the sources with lower quiescent luminosities, which leads to the observable differences in the X-ray enhancement light curves of transient and persistent sources. A single active disk model with the same basic disk parameters can account for the enhancement phases of both transient and persistent AXPs and SGRs. We also present a detailed parameter study to show the effects of disk parameters on the evolution of the X-ray luminosity of AXPs and SGRs in the X-ray enhancement phases.

  2. Discovery of SXP 265, a Be/X-ray binary pulsar in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, R.; Haberl, F.; Vasilopoulos, G.; Bartlett, E. S.; Maggi, P.; Rau, A.; Greiner, J.; Udalski, A.

    2014-11-01

    We identify a new candidate for a Be/X-ray binary in the XMM-Newton slew survey and archival Swift observations that is located in the transition region of the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Magellanic Bridge. We investigated and classified this source with follow-up XMM-Newton and optical observations. We model the X-ray spectra and search for periodicities and variability in the X-ray observations and the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment I-band light curve. The optical counterpart has been classified spectroscopically, with data obtained at the South African Astronomical Observatory 1.9 m telescope, and photometrically, with data obtained using the Gamma-ray Burst Optical Near-ir Detector at the MPG 2.2 m telescope. The X-ray spectrum is typical of a high-mass X-ray binary with an accreting neutron star. We detect X-ray pulsations, which reveal a neutron-star spin period of Ps = (264.516 ± 0.014) s. The source likely shows a persistent X-ray luminosity of a few 1035 erg s-1 and in addition type-I outbursts that indicate an orbital period of ˜146 d. A periodicity of 0.867 d, found in the optical light curve, can be explained by non-radial pulsations of the Be star. We identify the optical counterpart and classify it as a B1-2II-IVe star. This confirms SXP 265 as a new Be/X-ray binary pulsar originating in the tidal structure between the Magellanic Clouds.

  3. X-rays from radio pulsars - The detection of PSR 1055-52

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Helfand, D. J.

    1983-01-01

    The short-period pulsar PSR 1055-52 has been detected as a soft X-ray source in the course of an Einstein Observatory survey of radio pulsars. Its X-ray to radio luminosity ratio is about 10,000, although the X-rays are not modulated at the neutron star's rotation frequency. High spatial resolution observations suggest that a significant fraction of the emission comes from an extended region surrounding the pulsar. Several possible scenarios for the origin of both point and extended X-ray emission from isolated neutron stars are investigated: radiation from the hot stellar surface, from hot polar caps, and from an optically thick atmosphere, as well as from a circumstellar nebula emitting thermal bremsstrahlung or synchrotron radiation. It is concluded that the spatial, spectral, and temporal characteristics of this source are most consistent with a model in which relativistic particles generated by the pulsar are radiating synchrotron X-rays in the surrounding magnetic field; i.e., that PSR 1055 is embedded in a mini-Crab nebula. Observational tests of this hypothesis are suggested, and the implications of this result for pulsar evolution are briefly discussed.

  4. X-ray jets from B2224+65: A Middle-aged Pulsar's New Trick

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Q. Daniel; Johnson, Seth

    2015-01-01

    Pulsars, though typically not aged ones, are believed to be an important source of energetic cosmic rays. Therefore, it may not be too surprising to detect an X-ray jet associated with the middle-aged radio/X-ray pulsar B2224+65, which is well known for its very high proper motion and its trailing ``Guitar Nebula''. Most unexpected, however, is that this jet is offset from its proper motion direction by 118 degree. Furthermore, an X-ray counter jet and a faint X-ray trail associated with the ``Guitar Nebula'' are now identified in the combined data set of three epoch Chandra observations with a total exposure of 200 ks. We are carrying out a detailed measurements of the X-ray spectral variation with time and across the jets and are critically testing scenarios proposed to explain this enigmatic phenomenon. The study should have strong implications for understanding the origin of cosmic rays, as well as similar linear nonthermal X-ray-emitting features that are associated with more distant pulsars, especially pulsar wind nebula candidates in the central 100 pc region of the Galaxy.

  5. A Comprehensive Spectral Analysis of the X-Ray Pulsar 4U 1907+09 from Two Observations with the Suzaku X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivers, Elizabeth; Markowitz, Alex; Pottschmidt, Katja; Roth, Stefanie; Barragan, Laura; Furst, Felix; Suchy, Slawomir; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Wilms, Jorn; Rothschild, Richard

    2009-01-01

    We present results from two observations of the wind-accreting X-ray pulsar 4U 1907+09 using the Suzaku observatory, The broadband time-averaged spectrum allows us to examine the continuum emission of the source and the cyclotron resonance scattering feature at approx. 19 keV. Additionally, using the narrow CCD response of Suzaku near 6 ke V allows us to study in detail the Fe K bandpass and to quantify the Fe Kp line for this source for the first time. The source is absorbed by fully-covering material along the line of sight with a column density of N(sub H) approx. 2 x 10(exp 22)/sq cm, consistent with a wind accreting geometry, and a high Fe abundance (approx. 3 - 4 x solar). Time and phase-resolved analyses allow us to study variations in the source spectrum. In particular, dips found in the 2006 observation which are consistent with earlier observations occur in the hard X-ray bandpass, implying a variation of the whole continuum rather than occultation by intervening material, while a dip near the end of the 2007 observation occurs mainly in the lower energies implying an increase in NH along the line of sight, perhaps indicating clumpiness in the stellar wind

  6. A COMPREHENSIVE SPECTRAL ANALYSIS OF THE X-RAY PULSAR 4U 1907+09 FROM TWO OBSERVATIONS WITH THE SUZAKU X-RAY OBSERVATORY

    SciTech Connect

    Rivers, Elizabeth; Markowitz, Alex; Suchy, Slawomir; Rothschild, Richard; Pottschmidt, Katja; Roth, Stefanie; Barragan, Laura; Fuerst, Felix; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Wilms, Joern

    2010-01-20

    We present results from two observations of the wind-accreting X-ray pulsar 4U 1907+09 using the Suzaku Observatory. The broadband time-averaged spectrum allows us to examine the continuum emission of the source and the cyclotron resonance scattering feature at approx19 keV. Additionally, using the narrow CCD response of Suzaku near 6 keV allows us to study in detail the Fe K bandpass and to quantify the Fe Kbeta line for this source for the first time. The source is absorbed by fully covering material along the line of sight with a column density of N{sub H} approx 2 x 10{sup 22} cm{sup -2}, consistent with a wind-accreting geometry, and a high Fe abundance (approx3-4 times solar). Time- and phase-resolved analyses allow us to study variations in the source spectrum. In particular, dips found in the 2006 observation which are consistent with earlier observations occur in the hard X-ray bandpass, implying a variation of the whole continuum rather than occultation by intervening material, while a dip near the end of the 2007 observation occurs mainly in the lower energies implying an increase in N{sub H} along the line of sight, perhaps indicating clumpiness in the stellar wind.

  7. Accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz Trigo, M.; Boirin, L.

    2016-05-01

    In the last decade, X-ray spectroscopy has enabled a wealth of discoveries of photoionised absorbers in X-ray binaries. Studies of such accretion disc atmospheres and winds are of fundamental importance to understand accretion processes and possible feedback mechanisms to the environment. In this work, we review the current observational state and theoretical understanding of accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries, focusing on the wind launching mechanisms and on the dependence on accretion state. We conclude with issues that deserve particular attention.

  8. A FAST X-RAY DISK WIND IN THE TRANSIENT PULSAR IGR J17480-2446 IN TERZAN 5

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Jon M.; Maitra, Dipankar; Cackett, Edward M.; Bhattacharyya, Sudip; Strohmayer, Tod E.

    2011-04-10

    Accretion disk winds are revealed in Chandra gratings spectra of black holes. The winds are hot and highly ionized (typically composed of He-like and H-like charge states) and show modest blueshifts. Similar line spectra are sometimes seen in 'dipping' low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), which are likely viewed edge-on; however, that absorption is tied to structures in the outer disk, and blueshifts are not typically observed. Here, we report the detection of blueshifted He-like Fe XXV (3100 {+-} 400 km s{sup -1}) and H-like Fe XXVI (1000 {+-} 200 km s{sup -1}) absorption lines in a Chandra/HETG spectrum of the transient pulsar and LMXB IGR J17480-2446 in Terzan 5. These features indicate a disk wind with at least superficial similarities to those observed in stellar-mass black holes. The wind does not vary strongly with numerous weak X-ray bursts or flares. A broad Fe K emission line is detected in the spectrum, and fits with different line models suggest that the inner accretion disk in this system may be truncated. If the stellar magnetic field truncates the disk, a field strength of B= (0.7-4.0)x10{sup 9} G is implied, which is in line with estimates based on X-ray timing techniques. We discuss our findings in the context of accretion flows onto neutron stars and stellar-mass black holes.

  9. ORIGIN OF INTERMITTENT ACCRETION-POWERED X-RAY OSCILLATIONS IN NEUTRON STARS WITH MILLISECOND SPIN PERIODS

    SciTech Connect

    Lamb, Frederick K.; Boutloukos, Stratos; Van Wassenhove, Sandor; Chamberlain, Robert T.; Lo, Ka Ho; Coleman Miller, M.

    2009-11-01

    We have shown previously that many of the properties of persistent accretion-powered millisecond pulsars can be understood if their X-ray emitting areas are near their spin axes and move as the accretion rate and structure of the inner disk vary. Here, we show that this 'nearly aligned moving spot model' may also explain the intermittent accretion-powered pulsations that have been detected in three weakly magnetic accreting neutron stars. We show that movement of the emitting area from very close to the spin axis to approx10 deg. away can increase the fractional rms amplitude from approx<0.5%, which is usually undetectable with current instruments, to a few percent, which is easily detectable. The second harmonic of the spin frequency usually would not be detected, in agreement with observations. The model produces intermittently detectable oscillations for a range of emitting area sizes and beaming patterns, stellar masses and radii, and viewing directions. Intermittent oscillations are more likely in stars that are more compact. In addition to explaining the sudden appearance of accretion-powered millisecond oscillations in some neutron stars with millisecond spin periods, the model explains why accretion-powered millisecond oscillations are relatively rare and predicts that the persistent accretion-powered millisecond oscillations of other stars may become undetectable for brief intervals. It suggests why millisecond oscillations are frequently detected during the X-ray bursts of some neutron stars but not others and suggests mechanisms that could explain the occasional temporal association of intermittent accretion-powered oscillations with thermonuclear X-ray bursts.

  10. Quiescent emission in accreting neutron star transients: comparing Cen X-4 and the transitional millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2016-07-01

    Many accreting neutron star in low-mass X-ray binaries are transient X-ray sources, undergoing bright X-ray outbursts lasting days to weeks alternating with long quiescent intervals lasting months to years. The origin of their faint quiescent power-law X-ray emission has been a longstanding question, with theorists primarily debating between Comptonization and synchrotron shock models. However, recent NuSTAR observations of the nearby source Cen X-4 unexpectedly revealed a bremsstrahlung origin for the quiescent hard X-ray component. I will discuss the implications of this result, and will also compare Cen X-4 with the "transitional" millisecond pulsars, which exhibit markedly different behavior at comparable X-ray luminosities.

  11. Discovery of X-Ray Emission from the Crab Pulsar at Pulse Minimum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tennant, Allyn F.; Becker, Werner; Juda, Michael; Elsner, Ronald F.; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J.; Murray, Stephen S.; ODell, Stephen L.; Paerels, Frits; Swartz, Douglas A.

    2001-01-01

    The Chandra X-Ray Observatory observed the Crab pulsar using the Low-Energy Transmission Grating with the High-Resolution Camera. Time-resolved zeroth-order images reveal that the pulsar emits X-rays at all pulse phases. Analysis of the flux at minimum - most likely non-thermal in origin - places an upper limit (T(sub infinity) < 2.1 MK) on the surface temperature of the underlying neutron star. In addition, analysis of the pulse profile establishes that the error in the Chandra-determined absolute time is quite small, -0.2 +/- 0.1 ms.

  12. Discovery of X-Ray Emission from the Crab Pulsar at Pulse Minimum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tennant, Allyn F.; Becker, Werner; Juda, Michael X.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J.; Murray, Stephen S.; ODell, Stephen L.; Paerels, Frits; Swartz, Douglas A.; Shibazaki, Noriaki; Weisskopf, Martin C.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    The Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the Crab Nebula and Pulsar using the Low-Energy Transmission Grating (LETG) with the High-Resolution Camera (HRC). Time-resolved zeroth-order images reveal that the pulsar emits x rays at all pulse phases. Analysis of the flux at minimum -- most likely nonthermal in origin -- places an upper limit (T(sub infinity) < 2.1 MK) on the surface temperature of the underlying neutron star. In addition, analysis of the pulse profile appears to confirm the absolute timing of the Observatory to within about 0.2 ms.

  13. Faint X-Ray Structure in the Crab Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seward, F. D.; Tucker, W. H.; Fesen, R. A.

    2006-12-01

    We report on a Chandra observation of the Crab Nebula that gives the first clear view of the faint boundary of the Crab's X-ray-emitting pulsar wind nebula. There is structure in all directions. Fingers, loops, bays, and the south pulsar jet all indicate that either filamentary material or the magnetic field is controlling the relativistic electrons. In general, spectra soften as distance from the pulsar increases but do not change rapidly along linear features. This is particularly true for the pulsar jet. The termination of the jet is abrupt; the east side is close to an [O III] optical filament, which may be blocking propagation on this side. We argue that linear features have ordered magnetic fields and that the structure is determined by the synchrotron lifetime of particles diffusing perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field. We find no significant evidence for thermal X-rays inside the filamentary envelope.

  14. X-RAY PULSATIONS FROM THE RADIO-QUIET GAMMA-RAY PULSAR IN CTA 1

    SciTech Connect

    Caraveo, P. A.; De Luca, A.; Marelli, M.; Bignami, G. F.; Ray, P. S.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Kanbach, G.

    2010-12-10

    Prompted by the Fermi-LAT discovery of a radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsar inside the CTA 1 supernova remnant, we obtained a 130 ks XMM-Newton observation to assess the timing behavior of this pulsar. Exploiting both the unprecedented photon harvest and the contemporary Fermi-LAT timing measurements, a 4.7{sigma} single-peak pulsation is detected, making PSR J0007+7303 the second example, after Geminga, of a radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsar also seen to pulsate in X-rays. Phase-resolved spectroscopy shows that the off-pulse portion of the light curve is dominated by a power-law, non-thermal spectrum, while the X-ray peak emission appears to be mainly of thermal origin, probably from a polar cap heated by magnetospheric return currents, pointing to a hot spot varying throughout the pulsar rotation.

  15. Chandra Imaging of the X-Ray Nebula Powered by Pulsar B1509-58

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensler, B. M.; Arons, J.; Kaspi, V. M.; Pivovaroff, M. J.; Kawai, N.; Tamura, K.

    2002-04-01

    We present observations with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) powered by the energetic young pulsar B1509-58. These data confirm the complicated morphology of the system indicated by previous observations, and in addition reveal several new components to the nebula. The overall PWN shows a clear symmetry axis oriented at a position angle 150deg+/-5deg (north through east), which we argue corresponds to the pulsar spin axis. We show that a previously identified radio feature matches well with the overall extent of the X-ray PWN, and propose the former as the long-sought radio nebula powered by the pulsar. We further identify a bright collimated feature, at least 4' long, lying along the nebula's main symmetry axis; we interpret this feature as a physical outflow from the pulsar, and infer a velocity for this jet of greater than 0.2c. The lack of any observed counterjet implies that the pulsar spin axis is inclined at ~30° to the line of sight, contrary to previous estimates made from lower resolution data. We also identify a variety of compact features close to the pulsar. A pair of semicircular X-ray arcs lie 17" and 30" to the north of the pulsar; the latter arc shows a highly polarized radio counterpart. We show that these features can be interpreted as ion-compression wisps in a particle-dominated equatorial flow, and use their properties to infer a ratio of electromagnetic to particle energy in pairs at the wind shock σ~0.005, similar to that seen in the Crab Nebula. We further identify several compact knots seen very close to the pulsar; we use these to infer σ<0.003 at a separation from the pulsar of 0.1 pc.

  16. Orbital decay and evidence of disk formation in the x-ray binary pulsar OAO 1657-415

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenke, Peter

    2012-07-01

    OAO 1657-415 is an eclipsing X-ray binary wind-fed pulsar that has exhibited smooth spin-up/spin-down episodes and has undergone several torque reversals throughout its long history of observation. We present a frequency history spanning nearly 19 years of observations from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (CGRO/BATSE) and from the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor (Fermi/GBM). The analysis suggests two modes of accretion: one resulting in steady spin-up during which we believe a stable accretion disk is present and one that results in what appears to be a random walk in spin frequency where an unstable accretion disk forms alternating in direction ("flip flop"). Orbital elements of the pulsar system are determined at several intervals throughout this history. With these ephemerides, statistically significant orbital decay (\\dot{P}/P =(-3.40 ±0.15)×10^{-6} yr^{-1}) is established suggesting a transition between wind-fed and disk-mediated accretion.

  17. V1647 Orionis: The X-Ray Evolution of a Pre-Main-Sequence Accretion Burst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastner, Joel H.; Richmond, Michael; Grosso, Nicolas; Weintraub, David A.; Simon, Theodore; Henden, Arne; Hamaguchi, Kenji; Frank, Adam; Ozawa, Hideki

    2006-09-01

    We present Chandra X-Ray Observatory monitoring observations of the recent accretion outburst displayed by the pre-main-sequence (pre-MS) star V1647 Ori. The X-ray observations were obtained over a period beginning prior to outburst onset in late 2003 and continuing through its apparent cessation in late 2005, and demonstrate that the mean flux of the spatially coincident X-ray source closely tracked the near-infrared luminosity of V1647 Ori throughout its eruption. We find negligible likelihood that the correspondence between X-ray and infrared light curves over this period was the result of multiple X-ray flares unrelated to the accretion burst. The recent Chandra data confirm that the X-ray spectrum of V1647 Ori hardened during outburst, relative both to its preoutburst state and to the X-ray spectra of nearby pre-MS stars in the L1630 cloud. We conclude that the observed changes in the X-ray emission from V1647 Ori over the course of its 2003-2005 eruption were generated by a sudden increase and subsequent decline in its accretion rate. These results for V1647 Ori indicate that the flux of hard X-ray emission from erupting low-mass, pre-MS stars, and the duration and intensity of such eruptions, reflect the degree to which star-disk magnetic fields are reorganized before and during major accretion events.

  18. Dynamic effects on cyclotron scattering in pulsar accretion columns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brainerd, J. J.; Meszaros, P.

    1991-01-01

    A resonant scattering model for photon reprocessing in a pulsar accretion column is presented. The accretion column is optically thin to Thomson scattering and optically thick to resonant scattering at the cyclotron frequency. Radiation from the neutron star surface propagates freely through the column until the photon energy equals the local cyclotron frequency, at which point the radiation is scattered, much of it back toward the star. The radiation pressure in this regime is insufficient to stop the infall. Some of the scattered radiation heats the stellar surface around the base of the column, which adds a softer component to the spectrum. The partial blocking by the accretion column of X-rays from the surface produces a fan beam emission pattern. X-rays above the surface cyclotron frequency freely escape and are characterized by a pencil beam. Gravitational light bending produces a pencil beam pattern of column-scattered radiation in the antipodal direction, resulting in a strongly angle-dependent cyclotron feature.

