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Sample records for accreting x-ray pulsars

  1. Accretion onto Fast X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rappaport, S. A.; Fregeau, J. M.; Spruit, H.

    2004-01-01

    The recent emergence of a new class of accretion-powered, transient, millisecond X-ray pulsars presents some difficulties for the conventional picture of accretion onto rapidly rotating magnetized neutron stars and their spin behavior during outbursts. In particular, it is not clear that the standard paradigm can accommodate the wide range in M(i.e., approx. greater than a factor of 50) over which these systems manage to accrete and the high rate of spindown that the neutron stars exhibit in at least a number of cases. When the accretion rate drops sufficiently, the X-ray pulsar is said to become a "fast rotator," and in the conventional view, this is accompanied by a transition from accretion to "propellering," in which accretion ceases and the matter is ejected from the system. On the theoretical side, we note that this scenario for the onset of propellering cannot be entirely correct because it is not energetically self-consistent. We show that, instead, the transition is likely to take place through disks that combine accretion with spindown and terminate at the corotation radius. We demonstrate the existence of such disk solutions by modifying the Shakura-Sunyaev equations with a simple magnetic torque prescription. The solutions are completely analytic and have the same dependence on M and a (the viscosity parameter) as the original Shakura-Sunyaev solutions, but the radial profiles can be considerably modified, depending on the degree of fastness. We apply these results to compute the torques expected during the outbursts of the transient millisecond pulsars and find that we can explain the large spin-down rates that are observed for quite plausible surface magnetic fields of approx. 10(exp 90 G.

  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. Dips in the pulse profiles of accretion powered X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devasia, Jincy; Paul, Biswajit; James, Marykutty; Indulekha, Kavila

    We will report detection of sharp dips in the pulse profiles of several persistent and transient accretion powered X-ray pulsars using RXTE observations.The pulse profiles of accretion pow-ered pulsars carry a lot of information regarding the radiative processes near the surface of the star, magnetic fields that channel the accretion flow etc. The dips in pulse profiles can be due to the interaction of accretion column with the emitting radiation as it passes through the line of sight. We have also investigated the energy dependence and phase width of these dips to get a better understanding of the nature of this feature.

  6. Search for pulsations at high radio frequencies from accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars in quiescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacolina, M. N.; Burgay, M.; Burderi, L.; Possenti, A.; di Salvo, T.

    2010-09-01

    Context. It is commonly believed that millisecond radio pulsars have been spun up by transfer of matter and angular momentum from a low-mass companion during an X-ray active mass transfer phase. A subclass of low-mass X-ray binaries is that of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, transient systems that show periods of X-ray quiescence during which radio emission could switch on. Aims: The aim of this work is to search for millisecond pulsations from three accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, XTE J1751-305, XTE J1814-338, and SAX J1808.4-3658, observed during their quiescent X-ray phases at high radio frequencies (5 div 8 GHz) in order to overcome the problem of the free-free absorption due to the matter engulfing the system. A positive result would provide definite proof of the recycling model, providing the direct link between the progenitors and their evolutionary products. Methods: The data analysis methodology has been chosen on the basis of the precise knowledge of orbital and spin parameters from X-ray observations. It is subdivided in three steps: we corrected the time series for the effects of (I) the dispersion due to interstellar medium and (II) of the orbital motions, and finally (III) folded modulo the spin period to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Results: No radio signal with spin and orbital characteristics matching those of the X-ray sources has been found in our search, down to very low flux density upper limits. Conclusions: We analysed several mechanisms that could have prevented the detection of the signal, concluding that the low luminosity of the sources and the geometric factor are the most likely reasons for this negative result.

  7. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakura, N.; Postnov, K.; Kochetkova, A.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2012-02-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion on to slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model, the accreting matter subsonically settles down on to the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere. The settling regime of accretion can be realized for moderate accretion rates ? g s-1. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of the spin-up/spin-down rates (the angular rotation frequency derivative ?, and ? near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods, it is possible to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate the magnetic field of the neutron star. We illustrate the model by determining these parameters for three wind-fed X-ray pulsars GX 301-2, Vela X-1 and GX 1+4. The model explains both the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and the irregular short-term frequency fluctuations, which can correlate or anticorrelate with the X-ray flux fluctuations in different systems. It is shown that in real pulsars an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law with ω˜ 1/R2, due to strongly anisotropic radial turbulent motions sustained by large-scale convection, is preferred.

  8. 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

  9. Radio upper limits for the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller-Jones, J. C. A.; Russell, D. M.; Migliari, S.

    2009-10-01

    We report on recent radio observations of the newly-detected accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar, IGR J17511-3057 (ATels #2196, #2197, #2198, #2199, #2215, #2216, #2220, #2221). We used the Very Large Array (VLA) to observe the source under observing program AM971. The array was in its relatively compact 'C' and 'DNC' configurations, and the observations were made at 8.46 GHz. In no case was the source significantly detected.

  10. Accretion X-ray ms pulsar as a probe of NS EOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shu; Ji, Long

    2016-07-01

    Equation state of NS is one of the core sciences for future mission. Regarding to the possible probes, apart from the bursting ms pulsars for which the relation between the spinning light curve and the mass/radius of NS is well established theoretically, the accretion X-ray ms pulsars are the potential alternatives. However, the emission mechanism of the latter is more complicated since one has to account for the corona on top of the NS surface which provides Comptonizations that mix/distort the black body underneath. Thus disentangling the model components between the black body and the Comptonization becomes a big challenge in case of relating the spinning light curve to the mass/radius of NS. This problem is hard to be handled even with a powerful telescope owning a very large detection area. X-ray polarimetry shows us a new insight on model discrimination, and we take the accretion X-ray ms pulsar XTEJ1751-305 as an example to show how this issue could be addressed with a polarization telescope.

  11. The Physics of X-ray Emission from Accreting Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poutanen, Juri

    2004-07-01

    By analyzing the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data on SAX J1808.4-3658, we show that the X-ray emission in accretion powered millisecond pulsars can be produced by Comptonization in a hot slab (radiative shock) of Thomson optical depth τes ~ 1 at the neutron star surface. The escaping radiation consists of two components: a black body and a hard Comptonized tail. These components have very different angular distribution: the black body peaks along the slab normal (a ``pencil-like'' emission pattern), while the tail has a broader angular distribution (a ``fan''-like pattern). This results in very different variability properties. We construct a detailed model of the X-ray production accounting for the Doppler boosting, relativistic aberration and gravitational light bending. We are able to reproduce the pulse profiles at different energies, corresponding phase lags, as well as the time-averaged spectrum. We obtain constraints on the neutron star radius: R ~ 11 km if its mass M = 1.6Msolar, and R ~ 8.5 km if M = 1.4Msolar. We present simple analytical formulae for computing the light curves and oscillation amplitudes expected from hot spots in X-ray bursters and accretion powered millisecond pulsars. We also propose an analytical expression that can be used to determine the size of the black body emission region from the observed properties.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. X-ray observations of the accreting Be/X-ray binary pulsar A 0535+26 in outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caballero, I.

    2009-04-01

    the cyclotron line energy with the X-ray luminosity are thought to be related to a change in the height of the accretion column as the mass accretion rate varies. A detailed timing analysis has been performed, and we find for the first time the onset of a spin-up, at a phase close to the periastron passage, during a normal outburst, providing evidence for an accretion disk around the neutron star. Energy-dependent pulse profiles of the source have been studied and compared to historical observations. During the rising part of the outburst a series of flares were observed. RXTE observed one of these flares, and we found during the flare the energy of the fundamental cyclotron line shifted to a significantly higher position compared to the rest of the outburst. Also, the energy-dependent pulse profiles during the flare were found to vary significantly from the rest of the outburst. These differences have been interpreted in terms of a theoretical model, based on the presence of magnetospheric instabilities at the onset of the accretion. We applied a decomposition method to A 0535+26 energy-dependent pulse profiles. Basic assumptions of the method are that the asymmetry observed in the pulse profiles is caused by non-antipodal magnetic poles, and that the emission regions have axisymmetric beam patterns. Using pulse profiles obtained from RXTE observations, the contribution of the two emission regions has been disentangled. Constraints on the geometry of the pulsar and a possible solution of the beam pattern are given. The reconstructed beam pattern is interpreted in terms of a geometrical model that includes relativistic light deflection.

  15. X-ray Pulsars Across the Parameter Space of Luminosity, Accretion Mode, and Spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laycock, Silas; Yang, Jun; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Coe, Malcolm; Cappallo, Rigel; Zezas, Andreas; Ho, Wynn C. G.; Hong, JaeSub; Fingerman, Samuel; Drake, Jeremy J.; Kretschmar, Peter; Antoniou, Vallia

    2017-08-01

    We present our multi-satellite library of X-ray Pulsar observations to the community, and highlight recent science results. Available at www.xraypulsars.space the library provides a range of high-level data products, including: activity histories, pulse-profiles, phased event files, and a unique pulse-profile modeling interface. The initial release (v1.0) contains some 15 years of RXTE-PCA, Chandra ACIS-I, and XMM-PN observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud, creating a valuable record of pulsar behavior. Our library is intended to enable new progress on fundamental NS parameters and accretion physics. The major motivations are (1) Assemble a large homogeneous sample to enable population statistics. This has so far been used to map the propeller transition, and explore the role of retrograde and pro-grade accretion disks. (2) Obtain pulse-profiles for the same pulsars on many different occasions, at different luminosities and states in order to break model degeneracies. This effort has led to preliminary measurements of the offsets between magnetic and spin axes. With the addition of other satellites, and Galactic pulsars, the library will cover the entire available range of luminosity, variability timescales and accretion regimes.

  16. Understanding The Time Evolution Of Luminosity And Associated Accretion Structures In X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laycock, Silas

    We propose to analyze the large archive of RXTE, XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of X-ray Binary Pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds and Milky Way. There are some 2000 individual RXTE PCA pointings on the SMC spanning 15 years, and a smaller number on the LMC. Each PCA observation covers a large fraction of the whole SMC (or LMC) population, and we are able to deconvolve the sometimes simultaneous signals to create an unrivaled record of pulsar temporal behavior. More than 200 XMM- Newton and Chandra observations of the SMC/LMC and individual Galactic pulsars provide information at lower luminosity levels. Together, these datasets cover the entire range of variability timescales and accretion regimes in High Mass X-ray Binaries. We will produce a comprehensive library of energy- resolved pulse profiles covering the entire luminosity and spin-period parameter space, and make this available to the community. We will then model these pulse profiles using state of the art techniques to parameterize the morphology, and publish the resulting data-cube. This result will include for example 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. The unique dataset will also enable 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. In addition the long-duration of the dataset and "whole-galaxy" nature of the SMC sample make possible a new statistical approach to uncover the duty-cycle distribution and hence population demographics of transient High Mass X-ray Binary (HMXB) populations.

  17. A New Two-fluid Radiation-hydrodynamical Model for X-Ray Pulsar Accretion Columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Brent F.; Wolfram, Kenneth D.; Becker, Peter A.

    2017-02-01

    Previous research centered on the hydrodynamics in X-ray pulsar accretion columns has largely focused on the single-fluid model, in which the super-Eddington luminosity inside the column decelerates the flow to rest at the stellar surface. This type of model has been relatively successful in describing the overall properties of the accretion flows, but it does not account for the possible dynamical effect of the gas pressure. On the other hand, the most successful radiative transport models for pulsars generally do not include a rigorous treatment of the dynamical structure of the column, instead assuming an ad hoc velocity profile. In this paper, we explore the structure of X-ray pulsar accretion columns using a new, self-consistent, “two-fluid” model, which incorporates the dynamical effect of the gas and radiation pressures, the dipole variation of the magnetic field, the thermodynamic effect of all of the relevant coupling and cooling processes, and a rigorous set of physical boundary conditions. The model has six free parameters, which we vary in order to approximately fit the phase-averaged spectra in Her X-1, Cen X-3, and LMC X-4. In this paper, we focus on the dynamical results, which shed new light on the surface magnetic field strength, the inclination of the magnetic field axis relative to the rotation axis, the relative importance of gas and radiation pressures, and the radial variation of the ion, electron, and inverse-Compton temperatures. The results obtained for the X-ray spectra are presented in a separate paper.

  18. 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.

  19. A New Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar: IGR J17062-6143

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strohmayer, Tod E.; Keek, Laurens

    2017-08-01

    We present the discovery that the bursting, neutron star binary IGR J17062-6143 is a 164 Hz accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP). We detected the pulsations in the only observation obtained of the source with the Rossi X-ray TIming Explorer (RXTE). We find evidence for variations in the pulsation frequency consistent with binary motion of the neutron star. The observation length (~1200 s) was too short to measure the orbital period, but coherent phase timing excludes periods shorter than about 17 minutes. The mean source pulsed amplitude is 9.4 +- 1.1 % (half amplitude). For the range of acceptable circular orbits we find that the inferred binary mass function substantially overlaps the observed range for the AMXP populatoin as a whole. IGR J17062-6143 is the slowest spinning AMXP presently known.

  20. Dynamical and Radiative Properties of X-Ray Pulsar Accretion Columns: Phase-averaged Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Brent F.; Wolfram, Kenneth D.; Becker, Peter A.

    2017-02-01

    The availability of the unprecedented spectral resolution provided by modern X-ray observatories is opening up new areas for study involving the coupled formation of the continuum emission and the cyclotron absorption features in accretion-powered X-ray pulsar spectra. Previous research focusing on the dynamics and the associated formation of the observed spectra has largely been confined to the single-fluid model, in which the super-Eddington luminosity inside the column decelerates the flow to rest at the stellar surface, while the dynamical effect of gas pressure is ignored. In a companion paper, we have presented a detailed analysis of the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic structure of the accretion column obtained using a new self-consistent model that includes the effects of both gas and radiation pressures. In this paper, we explore the formation of the associated X-ray spectra using a rigorous photon transport equation that is consistent with the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic structure of the column. We use the new model to obtain phase-averaged spectra and partially occulted spectra for Her X-1, Cen X-3, and LMC X-4. We also use the new model to constrain the emission geometry, and compare the resulting parameters with those obtained using previously published models. Our model sheds new light on the structure of the column, the relationship between the ionized gas and the photons, the competition between diffusive and advective transport, and the magnitude of the energy-averaged cyclotron scattering cross-section.