  19. A Sequence of Outbursts from the Transient X-Ray Pulsar GS 0834-430

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Harmon, B.Alan; Scott, D. Matthew; Wilson, Robert B.; Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Prince, Thomas A.

    1997-01-01

    GS 0834-430, a 12.3 s accretion-powered pulsar, has been observed in seven outbursts with the BATSE large-area detectors on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The first five outbursts observed by BATSE occurred at intervals of about 107 days, while the final two outbursts were separated by about 140 days. The photon energy spectrum, measured by Earth occultation in the 20 100 keV band, can be fitted by a power law with photon index alpha approximately equals -3.7 or by an exponential spectrum with temperature kT approximately equals 15 keV, with some variations within outbursts. The source has a low pulse fraction, less than or equal to 0.15 in the 20-50 keV band. We have observed significant temporal and energy-dependent variations in epoch folded pulse profiles. Because the intrinsic torque effects for this system are at least comparable to orbital effects, pulse timing analysis did not produce a unique orbital solution. However, confidence regions for the orbital elements yielded the following 1 sigma limits: orbital period P(sub orb) = 105.8 +/- 0.4 days and eccentricity 0.10 less than or approximately equals epsilon less than or approximately equals 0.17. GS 0834-430 is most likely a Be/X-ray binary.

  20. Spectral and temporal properties of the X-ray pulsar SMC X-1 at hard X-rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, M.; Gruber, D. E.; Kendziorra, E .; Kretschmar, P.; Maisack, M.; Mony, B.; Staubert, R.; Doebereiner, S.; Englhauser, J.; Pietsch, W.

    1993-01-01

    The binary X-ray pulsar SMC X- 1 has been observed at hard X-rays with the High Energy X-Ray Experiment (HEXE) on nine occasions between Nov. 1987 and March 1989. A thin thermal bremsstrahlung fit to the phase averaged spectrum yields a plasma temperature (14.4 +/- 1.3) keV and a luminosity above (1.1 +/- 0.1) x 10 exp 38 erg/s in the 20-80 keV band. Pulse period values have been established for three observations, confirming the remarkably stable spin-up trend of SMC X-1. In one of the three observations the pulse profile was seen to deviate from a dominant double pulsation, while at the same time the pulsed fraction was unusually large. For one observation we determined for the first time the pulsed fraction in narrow energy bands. It increases with photon energy from about 20 percent up to over 60 percent in the energy range from 20 to 80 keV.

  1. Emission lines from X-ray-heated accretion disks in low-mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Kallman, Timothy R.

    1994-01-01

    We investigate the structure of accretion disks illuminated by X-rays from a central compact object in a binary system. X-rays can photoionize the upper atmosphere of the disk and form an accretion disk corona (ADC) where emission lines can form. We construct a model to calculate the vertical structure and the emission spectrum of the ADC with parameters appropriate to low-mass X-ray binaries. These models are made by nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium calculations of ion and level populations and include a large number of atomic processes for 10 cosmically abundant elements. Transfer of radiation is treated by using the escape probability formalism. The vertical temperature profile of the ADC consists of a Compton-heated region and a mid-T zone where the temperature is approximately 10(exp 6) K. A thermal instability occurs close to the disk photosphere and causes the temperature of the ADC to drop abruptly from 10(exp 6) K to several times 10(exp 4) K. The emission spectrum in the optical, ultraviolet, extreme ultraviolet, and X-ray range is discussed and compared with the observations.

  2. X-ray observations of PSR B0355+54 and its pulsar wind nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowan, Katherine E.; Vestrand, W. Thomas; Kennea, Jamie A.; Zane, Silvia; Cropper, Mark; Córdova, France A.

    2007-04-01

    We present X-ray data of the middle-aged radio pulsar PSR B0355+54. The XMM-Newton and Chandra observations show not only emission from the pulsar itself, but also compact diffuse emission extending ˜50″ in the opposite direction to the pulsar’s proper motion. Our analysis also indicates the presence of fainter diffuse emission extending ˜5‧ from the point source. The morphology of the diffuse component is similar to the ram-pressure confined pulsar wind nebulae detected for other sources. We find that the compact diffuse component is well-fitted with a power-law, with an index that is consistent with the values found for other pulsar wind nebulae. The core emission from the pulsar can be characterized with a thermal plus power-law fit, with the thermal emission most likely originating in a hot polar cap.

  3. The pulsar B2224+65 and its jets: a two epoch X-ray analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, S. P.; Wang, Q. D.

    2010-10-01

    We present an X-ray morphological and spectroscopic study of the pulsar B2224+65 and its apparent jet-like X-ray features based on two epoch Chandra observations. The main X-ray feature, which shows a large directional offset from the ram-pressure confined pulsar wind nebula (Guitar nebula), is broader in apparent width and shows evidence for spectral hardening (at 95 per cent confidence) in the second epoch compared to the first. Furthermore, the sharp leading edge of the feature is found to have a proper motion consistent with that of the pulsar (~180 mas yr-1). The combined data set also provides evidence for the presence of a counter feature, albeit substantially fainter and shorter than the main one. Additional spectral trends along the major and minor axes of the feature are only marginally detected in the two epoch data, including softening counter to the direction of proper motion. Possible explanations for the X-ray features include diffuse energetic particles being confined by an organized ambient magnetic field as well as a simple ballistic jet interpretation; however, the former may have difficulty in explaining observed spectral trends between epochs and along the feature's major axis, whereas the latter may struggle to elucidate its linearity. Given the low counting statistics available in the two epoch observations, it remains difficult to determine a physical production scenario for these enigmatic X-ray emitting features with any certainty.

  4. SEXTANT X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Demonstration: Flight System and Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke M. B.; Mitchell, Jason W.; Hassouneh, Munther A.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Gendreau, Keith C.

    2016-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper gives an overview of the SEXTANT system architecture and describes progress prior to environmental testing of the NICER flight instrument. It provides descriptions and development status of the SEXTANT flight software and ground system, as well as detailed description and results from the flight software functional and performance testing within the highfidelity Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) software and hardware simulation environment. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation results are presented, using the engineering model of the NICER timing electronics and the GXLT pulsar simulator-the GXLT precisely controls NASA GSFC's unique Modulated X-ray Source to produce X-rays that make the NICER detector electronics appear as if they were aboard the ISS viewing a sequence of millisecond pulsars.

  5. SEXTANT X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Demonstration: Flight System and Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke; Mitchell, Jason W.; Hassouneh, Munther A.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Gendreau, Keith C.

    2016-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper gives an overview of the SEXTANT system architecture and describes progress prior to environmental testing of the NICER flight instrument. It provides descriptions and development status of the SEXTANT flight software and ground system, as well as detailed description and results from the flight software functional and performance testing within the high-fidelity Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) software and hardware simulation environment. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation results are presented, using the engineering model of the NICER timing electronics and the GXLT pulsar simulator-the GXLT precisely controls NASA GSFC's unique Modulated X-ray Source to produce X-rays that make the NICER detector electronics appear as if they were aboard the ISS viewing a sequence of millisecond pulsars

  6. Denoising of X-ray pulsar observed profile in the undecimated wavelet domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Meng-fan; Li, Xiao-ping; Fu, Ling-zhong; Liu, Xiu-ping; Sun, Hai-feng; Shen, Li-rong

    2016-01-01

    The low intensity of the X-ray pulsar signal and the strong X-ray background radiation lead to low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the X-ray pulsar observed profile obtained through epoch folding, especially when the observation time is not long enough. This signifies the necessity of denoising of the observed profile. In this paper, the statistical characteristics of the X-ray pulsar signal are studied, and a signal-dependent noise model is established for the observed profile. Based on this, a profile noise reduction method by performing a local linear minimum mean square error filtering in the un-decimated wavelet domain is developed. The detail wavelet coefficients are rescaled by multiplying their amplitudes by a locally adaptive factor, which is the local variance ratio of the noiseless coefficients to the noisy ones. All the nonstationary statistics needed in the algorithm are calculated from the observed profile, without a priori information. The results of experim! ents, carried out on simulated data obtained by the ground-based simulation system and real data obtained by Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer satellite, indicate that the proposed method is excellent in both noise suppression and preservation of peak sharpness, and it also clearly outperforms four widely accepted and used wavelet denoising methods, in terms of SNR, Pearson correlation coefficient and root mean square error.

  7. X-ray deficiency on strongly accreting T Tauri stars. Comparing Orion with Taurus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bustamante, I.; Merín, B.; Bouy, H.; Manara, C. F.; Ribas, Á.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Depending on whether a T Tauri star accretes material from its circumstellar disk or not, different X-ray emission properties can be found. The accretion shocks produce cool heating of the plasma, contributing to the soft X-ray emission from the star. Aims: Using X-ray data from the Chandra Orion Ultra-deep Project and accretion rates that were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 photometric measurements in the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC), we studied the relation between the accretion processes and the X-ray emissions of a coherent sample of T Tauri sources in the region. Methods: We performed regression and correlation analyses of our sample of T Tauri stars between the X-ray parameters, stellar properties, and the accretion measurements. Results: We find that a clear anti-correlation is present between the residual X-ray luminosity and the accretion rates in our samples in Orion that is consistent with that found on the XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus molecular cloud (XEST) study. A considerable number of classified non-accreting sources show accretion rates comparable to those of classical T Tauri Stars (CTTS). Our data do not allow us to confirm the classification between classical and weak-line T Tauri stars (WTTS), and the number of WTTS in this work is small compared to the complete samples. Thus, we have used the entire samples as accretors in our analysis. We provide a catalog with X-ray luminosities (corrected from distance) and accretion measurements of an ONC T Tauri stars sample. Conclusions: Although Orion and Taurus display strong differences in their properties (total gas and dust mass, star density, strong irradiation from massive stars), we find that a similar relation between the residual X-ray emission and accretion rate is present in the Taurus molecular cloud and in the accreting samples from the ONC. The spread in the data suggests dependencies of the accretion rates and the X-ray luminosities other than the

  8. Broad-band spectroscopy of the transient X-ray binary pulsar KS 1947+300 during 2013 giant outburst: Detection of pulsating soft X-ray excess component

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epili, Prahlad; Naik, Sachindra; Jaisawal, Gaurava K.

    2016-05-01

    We present the results obtained from detailed timing and spectral studies of the Be/X-ray binary pulsar KS 1947+300 during its 2013 giant outburst. We used data from Suzaku observations of the pulsar at two epochs, i.e. on 2013 October 22 (close to the peak of the outburst) and 2013 November 22. X-ray pulsations at ∼18.81 s were clearly detected in the light curves obtained from both observations. Pulse periods estimated during the outburst showed that the pulsar was spinning up. The pulse profile was found to be single-peaked up to ∼10 keV beyond which a sharp peak followed by a dip-like feature appeared at hard X-rays. The dip-like feature has been observed up to ∼70 keV. The 1–110 keV broad-band spectroscopy of both observations revealed that the best-fit model was comprised of a partially absorbed Negative and Positive power law with EXponential cutoff (NPEX) continuum model along with a blackbody component for the soft X-ray excess and two Gaussian functions at 6.4 and 6.7 keV for emission lines. Both the lines were identified as emission from neutral and He-like iron atoms. To fit the spectra, we included the previously reported cyclotron absorption line at 12.2 keV. From the spin-up rate, the magnetic field of the pulsar was estimated to be ∼1.2×1012 G and found to be comparable to that obtained from the detection of the cyclotron absorption feature. Pulse-phase resolved spectroscopy revealed the pulsating nature of the soft X-ray excess component in phase with the continuum flux. This confirms that the accretion column and/or accretion stream are the most probable regions of the soft X-ray excess emission in KS1947+300. The presence of the pulsating soft X-ray excess in phase with continuum emission may be the possible reason for not observing the dip at soft X-rays.

  9. Application of X-Ray Pulsar Navigation: A Characterization of the Earth Orbit Trade Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Wayne

    2016-01-01

    The potential for pulsars as a navigation source has been studied since their discovery in 1967. X-ray pulsar navigation (XNAV) is a celestial navigation system that uses the consistent timing nature of x-ray photons from milli-second pulsars (MSP) to perform space navigation. By comparing the detected arrival of x-ray photons to a reference database of expected pulsar lightcurve timing models, one can infer a range and range rate measurement based on light time delay. Much of the challenge of XNAV comes from the faint signal, availability, and distant nature of pulsars. This is a study of potential pulsar XNAV measurements to measure extended Kalman filter (EKF) tracking performance with a wide trade space of bounded Earth orbits, using a simulation of existing x-ray detector space hardware. An example of an x-ray detector for XNAV is the NASA Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation (SEXTANT) mission, a technology demonstration of XNAV set to perform on the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2016early 2017. XNAV hardware implementation is driven by trajectory and environmental influences which add noise to the x-ray pulse signal. In a closed Earth orbit, the radiation environment can exponentially increase the signal noise from x-ray pulsar sources, decreasing the quality and frequency of measurements. The SEXTANT mission in particular improves on the signal to noise ratio by focusing an array of 56 x-ray silicon drift detectors at one pulsar target at a time. This reduces timing glitches and other timing noise contributions from ambient x-ray sources to within a 100 nanosecond resolution. This study also considers the SEXTANT scheduling challenges inherent in a single target observation. Finally, as the navigation sources are now relatively inertial targets, XNAV measurements are also subject to periods of occultation from various celestial bodies. This study focuses on the characterization of these drivers in closed Earth orbits and is not a

  10. X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY OF THE HIGH-MASS X-RAY BINARY PULSAR CENTAURUS X-3 OVER ITS BINARY ORBIT

    SciTech Connect

    Naik, Sachindra; Ali, Zulfikar; Paul, Biswajit

    2011-08-20

    We present a comprehensive spectral analysis of the high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) pulsar Centaurus X-3 with the Suzaku observatory covering nearly one orbital period. The light curve shows the presence of extended dips which are rarely seen in HMXBs. These dips are seen up to as high as {approx}40 keV. The pulsar spectra during the eclipse, out-of-eclipse, and dips are found to be well described by a partial covering power-law model with high-energy cutoff and three Gaussian functions for 6.4 keV, 6.7 keV, and 6.97 keV iron emission lines. The dips in the light curve can be explained by the presence of an additional absorption component with high column density and covering fraction, the values of which are not significant during the rest of the orbital phases. The iron line parameters during the dips and eclipse are significantly different compared to those during the rest of the observation. During the dips, the iron line intensities are found to be lesser by a factor of 2-3 with a significant increase in the line equivalent widths. However, the continuum flux at the corresponding orbital phase is estimated to be lesser by more than an order of magnitude. Similarities in the changes in the iron line flux and equivalent widths during the dips and eclipse segments suggest that the dipping activity in Cen X-3 is caused by an obscuration of the neutron star by dense matter, probably structures in the outer region of the accretion disk, as in the case of dipping low-mass X-ray binaries.

  11. Chandra Phase-Resolved X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Crab Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; ODell, Stephen L.; Paerels, Frits; Elsner, Ronald F.; Becker, Werner E.; Tennant, Allyn F.; Swartz, Douglas A.

    2003-01-01

    We present here the first phase-resolved study of the X-ray spectral properties of the Crab Pulsar that covers all pulse phases. The superb angular resolution of the Chandra X-ray Observatory enables distinguishing the pulsar from the surrounding nebulosity, even at pulse minimum. Analysis of the pulse-averaged spectrum measures interstellar photoelectric absorption and scattering by dust grains in the direction of the Crab Nebula. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase measures the low-energy X-ray spectral index even at pulse minimum - albeit with large statistical uncertainty. The data are used to set a new upper limit to any thermal component.

  12. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-ray-emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4–112820

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2016-07-01

    I present a 40 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4‑112820, which is associated with the high-energy γ-ray source 3FGL J1544.6‑1125. The system is detected up to ˜30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270‑4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosity. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and γ-ray light curves covering approximately the past decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that it has not experienced prolonged episodes of a non-accreting radio pulsar state but may spontaneously undergo such events in the future.

  13. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-ray-emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4–112820

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2016-07-01

    I present a 40 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4‑112820, which is associated with the high-energy γ-ray source 3FGL J1544.6‑1125. The system is detected up to ∼30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270‑4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosity. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and γ-ray light curves covering approximately the past decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that it has not experienced prolonged episodes of a non-accreting radio pulsar state but may spontaneously undergo such events in the future.

  14. The dynamic X-ray nebula powered by the pulsar B1259-63

    SciTech Connect

    Kargaltsev, Oleg; Volkov, Igor; Hare, Jeremy; Pavlov, George G.; Durant, Martin

    2014-04-01

    We present observations of the eccentric γ-ray binary B1259-63/LS 2883 with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The images reveal a variable, extended (about 4'', or ∼1000 times the binary orbit size) structure, which appears to be moving away from the binary with the velocity of 0.05 of the speed of light. The observed emission is interpreted as synchrotron radiation from relativistic particles supplied by the pulsar. However, the fast motion through the circumbinary medium would require the emitting cloud to be loaded with a large amount of baryonic matter. Alternatively, the extended emission can be interpreted as a variable extrabinary shock in the pulsar wind outflow launched near binary apastron. The resolved variable X-ray nebula provides an opportunity to probe pulsar winds and their interaction with stellar winds in a previously inaccessible way.

  15. Magnetospheric Geometry in Pulsar B1929+10 from Radio/X-ray Phase Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somer, A. L.; Backer, D. C.; Halpern, J. P.; Wang, F. Y.-H.

    1998-05-01

    We have conducted a study of two rotation-powered pulsars that emit at both radio and x-ray wavelengths, PSR B0531+21 and PSR B1929+10. Using absolute phase information, we have phase-aligned x-ray and radio profiles from these pulsars. Observations were done using the Green Bank 140ft telescope, and ASCA. The 0531+21 x-ray profile is sharp and lines up well with the radio profile confirming that the x-ray emission from this pulsar is magnetospheric in origin. The 1929+10 profile is approximately sinusoidal (Wang & Halpern, ApJ 4 82, L159) with the peak of the emission arriving 67+/- 23 degrees after the maximum in the radio emission. The controversy to which the PSR B1929+10 result adds fuel, is whether this ``inter"-pulsar, is an ``aligned" or ``orthogonal" rotator - describing the alignment of the magnetic axis to the rotation axis. Do the two peaks in the radio profile (the pulse and interpulse) come from a double crossing of a thin hollow cone nearly aligned with rotation axis (as in Lyne & Manchester, 1988, MNRAS, 234, 477; Phillips, 1990, ApJL, 361, L57; Blaskiewicz et al, 1991, ApJ 370, 643), or alternatively (as in Rankin and Rathnasree, 1998 preprint) do they come from from opposite poles of an ``orthogonal" rotator where the spin axis is perpendicular to the magnetic axis? The radio to x-ray alignment we find favors the former explanation: if the x-ray hot spot is the result of return currents to the surface from the outward current that generates radio emission, then in the ``double-crossing" model, the hot spot phase is expected to lie between the main pulse and interpulse as observed.

  16. Modeling the optical-X-ray accretion lag in LMC X-3: Insights into black-hole accretion physics

    SciTech Connect

    Steiner, James F.; McClintock, Jeffrey E.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Buxton, Michelle M.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Remillard, Ronald A.; Kara, Erin

    2014-03-10

    The X-ray persistence and characteristically soft spectrum of the black hole X-ray binary LMC X-3 make this source a touchstone for penetrating studies of accretion physics. We analyze a rich, ten-year collection of optical/infrared (OIR) time-series data in conjunction with all available contemporaneous X-ray data collected by the All-Sky Monitor and Proportional Counter Array detectors aboard the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. A cross-correlation analysis reveals an X-ray lag of ≈2 weeks. Motivated by this result, we develop a model that reproduces the complex OIR light curves of LMC X-3. The model is comprised of three components of emission: stellar light, accretion luminosity from the outer disk inferred from the time-lagged X-ray emission, and light from the X-ray-heated star and outer disk. Using the model, we filter a strong noise component out of the ellipsoidal light curves and derive an improved orbital period for the system. Concerning accretion physics, we find that the local viscous timescale in the disk increases with the local mass accretion rate; this in turn implies that the viscosity parameter α decreases with increasing luminosity. Finally, we find that X-ray heating is a strong function of X-ray luminosity below ≈50% of the Eddington limit, while above this limit X-ray heating is heavily suppressed. We ascribe this behavior to the strong dependence of the flaring in the disk upon X-ray luminosity, concluding that for luminosities above ≈50% of Eddington, the star lies fully in the shadow of the disk.

  17. The 1997 event in the Crab Pulsar in X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivekanand, M.

    2016-02-01

    Context. In October 1997, radio pulses from the Crab Pulsar underwent abnormal delay. This was reported by two radio observatories, both of which explained this frequency dependent and time varying delay as being due to refractive effects of ionized shells in the Crab Nebula. Both groups also noted that, curiously and confusingly coincident with the frequency dependent delay, the Crab Pulsar also underwent an unusual slowing down, which they believed to be unrelated to the Crab Nebula and instead intrinsic to the Crab Pulsar, resulting in an additional delay that was frequency independent. However, it now appears that one of the groups attributes the frequency independent delay also to refractive effects. Aims: This work aims to verify whether at least a part of the frequency independent delay is indeed due to intrinsic slowing down of the Crab Pulsar. Methods: Timing analysis of the Crab Pulsar's October 1997 event has been done in X-rays, which are not delayed by the refractive and diffractive effects that affect radio waves; at X-rays only the intrinsic slowing down should contribute to any observed delay. Data mainly from the PCA instrument aboard the RXTE satellite have been used, along with a small amount of data from the PDS instrument aboard the BeppoSAX satellite. Results: Analysis of the X-ray data, using the very accurate reference timing model derived at radio frequencies, strongly supports the intrinsic slowing down hypothesis. Analysis using the reference timing model derived self-consistently from the limited X-ray data, which is less accurate, is not completely unambiguous regarding the above two hypotheses, but provides reasonable support for the intrinsic slowing down hypothesis. Conclusions: A significant fraction of the frequency independent delay during the October 1997 event is indeed due to intrinsic slowing down of the Crab Pulsar.

  18. A CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATION OF THE BINARY MILLISECOND PULSAR PSR J1023+0038

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Archibald, Anne M.; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Lorimer, Duncan; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.

    2011-12-01

    We present a Chandra X-Ray Observatory ACIS-S variability, spectroscopy, and imaging study of the peculiar binary containing the millisecond pulsar J1023+0038. The X-ray emission from the system exhibits highly significant (12.5{sigma}) large-amplitude (factor of two to three) orbital variability over the five consecutive orbits covered by the observation, with a pronounced decline in the flux at all energies at superior conjunction. This can be naturally explained by a partial geometric occultation by the secondary star of an X-ray-emitting intrabinary shock, produced by the interaction of outflows from the two stars. The depth and duration of the eclipse imply that the intrabinary shock is localized near or at the surface of the companion star and close to the inner Lagrangian point. The energetics of the shock favor a magnetically dominated pulsar wind that is focused into the orbital plane, requiring close alignment of the pulsar spin and orbital angular momentum axes. The X-ray spectrum consists of a dominant non-thermal component and at least one thermal component, likely originating from the heated pulsar polar caps, although a portion of this emission may be from an optically thin 'corona'. We find no evidence for extended emission due to a pulsar wind nebula or bow shock down to a limiting luminosity of L{sub X} {approx}< 3.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 29} erg s{sup -1} (0.3-8 keV), {approx}< 7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} of the pulsar spin-down luminosity, for a distance of 1.3 kpc and an assumed power-law spectrum with photon index {Gamma} = 1.5.

  19. Clumpy wind accretion in supergiant neutron star high mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bozzo, E.; Oskinova, L.; Feldmeier, A.; Falanga, M.

    2016-04-01

    The accretion of the stellar wind material by a compact object represents the main mechanism powering the X-ray emission in classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. In this work we present the first attempt to simulate the accretion process of a fast and dense massive star wind onto a neutron star, taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion ("gating") due to the spin and magnetic field of the compact object. We made use of a radiative hydrodynamical code to model the nonstationary radiatively driven wind of an O-B supergiant star and then place a neutron star characterized by a fixed magnetic field and spin period at a certain distance from the massive companion. Our calculations follow, as a function of time (on a total timescale of several hours), the transitions of the system through all different accretion regimes that are triggered by the intrinsic variations in the density and velocity of the nonstationary wind. The X-ray luminosity released by the system is computed at each time step by taking into account the relevant physical processes occurring in the different accretion regimes. Synthetic lightcurves are derived and qualitatively compared with those observed from classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. Although a number of simplifications are assumed in these calculations, we show that taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion significantly reduces the average X-ray luminosity expected for any neutron star wind-fed binary. The present model calculations suggest that long spin periods and stronger magnetic fields are favored in order to reproduce the peculiar behavior of supergiant fast X-ray transients in the X-ray domain.

  20. Clumpy wind accretion in supergiant neutron star high mass X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bozzo, E.; Oskinova, L.; Feldmeier, A.; Falanga, M.

    2016-05-01

    The accretion of the stellar wind material by a compact object represents the main mechanism powering the X-ray emission in classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. In this work we present the first attempt to simulate the accretion process of a fast and dense massive star wind onto a neutron star, taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion ("gating") due to the spin and magnetic field of the compact object. We made use of a radiative hydrodynamical code to model the nonstationary radiatively driven wind of an O-B supergiant star and then place a neutron star characterized by a fixed magnetic field and spin period at a certain distance from the massive companion. Our calculations follow, as a function of time (on a total timescale of several hours), the transitions of the system through all different accretion regimes that are triggered by the intrinsic variations in the density and velocity of the nonstationary wind. The X-ray luminosity released by the system is computed at each time step by taking into account the relevant physical processes occurring in the different accretion regimes. Synthetic lightcurves are derived and qualitatively compared with those observed from classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. Although a number of simplifications are assumed in these calculations, we show that taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion significantly reduces the average X-ray luminosity expected for any neutron star wind-fed binary. The present model calculations suggest that long spin periods and stronger magnetic fields are favored in order to reproduce the peculiar behavior of supergiant fast X-ray transients in the X-ray domain.

  1. The White Dwarf Mass and the Accretion Rate of Recurrent Novae: An X-ray Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mukai, Koji; Sokoloski, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Thomas; Luna, Gerardo J. M.

    2011-01-01

    We present recent results of quiescent X-ray observations of recurrent novae (RNe) and related objects. Several RNe are luminous hard X-ray sources in quiescence, consistent with accretion onto a near Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. Detection of similar hard X-ray emissions in old novae and other cataclysmic variables may lead to identification of additional RN candidates. On the other hand, other RNe are found to be comparatively hard X-ray faint. We present several scenarios that may explain this dichotomy, which should be explored further.

  2. Accretion-outflow connection in the outliers of the ``universal'' radio/X-ray correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coriat, M.; Corbel, S.; Prat, L.; Miller-Jones, J. C. A.; Cseh, D.; Tzioumis, A. K.; Brocksopp, C.; Rodriguez, J.; Fender, R. P.; Sivakoff, G. R.

    2011-02-01

    In recent years, numerous efforts have been devoted to unravel the connection between accretion flow and jets in accreting compact objects. Here we report new constraints on these issues, through the long term study of the radio and X-ray behaviour of the black hole candidate H 1743-322. This source is known to be one of the ``outliers'' of the universal radio/X-ray correlation, i.e. a group of stellar mass accreting black holes displaying fainter radio emission for a given X-ray luminosity, than expected from the correlation. In this work we find, at high X-ray luminosity in the hard state, a tight radio/X-ray correlation with an unusual steep slope of b = 1.38 +/- 0.03. This correlation then breaks below ~5 × 10-3 LEdd (M/10Msolar)-1 in X-rays and becomes shallower. When compared with radio/X-ray data from other black hole X-ray binaries, we see that the deviant points of H 1743-322 join the universal correlation and seem to follow it at low luminosity. Based on these results, we investigate several hypotheses that could explain both the b ~ 1.4 slope and the transition toward the universal correlation.

  3. A Possible X-Ray Detection of the Binary Millisecond Pulsar J1012+5307

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A possible X-ray detection of the newly discovered binary millisecond radio pulsar PSR J1012+5307 was obtained from an archival ROSAT observation. The 80 +/- 24 photons detected correspond to a 0.1 - 2.4 keV luminosity of approx. = 2.5 x 10(exp 30) erg/s at the nominal dispersion-measure distance of 520 pc. This luminosity is a factor of 2 less than that of PSR J0437-4715, a near twin of PSR J1012+5307 in its spin parameters and energetics, and the only millisecond pulsar from which pulsed X-rays have definitely been detected. PSR J1012+5307 is also within 6 deg of the "HI hole" in Ursa Major, providing a new estimate of the electron column density through this region which confirms that the ionized column density is also low. The small neutral column density to PSR J1012+5307, N(sub H) less than 7.5 x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, will facilitate future soft X-ray study, which will help to discriminate between thermal and nonthermal origins of the X-ray emission in millisecond pulsars.

  4. X-ray reprocessing in binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Biswajit

    2016-07-01

    We will discuss several aspects of X-ray reprocessing into X-rays or longer wavelength radiation in different kinds of binary systems. In high mass X-ray binaries, reprocessing of hard X-rays into emission lines or lower temperature black body emission is a useful tool to investigate the reprocessing media like the stellar wind, clumpy structures in the wind, accretion disk or accretion stream. In low mass X-ray binaries, reprocessing from the surface of the companion star, the accretion disk, warps and other structures in the accretion disk produce signatures in longer wavelength radiation. X-ray sources with temporal structures like the X-ray pulsars and thermonuclear burst sources are key in such studies. We will discuss results from several new investigations of X-ray reprocessing phenomena in X-ray binaries.

  5. X-ray AGN Clustering, Bias & Accretion mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plionis, Manolis; Koutoulidis, Lazaros; Georgantopoulos, Ioannis; Fanidakis, Nikolaos

    2012-09-01

    We present the spatial clustering properties of 1466 X-ray selected AGN compiled from the Chandra CDF-N, CDF-S, eCDF-S, COSMOS and AEGIS fields in the 0.5-8 keV band. The X-ray sources span the redshift interval 0X-ray AGN bias and the corresponding dark-matter host halo mass, are significantly higher than the corresponding values of optically selected AGN (at the same redshifts. The redshift evolution of the X-ray selected AGN bias indicates, in agreement with other recent studies, that a unique dark-matter halo mass does not fit well the bias at all the different redshifts probed. Furthermore, we investigate if there is a dependence of the clustering strength on X-ray luminosity, applying a procedure to disentangle the dependence of clustering on redshift. We find indications for a positive dependence of the clustering length on X-ray luminosity, in the sense that the more luminous sources have a larger clustering length and hence a higher dark-matter halo mass.

  6. Seeing to the Event Horizon: Probing Accretion Physics with X-ray Reflection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkins, Dan

    2015-09-01

    Accretion onto supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei is known to power some of the most luminous objects we see in the Universe, which through their vast energy outputs must have played an important role in shaping the large scale structure of the Universe we see today. Much remains unknown, however, about the fine details of this process; exactly how energy is liberated from accretion flows onto black holes, how the 'corona' that produces the intense X-ray continuum is formed and what governs this process over time. I will outline how the detection of X-rays reflected from the discs of accreting material around black holes by the present generation of large X-ray observatories, shifted in energy and blurred by relativistic effects in the strong gravitational field close to the black hole, has enabled measurements of the inner regions of the accretion flow in unprecedented detail. In particular, exploiting the shift in energy of atomic emission lines by relativistic effects as a function of location on the disc has enabled the measurement of the illumination pattern of the accretion flow by the X-ray continuum from which the geometry of the emitting region can be inferred and how the detection of time lags between the primary and reflected X-rays owing to the additional path the reflected rays must travel between the corona and the disc places further constraints on the nature of the emitting corona. These techniques allow the evolution of the corona that accompanies transitions from high to low X-ray flux to be studied, giving clues to the physical process that forms and powers the intense X-ray source and uncovering evidence for the potential launching of jets. I will discuss the great steps forward in understanding accretion physics that can be made with the Athena X-ray observatory, combining detailed analysis of observations with predictions and models from general relativistic ray tracing simulations. In particular, I will discuss how high

  7. The binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038 during its accretion state - I. Optical variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahbaz, T.; Linares, M.; Nevado, S. P.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Casares, J.; Dhillon, V. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Littlefair, S.; Leckngam, A.; Poshyachinda, S.

    2015-11-01

    We present time-resolved optical photometry of the binary millisecond `redback' pulsar PSR J1023+0038 (=AY Sex) during its low-mass X-ray binary phase. The light curves taken between 2014 January and April show an underlying sinusoidal modulation due to the irradiated secondary star and accretion disc. We also observe superimposed rapid flaring on time-scales as short as ˜20 s with amplitudes of ˜0.1-0.5 mag and additional large flare events on time-scales of ˜5-60 min with amplitudes of ˜0.5-1.0 mag. The power density spectrum of the optical flare light curves is dominated by a red-noise component, typical of aperiodic activity in X-ray binaries. Simultaneous X-ray and UV observations by the Swift satellite reveal strong correlations that are consistent with X-ray reprocessing of the UV light, most likely in the outer regions of the accretion disc. On some nights we also observe sharp-edged, rectangular, flat-bottomed dips randomly distributed in orbital phase, with a median duration of ˜250 s and a median ingress/egress time of ˜20 s. These rectangular dips are similar to the mode-switching behaviour between disc `active' and `passive' luminosity states, observed in the X-ray light curves of other redback millisecond pulsars. This is the first time that the optical analogue of the X-ray mode-switching has been observed. The properties of the passive- and active-state light curves can be explained in terms of clumpy accretion from a trapped inner accretion disc near the corotation radius, resulting in rectangular, flat-bottomed optical and X-ray light curves.

  8. Period Clustering of the Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars and Magnetic Field Decay in Magnetars.

    PubMed

    Colpi; Geppert; Page

    2000-01-20

    We confront theoretical models for the rotational, magnetic, and thermal evolution of an ultramagnetized neutron star, or magnetar, with available data on the anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). We argue that, if the AXPs are interpreted as magnetars, their clustering of spin periods between 6 and 12 s (observed at present in this class of objects), their period derivatives, their thermal X-ray luminosities, and the association of two of them with young supernova remnants can only be understood globally if the magnetic field in magnetars decays significantly on a timescale of the order of 104 yr. PMID:10615029

  9. Three-dimensional Hydrodynamic Simulations of Accretion in High-mass X-ray Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymer, Eric John

    Wind accretion in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) often results in highly variable X-ray behavior, the nature of which is not well understood. Most models of wind accretion are based on the analytical predictions of Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion (HLA), which assumes a steady axisymmetric flow. Surprisingly little is known about the structure, stability, and time-evolution of HLA in three dimensions, particularly in the presence of non-uniform winds. This work describes hydrodynamic simulations of idealized HLA in three-dimensions, then applies these simulations to two HMXB subclasses that exhibit unexplained X-ray behavior. Our idealized HLA models show that the accretion flow remains steady and stable in two-dimensional axisymmetric and three dimensional grid geometries, assuming a uniform upstream flow. We test the stability of the model with linear upstream density gradients and find that they are able to induce rotational flow around the accretor that reduces the mass accretion rate by up to an order of magnitude. We apply our 3D model to accretion in the context of Be/X-ray binaries, in which the accreting neutron star is immersed in the dense decretion disk of the Be donor star. These systems have traditionally been described with 2D models that exhibit the flip-flop instability. This instability results in the formation and destruction of transient accretion disks with accompanying bursts of mass accretion. Our 3D models show no sign of the flip-flop instability, but instead display rotation about the neutron star directed primarily out of the plane of the decretion disk. This rotation generates large-scale asymmetries in the bow shock and suppresses mass accretion by up to two orders of magnitude. The accretion of a clumped stellar wind is one of the primary mechanisms proposed to explain the high-luminosity X-ray flares of supergiant fast X-ray transients. We model clump accretion in 3D to determine whether the impact of a clump can produce flares with a

  10. ON THE EVOLUTION OF ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSARS AND SOFT GAMMA-RAY REPEATERS WITH FALL BACK DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Ertan, Ue.; Alpar, M. A.; Eksi, K. Y.; Erkut, M. H.

    2009-09-10

    We show that the period clustering of anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), their X-ray luminosities, ages, and statistics can be explained with fall back disks with large initial specific angular momentum. The disk evolution models are developed by comparison to self-similar analytical models. The initial disk mass and angular momentum set the viscous timescale. An efficient torque, with (1 - {omega}{sup 2}{sub *}) dependence on the fastness parameter {omega}{sub *}, leads to period clustering in the observed AXP-SGR period range under a wide range of initial conditions. The timescale t{sub 0} for the early evolution of the fall back disk, and the final stages of fall back disk evolution, when the disk becomes passive, are the crucial determinants of the evolution. The disk becomes passive at temperatures around 100 K, which provides a natural cutoff for the X-ray luminosity and defines the end of evolution in the observable AXP and SGR phase. This low value for the minimum temperature for active disk turbulence indicates that the fall back disks are active up to a large radius, {approx}>10{sup 12} cm. We find that transient AXPs and SGRs are likely to be older than their persistent cousins. A fall back disk with mass transfer rates corresponding to the low quiescent X-ray luminosities of the transient sources in early evolutionary phases would have a relatively lower initial mass, such that the mass-flow rate in the disk is not sufficient for the inner disk to penetrate into the light cylinder of the young neutron star, making mass accretion onto the neutron star impossible. The transient AXP phase therefore must start later. The model results imply that the transient AXP/SGRs, although older, are likely to be similar in number to persistent sources. This is because the X-ray luminosities of AXPs and SGRs are found to decrease faster at the end of their evolution, and the X-ray luminosities of transient AXP and SGRs in quiescence lie

  11. First X-ray Observations of the Young Pulsar J1357-6429

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.