  1. Discovery of a new accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar in the globular cluster NGC 2808

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanna, A.; Papitto, A.; Burderi, L.; Bozzo, E.; Riggio, A.; Di Salvo, T.; Ferrigno, C.; Rea, N.; Iaria, R.

    2017-01-01

    We report on the discovery of coherent pulsations at a period of 2.9 ms from the X-ray transient MAXI J0911-655 in the globular cluster NGC 2808. We observed X-ray pulsations at a frequency of 339.97 Hz in three different observations of the source performed with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR during the source outburst. This newly discovered accreting millisecond pulsar is part of an ultra-compact binary system characterised by an orbital period of 44.3 min and a projected semi-major axis of 17.6 lt-ms. Based on the mass function, we estimate a minimum companion mass of 0.024 M⊙, which assumes a neutron star mass of 1.4 M⊙ and a maximum inclination angle of 75° (derived from the lack of eclipses and dips in the light-curve of the source). We find that the Roche-lobe of the companion star could either be filled by a hot (5 × 106 K) pure helium white dwarf with a 0.028 M⊙ mass (implying i ≃ 58°) or an old (>5 Gyr) brown dwarf with metallicity abundances between solar/sub-solar and mass ranging in the interval 0.065 to 0.085 (16 < i < 21). During the outburst, the broad-band energy spectra are well described by a superposition of a weak black-body component (kT 0.5 keV) and a hard cut-off power-law with photon index Γ 1.7 and cut-off at a temperature kTe 130 keV. Up until the latest Swift-XRT observation performed on 19th July, 2016, the source had been observed in outburst for almost 150 days, which makes MAXI J0911-655 the second accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar with outburst duration longer than 100 days.

  2. IGR J17062–6143 Is an Accreting Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strohmayer, Tod; Keek, Laurens

    2017-02-01

    We present the discovery of 163.65 Hz X-ray pulsations from IGR J17062‑6143 in the only observation obtained from the source with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. This detection makes IGR J17062‑6143 the lowest-frequency accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar presently known. The pulsations are detected in the 2–12 keV band with an overall significance of 4.3σ and an observed pulsed amplitude of 5.54% ± 0.67% (in this band). Both dynamic power spectral and coherent phase timing analysis indicate that the pulsation frequency is decreasing during the ≈1.2 ks observation in a manner consistent with orbital motion of the neutron star. Because the observation interval is short, we cannot precisely measure the orbital period; however, periods shorter than 17 minutes are excluded at 90% confidence. For the range of acceptable circular orbits the inferred binary mass function substantially overlaps the observed range for the AMXP population as a whole.

  3. On the morphology of outbursts of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar Aquila X-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Güngör, C.; Ekşi, K. Y.; Göğüş, E.

    2017-10-01

    We present the X-ray light curves of the last two outbursts - 2014 & 2016 - of the well known accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) Aquila X-1 using the monitor of all sky X-ray image (MAXI) observations in the 2-20 keV band. After calibrating the MAXI count rates to the all-sky monitor (ASM) level, we report that the 2016 outburst is the most energetic event of Aql X-1, ever observed from this source. We show that 2016 outburst is a member of the long-high class according to the classification presented by Güngör et al. with ˜ 68 cnt/s maximum flux and ˜ 60 days duration time and the previous outburst, 2014, belongs to the short-low class with ˜ 25 cnt/s maximum flux and ˜ 30 days duration time. In order to understand differences between outbursts, we investigate the possible dependence of the peak intensity to the quiescent duration leading to the outburst and find that the outbursts following longer quiescent episodes tend to reach higher peak energetic.

  4. IGR J170626143 is an Accreting Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strohmayer, Tod E.; Keek, Laurens

    2017-01-01

    We present the discovery of 163.65 Hz X-ray pulsations from IGR J17062-6143 in the only observation obtained from the source with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. This detection makes IGR J17062-6143 the lowest frequency accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar presently known. The pulsations are detected in the 2-12 keV band with an overall significance of 4.3sigma and an observed pulsed amplitude of 5.54% +/-0.67% (in this band). Both dynamic power spectral and coherent phase timing analysis indicate that the pulsation frequency is decreasing during the approx. =1.2 ks observation in a manner consistent with orbital motion of the neutron star. Because the observation interval is short, we cannot precisely measure the orbital period; however, periods shorter than 17 minutes are excluded at 90% confidence. For the range of acceptable circular orbits the inferred binary mass function substantially overlaps the observed range for the AMXP population as a whole.

  5. IGR J170626143 is an Accreting Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strohmayer, Tod E.; Keek, Laurens

    2017-01-01

    We present the discovery of 163.65 Hz X-ray pulsations from IGR J17062-6143 in the only observation obtained from the source with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. This detection makes IGR J17062-6143 the lowest frequency accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar presently known. The pulsations are detected in the 2-12 keV band with an overall significance of 4.3sigma and an observed pulsed amplitude of 5.54% +/-0.67% (in this band). Both dynamic power spectral and coherent phase timing analysis indicate that the pulsation frequency is decreasing during the approx. =1.2 ks observation in a manner consistent with orbital motion of the neutron star. Because the observation interval is short, we cannot precisely measure the orbital period; however, periods shorter than 17 minutes are excluded at 90% confidence. For the range of acceptable circular orbits the inferred binary mass function substantially overlaps the observed range for the AMXP population as a whole.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-10-01

    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.

  8. A Suzaku View of Accretion-powered X-Ray Pulsar GX 1+4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Yuki; Kitamoto, Shunji; Suzuki, Hiroo; Hoshino, Akio; Naik, Sachindra; Jaisawal, Gaurava K.

    2017-03-01

    We present results obtained from a Suzaku observation of the accretion-powered X-ray pulsar GX 1+4. A broadband continuum spectrum of the pulsar was found to be better described by a simple model consisting of a blackbody component and an exponential cutoff power law than the previously used compTT continuum model. Though the pulse profile had a sharp dip in soft X-rays (<10 keV), phase-resolved spectroscopy confirmed that the dimming was not due to an increase in photoelectric absorption. Phase-sliced spectral analysis showed the presence of a significant spectral modulation beyond 10 keV except for the dip phase. A search for the presence of a cyclotron resonance scattering feature in the Suzaku spectra yielded a negative result. Iron K-shell (K{}α and {{{K}}}β ) emission lines from nearly neutral iron ions (

  9. The Stochastic X-Ray Variability of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar MAXI J0911-655

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bult, Peter

    2017-01-01

    In this work, I report on the stochastic X-ray variability of the 340 hertz accreting millisecond pulsar MAXI J0911-655. Analyzing pointed observations of the XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observatories, I find that the source shows broad band-limited stochastic variability in the 0.01-10 hertz range with a total fractional variability of approximately 24 percent root mean square timing residuals in the 0.4 to 3 kiloelectronvolt energy band that increases to approximately 40 percent root mean square timing residuals in the 3 to 10 kiloelectronvolt band. Additionally, a pair of harmonically related quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are discovered. The fundamental frequency of this harmonic pair is observed between frequencies of 62 and 146 megahertz. Like the band-limited noise, the amplitudes of the QPOs show a steep increase as a function of energy; this suggests that they share a similar origin, likely the inner accretion flow. Based on their energy dependence and frequency relation with respect to the noise terms, the QPOs are identified as low-frequency oscillations and discussed in terms of the Lense-Thirring precession model.

  10. The Stochastic X-Ray Variability of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar MAXI J0911–655

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bult, Peter

    2017-03-01

    In this work, I report on the stochastic X-ray variability of the 340 Hz accreting millisecond pulsar MAXI J0911–655. Analyzing pointed observations of the XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observatories, I find that the source shows broad band-limited stochastic variability in the 0.01{--}10 {Hz} range with a total fractional variability of ∼ 24 % rms in the 0.4{--}3 {keV} energy band that increases to ∼ 40 % rms in the 3–10 keV band. Additionally, a pair of harmonically related quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are discovered. The fundamental frequency of this harmonic pair is observed between frequencies of 62 and 146 mHz. Like the band-limited noise, the amplitudes of the QPOs show a steep increase as a function of energy; this suggests that they share a similar origin, likely the inner accretion flow. Based on their energy dependence and frequency relation with respect to the noise terms, the QPOs are identified as low-frequency oscillations and discussed in terms of the Lense–Thirring precession model.

  11. The Stochastic X-Ray Variability of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar MAXI J0911-655

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bult, Peter

    2017-01-01

    In this work, I report on the stochastic X-ray variability of the 340 hertz accreting millisecond pulsar MAXI J0911-655. Analyzing pointed observations of the XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observatories, I find that the source shows broad band-limited stochastic variability in the 0.01-10 hertz range with a total fractional variability of approximately 24 percent root mean square timing residuals in the 0.4 to 3 kiloelectronvolt energy band that increases to approximately 40 percent root mean square timing residuals in the 3 to 10 kiloelectronvolt band. Additionally, a pair of harmonically related quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are discovered. The fundamental frequency of this harmonic pair is observed between frequencies of 62 and 146 megahertz. Like the band-limited noise, the amplitudes of the QPOs show a steep increase as a function of energy; this suggests that they share a similar origin, likely the inner accretion flow. Based on their energy dependence and frequency relation with respect to the noise terms, the QPOs are identified as low-frequency oscillations and discussed in terms of the Lense-Thirring precession model.

  12. The optical counterparts of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars during quiescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Avanzo, P.; Campana, S.; Casares, J.; Covino, S.; Israel, G. L.; Stella, L.

    2009-12-01

    Context: Eight accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (AMXPs) are known to date. Although these systems are well studied at high energies, very little information is available for their optical/NIR counterparts. Up to now, only two of them, SAX J1808.4-3658 and IGR J00291+5934, have a secure multi-band detection of their optical counterparts in quiescence. Aims: All these systems are transient low-mass X-ray binaries. Optical and NIR observations carried out during quiescence give a unique opportunity to constrain the nature of the donor star and to investigate the origin of the observed quiescent luminosity at long wavelengths. In addition, optical observations can be fundamental as they ultimately allow us to estimate the compact object mass through mass function measurements. Methods: Using data obtained with the ESO-Very Large Telescope, we performed a deep optical and NIR photometric study of the fields of XTE J1814-338 and of the ultracompact systems XTE J0929-314 and XTE J1807-294 during quiescence in order to look for the presence of a variable counterpart. If suitable candidates were found, we also carried out optical spectroscopy. Results: We present here the first multi-band (VR) detection of the optical counterpart of XTE J1814-338 in quiescence together with its optical spectrum. The optical light curve shows variability in both bands consistent with a sinusoidal modulation at the known 4.3 h orbital period and presents a puzzling decrease of the V-band flux around superior conjunction that may be interpreted as a partial eclipse. The marginal detection of the very faint counterpart of XTE J0929-314 and deep upper limits for the optical/NIR counterpart of XTE J1807-294 are also reported. We also briefly discuss the results reported in the literature for the optical/NIR counterpart of XTE J1751-305. Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with AMXPs being systems containing an old, weakly magnetized neutron star, reactivated as a millisecond radio pulsar

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. An accreting pulsar with extreme properties drives an ultraluminous x-ray source in NGC 5907

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Israel, Gian Luca; Belfiore, Andrea; Stella, Luigi; Esposito, Paolo; Casella, Piergiorgio; De Luca, Andrea; Marelli, Martino; Papitto, Alessandro; Perri, Matteo; Puccetti, Simonetta; Castillo, Guillermo A. Rodríguez; Salvetti, David; Tiengo, Andrea; Zampieri, Luca; D'Agostino, Daniele; Greiner, Jochen; Haberl, Frank; Novara, Giovanni; Salvaterra, Ruben; Turolla, Roberto; Watson, Mike; Wilms, Joern; Wolter, Anna

    2017-02-01

    Ultraluminous x-ray sources (ULXs) in nearby galaxies shine brighter than any x-ray source in our Galaxy. ULXs are usually modeled as stellar-mass black holes (BHs) accreting at very high rates or intermediate-mass BHs. We present observations showing that NGC 5907 ULX is instead an x-ray accreting neutron star (NS) with a spin period evolving from 1.43 seconds in 2003 to 1.13 seconds in 2014. It has an isotropic peak luminosity of ~1000 times the Eddington limit for a NS at 17.1 megaparsec. Standard accretion models fail to explain its luminosity, even assuming beamed emission, but a strong multipolar magnetic field can describe its properties. These findings suggest that other extreme ULXs (x-ray luminosity ≥ 1041 erg second-1) might harbor NSs.

  16. An accreting pulsar with extreme properties drives an ultraluminous x-ray source in NGC 5907.

    PubMed

    Israel, Gian Luca; Belfiore, Andrea; Stella, Luigi; Esposito, Paolo; Casella, Piergiorgio; De Luca, Andrea; Marelli, Martino; Papitto, Alessandro; Perri, Matteo; Puccetti, Simonetta; Castillo, Guillermo A Rodríguez; Salvetti, David; Tiengo, Andrea; Zampieri, Luca; D'Agostino, Daniele; Greiner, Jochen; Haberl, Frank; Novara, Giovanni; Salvaterra, Ruben; Turolla, Roberto; Watson, Mike; Wilms, Joern; Wolter, Anna

    2017-02-24

    Ultraluminous x-ray sources (ULXs) in nearby galaxies shine brighter than any x-ray source in our Galaxy. ULXs are usually modeled as stellar-mass black holes (BHs) accreting at very high rates or intermediate-mass BHs. We present observations showing that NGC 5907 ULX is instead an x-ray accreting neutron star (NS) with a spin period evolving from 1.43 seconds in 2003 to 1.13 seconds in 2014. It has an isotropic peak luminosity of [Formula: see text]1000 times the Eddington limit for a NS at 17.1 megaparsec. Standard accretion models fail to explain its luminosity, even assuming beamed emission, but a strong multipolar magnetic field can describe its properties. These findings suggest that other extreme ULXs (x-ray luminosity [Formula: see text] 10(41) erg second[Formula: see text]) might harbor NSs. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. General Relativistic Radiation MHD Simulations of Supercritical Accretion onto a Magnetized Neutron Star: Modeling of Ultraluminous X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Hiroyuki R.; Ohsuga, Ken

    2017-08-01

    By performing 2.5-dimensional general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we demonstrate supercritical accretion onto a non-rotating, magnetized neutron star, where the magnetic field strength of dipole fields is 1010 G on the star surface. We found the supercritical accretion flow consists of two parts: the accretion columns and the truncated accretion disk. The supercritical accretion disk, which appears far from the neutron star, is truncated at around ≃3 R * (R * = 106 cm is the neutron star radius), where the magnetic pressure via the dipole magnetic fields balances with the radiation pressure of the disks. The angular momentum of the disk around the truncation radius is effectively transported inward through magnetic torque by dipole fields, inducing the spin up of a neutron star. The evaluated spin-up rate, ˜-10-11 s s-1, is consistent with the recent observations of the ultraluminous X-ray pulsars. Within the truncation radius, the gas falls onto a neutron star along the dipole fields, which results in a formation of accretion columns onto the northern and southern hemispheres. The net accretion rate and the luminosity of the column are ≃66 L Edd/c 2 and ≲10 L Edd, where L Edd is the Eddington luminosity and c is the light speed. Our simulations support a hypothesis whereby the ultraluminous X-ray pulsars are powered by the supercritical accretion onto the magnetized neutron stars.