    2007-01-01

    The first short Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of the young and energetic pulsar J1357-6429 provided strong indications of a tail-like pulsar-wind nebula associated with this object, as well as strong pulsations of its X-ray flux with a pulsed fraction above 40% and a thermal component dominating at lower photon energies (below 2 keV). The elongated nebular is very compact in size. about 1" x 1.5" and might be interpreted as a pulsar jet. The thermal radiation is most plausibly emitted from the entire neutron star surface of an effective temperature about 1 MK covered with a magnetized hydrogen atmosphere At higher energies the pulsar's emission is of a nonthermal (magnetospheric) origin, with a power-law spectrum of a photon index Gamma approx. equals 1.1. This makes the X-ray properties of PSR J1357-6429 very similar to those of the youngest pulsars J1119-6127 and Vela with a detected thermal radiation.

  12. Time-dependent spherically symmetric accretion onto compact X-ray sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowie, L. L.; Ostriker, J. P.; Stark, A. A.

    1978-01-01

    Analytical arguments and a numerical hydrodynamic code are used to investigate spherically symmetric accretion onto a compact object, in an attempt to provide some insight into gas flows heated by an outgoing X-ray flux. It is shown that preheating of spherically symmetric accretion flows by energetic radiation from an X-ray source results in time-dependent behavior for a much wider range of source parameters than was determined previously and that there are two distinct types of instability. The results are compared with observations of X-ray bursters and transients as well as with theories on quasars and active galactic nuclei that involve quasi-spherically symmetric accretion onto massive black holes. Models based on spherically symmetric accretion are found to be inconsistent with observations of bursters and transients.

  13. High Time Resolution Studies of Binary X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cominsky, Lynn R.

    1996-05-01

    The work for this project was substantially more than anticipated, and involved recreating an analysis system for all the HEAO A-1 scanning data which had been converted to the ELE format. As a result of this work, a complete software analysis package was first created at Sonoma State University using Fortran, that can extract the data for any given X-ray source, and produce light curves from the scanning data. A second complete software analysis package was also created, this time in IDL, which can also display all the data in a timely manner, allowing data screening without the generation of hardcopy plots. The creation of the software systems was not the original goal of the project; rather this was a necessary result when the NRL computers became inoperable due to old age and could not be used to support the project, as originally planned. There were 6 sources originally proposed for analysis: SMC X-1, A0538-66, LMC X-1, LMC X-3, (these 3 sources are all located in the Large Magellanic Cloud region), 4UO115+63 and 4U1626-67. Results on these sources are summarized.

  14. X-ray observations of the Vela pulsar: Statistics and spectrum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, S. H.; Becker, R. H.; Boldt, E. A.; Holt, S. S.; Rothschild, R. E.; Serlemitsos, P. J.; Swank, J. H.

    1976-01-01

    The Vela pulsar was observed in the range 2-60 keV by the GSFC proportional counter experiment onboard OSO-8 with temporal resolution sufficient to make possible a sensitive search for pulsed X-rays at the radio pulsar period. A statistical analysis yielded 8 per cent as the 3 sigma upper limit on the pulsed fraction. The energy spectrum is fit well by a structureless power law with number index 2.21 + or - 0.2 and absorption by a hydrogen column density of N sub H equals 2.9 + or - 2.0 times ten to the twenty-second power per sq.cm.

  15. X-Ray Emission from the Millisecond Pulsar J1012+5307

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Wang, F. Y.-H.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The recently discovered 5.3 ms pulsar J1012+5307 at a distance of 520 pc is in an area of the sky which is particularly deficient in absorbing gas. The column density along the line of sight is less than 7.5 x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, which facilitates soft X-ray observations. Halpern reported a possible ROSAT PSPC detection of the pulsar in a serendipitous, off-axis observation. We have now confirmed the X-ray emission of PSR J1012+5307 in a 23 ksec observation with the ROSAT HRI. A point source is detected within 3 sec. of the radio position. Its count rate of 1.6 +/- 0.3 x 10(exp -3)/s corresponds to an unabsorbed 0.1 - 2.4 keV flux of 6.4 x 10(exp -14) ergs/sq cm s, similar to that reported previously. This counts-to-flux conversion is valid for N(sub H) = 5 x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, and either a power-law spectrum of photon index 2.5 or a blackbody of kT = 0.1 keV. The implied X-ray luminosity of 2.0 x 10(exp 30) ergs/ s is 5 x 10(exp -4) of the pulsar's spin-down power E, and similar to that of the nearest millisecond pulsar J0437-4715, which is nearly a twin of J1012+5307 in P and E. We subjected the 37 photons (and 13 background counts) within the source region to a pulsar search, but no evidence for pulsation was found. The pulsar apparently emits over a large fraction of its rotation cycle, and the absence of sharp modulation can be taken as evidence for surface thermal emission, as favored for PSR J0437-4715, rather than magnetospheric X-ray emission which is apparent in the sharp pulses of the much more energetic millisecond pulsar B1821-24. A further test of of the interpretation will be made with a longer ROSAT observation, which will increase the number of photons collected by a factor of 5, and permit a more sensitive examination of the light curve for modulation due to emission from heated polar caps. If found, such modulation will be further evidence that surface reheating by the impact of particles accelerated along open field lines operates in these approx

  16. X-RAY OUTFLOWS AND SUPER-EDDINGTON ACCRETION IN THE ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCE HOLMBERG IX X-1

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D. J.; Harrison, F. A.; Miller, J. M.; Reis, R. C.; Fabian, A. C.; Roberts, T. P.; Middleton, M. J.

    2013-08-10

    Studies of X-ray continuum emission and flux variability have not conclusively revealed the nature of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) at the high-luminosity end of the distribution (those with L{sub X} {>=} 10{sup 40} erg s{sup -1}). These are of particular interest because the luminosity requires either super-Eddington accretion onto a black hole of mass {approx}10 M{sub Sun} or more standard accretion onto an intermediate-mass black hole. Super-Eddington accretion models predict strong outflowing winds, making atomic absorption lines a key diagnostic of the nature of extreme ULXs. To search for such features, we have undertaken a long, 500 ks observing campaign on Holmberg IX X-1 with Suzaku. This is the most sensitive data set in the iron K bandpass for a bright, isolated ULX to date, yet we find no statistically significant atomic features in either emission or absorption; any undetected narrow features must have equivalent widths less than 15-20 eV at 99% confidence. These limits are far below the {approx}>150 eV lines expected if observed trends between mass inflow and outflow rates extend into the super-Eddington regime and in fact rule out the line strengths observed from disk winds in a variety of sub-Eddington black holes. We therefore cannot be viewing the central regions of Holmberg IX X-1 through any substantial column of material, ruling out models of spherical super-Eddington accretion. If Holmberg IX X-1 is a super-Eddington source, any associated outflow must have an anisotropic geometry. Finally, the lack of iron emission suggests that the stellar companion cannot be launching a strong wind and that Holmberg IX X-1 must primarily accrete via Roche-lobe overflow.

  17. Probing X-ray burst - accretion disk interaction in low mass X-ray binaries through kilohertz quasiperiodic oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peille, P.; Olive, J.-F.; Barret, D.

    2014-07-01

    The intense radiation flux of Type I X-ray bursts is expected to interact with the accretion flow around neutron stars. High frequency quasiperiodic oscillations (kHz QPOs), observed at frequencies matching orbital frequencies at tens of gravitational radii, offer a unique probe of the innermost disk regions. In this paper, we follow the lower kHz QPOs, in response to Type I X-ray bursts, in two prototypical QPO sources, namely 4U 1636-536 and 4U 1608-522, as observed by the Proportional Counter Array of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We have selected a sample of 15 bursts for which the kHz QPO frequency can be tracked on timescales commensurable with the burst durations (tens of seconds). We find evidence that the QPOs are affected for over ~200 s during one exceptionally long burst and ~100 s during two others (although at a less significant level), while the burst emission has already decayed to a level that would enable the pre-burst QPO to be detected. On the other hand, for most of our burst-kHz QPO sample, we show that the QPO is detected as soon as the statistics allow and in the best cases, we are able to set an upper limit of ~20 s on the recovery time of the QPO. This diversity of behavior cannot be related to differences in burst peak luminosity. We discuss these results in the framework of recent findings that accretion onto the neutron star may be enhanced during Type I X-ray bursts. The subsequent disk depletion could explain the disappearance of the QPO for ~100 s, as possibly observed in two events. However, alternative scenarios would have to be invoked for explaining the short recovery timescales inferred from most bursts. Heating of the innermost disk regions would be a possibility, although we cannot exclude that the burst does not affect the QPO emission at all. Clearly the combination of fast timing and spectral information of Type I X-ray bursts holds great potential in the study of the dynamics of the inner accretion flow around neutron

  18. Propeller effect in two brightest transient X-ray pulsars: 4U 0115+63 and V 0332+53

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsygankov, S. S.; Lutovinov, A. A.; Doroshenko, V.; Mushtukov, A. A.; Suleimanov, V.; Poutanen, J.

    2016-08-01

    Aims: We present the results of the monitoring programmes performed with the Swift/XRT telescope and aimed specifically to detect an abrupt decrease of the observed flux associated with a transition to the propeller regime in two well-known X-ray pulsars 4U 0115+63 and V 0332+53. Methods: Both sources form binary systems with Be optical companions and undergo so-called giant outbursts every 3-4 years. The current observational campaigns were performed with the Swift/XRT telescope in the soft X-ray band (0.5-10 keV) during the declining phases of the outbursts exhibited by both sources in 2015. Results: The transitions to the propeller regime were detected at the threshold luminosities of (1.4 ± 0.4) × 1036 erg s-1 and (2.0 ± 0.4) × 1036 erg s-1 for 4U 0115+63 and V 0332+53, respectively. Spectra of the sources are shown to be significantly softer during the low state. In both sources, the accretion at rates close to the aforementioned threshold values briefly resumes during the periastron passage following the transition into the propeller regime. The strength of the dipole component of the magnetic field required to inhibit the accretion agrees well with estimates based on the position of the cyclotron lines in their spectra, thus excluding presence of a strong multipole component of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the neutron star.

  19. A model of an X-ray-illuminated accretion disk and corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raymond, John C.

    1993-01-01

    The X-ray-illuminated surface of the accretion disk in a low-mass X-ray Binary (LMXRB) and the X-ray-heated corona above the disk produce optical, UV, and soft X-ray emission lines. This paper presents 1D models of the emission line spectra and the vertical temperature and density structures at different radii. The models include a detailed treatment of the important atomic processes and an escape probability treatment of radiative transfer. Soker and Raymond (1993) use the density structure predicted by these models for a 2D Monte Carlo simulation of the photon scattering in the accretion disk corona (ADC) to examine the effects of the ADC on the angular distribution of X-rays and the flux of X-rays incident on the outer disk. This paper concentrates on the emission line fluxes for various elemental abundances and disk parameters. The UV lines of the classic LMXRBs are consistent with the model predictions. Some CNO processing is necessary to account for the nitrogen and helium abundances in Sco X-1 and other LMXRBs. Comparison of the models with observed spectra also points to a soft X-ray component with luminosity comparable to the hard X-rays. The models predict a substantial luminosity in the group of highly ionized iron lines near 100 A.

  20. Excitation of a non-radial mode in a millisecond X-ray pulsar XTE J1751-305

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Umin

    2014-08-01

    We discuss non-radial modes in mass-accreting and rapidly rotating neutron stars for the coherent frequency detected in a millisecond X-ray pulsar XTE J1751-305. The spin frequency of the pulsar is νspin ≅ 435 Hz and the identified frequency is νosc = 0.572 7595 × νspin. Assuming that the frequency detected is that in the corotating frame of the star, we examine r and g modes in the surface layer of accreting matter composed mostly of helium, inertial and r modes in the fluid core, and toroidal modes in the solid crust. We find that the r modes of l' = m = 1 and 2 excited by ɛ-mechanism in the surface layer can give the ratio κ = νosc/νspin ≃ 0.57 at νspin = 435 Hz, where m and l' are the azimuthal wavenumber and the harmonic degree of the modes. We also suggest a toroidal crust mode and a core r mode destabilized by gravitational wave emission for the observed ratio κ. We find that the amplitude of the core r mode of l' = m = 2 can be amplified at the surface layer by a large factor famp ˜ 102 at νspin = 435 Hz for a M = 1.4 M⊙ neutron-star model. This amplification, however, may not be large enough for the r-mode amplitude to be consistent with an estimation by Mahmoodifar & Strohmayer (2013).

  1. TINY HICCUPS TO TITANIC EXPLOSIONS: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2011-09-01

    The past decade has seen major progress in neutron star astrophysics, with the discovery of magnetars in general, and the recognition that the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) fall in this class. AXPs have recently revealed surprising and dramatic variability behavior, which theorists have begun to show are highly constraining of physical models of magnetars, including their crusts, atmospheres, coronae and magnetospheres. In this proposal, we request Chandra/ACIS-S Target-of-Opportunity observations of one major Anomalous X-ray Pulsar (AXP) outburst in AO13, in order to study in detail the evolution of the spectrum, pulsed fraction and pulse profile, for quantitative confrontation with recently developed models for the structure and electrodynamics of magnetars.

  2. TINY HICCUPS TO TITANIC EXPLOSIONS: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2010-09-01

    The past decade has seen major progress in neutron star astrophysics, with the discovery of magnetars in general, and the recognition that the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) fall in this class. AXPs have recently revealed surprising and dramatic variability behavior, which theorists have begun to show are highly constraining of physical models of magnetars, including their crusts, atmospheres, coronae and magnetospheres. In this proposal, we request Chandra/ACIS-S Target-of-Opportunity observations of one major Anomalous X-ray Pulsar (AXP) outburst in AO12, in order to study in detail the evolution of the spectrum, pulsed fraction and pulse profile, for quantitative confrontation with recently developed models for the structure and electrodynamics of magnetars.

  3. GBM Observations of Be X-Ray Binary Outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Finger, M. H.; Jenke, P. A.

    2014-01-01

    Since 2008 we have been monitoring accreting pulsars using the Gamma ray Burst Monitor (GBM) on Fermi. This monitoring program includes daily blind full sky searches for previously unknown or previously quiescent pulsars and source specific analysis to track the frequency evolution of all detected pulsars. To date we have detected outbursts from 23 transient accreting pulsars, including 21 confirmed or likely Be/X-ray binaries. I will describe our techniques and highlight results for selected pulsars.

  4. X-Ray Observations of the Young Pulsar J1357—6429 and Its Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Chulhoon; Pavlov, George G.; Kargaltsev, Oleg; Shibanov, Yurii A.

    2012-01-01

    We observed the young pulsar J1357—6429 with the Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories. The pulsar spectrum fits well a combination of an absorbed power-law model (Γ = 1.7 ± 0.6) and a blackbody model (kT = 140+60 - 40 eV, R ~ 2 km at the distance of 2.5 kpc). Strong pulsations with pulsed fraction of 42% ± 5%, apparently associated with the thermal component, were detected in 0.3-1.1 keV. Surprisingly, the pulsed fraction at higher energies, 1.1-10 keV, appears to be smaller, 23% ± 4%. The small emitting area of the thermal component either corresponds to a hotter fraction of the neutron star surface or indicates inapplicability of the simplistic blackbody description. The X-ray images also reveal a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) with complex, asymmetric morphology comprised of a brighter, compact PWN surrounded by the fainter, much more extended PWN whose spectral slopes are Γ = 1.3 ± 0.3 and Γ = 1.7 ± 0.2, respectively. The extended PWN with the observed flux of ~7.5 × 10-13 erg s-1 cm-2 is a factor of 10 more luminous then the compact PWN. The pulsar and its PWN are located close to the center of the extended TeV source HESS J1356-645, which strongly suggests that the very high energy emission is powered by electrons injected by the pulsar long ago. The X-ray to TeV flux ratio, ~0.1, is similar to those of other relic PWNe. We found no other viable candidates to power the TeV source. A region of diffuse radio emission, offset from the pulsar toward the center of the TeV source, could be synchrotron emission from the same relic PWN rather than from the supernova remnant.

  5. X-ray pulsars/Doppler integrated navigation for Mars final approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Pingyuan; Wang, Shuo; Gao, Ai; Yu, Zhengshi

    2016-05-01

    The performance of the navigation system during the Mars final approach phase determines the initial accuracy of Mars entry phase, which is critical for a pin-point landing. An X-ray pulsars/Doppler integrated navigation strategy is proposed to improve the estimation accuracy of the spacecraft's entry state, as well as to enhance the autonomy, real-time and reliability. The navigation system uses the X-ray pulsar measurements and Doppler velocity measurements which are complementary to each other. The performance degradation in velocity estimation at the end of the final approach phase for X-ray pulsar based navigation can thus be eliminated. The nonlinearity of the system and the performance of Extended Kalman Filter are analyzed in this paper. Furthermore, in order to optimize the navigation scheme, a principle for navigation beacons selection based on the Fisher information matrix is used. Finally, a navigation scenario based on the 2012 encounter at Mars of Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is considered to demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of the proposed scheme. Simulation results also indicate that the proposed navigation scheme has reference value for the design of the future Mars explorations.

  6. Hiccup accretion in the swinging pulsar IGR J18245-2452

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrigno, C.; Bozzo, E.; Papitto, A.; Rea, N.; Pavan, L.; Campana, S.; Wieringa, M.; Filipović, M.; Falanga, M.; Stella, L.

    2014-07-01

    The source IGR J18245-2452 is the fifteenth discovered accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar and the first neutron star to show direct evidence of a transition between accretion- and rotation-powered emission states. These swings provided the strongest confirmation to date of the pulsar recycling scenario. During the two XMM-Newton observations that were carried out while the source was in outburst in April 2013, IGR J18245-2452 displayed a unique and peculiar X-ray variability. In this work, we report on a detailed analysis of the XMM-Newton data and focus on the timing and spectral variability of the source. In the 0.4-11 keV energy band, IGR J18245-2452 continuously switched between lower and higher intensity states, with typical variations in flux by factor of ~100 on time scales as short as a few seconds. These variations in the source intensity were sometimes accompanied by dramatic spectral hardening, during which the X-ray power-law photon index varied from Γ = 1.7 to Γ = 0.9. The pulse profiles extracted at different count-rates, hardnesses, and energies also showed a complex variability. These phenomena were never observed in accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, at least not on such a short time-scale. Fast variability was also found in the 5.5 and 9 GHz ATCA radio observations that were carried out for about 6 h during the outburst. We interpret the variability observed from IGR J18245-2452 in terms of a hiccup accretion phase, during which the accretion of material from the inner boundary of the Keplerian disk is reduced by the onset of centrifugal inhibition of accretion, possibly causing the launch of outflows. Changes across accretion and propeller regimes have been long predicted and reproduced by magnetohydrodynamic simulations of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, but have never observed to produce as extreme a variability as that shown by IGR J18245-2452.

  7. Neutron stars and millisecond pulsars from accretion-induced collapse in globular clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailyn, Charles D.; Grindlay, Jonathan E.