  18. The anomalous X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Rui; Li, Xiangdong

    2002-03-01

    In the last few years it has been recognized that a group of X-ray pulsars have peculiar properties which set them apart from the majority of accreting pulars in X-ray binaries. They are called the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXP). These objects are characterized by very soft X-ray spectra with low and steady X-ray fluxes, narrow-distributed spin periods, steady spin-down, no optical/infrared counterparts. Some of them may associate with supernova remnants. The nature of AXP remains mysterious. It has been suggested that AXP are accreting neutron stars, or solitary "magnetars", neutron stars with super strong magnetic fields (≍1010-1011T). In this paper we review the recent progress in the studies of AXP, and discuss the possible implications from comparison of AXP with other neutron stars, such as radio pulsars, radio quiet X-ray pulsar candidates and soft γ-ray repeaters.

  19. X-ray Emission from Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zavlin, Vyacheslav

    2006-01-01

    Isolated (solitary or non-accreting) millisecond pulsars with observed X-ray emission can be divided in two distinct groups: those emitting nonthermal (magnetospheric) radiation and pulsars with the bulk of X-rays of a thermal origin, presumably emitted from small hot spots around the magnetic poles on the neutron star surface (polar caps). I will discuss properties of X-ray emission detected with Chandra and XMM-Newton from a number of millisecond pulsars, with emphasis on those of the thermal component, and compare them with predictions of radio pulsar models.

  20. The End of Accretion: The X-Ray Binary/Millisecond Pulsar Transition Object PSR J1023+0038

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archibald, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Millisecond radio pulsars (MSRPs), those spinning hundreds of times per second, have long been understood to be old pulsars that have been spun up by the accretion of matter from a companion in a low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) phase. Yet the details of this transformation, particularly the end of the accretion process and the birth of a radio pulsar, remain mysterious. I will describe the discovery and detailed study of the first object known to transition between MSRP and LMXB states, PSR J1023+0038. By dint of a multiwavelength campaign of observations in the RMSP state, we are able to measure all the key system parameters and show the existence of an X-ray shock close to the pulsar-facing side of the companion. Since the discovery of PSR J1023+0038, two more objects (XSS J12270-4859 and M28I) have been found to make the same transition, and the study of these transitioning objects has become an active field of research. Most interestingly, PSR J1023+0038 has transitioned back into an LMXB state, with an active accretion disk and a puzzling increase in gamma-ray flux. Our detailed picture of the system allows us to test models of accretion against the phenomena we observe in PSR J1023+0038, and in fact these observations challenge current models: in spite of the low luminosity of the system (and low inferred accretion rate) some material is penetrating the centrifugal barrier and falling on the neutron-star surface. Key evidence for explaining this puzzling behaviour will come when PSR J1023+0038 returns to an MSRP state and we are able to compare pulsar timing models from after the LMXB state with those we obtained in this work.

  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. On the Nature of the X-ray Emission of Accreting Millisecond Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poutanen, Juri

    2002-04-01

    The main emission mechanism responsible for the X-ray production in accreting objects such as black holes and neutron stars is believed to be Comptonization of soft photons by the hot electron plasmas. In the case of black holes which do not have hard surface, the exact geometry of the emitting region is largerly unknown. In accreting X-ray pulsars, the situation is dramatically different. From the basic physical arguments it is clear that the hard emission is produced in the accretion column on the neutron star magnetic poles. Due to the misalignment of the magnetic dipole and the rotation axis, the emission is strongly variable. Recent RXTE observations of the millisecond (period 2.5 ms) pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 with high temporal resolution revealed that the shape of the pulse profiles in the soft X-rays is dramatically different from that in the hard X-rays (above 15 keV). From the shape of the spectrum, one sees that the emission below 5 keV is dominated by the black body like radiation from the surface of the neutron star, while the high energy emission is produced by Comptonization in the accretion column. We construct a detailed model of the X-ray production. We show'that the emission pattern of the black body and the Comptonized radiation are dramatically different: "knife" and "fan" like, respectively. This results in the dramatic difference of the observed pulse profile. Constraints on the inclination angle, the angle between magnetic and rotational axes, the temperature of the emitting plasma, and its optical depth are obtained by comparing the model with the data. The Doppler effect distortes the shape of the pulse profile and can be used to determine the rotation velocity and, therefore, the radius of the neutron star. This is used then to put constaints on the neutron star equation of state.

  3. Accretion onto magnetized neutron stars - X-ray pulsars with intermediate rotation rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burnard, D. J.; Arons, J.; Lea, S. M.

    1983-01-01

    Assuming that the accreting material originates in a wind or envelope and therefore carried no net angular momentum, the Kevin-Helmholtz instability is applied to the transport of accreting plasma across the magnetopause of a rotating and magnetized neutron star for the case in which this surface is interchange-stable. Magnetopause location is determined, and the blackbody emission temperature is estimated. A possible period-dependence is noted in the X-ray temperature data which is in approximate agreement with the present model calculations. The magnetopause is found to be insufficiently stable to support an optically thick sheath of plasma surrounding the source, so that neither shrouding of the X-ray source nor significant reprocessing of the radiation field is possible in the model presented. It is concluded that while the flow structure at the magnetopause can control accretion column geometry, the emerging pulse profile and spectra are only indirectly altered, through a dynamical influence on emission region geometry.

  4. 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.

  5. Study of the accretion torque during the 2014 outburst of the X-ray pulsar GRO J1744-28

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanna, A.; Riggio, A.; Burderi, L.; Pintore, F.; Di Salvo, T.; D'Aì, A.; Bozzo, E.; Esposito, P.; Segreto, A.; Scarano, F.; Iaria, R.; Gambino, A. F.

    2017-07-01

    We present the spectral and timing analysis of the X-ray pulsar GRO J1744-28 during its 2014 outburst using data collected with the X-ray satellites Swift, INTEGRAL, Chandra, and XMM-Newton. We derived, by phase-connected timing analysis of the observed pulses, an updated set of the source ephemeris. We were also able to investigate the spin-up of the X-ray pulsar as a consequence of the accretion torque during the outburst. Relating the spin-up rate and the mass accretion rate as \\dot{ν }∝ \\dot{M}^{β }, we fitted the pulse phase delays obtaining a value of β = 0.96(3). Combining the results from the source spin-up frequency derivative and the flux estimation, we constrained the source distance to be between 3.4 and 4.1 kpc, assuming a disc viscous parameter α to be in the range of 0.1-1. Finally, we investigated the presence of a possible spin-down torque by adding a quadratic component to the pulse phase delay model. The marginal statistical improvement of the updated model does not allow us to firmly confirm the presence of this component.

  6. DISCOVERY OF A 205.89 Hz ACCRETING MILLISECOND X-RAY PULSAR IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER NGC 6440

    SciTech Connect

    Altamirano, D.; Patruno, A.; Linares, M.; Wijnands, R.; Van der Klis, M.; Heinke, C. O.; Markwardt, C.; Strohmayer, T. E.; Swank, J. H.

    2010-03-20

    We report on the discovery of the second accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) in the globular cluster NGC 6440. Pulsations with a frequency of 205.89 Hz were detected with RXTE on 2009 August 30, October 1 and October 28, during the decays of {approx}<4 day outbursts of a newly X-ray transient source in NGC 6440. By studying the Doppler shift of the pulsation frequency, we find that the system is an ultra-compact binary with an orbital period of 57.3 minutes and a projected semimajor axis of 6.22 lt-ms. Based on the mass function, we estimate a lower limit to the mass of the companion to be 0.0067 M {sub sun} (assuming a 1.4 M {sub sun} neutron star). This new pulsar shows the shortest outburst recurrence time among AMXPs ({approx}1 month). If this behavior does not cease, this AMXP has the potential to be one of the best sources in which to study how the binary system and the neutron star spin evolve. Furthermore, the characteristics of this new source indicate that there might exist a population of AMXPs undergoing weak outbursts which are undetected by current all-sky X-ray monitors. NGC 6440 is the only globular cluster to host two known AMXPs, while no AMXPs have been detected in any other globular cluster.

  7. 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.

  8. A MODEL FOR THE WAVEFORM BEHAVIOR OF ACCRETING MILLISECOND X-RAY PULSARS: NEARLY ALIGNED MAGNETIC FIELDS AND MOVING EMISSION REGIONS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-20

    We investigate further a model of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars we proposed earlier. In this model, the X-ray-emitting regions of these pulsars are near their spin axes but move. This is to be expected if the magnetic poles of these stars are close to their spin axes, so that accreting gas is channeled there. As the accretion rate and the structure of the inner disk vary, gas is channeled along different field lines to different locations on the stellar surface, causing the X-ray-emitting areas to move. We show that this 'nearly aligned moving spot model' can explain many properties of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, including their generally low oscillation amplitudes and nearly sinusoidal waveforms; the variability of their pulse amplitudes, shapes, and phases; the correlations in this variability; and the similarity of the accretion- and nuclear-powered pulse shapes and phases in some. It may also explain why accretion-powered millisecond pulsars are difficult to detect, why some are intermittent, and why all detected so far are transients. This model can be tested by comparing with observations the waveform changes it predicts, including the changes with accretion rate.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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}.

  12. 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 .

  13. 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 .

  14. A possible 55-d X-ray period of the ultraluminous accreting pulsar M82 X-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Albert K. H.; Hu, Chin-Ping; Lin, Lupin Chun-Che; Li, K. L.; Jin, Ruolan; Liu, C. Y.; Yen, David Chien-Chang

    2016-10-01

    We report on the possible detection of a 55-d X-ray modulation for the ultraluminous accreting pulsar M82 X-2 from archival Chandra observations. Because M82 X-2 is known to have a 2.5-d orbital period, if the 55-d period is real, then it will be the superorbital period of the system. We also investigated variabilities of three other nearby ultraluminous X-ray sources in the central region of M82 with the Chandra data, and we did not find any evidence of periodicities. Furthermore, we re-examined the previously reported 62-d periodicity near the central region of M82 by performing a systematic timing study with all the archival Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer and Swift data. Using various dynamic timing analysis methods, we have confirmed that the 62-d period is not stable, suggesting that it is not the orbital period of M82 X-1; this is in agreement with previous work.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.; hide

    2016-01-01

    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(sup +1.1)(sub -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) x 10(exp 12) 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 P= -2 x 10(exp -8) s s(exp -1) (-0.6 s per year, or a frequency derivative of v = 3 x 10(exp -14) Hz s(exp -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 x 10(exp 8) cm.

  16. Discovery of the 18.7 Second Accreting X-Ray Pulsar GRO J1948+32

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarty, Deepto; Koh, Towsian; Bildsten, Lars; Prince, Thomas A.; Finger, Mark H.; Wilson, Robert B.; Pendleton, Geoffrey N.; Rubin, Bradley C.

    1995-06-01

    We have detected an 18.7 s accreting X-ray pulsar in the Cygnus region, using the BATSE large-area detectors on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. GRO J1948+32 has been localized to within 10 deg2 using a method we developed for positioning weak pulsed sources with BATSE. During the 33 day outburst, the phase-averaged 20-75 keV pulsed flux rose from 25 mCrab to 50 mCrab over 10 days and then decayed below our detection j-threshold over nearly 25 days. A photon spectral index of γ = 2.65±0.15 (assuming photon flux density dN/dE ∝ E-γ) was measured during a bright interval. The observed modulation of the neutron star's pulse frequency is suggestive of orbital variation over less than one orbit cycle. Assuming a constant spin frequency derivative over the outburst, we can place the following individual 95% confidence limits on each of the pulsar parameters: orbital period 35d < Porb < 70d; orbital radius 75 lt-sec < αx sin i < 300 lt-sec, eccentricity e < 0.25, spin frequency derivative 5 × 10-13 Hz s-1 < vdot < 2.5 × 10-11 Hz s-1, X-ray mass function 0.5 Msun < fx(M) < 5 Msun. As the stellar type of the mass-providing companion is still not known for this source, we briefly speculate on the nature of mass transfer in this system.

  17. A Decade in the Life of EXO 2030+375: A Multiwavelength Study of an Accreting X-ray Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Coe, M. J.; Laycock, Silas; Fabregat, J.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Using BATSE and RXTE observations from 1991 April to 2001 August we have detected 71 outbursts from 82 periastron passages of EXO 2030+375, a 42-second transient X-ray pulsar with a Be star companion, including several outbursts from 1993 August to 1996 April when the source was previously believed to be quiescent. Combining BATSE, RXTE, and EXOSAT data we have derived an improved orbital solution. Applying this solution results in a smooth profile for the spin-up rate during the giant outbursts and results in evidence for a correlation between the spin-up rate and observed flux in the brighter BATSE outbursts. Infrared and H(alpha) measurements show a decline in the density of the circumstellar disk around the Be star. This decline is followed by a sudden drop in the X-ray flux and a turn-over from a spin-up trend to spin-down in the frequency history. This is the first Be/X-ray binary which shows an extended interval, about 2.5 years, where the global trend is spin-down, but the outbursts continue. In 1995 the orbital phase of EXO 2030+375's outbursts shifted from peaking about 6 days after periastron to peaking before periastron. The outburst phase slowly recovered to peaking at about 2.5 days after periastron. We interpret this shift in orbital phase followed by a slow recovery as evidence for a global one-armed oscillation propagating in the Be disk. This is further supported by changes in the shape of the H(alpha) profile which are commonly believed to be produced by a reconfiguration of the Be disk. The truncated viscous decretion disk model provides an explanation for the long series of normal outbursts and the evidence for an accretion disk in the brighter normal outbursts. Long-term multi-wavelength observations such as these clearly add considerably to our knowledge of Be/X-ray binaries and the relationship between optical, infrared and X-ray observations.