    1990-01-01

    This paper examines the limits on the number of millisecond pulsars which could be formed in globular clusters by the generally accepted scenario (in which a neutron star is created by the supernova of an initially massive star and subsequently captures a companion to form a low-mass X-ray binary which eventually becomes a millisecond pulsar). It is found that, while the number of observed low-mass X-ray binaries can be adequately explained in this way, the reasonable assumption that the pulsar luminosity function in clusters extends below the current observational limits down to the luminosity of the faintest millisecond pulsars in the field suggests a cluster population of millisecond pulsars which is substantially larger than the standard model can produce. Alleviating this problem by postulating much shorter lifetimes for the X-ray binaries requires massive star populations sufficiently large that the mass loss resulting from their evolution would be likely to unbind the cluster. It is argued that neutron star formation in globular clusters by accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs may resolve the discrepancy in birthrates.

  8. SEXTANT: A Demonstration of X-ray Pulsar-Based Navigation Using NICER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Paul S.; Mitchell, Jason W; Winternitz, Luke M; Hasouneh, Monther A; Price, Samuel R; Valdez, Jennifer; Yu, Wayne H; Semper, Sean R; Wood, Kent S.; Wolff, Michael Thomas; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Litchford, Ronald J; Gendreau, Keith

    2014-08-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology-demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray pulsar-based navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. The SEXTANT XNAV demonstration will exploit the large collecting area (>1800 cm^2), low background (<0.2 counts/s), and precise timing (<300 ns) of the NICER X-ray Timing Instrument (XTE). Taking advantage of NICER’s science observations of X-ray emitting millisecond pulsars, which are nature’s most stable clocks, the SEXTANT flight software will demonstrate real-time orbit determination with error less than 10 km in any direction, through measurements made over 2 weeks or less in the highly dynamic low-Earth ISS orbit. The completed technology demonstration will bring the XNAV concept and algorithms to a Technology Readiness Level of 8 and will inform the design and configuration of future practical XNAV implementations.

  9. The hard X-ray emission spectra from accretion columns in intermediate polars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yi, Insu; Vishniac, Ethan T.

    1994-01-01

    We consider the hard (greater than 2 keV) X-ray emission from accretion columns in an intermediate polar system, GK Per, using a simple settling solution. The rate of photon emission per logarithmic energy interval can be fitted with a power law, E(exp -gamma), with gamma approximately 2.0, in agreement with observations. This index is only weakly dependent on the mass accretion rate, dot-M, for dot-M in the range of a few times 10(exp 16-18) g/s. The peak energy of the photon spectra (after photoelectric absorption) is expected to be E(sub p) approximately (5 keV) gamma(exp -1/3) (N(sub H)/10(exp 23)/sq cm)(exp 1/3) where N(sub H) is the hydrogen column density along the line of sight. The observed spectra of GK Per and possibly of V1223 Sgr suggest N(sub H) approximately 10(exp 23)/sq cm. This large N(sub H) may be due to partially ionized preshock column material. Alternatively, we also consider absorption by the cool outer parts of an accretion disk. In this case the photoelectric absorption depth in the disk is a sensitive function of inclination. For GK Per the required inclination is approximately 83 deg. For mass accretion rates larger than a critical rate of approximately 10(exp 18) g/s, X-ray emission from the column accretion is significantly affected by radiation drag. Although the mass accretion rate increases dramatically during outbursts, the observed hard (greater than 2 keV) X-ray luminosity will not rise proportionately. The slope and peak energy of the outburst spectra are only weakly affected. We conclude that the observed X-ray spectra can be explained by this simple analytic solution and that the production of hard X-rays from the accretion shock at the magnetic poles in the intermediate polars is in general agreement with the observations. However, since the X-ray emission and absorption depend on the mass accretion rate in a complicated manner, observed hard X-ray luminosities (greater than 2 keV) are not a good indicator of the mass

  10. Interstellar X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy of the Crab Pulsar with the LETGS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paerels, Frits; Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; ODell, Stephen L.; Swartz, Douglas A.; Kahn, Steven M.; Behar, Ehud; Becker, Werner; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We study the interstellar X-ray absorption along the line of sight to the Crab Pulsar. The Crab was observed with the Low Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the pulsar, a point source, produces a full resolution spectrum. The continuum spectrum appears smooth, and we compare its parameters with other measurements of the pulsar spectrum. The spectrum clearly shows absorption edges due to interstellar Ne, Fe, and O. The O edge shows spectral structure that is probably due to O bound in molecules or dust. We search for near-edge structure (EXAFS) in the O absorption spectrum. The Fe L absorption spectrum is largely due to a set of unresolved discrete n=2-3 transitions in neutral or near-neutral Fe, and we analyze it using a new set of dedicated atomic structure calculations, which provide absolute cross sections. In addition to being interesting in its own right, the ISM absorption needs to be understood in quantitative detail in order to derive spectroscopic constraints on possible soft thermal radiation from the pulsar.

  11. Absorption features in the x-ray spectrum of an ordinary radio pulsar.

    PubMed

    Kargaltsev, Oleg; Durant, Martin; Misanovic, Zdenka; Pavlov, George G

    2012-08-24

    The vast majority of known nonaccreting neutron stars (NSs) are rotation-powered radio and/or γ-ray pulsars. So far, their multiwavelength spectra have all been described satisfactorily by thermal and nonthermal continuum models, with no spectral lines. Spectral features have, however, been found in a handful of exotic NSs and were thought to be a manifestation of their unique traits. Here, we report the detection of absorption features in the x-ray spectrum of an ordinary rotation-powered radio pulsar, J1740+1000. Our findings bridge the gap between the spectra of pulsars and other, more exotic, NSs, suggesting that the features are more common in the NS spectra than they have been thought so far. PMID:22923576

  12. Chandra X-Ray Observatory Observations of the Globular Cluster M28 and its Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1821-24

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Werner; Swartz, Douglas A.; Pavlov, George G.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Grindlay, Jonathan; Mignani, Roberto; Tennant, Allyn F.; Backer, Don; Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2003-01-01

    We report here the results of the first Chandra X-Ray Observatory observations of the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). We detect 46 X-ray sources of which 12 lie within one core radius of the center. We show that the apparently extended X-ray core emission seen with the ROSAT HRI is due to the superposition of multiple discrete sources for which we determine the X-ray luminosity function down to a limit of about 6 x 10(exp 30) erg/s. We measure the radial distribution of the X-ray sources and fit it to a King profile finding a core radius of r(sub c,x) approx. 11 sec. We obtain the best-fit mass of the X-ray sources to be M(sub x) approx. 1.9 solar masses. We measure for the first time the unconfused phase-averaged X-ray spectrum of the 3.05-ms pulsar B1821-24 and find it best described by a power law with photon-index Gamma approx. equal to 1.2. We find marginal evidence of an emission line centered at 3.3 kev in the pulsar spectrum, which could be interpreted as cyclotron emission from a corona above the pulsar's polar cap if the the magnetic field is strongly different from a centered dipole. The unabsorbed pulsar flux in the 0.5-8.0 keV band is approx. 3.5 x 10(exp -13) ergs/s/sq cm. We present spectral analyses of the 5 brightest unidentified sources. Based on the spectral parameters of the brightest of these sources, we suggest that it is a transiently accreting neutron star in a low-mass X-ray binary, in quiescence. Fitting its spectrum with a hydrogen neutron star atmosphere model yields the effective temperature T(sup infinity)(sub eff) = 90(sup +30)(sub -10) eV and the radius R(sup infinity)(sub NS) = 14.5(sup +6.9)(sub -3.8) km. In addition to the resolved sources, we detect fainter, unresolved X-ray emission from the central core. Using the Chandra-derived positions, we also present a preliminary report on the result of searching archival Hubble Space Telescope data for possible optical counterparts.

  13. Exceptional X-ray Weak Quasars: Implications for Accretion Flows and Emission-Line Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, W. Niel; Luo, Bin; Hall, Patrick B.; Wu, Jianfeng; Anderson, Scott F.; Garmire, Gordon; Gibson, Robert; Plotkin, Richard; Richards, Gordon T.; Schneider, Donald P.; Shemmer, Ohad; Shen, Yue

    2016-01-01

    Actively accreting supermassive black holes are found, nearly universally, to create luminous X-ray emission, and this point underlies the utility of X-ray surveys for finding active galactic nuclei throughout the Universe. However, there are apparent X-ray weak exceptions to this rule that are now providing novel insights, including weak-line quasars (WLQs) and especially analogs of the extreme WLQ, PHL 1811. We have been systematically studying such X-ray weak quasars with Chandra and near-infrared spectroscopy, and I will report results on their remarkable properties and describe implications for models of the accretion disk/corona and emission-line formation. We have found evidence that many of these quasars may have geometrically thick inner accretion disks, likely due to high accretion rates, that shield the high-ionization broad line region from the relevant ionizing continuum. This model can explain, in a simple and unified manner, their weak lines and diverse X-ray properties. Such shielding may, more generally, play a role in shaping the broad distributions of quasar emission-line equivalent widths and blueshifts.

  14. Experimental Validation of Pulse Phase Tracking for X-Ray Pulsar Based

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    Pulsars are a form of variable celestial source that have shown to be usable as aids for autonomous, deep space navigation. Particularly those sources emitting in the X-ray band are ideal for navigation due to smaller detector sizes. In this paper X-ray photons arriving from a pulsar are modeled as a non-homogeneous Poisson process. The method of pulse phase tracking is then investigated as a technique to measure the radial distance traveled by a spacecraft over an observation interval. A maximum-likelihood phase estimator (MLE) is used for the case where the observed frequency signal is constant. For the varying signal frequency case, an algorithm is used in which the observation window is broken up into smaller blocks over which an MLE is used. The outputs of this phase estimation process were then looped through a digital phase-locked loop (DPLL) in order to reduce the errors and produce estimates of the doppler frequency. These phase tracking algorithms were tested both in a computer simulation environment and using the NASA Goddard Space flight Center X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT). This provided an experimental validation with photons being emitted by a modulated X-ray source and detected by a silicon-drift detector. Models of the Crab pulsar and the pulsar B1821-24 were used in order to generate test scenarios. Three different simulated detector trajectories were used to be tracked by the phase tracking algorithm: a stationary case, one with constant velocity, and one with constant acceleration. All three were performed in one-dimension along the line of sight to the pulsar. The first two had a constant signal frequency and the third had a time varying frequency. All of the constant frequency cases were processed using the MLE, and it was shown that they tracked the initial phase within 0.15% for the simulations and 2.5% in the experiments, based on an average of ten runs. The MLE-DPLL cascade version of the phase tracking algorithm was used in

  15. Accretion Disks in Supersoft X-ray Sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Popham, Robert; DiStefano, Rosanne

    1996-01-01

    We examine the role of the accretion disk in the steady-burning white dwarf model for supersoft sources. The accretion luminosity of the disk is quite small compared to the nuclear burning luminosity of the central source. Thus, in contrast to standard accretion disks, the main role of the disk is to reprocess the radiation from the white dwarf. We calculate models of accretion disks around luminous white dwarfs and compare the resulting disk fluxes to optical and UV observations of the LMC supersoft sources CAL 83, CAL 87, and RX J0513.9-6951. We find that if the white dwarf luminosity is near the upper end of the steady-burning region, and the flaring of the disk is included, then reprocessing by the disk can account for the UV fluxes and a substantial fraction of the optical fluxes of these systems. Reprocessing by the companion star can provide additional optical flux, and here too the disk plays an important role: since the disk is fairly thick, it shadows a significant fraction of the companion's surface.

  16. Suzaku observations of cyclotron resonances in binary X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terada, Y.; Mihara, T.; Nagase, F.; Angelini, L.; Dotani, T.; Enoto, T.; Kitamoto, S.; Kohmura, T.; Kokubun, M.; Kotani, T.; Makishima, K.; Naik, S.; Nakajima, M.; Sugita, S.; Sudoh, K.; Suzuki, M.; Takahashi, H.; Yonetoku, D.; Yoshida, A.

    Since the typical magnetic field strengths of neutron stars reach 10 12 Gauss, the cyclotron resonance produced by a transition between Landau levels appears in the X-ray band. Systematic measurements of cyclotron absorption features in bright sources have been carried out extensively with Ginga, RXTE, BeppoSAX, and INTEGRAL. The cyclotron resonance phenomena can now be studied with a higher sensitivity over a wider hard X-ray band than before, thanks to the Hard X-ray Detector onboard the fifth Japanese X-ray satellite, Suzaku, launched in July, 2005. Suzaku observed Hercules X-1 mainly for calibration purposes, and successfully confirmed its well-known cyclotron absorption feature. Furthermore, the transient pulsar A0535+262 was observed with Suzaku on 14 September, 2005, in the decay phase of its minor outburst (Finger, M.F. Renewed Activity from A0535+26. The Astronomer's Telegram, vol. 595, 2005). The cyclotron resonance of A0535+262 was successfully detected in absorption at about 45 keV (Inoue, H., Kunieda, H., White, N., Kelley, R., Mihara, T., Terada, Y., Takahashi, H., Kokubun, M., Makishima, K. Suzaku detection of cyclotron line near 50 keV for A0535+26. The Astronomer's Telegram vol. 595, 2005; Terada, Y., Mihara, T., Nakajima, M., et al. Cyclotron resonance energies at a low X-ray luminosity: A0535+262 observed with Suzaku. ApJL 648, L139-L142, 2006), even though the object was as dim as 30 mCrab at 20 keV. Compared with previous measurements of the same feature achieved at much brighter phases (e.g., Kretschmar, P., Kreykenbohm, I., Pottschmidt, et al. Integral observes possible cyclotron line at 47 keV for 1A0535+262. The Astronomer's Telegram, vol. 601, 2005; Wilson, C.A., Finger, M.H. RXTE confirms cyclotron line near 50 keV for A0535+26. The Astronomer's Telegram 605, 2005), the Suzaku results give a new constraint to luminosity-related changes in the resonance energy that are observed in other binary pulsars (Nakajima, M., Mihara, T., Makishima

  17. Evolution of the X-Ray Profile of the Crab Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, M. Y.; Yan, L. L.; Lu, F. J.; Zheng, S. J.; Yuan, J. P.; Tong, H.; Zhang, S. N.; Lu, Y.

    2016-02-01

    Using the archival data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, we study the evolution of the Crab pulsar’s X-ray profile in a time span of 11 years. The X-ray profiles, as characterized by a few parameters, changed slightly, but with high statistical significance in these years: the separation of the two peaks increased with a rate of 0.°88 ± 0.°20 per century, the flux ratio of the second pulse to the first pulse decreased by (3.64+/- 0.86)× {10}-2 per century, and the pulse widths of the two pulses represented by their full widths at half maxima decreased by 1\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 44+/- 0\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 15 and 1\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 09+/- 0\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 73 per century, respectively. The evolutionary trends of the X-ray profile are similar to that observed in radio, but with quantitative differences. Finally, we briefly discuss the constraints of these X-ray properties on the geometry of the emission region of this pulsar.

  18. Absolute Timing of the Crab Pulsar: X-ray, Radio, and Optical Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, P. S.; Wood, K. S.; Wolff, M. T.; Lovellette, M. N.; Sheikh, S.; Moon, D.-S.; Eikenberry, S. S.; Roberts, M.; Bloom, E. D.; Tournear, D.; Saz Parkinson, P.; Reilly, K.

    2002-12-01

    We report on multiwavelength observations of the Crab Pulsar and compare the pulse arrival time at radio, IR, optical, and X-ray wavelengths. Comparing absolute arrival times at multiple energies can provide clues to the magnetospheric structure and emission region geometry. Absolute time calibration of each observing system is of paramount importance for these observations and we describe how this is done for each system. We directly compare arrival time determinations for 2--10 keV X-ray observations made contemporaneously with the PCA on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the USA Experiment on ARGOS. These two X-ray measurements employ very different means of measuring time and satellite position and thus have different systematic error budgets. The comparison with other wavelengths requires additional steps such as dispersion measure corrections and a precise definition of the ``peak'' of the light curve since the light curve shape varies with observing wavelength. We will describe each of these effects and quantify the magnitude of the systematic error that each may contribute. Basic research on X-ray Astronomy at NRL is funded by NRL/ONR.

  19. X-Ray Iron Line Constraints on the Inner Accretion Disk and Black Hole Spin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, C. S.

    2000-01-01

    The broad iron line, seen in the X-ray spectra of many AGN, is thought to originate from the inner regions of the black hole accretion disk. I will summarize recent developments in using this line to probe the accretion disk structure, as well as the mass and spin of black holes n Seyfert galaxies. In particular, I will present observational evidence suggesting that the inner regions of the accretion disks in low-luminosity AGN (LLAGN) are distinctly different from those in higher-luminosity AGN. This tentative result lends support models of LLAGN based upon advective accretion disks.

  20. Chandra Phase-Resolved X-ray Spectroscopy of the Crab Pulsar II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; Yakovlev, Dimitry G.; Harding, Alice; Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Becker, Werner

    2012-01-01

    We present a new study of the X-ray spectral properties of the Crab Pulsar. The superb angular resolution of the Chandra X-ray Observatory enables distinguishing the pulsar from the surrounding nebulosity. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase allows the least-biased measure of interstellar X-ray extinction due primarily to photoelectric absorption and secondarily to scattering by dust grains in the direction of the Crab Nebula. We modify previous findings that the line-of-sight to the Crab is under-abundant in oxygen and provide measurements with improved accuracy and less bias. Using the abundances and cross sections from Wilms, Allen & McCray (2000) we find [O/H] = (5.28+\\-0.28) x 10(exp -4) (4.9 x 10(exp -4) is solar abundance). \\rVe also measure for the first time the impact of scattering of flux out of the image by interstellar grains. \\rYe find T(sub scat) = 0.147+/-0.043. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase also measures the X-ray spectral index even at pulse minimum - albeit with increasing statistical uncertainty. The spectral variations are, by and large, consistent with a sinusoidal variation. The only significant variation from the sinusoid occurs over the same phase range as some rather abrupt behavior in the optical polarization magnitude and position angle. We compare these spectral variations to those observed in Gamma-rays and conclude that our measurements are both a challenge and a guide to future modeling and will thus eventually help us understand pair cascade processes in pulsar magnetospheres. The data were also used to set new. and less biased, upper limits to the surface temperature of the neutron star for different models of the neutron star atmosphere.

  1. Chandra and Swift X-Ray Observations of the X-Ray Pulsar SMC X-2 During the Outburst of 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, K. L.; Hu, C.-P.; Lin, L. C. C.; Kong, Albert K. H.

    2016-09-01

    We report the Chandra/HRC-S and Swift/XRT observations for the 2015 outburst of the high-mass X-ray binary pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud, SMC X-2. While previous studies suggested that either an O star or a Be star in the field is the high-mass companion of SMC X-2, our Chandra/HRC-S image unambiguously confirms the O-type star as the true optical counterpart. Using the Swift/XRT observations, we extracted accurate orbital parameters of the pulsar binary through a time of arrivals analysis. In addition, there were two X-ray dips near the inferior conjunction, which are possibly caused by eclipses or an ionized high-density shadow wind near the companion’s surface. Finally, we propose that an outflow driven by the radiation pressure from day ∼10 played an important role in the X-ray/optical evolution of the outburst.

  2. Discovery of spin-up in the X-ray pulsar companion of the hot subdwarf HD 49798

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mereghetti, Sandro; Pintore, Fabio; Esposito, Paolo; La Palombara, Nicola; Tiengo, Andrea; Israel, Gian Luca; Stella, Luigi

    2016-06-01

    The hot subdwarf HD 49798 has an X-ray emitting compact companion with a spin-period of 13.2 s and a dynamically measured mass of 1.28 ± 0.05 M⊙, consistent with either a neutron star or a white dwarf. Using all the available XMM-Newton and Swift observations of this source, we could perform a phase-connected timing analysis extending back to the ROSAT data obtained in 1992. We found that the pulsar is spinning up at a rate of (2.15 ± 0.05) × 10-15 s s-1. This result is best interpreted in terms of a neutron star accreting from the wind of its subdwarf companion, although the remarkably steady period derivative over more than 20 yr is unusual in wind-accreting neutron stars. The possibility that the compact object is a massive white dwarf accreting through a disc cannot be excluded, but it requires a larger distance and/or properties of the stellar wind of HD 49798 different from those derived from the modelling of its optical/UV spectra.

  3. Understanding X-ray Reflection as a Probe of Accreting Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkins, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are some of the most luminous objects we see in the Universe, powered by the accretion of matter onto a supermassive black hole in the centre of a galaxy, yet many of the physical processes by which the energy is released and injected into the surroundings remain a mystery. X-rays are emitted from a ‘corona’ of energetic particles surrounding the black hole and as well as being observed directly, they are seen to be reflected from the accreting disc, producing a number of spectral features including emission lines that are broadened by relativistic effects in the proximity of the black hole. In my thesis, I develop methods through which detailed measurement of the reflected X-rays from the accretion disc can be used to probe the innermost regions of accretion flow and corona, right down to the innermost stable orbit and the event horizon. Novel spectral analysis techniques allow us to reconstruct, from the observed relativistic X-ray reflection spectrum the spatially resolved illumination pattern of the accretion disc and will discuss how comparing this to the results of systematic general relativistic ray tracing simulations I have developed, we are able to constrain the location and geometry of the X-ray emitting corona and understand the dramatic change of the narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxy 1H 0707-495 into an extremely low flux state in terms of a collapse in the corona. I will discuss how measurements of the X-ray variability, specifically the reverberation time lags that are observed between variability in the directly observed X-rays from the corona and those reflected from the accretion disc add a further dimension to the study of accreting black holes, letting us not only build up a three dimensional image of the immediate vicinity of the black hole but also to probe mechanisms by which the energy is released from the accretion flow; techniques that will let us exploit not just current instrumentation but future proposed X-ray

  4. Irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion discs in ultraluminous X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutton, Andrew D.; Done, Chris; Roberts, Timothy P.

    2014-11-01

    Although attempts have been made to constrain the stellar types of optical counterparts to ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), the detection of optical variability instead suggests that they may be dominated by reprocessed emission from X-rays which irradiate the outer accretion disc. Here, we report results from a combined X-ray and optical spectral study of a sample of ULXs, which were selected for having broadened disc-like X-ray spectra and known optical counterparts. We simultaneously fit optical and X-ray data from ULXs with a new spectral model of emission from an irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion disc around a black hole, with a central Comptonizing corona. We find that the ULXs require reprocessing fractions of ˜10-3, which is similar to sub-Eddington thermal dominant state black hole binaries (BHBs), but less than has been reported for ULXs with soft ultraluminous X-ray spectra. We suggest that the reprocessing fraction may be due to the opposing effects of self-shielding in a geometrically thick supercritical accretion disc and reflection from far above the central black hole by optically thin material ejected in a natal super-Eddington wind. Then, the higher reprocessing fractions reported for ULXs with wind-dominated X-ray spectra may be due to enhanced scattering on to the outer disc via the stronger wind in these objects. Alternatively, the accretion discs in these ULXs may not be particularly geometrically thick, rather they may be similar in this regard to the thermal dominant state BHBs.

  5. Outburst of the 2 s Anomalous X-ray Pulsar 1E 1547.0-5408

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, J. P.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Camilo, F.; Reynolds, J.; Ransom, S. M.

    2008-01-01

    Following our discovery of radio pulsations from the newly recognized anomalous X-ray pulsar (AXP) 1E 1547.0-5408, we initiated X-ray monitoring with the Swift X-ray telescope and obtained a single target-of-opportunity observation with the Newton X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton). In comparison with its historic minimum flux of 3 x 10(exp -l3)ergs/sq cm/s, the source was found to be in a record high state, f(sub x)(1-8 keV) = 5 x 10(exp -12)ergs/sq cm/s, or L(sub x) = 1.7 x 10(exp 35)(d/9 kpc )(sup 2)ergs/s, and declining by 25% in 1 month. Extrapolating the decay, we bound the total energy in this outburst to 1042 ergs < E < ergs. The spectra (fitted with a Comptonized blackbody) show that an increase in the temperature and area of a hot region, to 0.5 keV and -16% of the surface area of the neutron star, respectively, are primarily responsible for its increase in luminosity. The energy, spectrum, and timescale of decay are consistent with a deep crustal heating event, similar to an interpretation of the X-ray turn-on of the transient AXP XTE J18 10- 197. Simultaneous with the 4.6 hr ATdA4-Newton observation, we observed at 6.4 GHz with the Parkes telescope, measuring the phase relationship of the radio and X-ray pulse. The X-ray pulsed fraction of 1E 1547.0-5408 is only approx. 7 %, while its radio pulse is relatively broad for such a slow pulsar, which may indicate a nearly aligned rotator. As also inferred from the transient behavior of XTE J18 10-197, the only other AXP known to emit in the radio, the magnetic field rearrangement responsible for this X-ray outburst of 1E 1547.0-5408 is probably the cause of its radio turn-on.

  6. Accretion mode of the Ultra-Luminous X-ray source M82 X-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karino, S.; Miller, J. C.

    2016-05-01

    Periodic pulsations have been found in emission from the ultra-luminous X-ray source (ULX) M82 X-2, strongly suggesting that the emitter is a rotating neutron star rather than a black hole. However, the radiation mechanisms and accretion mode involved have not yet been clearly established. In this paper, we examine the applicability to this object of standard accretion modes for high mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs). We find that spherical wind accretion, which drives OB-type HMXBs, cannot apply here but that there is a natural explanation in terms of an extension of the picture for standard Be-type HMXBs. We show that a neutron star with a moderately strong magnetic field, accreting from a disc-shaped wind emitted by a Be-companion, could be compatible with the observed relation between spin and orbital period. A Roche lobe overflow picture is also possible under certain conditions.

  7. Towards practical autonomous deep-space navigation using X-Ray pulsar timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shemar, Setnam; Fraser, George; Heil, Lucy; Hindley, David; Martindale, Adrian; Molyneux, Philippa; Pye, John; Warwick, Robert; Lamb, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    We investigate the feasibility of deep-space navigation using the highly stable periodic signals from X-ray pulsars in combination with dedicated instrumentation on the spacecraft: a technique often referred to as `XNAV'. The results presented are based on the outputs from a study undertaken for the European Space Agency. The potential advantages of this technique include increased spacecraft autonomy and lower mission operating costs. Estimations of navigation uncertainties have been obtained using simulations of different pulsar combinations and navigation strategies. We find that the pulsar PSR B1937 + 21 has potential to allow spacecraft positioning uncertainties of ~2 and ~5 km in the direction of the pulsar after observation times of 10 and 1 h respectively, for ranges up to 30 AU. This could be achieved autonomously on the spacecraft using a focussing X-ray instrument of effective area ~50 cm2 together with a high performance atomic clock. The Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS) instrument, due to be launched on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury in 2018, is an example of an instrument that may be further developed as a practical telescope for XNAV. For a manned mission to Mars, where an XNAV system could provide valuable redundancy, observations of the three pulsars PSR B1937 + 21, B1821-24 and J0437-4715 would enable a three-dimensional positioning uncertainty of ~30 km for up to 3 months without the need to contact Earth-based systems. A lower uncertainty may be achieved, for example, by use of extended observations or, if feasible, by use of a larger instrument. X-ray instrumentation suitable for use in an operational XNAV subsystem must be designed to require only modest resources, especially in terms of size, mass and power. A system with a focussing optic is required in order to reduce the sky and particle background against which the source must be measured. We examine possible options for future developments in terms of simpler, lower

  8. Chandra X-Ray Observatory Observations of the Globular Cluster M28 and its Milisecond Pulsar PSR B1821-24

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Werner; Swartz, Douglas A.; Pavlov, George G.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Grindlay, Jonathan; Mignani, Roberto; Tennant, Allyn F.; Backer, Don; Pulone, Luigi; Testa, Vincenzo

    2003-01-01

    We report here the results of the first Chandra X-Ray Observatory observations of the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). We detect 46 X-ray sources, of which 12 lie within 1 core radius of the center. We show that the apparently extended X-ray core emission seen with the ROSAT HRI is due to the superposition of multiple discrete sources, for which we determine the X-ray luminosity function down to a limit of about 6 x 10(exp 30) ergs/s. We measure the radial distribution of the X-ray sources and fit it to a King profile finding a core radius of r(sub c,X) approx. = 5 11". We measure for the first time the unconfused phase-averaged X-ray spectrum of the 3.05 ms pulsar B1821-24 and find that it is best described by a power law with photon index Gamma approx. = 1.2. We find marginal evidence of an emission line centered at 3.3 keV in the pulsar spectrum, which could be interpreted as cyclotron emission from a corona above the pulsar s polar cap if the magnetic field is strongly different from a centered dipole. The unabsorbed pulsar flux in the 0.1 - 8.0 keV band is approx. = 3.5 x 10(exp -13) ergs/s sq cm. We present spectral analyses of the five brightest unidentified sources. Based on the spectral parameters of the brightest of these sources, we suggest that it is a transiently accreting neutron star in a low-mass X-ray binary, in quiescence. Fitting its spectrum with a hydrogen neutron star atmosphere model yields the effective temperature T(sub eff, sup infinity) = 90(sup +30, sub -10) eV and the radius R(sub NS, sup infinity) = 14.5(sup +6.9, sub -3.8) km. In addition to the resolved sources, we detect fainter, unresolved X-ray emission from the central core. Using the Chandra-derived positions, we also report on the result of searching archival Hubble Space Telescope data for possible optical counterparts.

  9. Constraining compactness and magnetic field geometry of X-ray pulsars using pulse profile statistics

    SciTech Connect

    Annala, Marja; Poutanen, Juri

    2010-07-15

    We use the statistics of 131 X-ray pulsar light curves in order to constrain the neutron star compactness and the inclination of the magnetic dipole. The X-ray pulse profiles are classified according to the number of pulses seen during one period, dividing them into two classes, single- and double-peaked. The relative fraction of pulsars in these classes is compared with the probabilities predicted by a theoretical model for different types of pencil-beam patterns. Our results show that a statistic of pulse profiles does not constrain compactness of the neutron stars. In contrast to the previous claim, the data do not require the magnetic inclination to be confined in a narrow interval but instead the magnetic dipole can have arbitrary inclinations to the rotational axis. The observed fractions of different types of light curves can be explained by taking into account the X-ray detector sensitivity (i.e. detection threshold for weak pulses), which decreases the fraction of the observed double-peaked light curves.

  10. Discovery of Radio Emission From Transient Anomalous X-Ray Pulsar XTE J1810-197

    SciTech Connect

    Halpern, J P; Gotthelf, E V; Becker, R H; Helfand, D J; White, R L

    2005-10-25

    We report the first detection of radio emission from any anomalous X-ray pulsar (AXP). Data from the Very Large Array (VLA) MAGPIS survey with angular resolution 6'' reveals a point-source of flux density 4.5 {+-} 0.5 mJy at 1.4 GHz at the precise location of the 5.54 s pulsar XTE J1810-197. This is greater than upper limits from all other AXPs and from quiescent states of soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs). The detection was made in 2004 January, 1 year after the discovery of XTE J1810-197 during its only known outburst. Additional VLA observations both before and after the outburst yield only upper limits that are comparable to or larger than the single detection, neither supporting nor ruling out a decaying radio afterglow related to the X-ray turn-on. Another hypothesis is that, unlike the other AXPs and SGRs, XTE J1810-197 may power a radio synchrotron nebula by the interaction of its particle wind with a moderately dense environment that was not evacuated by previous activity from this least luminous, in X-rays, of the known magnetars.

  11. Time-dependent X-ray emission from unstable accretion disks around black holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mineshige, Shin; Kim, Soon-Wook; Wheeler, J. Craig

    1990-01-01

    The spectral evolution of accretion disks in X-ray binaries containing black holes is studied, based on the disk instability model. The thermal transition of the outer portions of the disk controls the mass flow rate into the inner portions of the disk, thus modulating the soft X-ray flux which is thought to arise from the inner disk. Calculated soft X-ray spectra are consistent with the observations of the X-ray transient A0620 - 00 and especially ASM 2000 + 25, the soft X-ray spectra of which are well fitted by blackbody radiation with a fixed inner edge of the disk, Rin, and with monotonically decreasing temperature at Rin with time. Since the gas pressure is always dominant over the radiation pressure during the decay in these models, a two-temperature region is difficult to create. Instead, it is suggested that hard X-rays are generated in a hot (kT greater than 10 keV) accretion disk corona above the cool (kT less than 1 keV) disk.

  12. Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. I. X-Ray Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soria, R.; Fabbiano, G.; Graham, Alister W.; Baldi, A.; Elvis, M.; Jerjen, H.; Pellegrini, S.; Siemiginowska, A.

    2006-03-01

    We have studied the nuclear activity in a sample of six quiescent early-type galaxies, with new Chandra data and archival HST optical images. Their nuclear sources have X-ray luminosities ~1038-1039 ergs s-1 (LX/LEdd~10-8 to 10-7) and colors or spectra consistent with accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs), except for the nucleus of NGC 4486B, which is softer than typical AGN spectra. In a few cases, the X-ray morphology of the nuclear sources shows hints of marginally extended structures, in addition to the surrounding diffuse thermal emission from hot gas, which is detectable on scales >~1 kpc. In one case (NGC 5845), a dusty disk may partially obstruct our direct view of the SMBH. We have estimated the temperature and density of the hot interstellar medium, which is one major source of fuel for the accreting SMBH; typical central densities are ne~(0.02+/-0.01) cm-3. Assuming that the hot gas is captured by the SMBH at the Bondi rate, we show that the observed X-ray luminosities are too faint to be consistent with standard disk accretion, but brighter than predicted by radiatively inefficient solutions (e.g., advection-dominated accretion flows [ADAFs]). In total, there are ~20 galaxies for which SMBH mass, hot gas density, and nuclear X-ray luminosity are simultaneously known. In some cases, the nuclear sources are brighter than predicted by the ADAF model; in other cases, they are consistent or fainter. We discuss the apparent lack of correlations between Bondi rate and X-ray luminosity and suggest that, in order to understand the observed distribution, we need to know two additional parameters: the amount of gas supplied by the stellar population inside the accretion radius, and the fraction (possibly <<1) of the total gas available that is accreted by the SMBH. We leave a detailed study of these issues to a subsequent paper.

  13. MN Lup: X-RAYS FROM A WEAKLY ACCRETING T TAURI STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Guenther, H. M.; Wolk, S. J.; Wolter, U.; Robrade, J.

    2013-07-01

    Young T Tauri stars (TTS) are surrounded by an accretion disk, which over time disperses due to photoevaporation, accretion, and possibly planet formation. The accretion shock on the central star produces an UV/optical veiling continuum, line emission, and X-ray signatures. As the accretion rate decreases, the impact on the central star must change. In this article we study MN Lup, a young star where no indications of a disk are seen in IR observations. We present XMM-Newton and VLT/UVES observations, some of them taken simultaneously. The X-ray data show that MN Lup is an active star with L{sub X} /L{sub bol} close to the saturation limit. However, we find high densities (n{sub e} > 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} cm{sup -3}) in the X-ray grating spectrum. This can be well fitted using an accretion shock model with an accretion rate of 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}. Despite the simple H{alpha} line profile which has a broad component, but no absorption signatures as typically seen on accreting TTS, we find rotational modulation in Ca II K and in photospheric absorption lines. These line profile modulations do not clearly indicate the presence of a localized hot accretion spot on the star. In the H{alpha} line we see a prominence in absorption about 2R{sub *} above the stellar surface-the first of its kind on a TTS. MN Lup is also the only TTS where accretion is seen, but no dust disk is detected that could fuel it. We suggest that MN Lup presents a unique and short-lived state in the disk evolution. It may have lost its dust disk only recently and is now accreting the remaining gas at a very low rate.

  14. AGN UV and X-ray luminosities in clumpy accretion flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishibashi, W.; Courvoisier, T. J.-L.

    2009-02-01

    We consider the fuelling of the central massive black hole in active galactic nuclei (AGN), through an inhomogeneous accretion flow. Performing simple analytical treatments, we show that shocks between elements (clumps) forming the accretion flow may account for the UV and X-ray emission in AGNs. In this picture, a cascade of shocks is expected, where optically thick shocks give rise to optical/UV emission, while optically thin shocks give rise to X-ray emission. The resulting blue bump temperature is found to be quite similar in different AGNs. We obtain that the ratio of X-ray luminosity to UV luminosity is smaller than unity, and that this ratio is smaller in massive objects compared to less massive sources. This is in agreement with the observed L_X/L_UV ratio and suggests a possible interpretation of the α_OX-l_UV anticorrelation.

  15. Spectroscopy of Low Mass X-Ray Binaries: New Insights into Accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrtilek, Saeqa Dil; Mushotzky, Richard F. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This project is to observe two low mass X-ray binaries, chosen for their X-ray brightness, low column density, and diversity of accretion behavior. The high spectral resolution of the RGS, the broad energy range and tremendous collecting power of EPIC, and simultaneous optical monitoring with the OM are particularly well-suited to these studies. The second of two objects was not observed until September of 2002. Data analysis for the new observation is underway. over the next year we will: investigate the physical conditions of the emitting gas using emission and recombination line diagnostics to determine temperatures, densities, elemental abundances, and ionization structure; study the behavior of emission features as a function of binary orbit; and test and improve models of X-ray line emission developed by us over the past decade. We will gain insight on both the geometry of the accretion flow and on the evolutionary history of LMXBs.

  16. Spectroscopy of Low Mass X-Ray Binaries: New Insights into Accretion. Revised

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DilVrtilek, Saeqa; Mushotzky, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This project is to observe two low mass X-ray binaries, chosen for their X-ray brightness, low column density, and diversity of accretion behavior. The high spectral resolution of the RGS, the broad energy range and tremendous collecting power of EPIC, and simultaneous optical monitoring with the OM are particularly well-suited to these studies. observation of one of the two objects has taken place and the data were received in late November. The second object is yet to be observed. Over the next year we will: investigate the physical conditions of the emitting gas using emission and recombination line diagnostics to determine temperatures, densities, elemental abundances, and ionization structure; study the behavior of emission features as a function of binary orbit; and test and improve models of X-ray line emission developed by us over the past decade. We will gain insight on both the geometry of the accretion flow and on the evolutionary history of LMXBs.

  17. X-Ray Spectra from MHD Simulations of Accreting Black Holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Noble, Scott C.; Krolik, Julian H.