  18. 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.

  19. X-RAY AND NEAR-INFRARED OBSERVATIONS OF THE OBSCURED ACCRETING PULSAR IGR J18179-1621

    SciTech Connect

    Nowak, M. A.; Paizis, A.; Rodriguez, J.; Chaty, S.; Grinberg, V.; Wilms, J.; Chini, R. E-mail: ada@iasf-milano.inaf.it

    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 (K{sub s} , H{sub n} , and J{sub n} ) observations performed on 2012 March 13 and 26. We determine the most accurate X-ray position of IGR J18179-1621, {alpha}{sub J2000} = 18{sup h}17{sup m}52.{sup s}18, {delta}{sub J2000} = -16 Degree-Sign 21'31.''68 (90% uncertainty of 0.''6). 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{sub H} = 2.2 {+-} 0.3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 23} cm{sup -2} and photon index {Gamma} = 0.4 {+-} 0.1) with an average absorbed 2-8 keV flux of 1.4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}. At the Chandra-based position, a source is detected in our near-infrared (NIR) maps with K{sub s} 13.14 {+-} 0.04 mag, H{sub n} = 16 {+-} 0.1 mag, and no J{sub n} -band counterpart down to {approx}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.

  20. Detection of possible cyclotron resonance scattering feature in the accretion powered X-ray pulsar 4U 1909+07

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaisawal, Gaurava K.; Naik, Sachindra; Paul, Biswajit

    We present the timing and spectral analysis of high mass X-ray binary pulsar 4U 1909+07 using data from the Suzaku observation on 2 November 2010. The pulse period of pulsar is estimated to be 604.058(1) s. Pulsations are seen in the X-ray light curves up to ˜40 keV. The energy resolved pulse profiles are found to be strongly energy dependent. Presence of several absorption features at various pulse phases, below 10 keV make the soft X-ray pulse profiles complex. At high energies, however, the pulse profiles are found to be single peaked. We tried to fit the 1-100 keV phase averaged spectrum of the pulsar with various continuum models such as partial covering high energy cut-off power-law, cut-off power-law, negative and positive power-law times exponential cutoff (NPEX) etc. However, we found that the partial covering power-law with black-body component at soft X-rays fitted the data better. A weak iron fluorescence emission line is detected in the spectrum. The presence of an absorption like feature at ˜43 keV in the residue of the spectral fitting allowed us to add a cyclotron scattering resonance feature (CSRF) at above energy that improved the spectral fitting further. To check the presence of CSRF in the spectrum, we normalized the pulsar spectrum with respect to that of the Crab Nebula. The Crab spectrum is a featureless power-law with a photon index of ˜2.1. The resulting ``Crab ratio'' showed a clear dip like feature centered at ˜43 keV which we identified as CRSF in the pulsar. We estimated the surface magnetic field of the pulsar to be 3.7 × 10^{12} Gauss.

  1. The puzzling case of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934: flaring optical emission during quiescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baglio, M. C.; Campana, S.; D'Avanzo, P.; Papitto, A.; Burderi, L.; Di Salvo, T.; Muñoz-Darias, T.; Rea, N.; Torres, D. F.

    2017-04-01

    We present an optical (gri) study during quiescence of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934 performed with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) in August 2014. Although the source was in quiescence at the time of our observations, it showed a strong optical flaring activity, more pronounced in bluer filters (i.e. the g-band). After subtracting the flares, we tentatively recovered a sinusoidal modulation at the system orbital period in all bands, even when a significant phase shift with respect to an irradiated star, typical of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, was detected. We conclude that the observed flaring could be a manifestation of the presence of an accretion disc in the system. The observed light curve variability could be explained by the presence of a superhump, which might be another proof of the formation of an accretion disc. In particular, the disc at the time of our observations was probably preparing the new outburst of the source, which occurred a few months later, in 2015. Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma.

  2. THE TRANSIENT ACCRETING X-RAY PULSAR XTE J1946+274: STABILITY OF X-RAY PROPERTIES AT LOW FLUX AND UPDATED ORBITAL SOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana M.; Pottschmidt, Katja; Kühnel, Matthias; Müller, Sebastian; Falkner, Sebastian; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Caballero, Isabel; Jenke, Peter J.; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Fürst, Felix; Grinberg, Victoria; Hemphill, Paul B.; Rothschild, Richard E.; Klochkov, Dmitry; Terada, Yukikatsu; and others

    2015-12-10

    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 × 10{sup 37} erg s{sup −1}) and lowest (∼5 × 10{sup 36} erg s{sup −1}) observed 3–60 keV luminosities.

  3. 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).

  4. NuSTAR observations of the supergiant X-ray pulsar IGR J18027-2016: accretion from the stellar wind and possible cyclotron absorption line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutovinov, Alexander A.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Postnov, Konstantin A.; Krivonos, Roman A.; Molkov, Sergey V.; Tomsick, John A.

    2017-04-01

    We report on the first focused hard X-ray view of the absorbed supergiant system IGR J18027-2016 performed with the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observatory. The pulsations are clearly detected with a period of Pspin = 139.866(1) s and a pulse fraction of about 50-60 per cent at energies from 3 to 80 keV. The source demonstrates an approximately constant X-ray luminosity on a time-scale of more than dozen years with an average spin-down rate of dot{P}≃ 6× 10^{-10} s s-1. This behaviour of the pulsar can be explained in terms of the wind accretion model in the settling regime. The detailed spectral analysis at energies above 10 keV was performed for the first time and revealed a possible cyclotron absorption feature at energy ∼23 keV. This energy corresponds to the magnetic field B ≃ 3 × 1012 G at the surface of the neutron star, which is typical for X-ray pulsars.

  5. Discovery of a soft X-ray 8 mHz QPO from the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J00291+5934

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrigno, C.; Bozzo, E.; Sanna, A.; Pintore, F.; Papitto, A.; Riggio, A.; Burderi, L.; Di Salvo, T.; Iaria, R.; D'Aì, A.

    2017-04-01

    We report on the analysis of the peculiar X-ray variability displayed by the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934 in a 80 ks-long joint NuSTAR and XMM-Newton observation performed during the source outburst in 2015. The light curve of the source is characterized by a flaring-like behaviour, with typical rise and decay time-scales of ∼120 s. The flares are accompanied by a remarkable spectral variability, with the X-ray emission being generally softer at the peak of the flares. A strong quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) is detected at ∼8 mHz in the power spectrum of the source and clearly associated with the flaring-like behaviour. This feature has the strongest power at soft X-rays ( ≲ 3 keV). We carried out a dedicated hardness-ratio-resolved spectral analysis and a QPO phase-resolved spectral analysis, together with an in-depth study of the source-timing properties, to investigate the origin of this behaviour. We suggest that the unusual variability of IGR J00291+5934 observed by XMM-Newton and NuSTAR could be produced by a heartbeat-like mechanism, similar to that observed in black hole X-ray binaries. The possibility that this variability, and the associated QPO, are triggered by phases of quasi-stable nuclear burning, as sustained in the literature for a number of other neutron star binaries displaying a similar behaviour, cannot be solidly tested in the case of IGR J00291+5934 due to the paucity of type I X-ray bursts detected from this source.

  6. Spacecraft Navigation Using X-ray Pulsars

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    make them attractive as potential natural naviga- tion beacons and why a practical implementation looks most feasible in the X-ray band. We then...describe the history of the X-ray navigation program at NRL up through our current Defense Advanced Research Proj- ects Agency (DARPA) program. Finally, we...that produce the powerful radiation beams. These pulsars then turn off and inhabit the “pulsar graveyard.” During their lives, these pulsars make very

  7. The Optical Counterpart to the Accreting Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 in the Globular Cluster NGC 6440

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadelano, M.; Pallanca, C.; Ferraro, F. R.; Dalessandro, E.; Lanzoni, B.; Patruno, A.

    2017-07-01

    We used a combination of deep optical and {{H}}α images of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6440, acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope, to identify the optical counterpart to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 during quiescence. A strong {{H}}α emission has been detected from a main-sequence star (hereafter COM-SAX J1748.9-2021) located at only 0.″15 from the nominal position of the X-ray source. The position of the star also agrees with the optical counterpart found by Verbunt et al. during an outburst. We propose this star as the most likely optical counterpart to the binary system. By direct comparison with isochrones, we estimated that COM-SAX J1748.9-2021 has a mass of 0.70{--}0.83 {M}⊙ , a radius of 0.88+/- 0.02 {R}⊙ , and a superficial temperature of 5250 ± 80 K. These parameters, combined with the orbital characteristics of the binary, suggest that the system is observed at a very low inclination angle (˜ 8^\\circ {--}14^\\circ ) and that the star is filling or even overflowing its Roche lobe. This, together with the EW of the {{H}}α emission (˜20 Å), suggests possible ongoing mass transfer. The possible presence of such an ongoing mass transfer during a quiescence state also suggests that the radio pulsar is not active yet and thus this system, despite its similarity with the class of redback millisecond pulsars, is not a transitional millisecond pulsar. Based on observations collected with the NASA/ESA HST (Prop. 12517, 13410), obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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}).

  11. 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.

  12. Partial accretion regime of accreting millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eksi, Kazim

    2016-07-01

    The inner parts of the disks around neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries may become geometrically thick due to inhibition of accretion at the disk mid-plane when the central object is rotating rapidly. In such a case matter inflowing through the disk may keep accreting onto the poles of the neutron star from the parts of the disk away from the disk mid-plane while the matter is propelled at the disk mid-plane. An important ingredient of the evolution of millisecond pulsars is then the fraction of the inflowing matter that can accrete onto the poles in the fast rotation regime depending on the fastness parameter. This ``soft'' propeller regime may be associated with the rapid decay stage observed in the light curves of several accreting millisecond pulsars. To date only a few studies considered the partial accretion regime. By using geometrical arguments we improve the existing studies and test the model by reproducing the lightcurves of millisecond X-ray pulsars via time dependent simulations of disk evolution. We also present analytical solutions that represent disks with partial accretion.

  13. Rotation powered pulsars in the x-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arumugasamy, Prakash

    non-recycled X-ray pulsars, PSR J0108-3430 tauc = 166 Myr and E = 5.8 x 1030 erg s -1. The pulsar's spectrum likely consists of a thermal component, emitted from a hot polar cap, and a non-thermal component, emitted from its magnetosphere. The X-ray pulse profile shows a single, asymmetric peak which could be explained by an axially-asymmetric temperature distribution at the pole or by the non-thermal emission from the outer gap. The three pulsars represent important stages in the evolutionary path that a hypothetical single young pulsar like J2022+3842 might take, as it passes through stages close to gamma-ray emission turn-off (like J1836+5925) and X-ray turn-off (similar to J0108-3430). Pulsars in binaries can follow an alternative path. By accreting matter from their companions they can be 'recycled' to short millisecond periods and emit X-rays and gamma-rays for billions of years. I also present a special class of such recycled pulsars which are believed to be in the process of fatally ablating their companions. I present the X-ray analysis of PSR J1446-4701, an E = 3.6 x 1034 erg s-1 pulsar in a 6.7 hr binary orbit, and PSR J1311-3430, an E = 4.9 x 1034 erg s-1 pulsar in an extreme 1.6 hr binary orbit. PSR J1446-4701 turned out to be a non-eclipser with possibly low (face-on) orbital inclination, with emission from both the pulsar and the intra-binary shock observable throughout the binary orbit. PSR J1311-3430 is a known eclipser, in which hints of spectral variability have been found, between pulsar superior and inferior conjunction phases. I also present a comprehensive comparison of the sample of such extremely low-mass binary pulsars. We reveal the true nature of pulsars, slowly and steadily, usually one target at a time, but eventually we expect useful patterns to emerge that improves our understanding of the population of rotation powered pulsars.

  14. 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.

  15. A radio pulsar/x-ray binary link.

    PubMed

    Archibald, Anne M; Stairs, Ingrid H; Ransom, Scott M; Kaspi, Victoria M; Kondratiev, Vladislav I; Lorimer, Duncan R; McLaughlin, Maura A; Boyles, Jason; Hessels, Jason W T; Lynch, Ryan; van Leeuwen, Joeri; Roberts, Mallory S E; Jenet, Frederick; Champion, David J; Rosen, Rachel; Barlow, Brad N; Dunlap, Bart H; Remillard, Ronald A

    2009-06-12

    Radio pulsars with millisecond spin periods are thought to have been spun up by the transfer of matter and angular momentum from a low-mass companion star during an x-ray-emitting phase. The spin periods of the neutron stars in several such low-mass x-ray binary (LMXB) systems have been shown to be in the millisecond regime, but no radio pulsations have been detected. Here we report on detection and follow-up observations of a nearby radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) in a circular binary orbit with an optically identified companion star. Optical observations indicate that an accretion disk was present in this system within the past decade. Our optical data show no evidence that one exists today, suggesting that the radio MSP has turned on after a recent LMXB phase.

  16. Modelling X-ray Pulse Profiles of Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leahy, D. A.; Morsink, S.; Tian, W.

    2013-03-01

    The modelling of X-ray pulse profiles from accreting millisecond pulsars is a way to infer masses and radii of neutron stars. We briefly describe how a pulse shape encodes information on the mass and radius, but also depends on other parameters such as hot spot location and observer viewing angle. A numerical model that we have developed is then described. The model includes light bending, time-delay effects, and Doppler effects for photons. The model accounts for oblateness of the neutron star, caused by the rapid rotation, and for scattered light from the surface of the accretion disk. The millisecond pulsar SAX J1808-3658 has multiple observations taken during different outbursts. The observed pulse shapes vary greatly, and it is a challenging test to fit the different observations. Some of the latest results are given.

  17. Search for the Centrifugal Barrier in Transient X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jefferson, Adrian (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    During the period 15 April 1997 through 15 April 2000 we have been supported in part by NASA grant NAG5-4115 to pursue a 'Search for the Centrifugal Barrier in Transient X-ray Pulsars' with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The RXTE observations associated with this research involved monitoring the X-ray intensities and pulse profiles of six transient X-ray pulsars on five different occasions. The goal was to detennine whether the so-called 'centrifugal barrier' effect exists for accretion-powered X-ray pulsars. In this long-postulated effect, accretion onto the neutron star should be inhibited when the accretion rate falls below the point where the magnetospheric boundary lies outside the neutron star's corotation radius. Our RXTE observations yielded detections of two of the six X-ray pulsars under study, but were insufficient, overall, to yield any new insight into the centrifugal barrier effect. The data from the two detected pulsars will be utilized by Professor Deepto Chakrabarty as part of his overall campaign to study the long-term behavior of accretion-powered X-ray sources.

  18. Retrograde accretion discs in high-mass Be/X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christodoulou, D. M.; Laycock, S. G. T.; Kazanas, D.

    2017-09-01

    We have compiled a comprehensive library of all X-ray observations of Magellanic pulsars carried out by XMM-Newton, Chandra and RXTE in the period 1997-2014. In this work, we use the data from 53 high-mass Be/X-ray binaries in the Small Magellanic Cloud to demonstrate that the distribution of spin-period derivatives versus spin periods of spinning-down pulsars is not at all different from that of the accreting spinning-up pulsars. The inescapable conclusion is that the up and down samples were drawn from the same continuous parent population; therefore, Be/X-ray pulsars that are spinning down over periods spanning 18 yr are, in fact, accreting from retrograde discs. The presence of prograde and retrograde discs in roughly equal numbers supports a new evolutionary scenario for Be/X-ray pulsars in their spin period-period derivative diagram.

  19. Featured Image: A Slow-Spinning X-Ray Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-05-01

    This image (click for a closer look!) reveals the sky location of a new discovery: the slowest spinning X-ray pulsar a spinning, highly magnetized neutron star ever found in an extragalactic globular cluster. The pulsar, XB091D (circled in the bottom left inset), lies in the globular cluster B091D in the Andromeda galaxy. In a recent study led by Ivan Zolotukhin (University of Toulouse, Moscow State University, and Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences), a team of scientists details the importance of this discovery. This pulsar is gradually spinning faster and faster a process thats known as recycling, thought to occur as a pulsar accretes material from a donor star in a binary system. Zolotukhin and collaborators think that this particular pairing formed relatively recently, when the pulsar captured a passing star into a binary system. Were now seeing it in a unique stage of evolution where the pulsar is just starting to get recycled. For more information, check out the paper below!CitationIvan Yu. Zolotukhin et al 2017 ApJ 839 125. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa689d

  20. 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.

  1. The X-ray properties of Be/X-ray pulsars in quiescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Wijnands, Rudy; Lutovinov, Alexander A.; Degenaar, Nathalie; Poutanen, Juri

    2017-09-01

    Observations of accreting neutron stars (NSs) with strong magnetic fields can be used not only for studying the accretion flow interaction with the NS magnetospheres, but also for understanding the physical processes inside NSs and for estimating their fundamental parameters. Of particular interest are (i) the interaction of a rotating NS (magnetosphere) with the infalling matter at different accretion rates, and (ii) the theory of deep crustal heating and the influence of a strong magnetic field on this process. Here, we present results of the first systematic investigation of 16 X-ray pulsars with Be optical companions during their quiescent states, based on data from the Chandra, XMM-Newton and Swift observatories. The whole sample of sources can be roughly divided into two distinct groups: (i) relatively bright objects with a luminosity around ∼1034 erg s-1 and (hard) power-law spectra, and (ii) fainter ones showing thermal spectra. X-ray pulsations were detected from five objects in group (i) with quite a large pulse fraction of 50-70 per cent. The obtained results are discussed within the framework of the models describing the interaction of the infalling matter with the NS magnetic field and those describing heating and cooling in accreting NSs.

  2. Precision Timing of Two Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars.

    PubMed

    Kaspi; Chakrabarty; Steinberger

    1999-11-01

    We report on long-term X-ray timing of two anomalous X-ray pulsars, 1RXS J170849.0-400910 and 1E 2259+586, using the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. In monthly observations made over 1.4 and 2.6 yr for the two pulsars, respectively, we have obtained phase-coherent timing solutions which imply that these objects have been rotating with great stability throughout the course of our observations. For 1RXS J170849.0-400910, we find a rotation frequency of 0.0909169331(5) Hz and frequency derivative -15.687&parl0;4&parr0;x10-14 Hz s-1 for epoch MJD 51215.931. For 1E 2259+586, we find a rotation frequency of 0.1432880613(2) Hz and frequency derivative -1.0026&parl0;7&parr0;x10-14 Hz s-1 for epoch MJD 51195.583. The rms phase residuals from these simple models are only approximately 0.01 cycles for both sources. We show that the frequency derivative for 1E 2259+586 is inconsistent with that inferred from incoherent frequency observations made over the last 20 yr. Our observations are consistent with the magnetar hypothesis and make binary accretion scenarios appear unlikely.

  3. Toward an understanding of thermal X-ray emission of pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, M.; Xu, R. X.

    2011-01-01

    We present a theoretical model for the thermal X-ray emission properties and cooling behaviors of isolated pulsars, assuming that pulsars are solid quark stars. We calculate the heat capacity for such a quark star, including the component of the crystalline lattice and that of the extremely relativistic electron gas. The results show that the residual thermal energy cannot sustain the observed thermal X-ray luminosities seen in typical isolated X-ray pulsars. We conclude that other heating mechanisms must be in operation if the pulsars are in fact solid quark stars. Two possible heating mechanisms are explored. Firstly, for pulsars with little magnetospheric activities, accretion from the interstellar medium or from the material in the associated supernova remnants may power the observed thermal emission. In the propeller regime, a disk-accretion rate M˙˜1% of the Eddington rate with an accretion onto the stellar surface at a rate of ˜0.1%M˙ could explain the observed emission luminosities of the dim isolated neutron stars and the central compact objects. Secondly, for pulsars with significant magnetospheric activities, the pulsar spindown luminosities may have been as the sources of the thermal energy via reversing plasma current flows. A phenomenological study between pulsar bolometric X-ray luminosities and the spin energy loss rates presents the probable existence of a 1/2-law or a linear law, i.e. Lbol∞∝E˙ or Lbol∞∝E˙. This result together with the thermal properties of solid quark stars allow us to calculate the thermal evolution of such stars. Thermal evolution curves, or cooling curves, are calculated and compared with the 'temperature-age' data obtained from 17 active X-ray pulsars. It is shown that the bolometric X-ray observations of these sources are consistent with the solid quark star pulsar model.

  4. The unique opportunity to determine the mass of an accreting neutron star: the eclipsing accretion powered X-ray pulsar SWIFTJ1749.4-2807

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonker, Peter; Eikenberry, Steve; Torres, Manuel; Steeghs, Daniel; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2014-02-01

    In 2010 it was discovered that the peculiar transient SWIFT J1749.4-2807 exhibits pulsations at 518 Hz. Furthermore, it turned out that the source was eclipsing in a 8.8 hr orbit thereby holding the promise of a model independent neutron star mass determination. Optical or near-infrared dynamical studies offer the best prospects for constraining the neutron star equation of state, as they do not rely on any specific models concerning the neutron star itself. Using Gemini NIRI observations we identified the NIR counterpart to the pulsar. Here, we propose for Gemini near-infrared spectroscopy with FLAMINGOS-2 to obtain spectra over the orbit to measure the radial velocity semi-amplitude of the mass donor star, which will lead to a model independent mass measurement of the neutron star.

  5. X-ray studies of three binary millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, N. A.; Olive, J.-F.; Barret, D.

    2005-10-01

    It is thought that millisecond pulsars with white dwarf companions are born from X-ray binaries. The majority of known systems have been studied uniquely in the radio domain, which limits our understanding of such systems. We present here the X-ray observations of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0218+4232 and the two faint millisecond pulsars PSR J0751+1807 and PSR J1012+5307, which we discuss in conjunction with radio observations. We confirm the previously detected X-ray pulsations of PSR J0218+4232 and we show that its folded lightcurve is strongly dependent on energy. We present evidence to suggest that the broad band X-ray spectrum for this pulsar may not be a simple power law, but that there is some evidence for an excess of soft thermal emission over the power law spectrum, in particular from the strongest pulse, in support of a heated polar cap model for this pulsar. We also present the X-ray spectra of the two faint millisecond pulsars as well as some evidence to suggest that both of these millisecond pulsars show pulsations in the X-ray band. We then discuss the implied nature of the magnetic field configuration as a means of discriminating between competing magnetic field evolution theories in millisecond pulsars.

  6. X-ray Pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds: Time Evolution of their Luminosities and Spin Periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jun; Laycock, Silas; Coe, Malcolm J.; Drake, Jeremy J.; Hong, JaeSub; Antoniou, Vallia; Zezas, Andreas; Ho, Wynn C. G.

    2017-08-01

    We have collected and analyzed the complete archive of XMM-Newton (116), Chandra (151), and RXTE (952) observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), spanning 1997-2014. The resulting observational library provides a comprehensive view of the physical, temporal and statistical properties of the SMC pulsar population across the luminosity range of L_X= 10^{31.2}-10^{38} erg/s. From a sample of 65 pulsars we report 1654 individual pulsar detections, yielding 1393 pulse period measurements. Our pipeline generates a suite of products for each pulsar detection: spin period, flux, event list, high time-resolution light-curve, pulse-profile, periodogram, and X-ray spectrum. Combining all three satellites, we generated complete histories of the spin periods, pulse amplitudes, pulsed fractions and X-ray luminosities. Many of the pulsars show variations in pulse period due to the combination of orbital motion and accretion torques. Long-term spin-up/down trends are seen in 28/25 pulsars respectively, pointing to sustained transfer of mass and angular momentum to the neutron star on decadal timescales. The distributions of pulse detection and flux as functions of spin period provide interesting findings: mapping boundaries of accretion-driven X-ray luminosity, and showing that fast pulsars (P<10 s) are rarely detected, which yet are more prone to giant outbursts. In parallel we compare the observed pulse profiles to our general relativity (GR) model of X-ray emission in order to constrain the physical parameters of the pulsars. In addition, we conduct a search for optical counterparts to X-ray sources in the local dwarf galaxy IC 10 to form a comparison sample for Magellanic Cloud X-ray pulsars.

  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 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.

  9. Observations of Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chiu, John; Finger, Mark H.; Koh, Danny T.; Nelson, Robert W.; Prince, Thomas A.; Rubin, Bradley C.; Scott, D. Matthew; Stollberg, Mark; hide

    1997-01-01

    We summarize 5 years of continuous monitoring of accretion-powered pulsars with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Our 20-70 keV observations have determined or refined the orbital parameters of 13 binaries, discovered five new transient accreting pulsars, measured the pulsed flux history during outbursts of 12 transients (GRO J1744-28, 4U 0115+634, GRO J1750-27, GS 0834-430, 2S 1417-624, GRO J1948+32, EXO 2030+375, GRO J1008-57, A0535+26, GRO J2058+42, 4U 1145-619, and A1118-616), and also measured the accretion torque history during outbursts of six of those transients whose orbital param- eters were also known. We have also continuously measured the pulsed flux and spin frequency for eiaht persistently accreting pulsars (Her X-1, Cen X-3, Vela X-1, OAO 1657-415, GX 301-2, 4U 1626-67, 4U 1538-52, and GX 1+4). Because of their continuity and uniformity over a long baseline, BATSE observations have provided new insights into the long-term behavior of accreting magnetic neutron stars. We have found that all accreting pulsars show stochastic variations in their spin frequencies and luminosities, including those displaying secular spin-up or spin-down on long timescales, which blurs the con- ventional distinction between disk-fed and wind-fed binaries. Pulsed flux and accretion torque are strongly correlated in outbursts of transient accreting pulsars but are uncorrelated, or even anti- correlated, in persistent sources. We describe daily folded pulse profiles, frequency, and flux measurements that are available through the Compton Observatory Science Support Center at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

  10. Observations of Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chiu, John; Finger, Mark H.; Koh, Danny T.; Nelson, Robert W.; Prince, Thomas A.; Rubin, Bradley C.; Scott, D. Matthew; Stollberg, Mark; hide

    1997-01-01

    We summarize five years of continuous monitoring of accretion-powered pulsars with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Our 20-70 keV observations have determined or refined the orbital parameters of 13 binaries, discovered 5 new transient accreting pulsars, measured the pulsed flux history during outbursts of 12 transients (GRO J1744-28, 4U 0115+634, GRO J1750-27, GS 0834-430, 2S 1417-624, GRO J1948+32, EXO 2030+375, GRO J1008-57, A 0535+26, GRO J2058+42, 4U 1145-619 and A 1118-616), and also measured the accretion torque history of during outbursts of 6 of those transients whose orbital parameters were also known. We have also continuously measured the pulsed flux and spin frequency for eight persistently accreting pulsars (Her X-1, Cen X-3, Vela X-1, OAO 1657-415, GX 301-2, 4U 1626-67, 4U 1538-52, and GX 1+4). Because of their continuity and uniformity over a long baseline, BATSE observations have provided new insights into the long-term behavior of accreting magnetic stars. We have found that all accreting pulsars show stochastic variations in their spin frequencies and luminosities, including those displaying secular spin-up or spin-down on long time scales, blurring the conventional distinction between disk-fed and wind-fed binaries. Pulsed flux and accretion torque are strongly correlated in outbursts of transient accreting pulsars, but uncorrelated, or even anticorrelated, in persistent sources. We describe daily folded pulse profiles, frequency, and flux measurements that are available through the Compton Observatory Science Support Center at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

  11. Pulsed X-rays from the Vela pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oegelman, H.; Finley, J. P.; Zimmerman, H. U.

    1993-01-01

    An unambiguous detection by the Rosat satellite of pulsed X-ray emission from the Vela pulsar is reported. The pulse signal is soft, appearing mainly at energies less than 1 keV. The Rosat observations resolve the two sources of emission and show that the pointlike emission centered on the pulsars is soft, whereas the emission from the compact nebula is hard. The observations show that Vela more closely resembles older pulsars that the archetypal young pulsar embedded in an SNR.

  12. The nature of the bimodal luminosity distribution of ultraluminous X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebenev, S. A.