    2011-01-01

    We present new global calculations of X-ray spectra from fully relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic (MHO) simulations of black hole (BH) accretion disks. With a self consistent radiative transfer code including Compton scattering and returning radiation, we can reproduce the predominant spectral features seen in decades of X-ray observations of stellar-mass BHs: a broad thermal peak around 1 keV, power-law continuum up to >100 keV, and a relativistically broadened iron fluorescent line. By varying the mass accretion rate, different spectral states naturally emerge: thermal-dominant, steep power-law, and low/hard. In addition to the spectral features, we briefly discuss applications to X-ray timing and polarization.

  18. Probing the Accretion Geometry of Black Holes with X-Ray Polarization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnitman, Jeremy D.

    2011-01-01

    In the coming years, new space missions will be able to measure X-ray polarization at levels of 1% or better in the approx.1-10 keV energy band. In particular, X-ray polarization is an ideal tool for determining the nature of black hole (BH) accretion disks surrounded by hot coronae. Using a Monte Carlo radiation transport code in full general relativity, we calculate the spectra and polarization features of these BH systems. At low energies, the signal is dominated by the thermal flux coming directly from the optically thick disk. At higher energies, the thermal seed photons have been inverse-Compton scattered by the corona, often reflecting back off the disk before reaching the observer, giving a distinctive polarization signature. By measuring the degree and angle of this X-ray polarization, we can infer the BH inclination, the emission geometry of the accretion flow, and also determine the spin of the black hole.

  19. Evidence of Fast Magnetic Field Evolution in an Accreting Millisecond Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patruno, A.

    2012-07-01

    The large majority of neutron stars (NSs) in low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) have never shown detectable pulsations despite several decades of intense monitoring. The reason for this remains an unsolved problem that hampers our ability to measure the spin frequency of most accreting NSs. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) HETE J1900.1-2455 is an intermittent pulsar that exhibited pulsations at about 377 Hz for the first two months and then turned into a nonpulsating source. Understanding why this happened might help us to understand why most LMXBs do not pulsate. We present a seven-year coherent timing analysis of data taken with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We discover new sporadic pulsations that are detected on a baseline of about 2.5 years. We find that the pulse phases anti-correlate with the X-ray flux as previously discovered in other AMXPs. We place stringent upper limits of 0.05% rms on the pulsed fraction when pulsations are not detected and identify an enigmatic pulse phase drift of ~180° in coincidence with the first disappearance of pulsations. Thanks to the new pulsations we measure a long term spin frequency derivative whose strength decays exponentially with time. We interpret this phenomenon as evidence of magnetic field burial.

  20. The Orbital Period of the Accreting Pulsar GX 1+4.

    PubMed

    Pereira; Braga; Jablonski

    1999-12-01

    We report strong evidence for a approximately 304 day periodicity in the spin history of the accretion-powered pulsar GX 1+4 that is most probably associated with the orbital period of the system. We have used data from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory to show a clear periodic modulation of the pulsar frequency from 1991 to date, in excellent agreement with the ephemeris proposed by Cutler, Dennis, & Dolan in 1986. Our results indicate that the orbital period of GX 1+4 is 303.8+/-1.1 days, making it the widest known low-mass X-ray binary system by more than 1 order of magnitude and putting this long-standing question to rest. A likely scenario for this system is an elliptical orbit in which the neutron star decreases its spin-down rate (or even exhibits a momentary spin-up behavior) at periastron passages due to the higher torque exerted by the accretion disk onto the magnetosphere of the neutron star. These results are not inconsistent with either the X-ray pulsed flux light curve measured by BATSE during the same epoch or the X-ray flux history from the All-Sky Monitor on board the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. PMID:10550289

  1. A Broad-Band X-Ray Study of the Geminga Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Wang, F. Y.-H.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the Geminga pulsar at energies 0.1-10 keV using data from the ASCA, ROSAT, and EUVE satellites. The bulk of the soft X-ray flux can be parameterized as a blackbody of T = (5.6 +/- 0.6) x 10(exp 5) K, occupying a fraction 0. 10 - 0.64 of the surface area of the neutron star at the parallax distance of 160 pc. The ASCA detection of Geminga resolves the nature of the harder X-ray component previously discovered by ROSAT in favor of nonthermal emission, rather than thermal emission from a heated polar cap. The hard X-ray spectrum can be fitted by a power-law of energy index 1.0 +/- 0.5. The hard X-ray light curve has a strong main peak and a weak secondary peak; its total pulsed fraction is = 55%. Three ROSAT PSPC observations show significant variability of Geminga's light curve. In particular, a peculiar energy dependence of the modulation in the soft X-ray component, dubbed the "Geminga effect" in the original PSPC data, is not present in later observations. In addition, fine structure in the soft X-ray light curve, interpreted as eclipses due to cyclotron resonance scattering by a plasma screen on the closed magnetic field lines, almost disappeared in the most recent observations. All of the variable properties of Geminga can probably be associated with the nonthermal process that supplies e(sup +, sup -) pairs to its inner magnetosphere.

  2. Quiescent accretion disks in black hole X-ray novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orosz, Jerome A.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Remillard, Ronald A.; Mcclintock, Jeffrey E.; Foltz, Craig B.

    1994-01-01

    We present detailed time-resolved spectroscopy of the Balmer emission lines from two black hole binary systems in quiescence, A0620-00 and Nova Muscae 1991. We find extraordinary similarities between the two systems. There are 30-40 km/s velocity variations of the emission lines over the orbital period, the phases of which are not aligned with the expected phase of the motion of the compact primary. Detailed modeling of both systems is complicated by variable hot spot components, regions of optical thickness, and intermittent excess emission in the blue line wings of the H-alpha lines. Both sources also display low velocities at the outer edge of the accretion disk, implying a large primary Roche lobe and extreme mass ratios. These complications suggest that although simple optically thin, Keplerian alpha-disk models provide a useful parameterization of emission lines from these systems, the straightforward physical models they imply should be treated with great caution.

  3. The feedback of type-I bursts to the corona and the accretion process in X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J.; Zhang, S.; Torres, D.; Chen, Y.; Ji, L.

    2014-07-01

    We discuss the interaction between the soft X-ray photons and the corona / accretion disk during type-I X-ray bursts. Up to date, a hard X-ray shortage and fast recovery during the evolution of bursts have been found in 6 sources. These observations promote a plausible interpretation based on the position and origin of the corona. We also note that type-I X-ray bursts embedded in the banana state of an outburst seem to deviate from a blackbody spectrum, which may hint for a temporary increased accretion rate in the accretion disk during type-I X-ray bursts. These results could be consistently explained by the feedback of type-I X-ray bursts to the accretion process.

  4. SXP 1062, a young Be X-ray binary pulsar with long spin period. Implications for the neutron star birth spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haberl, F.; Sturm, R.; Filipović, M. D.; Pietsch, W.; Crawford, E. J.

    2012-01-01

    Context. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is ideally suited to investigating the recent star formation history from X-ray source population studies. It harbours a large number of Be/X-ray binaries (Be stars with an accreting neutron star as companion), and the supernova remnants can be easily resolved with imaging X-ray instruments. Aims: We search for new supernova remnants in the SMC and in particular for composite remnants with a central X-ray source. Methods: We study the morphology of newly found candidate supernova remnants using radio, optical and X-ray images and investigate their X-ray spectra. Results: Here we report on the discovery of the new supernova remnant around the recently discovered Be/X-ray binary pulsar CXO J012745.97-733256.5 = SXP 1062 in radio and X-ray images. The Be/X-ray binary system is found near the centre of the supernova remnant, which is located at the outer edge of the eastern wing of the SMC. The remnant is oxygen-rich, indicating that it developed from a type Ib event. From XMM-Newton observations we find that the neutron star with a spin period of 1062 s (the second longest known in the SMC) shows a very high average spin-down rate of 0.26 s per day over the observing period of 18 days. Conclusions: From the currently accepted models, our estimated age of around 10 000-25 000 years for the supernova remnant is not long enough to spin down the neutron star from a few 10 ms to its current value. Assuming an upper limit of 25 000 years for the age of the neutron star and the extreme case that the neutron star was spun down by the accretion torque that we have measured during the XMM-Newton observations since its birth, a lower limit of 0.5 s for the birth spin period is inferred. For more realistic, smaller long-term average accretion torques our results suggest that the neutron star was born with a correspondingly longer spin period. This implies that neutron stars in Be/X-ray binaries with long spin periods can be much younger

  5. Timing analysis of binary X ray pulsars observed by HEAO 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soong, Y.; Swank, J. H.

    1989-01-01

    Timing analysis of the pointed observations of 5 selected binary X ray pulsars, in two categories of disk-fed and wind-fed sources, by HEAO 1 A-2 is reported. The power spectral analysis was performed on the data in the frequency range from approx. 1 MHz to 6.25 Hz. The coherent signal of the pulsation, the continuum of the power spectrum, varies in time and differs among sources. Quasi-Periodic Oscillation (QPO) is probably related to a fast spinning but weakly magnetized neutron star in the low mass X ray binaries. QPO was searched for in this frequency range to see if scaling laws exist among these two systems which may have possessed different order of magnitude of magnetic field strengths and the inner disk radii. One possible QPO is found centering at 0.062 Hz in 4U0115+63 during a flare.

  6. Accretion Disk Signatures in Type I X-Ray Bursts: Prospects for Future Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keek, L.; Wolf, Z.; Ballantyne, D. R.

    2016-07-01

    Type I X-ray bursts and superbursts from accreting neutron stars illuminate the accretion disk and produce a reflection signal that evolves as the burst fades. Examining the evolution of reflection features in the spectra will provide insight into the burst–disk interaction, a potentially powerful probe of accretion disk physics. At present, reflection has been observed during only two bursts of exceptional duration. We investigate the detectability of reflection signatures with four of the latest well-studied X-ray observatory concepts: Hitomi, Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), Athena, and Large Observatory For X-ray Timing (LOFT). Burst spectra are modeled for different values for the flux, temperature, and the disk ionization parameter, which are representative for most known bursts and sources. The effective area and throughput of a Hitomi-like telescope are insufficient for characterizing burst reflection features. NICER and Athena will detect reflection signatures in Type I bursts with peak fluxes ≳10‑7.5 erg cm‑2 s‑1 and also effectively constrain the reflection parameters for bright bursts with fluxes of ∼10‑7 erg cm‑2 s‑1 in exposures of several seconds. Thus, these observatories will provide crucial new insight into the interaction of accretion flows and X-ray bursts. For sources with low line-of-sight absorption, the wide bandpass of these instruments allows for the detection of soft X-ray reflection features, which are sensitive to the disk metallicity and density. The large collecting area that is part of the LOFT design would revolutionize the field by tracing the evolution of the accretion geometry in detail throughout short bursts.

  7. X-RAY PHOTOIONIZED BUBBLE IN THE WIND OF VELA X-1 PULSAR SUPERGIANT COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Krticka, Jiri; Skalicky, Jan; Kubat, Jiri

    2012-10-01

    Vela X-1 is the archetype of high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs), composed of a neutron star and a massive B supergiant. The supergiant is a source of a strong radiatively driven stellar wind. The neutron star sweeps up this wind and creates a huge amount of X-rays as a result of energy release during the process of wind accretion. Here, we provide detailed NLTE models of the Vela X-1 envelope. We study how the X-rays photoionize the wind and destroy the ions responsible for the wind acceleration. The resulting decrease of the radiative force explains the observed reduction of the wind terminal velocity in a direction to the neutron star. The X-rays create a distinct photoionized region around the neutron star filled with a stagnating flow. The existence of such photoionized bubbles is a general property of HMXBs. We unveil a new principle governing these complex objects, according to which there is an upper limit to the X-ray luminosity the compact star can have without suspending the wind due to inefficient line driving.

  8. X-Ray Photoionized Bubble in the Wind of Vela X-1 Pulsar Supergiant Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krtička, Jiří; Kubát, Jiří; Skalický, Jan

    2012-10-01

    Vela X-1 is the archetype of high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs), composed of a neutron star and a massive B supergiant. The supergiant is a source of a strong radiatively driven stellar wind. The neutron star sweeps up this wind and creates a huge amount of X-rays as a result of energy release during the process of wind accretion. Here, we provide detailed NLTE models of the Vela X-1 envelope. We study how the X-rays photoionize the wind and destroy the ions responsible for the wind acceleration. The resulting decrease of the radiative force explains the observed reduction of the wind terminal velocity in a direction to the neutron star. The X-rays create a distinct photoionized region around the neutron star filled with a stagnating flow. The existence of such photoionized bubbles is a general property of HMXBs. We unveil a new principle governing these complex objects, according to which there is an upper limit to the X-ray luminosity the compact star can have without suspending the wind due to inefficient line driving.

  9. 41. 5 day binary x-ray pulsar 4U 1223-62 (GX 301-2)

    SciTech Connect

    White, N.E.; Swank, J.H.

    1984-12-15

    The orbital period of the 700 s X-ray pulsar 4U 1223-62 (GX 301-2) has been determined to be 41.5 days from regular X-ray outbursts reported by Watson, Warwick, and Corbet in 1982. We reexamine Ariel 5 and SAS 3 X-ray pulse timing data to deduce the orbital elements of this system assuming a 41.5 day orbital period. The correction of an error in an earlier pulse timing analysis has reduced a previously reported inconsistency between the X-ray photometric ephemeris and the orbital solution deduced from the pulse timings.

  10. X-ray studies of the termination shock of the pulsar wind in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, K.; Burrows, D.; Shibata, S.; Pavlov, G.; Hester, J.; Tsunemi, H.

    Chandra observations have discovered a long-sought termination shock of the pulsar wind in the Crab Nebula. The shock is barely seen in the optical wavelengths in contrast with the wisps, which emerge from the shock but can be seen in both the X-ray and optical. We present spectral and spatial analysis of the shock with Chandra. Especially, spectral information is obtained for the first time without being bothered by pile-up. Spectral analysis of other fine structures including "arcs" which are seen in north-eastern part of the torus is also shown. We discuss those results along with large scale spectral variations over the nebula.

  11. Evidence of pulsed X-ray emission from radio pulsar PSR1951+32

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Lingxiang; Li, Tipei; Sun, Xuejun; Ma, Yugian; Wu, Mei

    1994-03-01

    Evidence of X-ray pulsations from PSR1951+32 have been obtained in both EINSTEIN IPC (Image Proportional Counter) and HRI (High Resolution Imager) data in our analysis of Einstein Observatory data on CTB 80 area. The phase light curves of these two datasets show similar single peak structure. The period values are significantly different from those predicted by radio observations processed about 7 years later, and shows the spin rate of the pulsar in April 1980 is higher than that in October 1979. Possible explanations for this phenomenon are discussed.

  12. A Optical Synchrotron Nebula around the X-Ray Pulsar 0540-693

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanan, G.; Helfand, D.; Reynolds, S.

    The authors report the discovery of extended optical continuum emission around the recently discovered 50 ms X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant 0540-693. Exposures in blue and red broadband filters made with the CTIO 4 m telescope and prime focus CCD show a center-brightened but clearly extended nebula about 4arcsec in diameter (FWHM), while an image in an [O III] filter shows an 8arcsec diameter shell (as reported earlier) which encloses the continuum source. 0540-693 is a system very similar to the Crab nebula and represents the second detection of optical synchrotron radiation in a supernova remnant.

  13. On the Extended Emission of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar IE 1547.0-5408

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olausen, S. A.; Kaspi, V. M.; Ng, C. -Y.; Zhu, W. W.; Gavriil, F. P.; Woods, P. M.

    2012-01-01

    We present an analysis of the extended emission around the anomalous X-ray pulsar IE 1547.0-5408 using four XMM-Newton observations taken with the source in varying states of outburst as well as in quiescence. We find that the extended emission flux is highly variable and strongly correlated with the flux of the magnetar. Based on this result, as well as on spectral and energetic considerations, we conclude that the extended emission is dominated by a dust-scattering halo and not a pulsar wind nebula (P-VVN), as has been previously argued. We obtain an upper limit on the 2-10 keV flux of a possible PWN of 4.7 x 10(exp -14) erg/s/sq cm, three times less than the previously claimed value, implying an efficiency for conversion of spin-down energy into nebular luminosity of <9 x 10(exp -4) .

  14. EXTraS discovery of an 1.2-s X-ray pulsar in M 31

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, P.; Israel, G. L.; Belfiore, A.; Novara, G.; Sidoli, L.; Rodríguez Castillo, G. A.; De Luca, A.; Tiengo, A.; Haberl, F.; Salvaterra, R.; Read, A. M.; Salvetti, D.; Sandrelli, S.; Marelli, M.; Wilms, J.; D'Agostino, D.

    2016-03-01

    During a search for coherent signals in the X-ray archival data of XMM-Newton, we discovered a modulation at 1.2 s in 3XMM J004301.4+413017 (3X J0043), a source lying in the direction of an external arm of M 31. This short period indicates a neutron star (NS). Between 2000 and 2013, the position of 3X J0043 was imaged by public XMM-Newton observations 35 times. The analysis of these data allowed us to detect an orbital modulation at 1.27 d and study the long-term properties of the source. The emission of the pulsar was rather hard (most spectra are described by a power law with Γ < 1) and, assuming the distance to M 31, the 0.3-10 keV luminosity was variable, from ˜3 × 1037 to 2 × 1038 erg s-1. The analysis of optical data shows that, while 3X J0043 is likely associated to a globular cluster in M 31, a counterpart with V ≳ 22 outside the cluster cannot be excluded. Considering our findings, there are two main viable scenarios for 3X J0043: a peculiar low-mass X-ray binary, similar to 4U 1822-37 or 4U 1626-67, or an intermediate-mass X-ray binary resembling Her X-1. Regardless of the exact nature of the system, 3X J0043 is the first accreting NS in M 31 in which the spin period has been detected.

  15. X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF THE YOUNG PULSAR J1357-6429 AND ITS PULSAR WIND NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Chulhoon; Pavlov, George G.; Kargaltsev, Oleg; Shibanov, Yurii A. E-mail: pavlov@astro.psu.edu E-mail: shib@astro.ioffe.rssi.ru

    2012-01-10

    We observed the young pulsar J1357-6429 with the Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories. The pulsar spectrum fits well a combination of an absorbed power-law model ({Gamma} = 1.7 {+-} 0.6) and a blackbody model (kT = 140{sup +60}{sub -40} eV, R {approx} 2 km at the distance of 2.5 kpc). Strong pulsations with pulsed fraction of 42% {+-} 5%, apparently associated with the thermal component, were detected in 0.3-1.1 keV. Surprisingly, the pulsed fraction at higher energies, 1.1-10 keV, appears to be smaller, 23% {+-} 4%. The small emitting area of the thermal component either corresponds to a hotter fraction of the neutron star surface or indicates inapplicability of the simplistic blackbody description. The X-ray images also reveal a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) with complex, asymmetric morphology comprised of a brighter, compact PWN surrounded by the fainter, much more extended PWN whose spectral slopes are {Gamma} = 1.3 {+-} 0.3 and {Gamma} = 1.7 {+-} 0.2, respectively. The extended PWN with the observed flux of {approx}7.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -13} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2} is a factor of 10 more luminous then the compact PWN. The pulsar and its PWN are located close to the center of the extended TeV source HESS J1356-645, which strongly suggests that the very high energy emission is powered by electrons injected by the pulsar long ago. The X-ray to TeV flux ratio, {approx}0.1, is similar to those of other relic PWNe. We found no other viable candidates to power the TeV source. A region of diffuse radio emission, offset from the pulsar toward the center of the TeV source, could be synchrotron emission from the same relic PWN rather than from the supernova remnant.