    2017-07-01

    The mechanism that can be responsible for the bimodal luminosity distribution of super-Eddington X-ray pulsars in binary systems is pointed out. The transition from the high to low state of these objects is explained by accretion flow spherization due to the radiation pressure at certain (high) accretion rates. The transition between the states can be caused by a gradual change in the accretion rate. The complex behavior of the recently discovered ultraluminous X-ray pulsars M 82 X-2, NGC 5907 ULX-1, and NGC 7793 P13 is explained by the proposed mechanism. The proposed model also naturally explains the measured spinup of the neutron star in these pulsars, which is slower than the expected one by several times.

  13. The energy spectrum of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma-ray repeaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trümper, J. E.; Zezas, A.; Ertan, Ü.; Kylafis, N. D.

    2010-07-01

    Context. Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) exhibit characteristic X-ray luminosities (both soft and hard) of around 1035 erg s-1 and characteristic power-law, hard X-ray spectra extending to about 200 keV. Two AXPs also exhibit pulsed radio emission. Aims: Assuming that AXPs and SGRs accrete matter from a fallback disk, we attempt to explain both the soft and the hard X-ray emission as the result of the accretion process. We also attempt to explain their radio emission or the lack of it. Methods: We test the hypothesis that the power-law, hard X-ray spectra are produced in the accretion flow mainly by bulk-motion Comptonization of soft photons emitted at the neutron star surface. Fallback disk models invoke surface dipole magnetic fields of 1012 - 1013 G, which is what we assume here. Results: Unlike normal X-ray pulsars, for which the accretion rate is highly super-Eddington, the accretion rate is approximately Eddington in AXPs and SGRs and thus the bulk-motion Comptonization operates efficiently. As an illustrative example we reproduce both the hard and the soft X-ray spectra of AXP 4U 0142+61 well using the XSPEC package compTB. Conclusions: Our model seems to explain both the hard and the soft X-ray spectra of AXPs and SGRs, as well as their radio emission or the lack of it, in a natural way. It might also explain the short bursts observed in these sources. On the other hand, it cannot explain the giant X-ray outbursts observed in SGRs, which may result from the conversion of magnetic energy in local multipole fields.

  14. Target of Opportunity Positioning of Transient X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2003-01-01

    Our program successfully localized three newly-identified transient X-ray pulsars. XTE J1858+034 is a 221 s pulsar (Takeshima et al. 1998, IAUC 6826), XTE J1946+274 is a 15.8 s pulsar (Takeshima and Chakrabarty 1998, IAUC 7016), and XTE J0111.2-7317 is a 31 s pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud (Chakrabarty et al. 1998, IAUC 7048). This last pulsar was a particularly interesting source, and our XTE observations enabled prompt follow-up observations with the ASCA mission (Yokogawa et al. 2000, ApJ. 539, 191).

  15. 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.

  16. Galactic X-ray emission from pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, A. K.

    1981-01-01

    The contribution of pulsars to the gamma-ray flux from the galactic plane is examined using data from the most recent pulsar surveys. It is assumed that pulsar gamma-rays are produced by curvature radiation from relativistic particles above the polar cap and attenuated by pair production in the strong magnetic and electric fields. Assuming that all pulsars produce gamma-rays in this way, their luminosities can be predicted as a function of period and magnetic field strength. Using the distribution of pulsars in the galaxy as determined from data on 328 pulsars detected in three surveys, the local gamma-ray production spectrum, the longitude profile, and the latitude profile of pulsar gamma-ray flux are calculated. The largest sources of uncertainty in the size of the pulsar contribution are the value of the mean interstellar electron density, the turnover in the pulsar radio luminosity function, and the average pulsar magnetic field strength. A present estimate is that pulsars contribute from 15 to 20 % of the total flux of gamma-rays from the galactic plane.

  17. Determination of the magnetic fields of Magellanic X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christodoulou, Dimitris M.; Laycock, Silas G. T.; Yang, Jun; Fingerman, Samuel

    2017-05-01

    The 80 high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) pulsars that are known to reside in the Magellanic Clouds (MCs) have been observed by the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray telescopes on a regular basis for 15 years, and the XMM-Newton and Chandra archives contain nearly complete information about the duty cycles of the sources with spin periods {P}{{S}}< 100 {{s}}. We have reprocessed the archival data from both observatories and we combined the output products with all the published observations of 31 MC pulsars with {P}{{S}}< 100 {{s}} in an attempt to investigate the faintest X-ray emission states of these objects that occur when accretion to the polar caps proceeds at the smallest possible rates. These states determine the so-called propeller lines of the accreting pulsars and yield information about the magnitudes of their surface magnetic fields. We have found that the faintest states of the pulsars segregate into five discrete groups which obey to a high degree of accuracy the theoretical relation between spin period and X-ray luminosity. So the entire population of these pulsars can be described by just five propeller lines and the five corresponding magnetic moments (0.29, 0.53, 1.2, 2.9 and 7.3, in units of 1030 G cm3).

  18. FORMATION OF MILLISECOND PULSARS FROM INTERMEDIATE- AND LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Shao Yong; Li Xiangdong

    2012-09-01

    We present a systematic study of the evolution of intermediate- and low-mass X-ray binaries consisting of an accreting neutron star of mass 1.0-1.8 M{sub Sun} and a donor star of mass 1.0-6.0 M{sub Sun }. In our calculations we take into account physical processes such as unstable disk accretion, radio ejection, bump-induced detachment, and outflow from the L{sub 2} point. Comparing the calculated results with the observations of binary radio pulsars, we report the following results. (1) The allowed parameter space for forming binary pulsars in the initial orbital period-donor mass plane increases with increasing neutron star mass. This may help explain why some millisecond pulsars with orbital periods longer than {approx}60 days seem to have less massive white dwarfs than expected. Alternatively, some of these wide binary pulsars may be formed through mass transfer driven by planet/brown-dwarf-involved common envelope evolution. (2) Some of the pulsars in compact binaries might have evolved from intermediate-mass X-ray binaries with anomalous magnetic braking. (3) The equilibrium spin periods of neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries are in general shorter than the observed spin periods of binary pulsars by more than one order of magnitude, suggesting that either the simple equilibrium spin model does not apply or there are other mechanisms/processes spinning down the neutron stars.

  19. Pulsars, X-ray synchrotron nebulae, and guest stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seward, Frederick D.; Wang, Zhen-Ru

    1988-01-01

    X-ray observations of supernova remnants and radio pulsars are used to derive luminosities of neutron stars and synchrotron nebulae. Observations of known isolated pulsars are used to develop an empirical relationship between the X-ray luminosity and the rate of loss of rotational energy. This is used to derive the characteristics of pulsars hidden in remnants which show evidence for a central compact object or associated nebular emission, but no clear pulsed signal from the neutron star itself. Possible periods and period derivatives for the hidden pulsars are discussed. Some might have periods as long as 0.5 s, and period derivatives considerably higher than that of PSR 1509 - 58, currently the pulsar with the highest known period derivative.

  20. Pulsars, X-ray synchrotron nebulae, and guest stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seward, Frederick D.; Wang, Zhen-Ru

    1988-01-01

    X-ray observations of supernova remnants and radio pulsars are used to derive luminosities of neutron stars and synchrotron nebulae. Observations of known isolated pulsars are used to develop an empirical relationship between the X-ray luminosity and the rate of loss of rotational energy. This is used to derive the characteristics of pulsars hidden in remnants which show evidence for a central compact object or associated nebular emission, but no clear pulsed signal from the neutron star itself. Possible periods and period derivatives for the hidden pulsars are discussed. Some might have periods as long as 0.5 s, and period derivatives considerably higher than that of PSR 1509 - 58, currently the pulsar with the highest known period derivative.

  1. 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; hide

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Patterns of variability in Be/X-ray pulsars during giant outbursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reig, P.; Nespoli, E.

    2013-03-01

    Context. The discovery of source states in the X-ray emission of black-hole binaries and neutron-star low-mass X-ray binaries constituted a major step forward in the understanding of the physics of accretion onto compact objects. While there are numerous studies on the correlated timing and spectral variability of these systems, very little work has been done on high-mass X-ray binaries, the third major type of X-ray binaries. Accretion-powered pulsars with Be companions represent the most numerous group of high-mass X-ray binaries. When active, they are amongst the brightest extra-solar objects in the X-ray sky and are characterised by dramatic variability in brightness on timescales of days. Aims: The main goal of this work is to investigate whether Be accreting X-ray pulsars display source states and characterise those states through their spectral and timing properties. Methods: We have made a systematic study of the power spectra, energy spectra and X-ray hardness-intensity diagrams of nine Be/X-ray pulsars. Energy spectra were fitted with an absorbed power-law modified by an exponential cutoff. Discrete components such as iron emission lines and cyclotron lines were represented by Gaussian and pseudo-Lorentzian profiles, respectively. Power spectra were fitted by a combination of Lorentzian functions. The evolution of the timing and spectral parameters were monitored through changes over two orders of magnitude in luminosity. Results: We find that Be/X-ray pulsars trace two different branches in the hardness-intensity diagram: the horizontal branch corresponds to a low-intensity state of the source and it is characterised by fast colour and spectral changes and high X-ray variability. The diagonal branch is a high-intensity state that emerges when the X-ray luminosity exceeds a critical limit. The photon index anticorrelates with X-ray flux in the horizontal branch but correlates with it in the diagonal branch. The correlation between quasi

  5. 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.

  6. Discovery of the Orbit of the X-ray pulsar OAO 1657-415

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakrabarty, Deepto; Grunsfeld, John M.; Prince, Thomas A.; Bildsten, Lars; Finger, Mark H.; Wilson, Robert B.; Fishman, Gerald J.; Meegan, Charles A.; Paciesas, William S.

    1993-01-01

    Timing observations of the 38 s accreting X-ray pulsar OAO 1657-415 made with the BATSE large-area detectors on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory have revealed a binary orbit with an X-ray eclipse by the stellar companion. From the pulsar mass function fx(M) = 11.7 +/- 0.2 solar masses and the measured eclipse half-angle theta(e) = 29.7 +/- 1.3 deg, we infer that the stellar companion is a supergiant of spectral class B0-B6. If the companion can be identified and its orbital velocity measured, the neutron star mass can be constrained. Both intrinsic spin-up and spin-down of the pulsar were measured during our observation.

  7. On the Magnetic Field of the Ultraluminous X-Ray Pulsar M82 X-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Kun; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2017-04-01

    The discovery of the ultraluminous X-ray pulsar M82 X-2 has stimulated lively discussion on the nature of the accreting neutron star. In most of the previous studies the magnetic field of the neutron star was derived from the observed spin-up/down rates based on the standard thin, magnetized accretion disk model. However, under super-Eddington accretion the inner part of the accretion disk becomes geometrically thick. In this work we consider both radiation feedback from the neutron star and the sub-Keplerian rotation in a thick disk and calculate the magnetic moment–mass accretion rate relations for the measured rates of spin change. We find that the derived neutron star's dipole magnetic field depends on the maximum accretion rate adopted, but is likely ≲1013 G. The predicted accretion rate change can be used to test the proposed models by comparison with observations.

  8. 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.

  9. The Slowest Spinning X-Ray Pulsar in an Extragalactic Globular Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolotukhin, Ivan Yu.; Bachetti, Matteo; Sartore, Nicola; Chilingarian, Igor V.; Webb, Natalie A.

    2017-04-01

    Neutron stars are thought to be born rapidly rotating and then exhibit a phase of rotation-powered pulsations as they slow down to 1-10 s periods. The significant population of millisecond pulsars observed in our Galaxy is explained by the recycling concept: during an epoch of accretion from a donor star in a binary system, the neutron star is spun up to millisecond periods. However, only a few pulsars are observed during this recycling process, with relatively high rotational frequencies. Here we report the detection of an X-ray pulsar with {P}{spin}=1.20 {{s}} in the globular cluster B091D in the Andromeda galaxy, the slowest pulsar ever found in a globular cluster. This bright (up to 30% of the Eddington luminosity) spinning-up pulsar, persistent over the 12 years of observations, must have started accreting less than 1 Myr ago and has not yet had time to accelerate to hundreds of Hertz. The neutron star in this unique wide binary with an orbital period {P}{orb}=30.5 {hr} in a 12 Gyr old, metal-rich star cluster accretes from a low-mass, slightly evolved post-main-sequence companion. We argue that we are witnessing a binary formed at a relatively recent epoch by getting a ˜0.8 {M}⊙ star in a dynamical interaction—a viable scenario in a massive, dense globular cluster like B091D with high global and specific stellar encounter rates. This intensively accreting non-recycled X-ray pulsar therefore provides a long-sought missing piece in the standard pulsar recycling picture.

  10. The X-ray pulsar 2A 1822-371 as a super-Eddington source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bak Nielsen, Ann-Sofie; Patruno, Alessandro; D'Angelo, Caroline

    2017-06-01

    The low-mass X-ray binary 2A 1822-371 is an eclipsing system with an accretion disc corona and with an orbital period of 5.57 h. The primary is a 0.59 s X-ray pulsar with a proposed strong magnetic field of 1010-1012 G. In this paper, we study the spin evolution of the pulsar and constrain the geometry of the system. We find that, contrary to previous claims, a thick corona is not required and that the system characteristics could be best explained by a thin accretion outflow due to a super-Eddington mass transfer rate and a geometrically thick inner accretion flow. The orbital, spectral and timing observations can be reconciled in this scenario under the assumption that the mass transfer proceeds on a thermal time-scale that would make 2A 1822-371 a mildly super-Eddington source viewed at high inclination angles. The timing analysis on 13 yr of Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data shows a remarkably stable spin-up that implies that 2A 1822-371 might quickly turn into a millisecond pulsar in the next few thousand years.

  11. X-ray bounds on the r-mode amplitude in millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwenzer, Kai; Boztepe, Tuğba; Güver, Tolga; Vurgun, Eda

    2017-04-01

    r-mode asteroseismology provides a unique way to study the internal composition of compact stars. Due to their precise timing, recycled millisecond radio pulsars present a particularly promising class of sources. Although their thermal properties are still poorly constrained, X-ray data is very useful for asteroseismology since r-modes could strongly heat a star. Using known and new upper bounds on the temperatures and luminosities of several non-accreting millisecond radio pulsars, we derive bounds on the r-mode amplitude as low as α ≲ 10-8 and discuss the impact on scenarios for their internal composition.