  16. X-Ray Spectra of Young Pulsars and Their Wind Nebulae: Dependence on Spin-Down Energy Loss Rate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gotthelf, E. V.

    2003-01-01

    An observational model is presented for the spectra of young rotation-powered pulsars and their nebulae based on a study of nine bright Crab-like pulsar systems observed with the Chandra X-ray observatory. A significant correlation is discovered between the X-ray spectra of these pulsars and that of their associated pulsar wind nebulae, both of which are observed to be a function of the spin-down energy loss rate, E. The 2-10 keV spectra of these objects are well characterized by an absorbed power-law model with photon indices, Gamma, in the range of 0.6 < Gamma (sub PSR) < 2.1 and 1.3 < Gamma(sub PWN) < 2.3, for the pulsars and their nebulae, respectively. A linear regression fit relating these two sets of indexes yields Gamma(sub PWN) = 0.91 +/- 0.18 + (0.66 +/- 0.11) Gamma (sub PSR), with a correlation coefficient of r = 0.97. The spectra of these pulsars are found to steepen as Gamma = Gamma(sub max) + alpha E (exp -1/2), with Gamma(sub max) providing an observational limit on the spectral slopes of young rotation-powered pulsars. These results reveal basic properties of young pulsar systems, allow new observational constraints on models of pulsar wind emission, and provide a means of predicting the energetics of pulsars lacking detected pulsations.

  17. Flares from Galactic Centre pulsars: a new class of X-ray transients?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannios, Dimitrios; Lorimer, Duncan R.

    2016-06-01

    Despite intensive searches, the only pulsar within 0.1 pc of the central black hole in our Galaxy, Sgr A*, is a radio-loud magnetar. Since magnetars are rare among the Galactic neutron star population, and a large number of massive stars are already known in this region, the Galactic Centre (GC) should harbour a large number of neutron stars. Population syntheses suggest several thousand neutron stars may be present in the GC. Many of these could be highly energetic millisecond pulsars which are also proposed to be responsible for the GC gamma-ray excess. We propose that the presence of a neutron star within 0.03 pc from Sgr A* can be revealed by the shock interactions with the disc around the central black hole. As we demonstrate, these interactions result in observable transient non-thermal X-ray and gamma-ray emission over time-scales of months, provided that the spin-down luminosity of the neutron star is Lsd ˜ 1035 erg s-1. Current limits on the population of normal and millisecond pulsars in the GC region suggest that a number of such pulsars are present with such luminosities.

  18. DETECTION OF ACCRETION X-RAYS FROM QS Vir: CATACLYSMIC OR A LOT OF HOT AIR?

    SciTech Connect

    Matranga, Marco; Drake, Jeremy J.; Kashyap, Vinay; Steeghs, Danny

    2012-03-10

    An XMM-Newton observation of the nearby 'pre-cataclysmic' short-period (P{sub orb} = 3.62 hr) binary QS Vir (EC 13471-1258) revealed regular narrow X-ray eclipses when the white dwarf passed behind its M2-4 dwarf companion. The X-ray emission provides a clear signature of mass transfer and accretion onto the white dwarf. The low-resolution XMM-Newton EPIC spectra are consistent with a cooling flow model and indicate an accretion rate of M-dot = 1.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -13} M{sub sun} yr{sup -1}. At 48 pc distant, QS Vir is then the second nearest accreting cataclysmic variable known, with one of the lowest accretion rates found to date for a non-magnetic system. To feed this accretion through a wind would require a wind mass-loss rate of M-dot {approx}2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -12} M{sub sun} yr{sup -1} if the accretion efficiency is of the order of 10%. Consideration of likely mass-loss rates for M dwarfs suggests this is improbably high and pure wind accretion unlikely. A lack of accretion disk signatures also presents some difficulties for direct Roche lobe overflow. We speculate that QS Vir is on the verge of Roche lobe overflow, and that the observed mass transfer could be supplemented by upward chromospheric flows on the M dwarf, analogous to spicules and mottles on the Sun, that escape the Roche surface to be subsequently swept up into the white dwarf Roche lobe. If so, QS Vir would be in a rare evolutionary phase lasting only a million years. The X-ray luminosity of the M dwarf estimated during primary eclipse is L{sub X} = 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 28} erg s{sup -1}, which is consistent with that of rapidly rotating 'saturated' K and M dwarfs.

  19. Luminosity-dependent change of the emission diagram in the X-ray pulsar 4U 1626-67

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koliopanos, Filippos; Gilfanov, Marat

    2016-03-01

    We detect variability of the Fe K α emission line in the spectrum of X-ray pulsar 4U 1626-67, correlated with changes in its luminosity and in the shape of its pulse profile. Analysis of archival Chandra and RXTE observations revealed the presence of an intrinsically narrow Fe K α emission line in the spectrum obtained during the source's current high-luminosity period. However, the line was not present during an XMM-Newton observation seven years earlier, when the source was ˜three times fainter. The line is resolved by the high-energy grating of Chandra at the 98 per cent confidence level, and its small intrinsic width, σ =36.4_{-11.3}^{+15.3} eV, suggests reflection off an accretion disc at the radius R≈ (7.5_{-3.8}^{+8.2})× 10^8 cm assuming a Keplerian disk, viewed at an inclination angle of 20°. This value is consistent with the radius of the magnetosphere of the pulsar, suggesting that the line originates near the inner edge of a disc that is truncated by the magnetic field of the neutron star. Timing analysis of the XMM-Newton and RXTE data revealed a major change in the pulse profile of the source from a distinct double-peaked shape during the high-luminosity state when the line was present, to a much more complex multipeak structure during the low-luminosity state. We argue that the appearance of the line and the change in the shape of the pulse profile are correlated and are the result of a major change in the emission diagram of the accretion column, from a pencil-beam pattern at low luminosity, to a fan-beam pattern at high luminosity.

  20. GIANT X-RAY BUMP IN GRB 121027A: EVIDENCE FOR FALL-BACK DISK ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Xuefeng; Hou Shujin; Lei Weihua E-mail: leiwh@hust.edu.cn

    2013-04-20

    A particularly interesting discovery in observations of GRB 121027A is that of a giant X-ray bump detected by the Swift/X-Ray Telescope. The X-ray afterglow re-brightens sharply at {approx}10{sup 3} s after the trigger by more than two orders of magnitude in less than 200 s. This X-ray bump lasts for more than 10{sup 4} s. It is quite different from typical X-ray flares. In this Letter we propose a fall-back accretion model to interpret this X-ray bump within the context of the collapse of a massive star for a long-duration gamma-ray burst. The required fall-back radius of {approx}3.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} cm and mass of {approx}0.9-2.6 M{sub Sun} imply that a significant part of the helium envelope should survive through the mass loss during the last stage of the massive progenitor of GRB 121027A.

  1. On the Dramatic Spin-up/Spin-Down Torque Reversals in Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Robert W.; Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Finger, Mark H.; Koh, Danny T.; Prince, Thomas A.; Rubin, Bradley C.; Scott, D. Mathew; Vaughan, Brian A.; Wilson, Robert B.

    1997-01-01

    Dramatic torque reversals between spin-up and spin-down have been observed in half of the persistent X-ray pulsars monitored by the Burst and Transient Space Experiment (BATSE) all-sky monitor on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Theoretical models developed to explain early pulsar timing data can explain spin-down torques via a disk-magnetosphere interaction if the star nearly corotates with the inner accretion disk. To produce the observed BATSE torque reversals, however, these equilibrium models require the disk to alternate between two mass accretion rates, with M+/- producing accretion torques of similar magnitude but always of opposite sign. Moreover, in at least one pulsar (GX 1+4) undergoing secular spin-down, the neutron star spins down faster during brief (approximately 20 day) hard X-ray flares-this is opposite the correlation expected from standard theory, assuming that BATSE pulsed flux increases with mass accretion rate. The 10 day to 10 yr intervals between torque reversals in these systems are much longer than any characteristic magnetic or viscous timescale near the inner disk boundary and are more suggestive of a global disk phenomenon. We discuss possible explanations of the observed torque behavior. Despite the preferred sense of rotation defined by the binary orbit, the BATSE observations are surprisingly consistent with an earlier suggestion for GX 1+4: the disks in these systems somehow alternate between episodes of prograde and retrograde rotation. We are unaware of any mechanism that could produce a stable retrograde disk in a binary undergoing Roche lobe overflow, but such flip-flop behavior does occur in numerical simulations of wind-fed systems. One possibility is that the disks in some of these binaries are fed by an X-ray-excited wind.

  2. Diagnosing the accretion flow in ultraluminous X-ray sources using soft X-ray atomic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middleton, Matthew J.; Walton, Dominic J.; Fabian, Andrew; Roberts, Timothy P.; Heil, Lucy; Pinto, Ciro; Anderson, Gemma; Sutton, Andrew

    2015-12-01

    The lack of unambiguous detections of atomic features in the X-ray spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) has proven a hindrance in diagnosing the nature of the accretion flow. The possible association of spectral residuals at soft energies with atomic features seen in absorption and/or emission and potentially broadened by velocity dispersion could therefore hold the key to understanding much about these enigmatic sources. Here we show for the first time that such residuals are seen in several sources and appear extremely similar in shape, implying a common origin. Via simple arguments we assert that emission from extreme colliding winds, absorption in a shell of material associated with the ULX nebula and thermal plasma emission associated with star formation are all highly unlikely to provide an origin. Whilst CCD spectra lack the energy resolution necessary to directly determine the nature of the features (i.e. formed of a complex of narrow lines or intrinsically broad lines), studying the evolution of the residuals with underlying spectral shape allows for an important, indirect test for their origin. The ULX NGC 1313 X-1 provides the best opportunity to perform such a test due to the dynamic range in spectral hardness provided by archival observations. We show through highly simplified spectral modelling that the strength of the features (in either absorption or emission) appears to anticorrelate with spectral hardness, which would rule out an origin via reflection of a primary continuum and instead supports a picture of atomic transitions in a wind or nearby material associated with such an outflow.

  3. The Quiescent X-Ray Emission of Axps and Sgrs -- Powered by Accretion from a Fallback Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truemper, Joachim; Dennerl, Konrad; Kylafis, Nikos; Zezas, Andreas; Ertan, Ünal

    2015-01-01

    Disk accretion as a means to explain the persistent and transient X-ray emission of anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) has been first proposed by van Paradijs et al. 1995, by Chatterjee et al. 2000 and by Alpar 2001. This class of models was developed further in a series of papers of the Istanbul group (for a recent summary see Ertan et al. 2009), and can be applied to soft gamma ray repeaters (SGRs) as well, which have similar timing and spectral properties as AXPs. The required magnetic dipole fields to explain the temporal evolution of the neutron stars are in the range of 1012-1013 G. Highly super-Eddington bursts observed in SGRs, could be produced by the decay of super-strong magnetic fields (1014-1015 G) residing in localized multi-pole fields. The presence of magnetar multipole fields close to the surface of the star is compatible with the fallback disk model since the disk matter interacts with the magnetic dipole field.

  4. Hot accretion flow with radiative cooling: state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Mao-Chun; Xie, Fu-Guo; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Gan, Zhaoming

    2016-06-01

    We investigate state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries through different parameters by using two-dimensional axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulation method. For radiative cooling in hot accretion flow, we take into account the bremsstrahlung, synchrotron and synchrotron self-Comptonization self-consistently in the dynamics. Our main result is that the state transitions occur when the accretion rate reaches a critical value dot{M} ˜ 3α dot{M}_Edd, above which cold and dense clumpy/filamentary structures are formed, embedded within the hot gas. We argued this mode likely corresponds to the proposed two-phase accretion model, which may be responsible for the intermediate state of black hole X-ray binaries. When the accretion rate becomes sufficiently high, the clumpy/filamentary structures gradually merge and settle down on to the mid-plane. Eventually the accretion geometry transforms to a disc-corona configuration. In summary, our results are consistent with the truncated accretion scenario for the state transition.

  5. X-ray and optical observations of accreting neutron stars and black holes and the construction and testing of the stellar x-ray polarimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomsick, John Allen

    1999-10-01

    In the first part of this thesis, I present results from observations of accreting neutron stars and black hole candidates (BHCs). Through measurements of the physical parameters of neutron stars, including the mass, spin period and magnetic field strength, accreting neutron stars provide an opportunity to learn about matter at extremely high densities and in strong magnetic fields. Here, I study the neutron star X-ray binary XTE J2123-058. X-ray observations are used to estimate the neutron star spin period and magnetic field strength, and the measured spin period of 3.9 ms has implications for neutron star evolution. Results of optical observations provide some of the information necessary to eventually determine the neutron star mass. For BHC X-ray binaries, demonstrating the existence of the event horizon and measuring physical parameters of black holes are of great interest. In order to make progress toward these goals, it is necessary to understand the accretion processes and emission mechanisms that operate in these systems. For some accreting compact objects, significant changes in the X- ray emission properties are observed over time. Here, I study the changes in X-ray emission properties that occurred over three months for an accreting BHC, 4U 1630-47. I also include a study of sharp drops in the 4U 1630-47 X-ray flux (i.e. X-ray dips). X-ray dips provide an opportunity to constrain the sizes of the X-ray emission regions. The 4U 1630-47 X-ray dips provide evidence that one of the two X-ray emission components comes from within ten Schwarzschild radii of the compact object. In the second part of this thesis, I describe work I have done on the Stellar X-Ray Polarimeter (SXRP). The SXRP will be more than an order of magnitude more sensitive than any previous X-ray polarimeter in the 2-15 keV energy band and is expected to increase the number of sources with X-ray polarization detections from one, the Crab Nebula, to between 20 and 30. X-ray binaries will be

  6. DISCOVERY OF X-RAY PULSATION FROM THE GEMINGA-LIKE PULSAR PSR J2021+4026

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, L. C. C.; Hui, C. Y.; Seo, K. A.; Hu, C. P.; Chou, Y.; Wu, J. H. K.; Huang, R. H. H.; Trepl, L.; Takata, J.; Wang, Y.; Cheng, K. S.

    2013-06-10

    We report the discovery of an X-ray periodicity of {approx}265.3 ms from a deep XMM-Newton observation of the radio-quiet {gamma}-ray pulsar, PSR J2021+4026, located at the edge of the supernova remnant G78.2+2.1 ({gamma}-Cygni). The detected frequency is consistent with the {gamma}-ray pulsation determined by the observation of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope at the same epoch. The X-ray pulse profile resembles the modulation of a hot spot on the surface of the neutron star. The phase-averaged spectral analysis also suggests that the majority of the observed X-rays have thermal origins. This is the third member in the class of radio-quiet pulsars with significant pulsations detected from both X-ray and {gamma}-ray regimes.

  7. Spectroscopy of Low Mass X-Ray Binaries: New Insights into Accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DilVrtilek, Saeqa; Mushotsky, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    This project is to observe two low mass X-ray binaries, chosen for their X-ray brightness, low column density, and diversity of accretion behavior. The high spectral resolution of the RGS, the broad energy range and tremendous collecting power of EPIC, and simultaneous optical monitoring with the OM are particularly well-suited to these studies. The second of two objects was observed on September of 2002. Data analysis for both observation has been completed: an investigation of the physical conditions of the emitting gas using emission and recombination line diagnostics to determine temperatures, densities, elemental abundances, and ionization structure. A study of behavior of the emission features as a function of binary orbit shows modulated behavior in one of the systems. A paper on "High-resolution observations of low-mass X-ray binaries" is near completion. The paper includes observations with the Chandra HETG that are not yet completed.

  8. Interpreting the radio/X-ray correlation of black hole X-ray binaries based on the accretion-jet model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Fu-Guo; Yuan, Feng

    2016-03-01

    Two types of correlations between the radio and X-ray luminosities (LR and LX) have been found in black hole X-ray binaries. For some sources, they follow the `original' type of correlation which is described by a single power law. Later it was found that some other sources follow a different correlation consisting of three power-law branches, with each branch having different power-law indexes. In this work, we explain these two types of correlation under the coupled accretion-jet model. We attribute the difference between these two types of sources to the different value of viscosity parameter α. One possible reason for different α is the different configuration of magnetic field in the accretion material coming from the companion stars. For the `single power-law' sources, their α is high; so their accretion is always in the mode of advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) for the whole range of X-ray luminosity. For those `hybrid power-law' sources, the value of α is small so their accretion mode changes from an ADAF to a luminous hot accretion flow, and eventually to two-phase accretion as the accretion rate increases. Because the dependence of radiative efficiency on the mass accretion rate is different for these three accretion modes, different power-law indexes in the LR-LX correlation are expected. Constraints on the ratio of the mass-loss rate into the jet and the mass accretion rate in the accretion flow are obtained, which can be tested in future by radiative magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulations of jet formation.

  9. Discovery of a cyclotron absorption line in the spectrum of the binary X-ray pulsar 4U 1538 - 52 observed by Ginga

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, George W.; Woo, Jonathan W.; Nagase, Fumiaki; Makishima, Kazuo; Sakao, Taro

    1990-01-01

    A cyclotron absorption line near 20 keV has been found in the spectrum of the massive eclipsing binary X-ray pulsar 4U 1538 - 52 in observations with the Ginga observatory. The line is detected throughout the 529 s pulse cycle with a variable equivalent width that has its maximum value during the smaller peak of the two-peak pulse profile. It is found that the profile of the pulse and the phase-dependence of the cyclotron line can be explained qualitatively by a pulsar model based on recent theoretical results on the properties of pencil beams emitted by accretion-heated slabs of magnetized plasma at the magnetic poles of a neutron star. The indicated field at the surface of the neutron star is 1.7 (1 + z) x 10 to the 12th G, where z is the gravitational redshift.

  10. Anisotropy of X-Ray Bursts from Neutron Stars with Concave Accretion Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, C.-C.; Keek, L.

    2016-03-01

    Emission from neutron stars and accretion disks in low-mass X-ray binaries is anisotropic. The non-spherical shape of the disk as well as blocking of the neutron star by the disk make the observed flux dependent on the inclination angle of the disk with respect to the line of sight. This is of importance for the interpretation of thermonuclear X-ray bursts from neutron stars. Because part of the X-ray burst is reflected off the disk, the observed burst flux depends on the anisotropies for both direct emission from the neutron star and reflection off the disk. This influences measurements of source distance, mass accretion rate, and constraints on the neutron star’s equation of state. Previous predictions of the anisotropy factors assumed a geometrically flat disk. Detailed observations of two so-called superbursts allowed for the direct and the reflected burst fluxes to each be measured separately. The reflection fraction was much higher than what the anisotropies of a flat disk can account for. We create numerical models to calculate the anisotropy factors for different disk shapes, including concave disks. We present the anisotropy factors of the direct and reflected burst fluxes separately, as well as the anisotropy of the persistent flux. Reflection fractions substantially larger than unity are produced in the case where the inner accretion disk increases steeply in height, such that part of the star is blocked from view. Such a geometry could possibly be induced by the X-ray burst if X-ray heating causes the inner disk to puff up.