  12. AX J1910.7+0917: the slowest X-ray pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidoli, L.; Israel, G. L.; Esposito, P.; Rodríguez Castillo, G. A.; Postnov, K.

    2017-08-01

    Pulsations from the high-mass X-ray binary AX J1910.7+0917 were discovered during Chandra observations performed in 2011. We report here more details on this discovery and discuss the source nature. The period of the X-ray signal is P = 36200 ± 110 s, with a pulsed fraction, PF, of 63 ± 4 per cent. Given the association with a massive B-type companion star, we ascribe this long periodicity to the rotation of the neutron star (NS), making AX J1910.7+0917 the slowest known X-ray pulsar. We also report on the spectroscopy of XMM-Newton observations that serendipitously covered the source field, resulting in a highly absorbed (column density almost reaching 1023 cm-2), power-law X-ray spectrum. The X-ray flux is variable on a time-scale of years, spanning a dynamic range ≳ 60. The very long NS spin period can be explained within a quasi-spherical settling accretion model that applies to low luminosity, wind-fed, X-ray pulsars.

  13. X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF HIGH-B RADIO PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Olausen, S. A.; Kaspi, V. M.; Zhu, W. W.; Vogel, J. K.; Lyne, A. G.; Espinoza, C. M.; Stappers, B. W.; Manchester, R. N.; McLaughlin, M. A.

    2013-02-10

    The study of high-magnetic-field pulsars is important for examining the relationships between radio pulsars, magnetars, and X-ray-isolated neutron stars (XINSs). Here, we report on X-ray observations of three such high-magnetic-field radio pulsars. We first present the results of a deep XMM-Newton observation of PSR J1734-3333, taken to follow up on its initial detection in 2009. The pulsar's spectrum is well fit by a blackbody with a temperature of 300 {+-} 60 eV, with bolometric luminosity L{sub bb}=2.0{sub -0.7}{sup +2.2} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 32} erg s{sup -1}{approx}0.0036 E-dot for a distance of 6.1 kpc. We detect no X-ray pulsations from the source, setting a 1{sigma} upper limit on the pulsed fraction of 60% in the 0.5-3 keV band. We compare PSR J1734-3333 to other rotation-powered pulsars of similar age and find that it is significantly hotter, supporting the hypothesis that the magnetic field affects the observed thermal properties of pulsars. We also report on XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of PSRs B1845-19 and J1001-5939. We do not detect either pulsar, setting 3{sigma} upper limits on their blackbody temperatures of 48 and 56 eV, respectively. Despite the similarities in rotational properties, these sources are significantly cooler than all but one of the XINSs, which we attribute to the two groups having been born with different magnetic fields and hence evolving differently.

  14. X-Ray Observations of High-B Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olausen, S. A.; Zhu, W. W.; Vogel, J. K.; Kaspi, V. M.; Lyne, A. G.; Espinoza, C. M.; Stappers, B. W.; Manchester, R. N.; McLaughlin, M. A.

    2013-02-01

    The study of high-magnetic-field pulsars is important for examining the relationships between radio pulsars, magnetars, and X-ray-isolated neutron stars (XINSs). Here, we report on X-ray observations of three such high-magnetic-field radio pulsars. We first present the results of a deep XMM-Newton observation of PSR J1734-3333, taken to follow up on its initial detection in 2009. The pulsar's spectrum is well fit by a blackbody with a temperature of 300 ± 60 eV, with bolometric luminosity L_{{bb}}=2.0_{-0.7}^{+2.2}× 10^{32} {erg s^{-1}}≈ 0.0036 \\dot{E} for a distance of 6.1 kpc. We detect no X-ray pulsations from the source, setting a 1σ upper limit on the pulsed fraction of 60% in the 0.5-3 keV band. We compare PSR J1734-3333 to other rotation-powered pulsars of similar age and find that it is significantly hotter, supporting the hypothesis that the magnetic field affects the observed thermal properties of pulsars. We also report on XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of PSRs B1845-19 and J1001-5939. We do not detect either pulsar, setting 3σ upper limits on their blackbody temperatures of 48 and 56 eV, respectively. Despite the similarities in rotational properties, these sources are significantly cooler than all but one of the XINSs, which we attribute to the two groups having been born with different magnetic fields and hence evolving differently.

  15. 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.

  16. 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'.

  17. X-ray spectra of the Crab pulsar and nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, S. H.; Serlemitsos, P. J.

    1981-01-01

    The spectrum of the Crab pulsar was measued from 2 to 50 keV as a function of pulse phase and a progressive hardening and subsequent softening of the spectrum across the pulse was found. The fraction of the pulsed flux which exhibits spectral variability is 0.14 and is concentrated solely in the region between the two peaks. A model is suggested in which the pulsed X-ray emission from the Crab pulsar consists of two components: one which has no spectral dependence with pulse phase and which is physically related to the double peaked gama ray pulse and, perhaps, the radio and optical pulses; and another component which exhibits spectral variability with pulse phase is confined to and comprises the interpeak emission, and which is only seen at X-ray energies. These results and studies of the binary X-ray pulsar Hercules X-1 suggest a phenomonological similarity. If the spectrally varying component in the Crab pulsar arises from a hot, magnetized plasma near the neutron star surface then higher energy spectral observations of this phase region might reveal spectral features which can be used to determine the surface field strength.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Soft X ray properties of the Geminga pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 T1 = (5.2 +/- 1.0) x 10 5 K and T2 approximately 3 x 106 K, respectively. The inferred ratio of surface areas, A2/A1, is approximately 3 x 10-5. 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 T1. 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 1020 cm-2. Distances less than 150 pc are probably ruled out both by the lower limit on the column density, and also by the requirement that the Rayleigh

  1. Clump Accretion in Supergiant Fast X-Ray Transients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chase, Eve; Raymer, E.; Blondin, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Supergiant Fast X-Ray Transients (SFXTs) are a subclass of High-Mass X-Ray Binaries that consist of a neutron star and OB supergiant donor star. These systems display short, bright x-ray flares lasting a few minutes to a few hours with luminosities reaching 1036 erg/s, several orders of magnitude larger than the quiescent luminosities of 1032 erg/s. The clumpy wind hypothesis has been proposed as a possible mechanism for these transient flares; in this model, a portion of the stellar wind from the donor star forms into clumps and is accreted onto the neutron star, inducing flares. We use high-resolution 3D hydrodynamic simulations to test the clumpy wind hypothesis, tracking the mass and angular momentum accretion rates to infer properties of the resulting x-ray flare and secular evolution of the neutron star rotation. Our results are significantly different from the predictions of Hoyle-Lyttleton Accretion (HLA) theory, which assume steady, laminar, axisymmetric flow. For example, an off-axis clump initiated with an impact parameter greater than the clump radius (for which HLA predicts no effect) produces a small spike in mass accretion and induces a long period of disk-like flow that dramatically reduces the accretion rate below the steady HLA value. The result is a brief, weak flare with a net decrease in total accreted mass compared with steady wind accretion accompanied by a substantial accretion of angular momentum.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Identification of the X-ray pulsar in Hercules: A new optical pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidsen, A.; Henry, J. P.; Middleditch, J.; Smith, H. E.

    1972-01-01

    A series of photographic, photoelectric, and spectroscopic observations beginning June 1, 1972 has led to the optical identification of Her X-1 (2U 1705 + 34), a pulsed X-ray source in an eclipsing binary system, with the thirteenth magnitude blue variable star HZ Herculis. The detection of optical pulses at the frequency of the X-ray pulsar on three nights makes the identification conclusive and establishes HZ Her as the second known optical pulsar. The strength of the optical pulses may be correlated with the orbital phase but is not obviously related to the high or low intensity states of the X-ray source.

  5. 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).

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. X-Ray Emissions from Accreting White Dwarfs: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, K.

    2017-06-01

    Interacting binaries in which a white dwarf accretes material from a companion—cataclysmic variables (CVs) in which the mass donor is a Roche-lobe filling star on or near the main sequence, and symbiotic stars in which the mass donor is a late type giant—are relatively commonplace. They display a wide range of behaviors in the optical, X-rays, and other wavelengths, which still often baffle observers and theorists alike. Here I review the existing body of research on X-ray emissions from these objects for the benefits of both experts and newcomers to the field. I provide introductions to the past and current X-ray observatories, the types of known X-ray emissions from these objects, and the data analysis techniques relevant to this field. I then summarize of our knowledge regarding the X-ray emissions from magnetic CVs, non-magnetic CVs and symbiotic stars, and novae in eruption. I also discuss space density and the X-ray luminosity functions of these binaries and their contribution to the integrated X-ray emission from the Galaxy. I then discuss open questions and future prospects.

  12. X-Ray Emissions from Accreting White Dwarfs: A Review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mukai, K.

    2017-01-01

    Interacting binaries in which a white dwarf accretes material from a companion-cataclysmic variables (CVs) in which the mass donor is a Roche-lobe filling star on or near the main sequence, and symbiotic stars in which the mass donor is a late type giant-are relatively commonplace. They display a wide range of behaviors in the optical, X-rays, and other wavelengths, which still often baffle observers and theorists alike. Here I review the existing body of research on X-ray emissions from these objects for the benefits of both experts and newcomers to the field. I provide introductions to the past and current X-ray observatories, the types of known X-ray emissions from these objects, and the data analysis techniques relevant to this field. I then summarize of our knowledge regarding the X-ray emissions from magnetic CVs, non-magnetic CVs and symbiotic stars, and novae in eruption. I also discuss space density and the X-ray luminosity functions of these binaries and their contribution to the integrated X-ray emission from the Galaxy. I then discuss open questions and future prospects.

  13. Probing AGN Accretion History Through X-Ray Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paolillo, Maurizio; Papadakis, I.; Brandt, W. N.; Xue, Y. Q.; Luo, B.; Tozzi, P.; Shemmer, O.; Allevato, V.; Bauer, F.; Koekemoer, A.; Vignali, C.; Vito, F.; Yang, G.; Wang, J. X.; Zheng, X.

    2016-10-01

    I will present recent results on AGN variability in the CDFS survey. Using over 10 years of X-ray monitoring and comparison with local AGNs we are able to constrain the variability dependence on BH mass and accreton rate, and use it to trace the accretion hisory of the AGN population up to z=3.

  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. 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

  16. Hard X-ray Characteristics of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars: Results from RXTE and INTEGRAL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    den Hartog, Peter R.

    Until recently anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) were known as soft X-ray emitters. This has changed drastically since the discovery of hard X-ray emission (>10 keV) from several AXPs by INTEGRAL (Molkov et al. 2004, Revnivtsev et al. 2004 and den Hartog et al. 2004). Kuiper et al. (2004) discovered pulsed emission in the same energy range using RXTE (PCA and HEXTE) data. Currently four AXPs (1RXS J170849.0-400910, 1E 1841-045, 4U 0142+614 and 1E 2259+586) have been detected, some of them showing emission up to 200 keV. The spectra exhibit extremely hard power laws with photon indices < 1.0 and with apparent luminosities 2-3 orders of magnitude above the rotational energy loss. The origin of this behaviour is not yet understood. An overview containing the current observational status in the temporal and the spectral domains as well as future prospects of AXPs at high energies is presented.

  17. Unusual Braking Indices in Young X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederic Archibald, Robert; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Beardmore, Andrew P.; Gehrels, Neil; Kennea, Jamie; Gotthelf, Eric V.; Ferdman, Robert; Guillot, Sebastien; Harrison, Fiona; Keane, Evan; Pivovaroff, Michael; Stern, Daniel; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Tomsick, John

    2016-04-01

    Pulsars spin down over time. By measuring braking indices of pulsars, effectively the change in the spin-down rate over time, we can probe the underlying driving engine of the spin-down. For a magnetic dipole in a vacuum, n is predicted to be 3. To date, all measured braking indices are less than 3, which can be explained, e.g. by particle winds, changes in the magnetic field. In all models of braking indices, n should be nearly constant on year time-scales. Here, I will discuss two recent observation results that challenge this model, interestingly both coming from young X-ray pulsars with no detected radio emission. The first, a long-lived decrease in the braking index of PSR J1846-0258 following a burst of magnetar-like activity, and secondly, the first stationary braking index greater than three. Understanding neutron-star spin evolution is key to constraining these objects' long-term energy output and has relevance to topics ranging from pulsar wind nebulae and supernova remnants to core-collapse supernova rates, physics, and expected outcomes.

  18. X-ray reverberation of the inner accretion disc in X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uttley, Phil; Cassatella, Pablo; Wilkinson, Tony; Wilms, Joern; Pottschmidt, Katja; Hanke, Manfred; Boeck, Moritz

    Rapid fluctuations in the Comptonised emission close to accreting compact objects should lead to reverberation of the accretion disc, both through X-ray heating of the disc (to produce a variable blackbody component) and also correlated changes in the disc reflection component, including the iron K line. If they can be detected, these reverberation signatures can provide powerful constraints on the geometry of the disc and Comptonising regions. The measure-ment of the reverberation delays will provide a natural 'yardstick' to measure the inner disc radius (in km, not R/M!) and so constrain the black hole spin or the neutron star equation of state. I will present new results from XMM-Newton and RXTE observations, which confirm the presence of X-ray reverberation in X-ray binary systems and allow the first measurement of reverberation delays. These results are a pathfinder which highlights the enormous po-tential of high-throughput spectral-timing with the proposed HTRS instrument on board the International X-ray Observatory.

  19. Tugboat model for OB binaries, X-ray stars and pulsars.

    PubMed

    Helfand, D J; Tademaru, E

    1977-05-12

    An examination of the kinematical properties of binary OB stars, binary X-ray sources and pulsars suggests an evolutionary sequence linking an apparent low-velocity class of pulsars to the binary nature of their extreme Population I progenitors.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. High-resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Bursting Pulsar GRO J1744-28

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    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 l ~= 6.7 keV. Fits with a disk reflection model yield an inclination angle of i ~= 52° and an inner disk radius of R in ~= 85 GM/c 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) × 1010 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 out ~= (7.5-8.2) × 103 km s-1 (sime 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Use of X-Ray Pulsars for Aiding GPS Satellite Orbit Determination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-01

    pulsar used was PSR B0531+21 (Crab Pulsar) which is a very well known bright pulsar in the Crab Nebula [28]. Feasibly, if GPS x-ray detectors were 4...Variations Within the Pulse Profile Peaks of the Crab Nebula Pulsar,” The Astrophysical Journal , 467 (1996). 18. Halsell, Charles A. Orbit

  6. 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.

  7. EVOLUTION OF TRANSIENT LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARIES TO REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Kun; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2015-11-20

    Redback millisecond pulsars (MSPs; hereafter redbacks) are a subpopulation of eclipsing MSPs in close binaries. The formation processes of these systems are not clear. The three pulsars showing transitions between rotation- and accretion-powered states belong to both redbacks and transient low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), suggesting a possible evolutionary link between them. Through binary evolution calculations, we show that the accretion disks in almost all LMXBs are subject to the thermal-viscous instability during certain evolutionary stages, and the parameter space for the disk instability covers the distribution of known redbacks in the orbital period—companion mass plane. We accordingly suggest that the abrupt reduction of the mass accretion rate during quiescence of transient LMXBs provides a plausible way to switch on the pulsar activity, leading to the formation of redbacks, if the neutron star has been spun up to be an energetic MSP. We investigate the evolution of redbacks, taking into account the evaporation feedback, and discuss its possible influence on the formation of black widow MSPs.

  8. Radio and X-Ray Observations of the Intermittent Pulsar J1832+0029

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorimer, D. R.; Lyne, A. G.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Kramer, M.; Pavlov, G. G.; Chang, C.

    2012-10-01

    We report on radio and X-ray observations of PSR J1832+0029, a 533 ms radio pulsar discovered in the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey. From radio observations taken with the Parkes, Lovell, and Arecibo telescopes, we show that this pulsar exhibits two spin-down states akin to PSRs B1931+24 reported by Kramer et al. and J1841-0500 reported by Camilo et al. Unlike PSR B1931+24, which switches between "on" and "off" states on a 30-40 day timescale, PSR J1832+0029 is similar to PSR J1841-0500 in that it spends a much longer period of time in the off-state. So far, we have fully sampled two off-states. The first one lasted between 560 and 640 days and the second one lasted between 810 and 835 days. From our radio timing observations, the ratio of on/off spin-down rates is 1.77 ± 0.03. Chandra observations carried out during both the on- and off-states of this pulsar failed to detect any emission. Our results challenge but do not rule out models involving accretion onto the neutron star from a low-mass stellar companion. In spite of the small number of intermittent pulsars currently known, difficulties in discovering them and in quantifying their behavior imply that their total population could be substantial.

  9. The Physics of Accretion in X-Ray Binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrtilek, S.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    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 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. 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.

  11. An x-ray nebula associated with the millisecond pulsar B1957+20.

    PubMed

    Stappers, B W; Gaensler, B M; Kaspi, V M; van der Klis, M; Lewin, W H G

    2003-02-28

    We have detected an x-ray nebula around the binary millisecond pulsar B1957+20. A narrow tail, corresponding to the shocked pulsar wind, is seen interior to the known Halpha bow shock and proves the long-held assumption that the rotational energy of millisecond pulsars is dissipated through relativistic winds. Unresolved x-ray emission likely represents the shock where the winds of the pulsar and its companion collide. This emission indicates that the efficiency with which relativistic particles are accelerated in the postshock flow is similar to that for young pulsars, despite the shock proximity and much weaker surface magnetic field of this millisecond pulsar.

  12. The Emerging Population of Pulsar Wind Nebulae in Hard X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattana, F.; Götz, D.; Terrier, R.; Renaud, M.; Falanga, M.

    2009-05-01

    The hard X-ray synchrotron emission from Pulsar Wind Nebulae probes energetic particles, closely related to the pulsar injection power at the present time. INTEGRAL has disclosed the yet poorly known population of hard X-ray pulsar/PWN systems. We summarize the properties of the class, with emphasys on the first hard X-ray bow-shock (CTB 80 powered by PSR B1951+32), and highlight some prospects for the study of Pulsar Wind Nebulae with the Simbol-X mission.

  13. Radiative efficiency of hot accretion flow and the radio/X-ray correlation in X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Fu-Guo

    2016-02-01

    Significant progresses have been made since the discovery of hot accretion flow, a theory successfully applied to the low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) and black hole (BH) X-ray binaries (BHBs) in their hard states. Motivated by these updates, we re-investigate the radiative efficiency of hot accretion flow. We find that, the brightest regime of hot accretion flow shows a distinctive property, i.e. it has a constant efficiency independent of accretion rates, similar to the standard thin disk. For less bright regime, the efficiency has a steep positive correlation with the accretion rate, while for faint regime typical of advection-dominated accretion flow, the correlation is shadower. This result can naturally explain the observed two distinctive correlations between radio and X-ray luminosities in black hole X-ray binaries. The key difference in systems with distinctive correlations could be the viscous parameter, which determines the critical luminosity of different accretion modes.

  14. Successive X-ray bursts from accreting neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taam, Ronald E.; Woosley, S. E.; Weaver, T. A.; Lamb, D. Q.

    1993-01-01

    The evolution of a neutron star undergoing a series of thermonuclear flashes in its accreted hydrogen-rich layer has been numerically followed to determine the effects of the history of the neutron star's thermal and compositional structure on the properties of the emitted X-ray bursts. Burst characteristics are studied for a range of mass accretion rates, CNO abundances in the accreted matter, and initial thermal states of the underlying neutron star core; the bursts exhibit erratic behavior for low CNO metal abundances and cool neutron star cores, with the burst recurrence time scales varying by 1-2 orders of magnitude. There is typically a continued presence of a substantial amount of unburnt hydrogen in the accreted layer throughout the series of the X-ray burst events. Convective mixing during the quiescent phase leads to the inward transport of helium to high densities and eventually to the initiation of the next outburst. The resulting bursts can be weak and, in such cases, are characterized by short recurrence time scales (1-2 hr), low peak luminosities (0.1-0.2 times the Eddington value), and low alpha-values (about 20).

  15. Black Hole Accretion and X-Ray Variability in AGN

    SciTech Connect

    Vollrath, Z.

    2004-09-03

    Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) have very luminous centers which are so bright that the surrounding stars can not adequately account for the energy emission of AGN. One of the most accepted explanations for this energy release is black hole accretion. These black holes accrete near by gas and dust, and as a result gravitational potential is converted to energy which is released. In order to probe the accretion mechanism which lies close to the black hole, short time scale X-ray variability is analyzed. The very short time scale variability will increase understanding of the processes that occur in the heart of galaxies. Data from the ASCA X-ray telescope was reduced and analyzed using the programs FTOOLS, XSELCT, and ASCASCREEN. Light curves and event lists were generated for long term observations of different AGN which were sent to collaborators for further analysis using the event time arrivals. The analysis will compare accretion and jet dominated AGN and will provide use with an understanding of how short scale time variability can relate to the mechanism very close to black holes buried within AGN.

  16. Successive X-ray bursts from accreting neutron stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taam, Ronald E.; Woosley, S. E.; Weaver, T. A.; Lamb, D. Q.

    1993-01-01

    The evolution of a neutron star undergoing a series of thermonuclear flashes in its accreted hydrogen-rich layer has been numerically followed to determine the effects of the history of the neutron star's thermal and compositional structure on the properties of the emitted X-ray bursts. Burst characteristics are studied for a range of mass accretion rates, CNO abundances in the accreted matter, and initial thermal states of the underlying neutron star core; the bursts exhibit erratic behavior for low CNO metal abundances and cool neutron star cores, with the burst recurrence time scales varying by 1-2 orders of magnitude. There is typically a continued presence of a substantial amount of unburnt hydrogen in the accreted layer throughout the series of the X-ray burst events. Convective mixing during the quiescent phase leads to the inward transport of helium to high densities and eventually to the initiation of the next outburst. The resulting bursts can be weak and, in such cases, are characterized by short recurrence time scales (1-2 hr), low peak luminosities (0.1-0.2 times the Eddington value), and low alpha-values (about 20).

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Observations of the γ-ray pulsar J1932+1916 in X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpova, A.; Shternin, P.; Zyuzin, D.; Danilenko, A.; Shibanov, Yu.

    2017-04-01

    We present the analysis of the archival Suzaku and Swift X-ray observations of the young γ-ray pulsar J1932+1916 field. The data revealed a point-like object at the γ-ray position of the pulsar and diffuse X-ray emission around it. Spectra of the point-like source and diffuse emission are well-described by absorbed power-law models with spectral parameters typical for pulsar plus pulsar wind nebula systems. Therefore, we suggest that Suzaku and Swift detected the X-ray counterpart of PSR J1932+1916. Assuming this interpretation, we constrain the distance to the pulsar in the range of 2-6 kpc. We also suggest possible association of the pulsar with the nearby supernova remnant G54.4-0.3 and discuss its implications for the pulsar proper motion, age and distance.

  2. 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

    2014-10-09

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Exact solution for the hypergeometric Green's function describing spectral formation in x-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Peter A.

    2005-05-01

    An eigenfunction expansion method involving hypergeometric functions is used to solve the partial differential equation governing the transport of radiation in an X-ray pulsar accretion column containing a radiative shock. The procedure yields the exact solution for the Green's function, which describes the scattering of monochromatic radiation injected into the column from a source located near the surface of the star. Collisions between the injected photons and the infalling electrons cause the radiation to gain energy as it diffuses through the gas and gradually escapes by passing through the walls of the column. The presence of the shock enhances the energization of the radiation and creates a power-law spectrum at high energies, which is typical for a Fermi process. The analytical solution for the Green's function provides important physical insight into the spectral formation process in X-ray pulsars, and it also has direct relevance for the interpretation of spectral data for these sources. Additional interesting mathematical aspects of the problem include the establishment of a closed-form expression for the quadratic normalization integrals of the orthogonal eigenfunctions, and the derivation of a new summation formula involving products of hypergeometric functions. By taking various limits of the general expressions, we also develop new linear and bilinear generating functions for the Jacobi polynomials.

  5. 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.

  6. The Radiative X-ray and Gamma-ray Efficiencies of Rotation-powered Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 & Pavlov, and we complement this with an analysis of the γ-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 γ-ray emission with characteristic age: young pulsars and their surrounding nebulae are efficient X-ray emitters, whereas in contrast old pulsars are efficient γ-ray emitters. We divided the X-ray sample in a young (τ c < 1.7 × 104 yr) and old sample and used linear regression to search for correlations between the logarithm of the X-ray and γ-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_X ∝ \\dot{P}^3/P^6. For old pulsars and their nebulae the X-ray luminosity is consistent with a more or less constant efficiency η ≡ L_X/\\dot{E}_{rot} ≈ 8× 10^{-5}. For the γ-ray luminosity we confirm that L_γ ∝ √{\\dot{E}_{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.

  7. 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.

  8. X-ray Heated Winds from Accretion Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, D. T.; Castor, J. I.; Klein, R. I.; McKee, C. F.; Bell, J. B.

    1993-05-01

    We present 2-D axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulations of thermally driven winds from accretion disks which result from the absorption of X-rays from a central compact object (~ 10(8M_sun) ). We have assumed the accretion disk flares with radius so that the outer parts can be directly exposed to the ionizing radiation from the central source. The effects of rotation, central gravity from the compact object, and optically thin heating and cooling have been added to a second-order Godunov scheme employing local adaptive mesh refinement. Each model exhibits solutions where there is a gravitationally bound, nearly isothermal corona for streamlines emanating from small radii, and a free flowing wind for streamlines from large radii. We have calculated models for a range of luminosities which show the different types of wind solutions possible. These range from a rapidly-heated, nearly isothermal wind for high luminosities to a slowly-heated, gravitationally inhibited wind for low luminosities. A direct comparison is made to the analytic prediction of mass loss rate as a function of radius of Begelman, McKee, and Shields (1983). We find good agreement at high luminosities; however, discrepancies are found at low luminosities indicating an improved description of the transition to a gravitationally retarded wind. Finally, for the purposes of X-ray spectroscopy of the wind, we present the column density of various iron ions as a function of inclination angle of the disk for a few of our models.

  9. Revisiting the Magnetic and Spin Evolution of Two Young X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdman, Robert; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Archibald, Robert Frederic

    2014-08-01

    We present results from timing analysis of two young X-ray pulsars found in the large Magellanic Cloud: the Crab-like energetic pulsar PSR B0540-69 and the so-called "big glitcher", PSR J0537-6910. In both cases, we analyze data taken with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. This work extends the published data sets for these pulsars by approximately doubling their respective data spans. We revisit the glitching activity of these neutron stars, particularly that of PSR J0537-6910, determine more precise glitch and spin parameters, and discuss the implications for the spin and magnetospheric evolution of these interesting pulsars.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. X-ray Pulsar in the Crab Nebula.

    PubMed

    Fritz, G; Henry, R C; Meekins, J F; Chubb, T A; Friedman, H

    1969-05-09

    X-ray pulsations have been observed in the Crab Nebula at a frequency closely matching the radio and optical pulsations. About 5 percent of the total x-ray power of the nebula appears in the pulsed component. The x-ray pulsations have the form of a main pulse and an interpulse separated by about 12 milliseconds.

  13. Chandra X-ray Observations of 12 Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster M28

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanov, Slavko; van den Berg, Maureen; Servillat, Mathieu; Heinke, Craig O.; Grindlay, Jonathan E.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Ransom, Scott M.; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Bégin, Steve; Becker, Werner

    2011-04-01

    We present a Chandra X-ray Observatory investigation of the millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). In what is one of the deepest X-ray observations of a globular cluster, we firmly detect seven and possibly detect two of the 12 known M28 pulsars. With the exception of PSRs B1821-24 and J1824-2452H, the detected pulsars have relatively soft spectra, with X-ray luminosities 1030-1031 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), similar to most "recycled" pulsars in 47 Tucanae and the field of the Galaxy, implying thermal emission from the pulsar magnetic polar caps. We present the most detailed X-ray spectrum to date of the energetic PSR B1821-24. It is well described by a purely non-thermal spectrum with spectral photon index Γ = 1.23 and luminosity 1.4 × 1033Θ(D/5.5 kpc)2 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), where Θ is the fraction of the sky covered by the X-ray emission beam(s). We find no evidence for the previously reported line emission feature around 3.3 keV, most likely as a consequence of improvements in instrument calibration. The X-ray spectrum and pulse profile of PSR B1821-24 suggest that the bulk of unpulsed emission from this pulsar is not of thermal origin, and is likely due to low-level non-thermal magnetospheric radiation, an unresolved pulsar wind nebula, and/or small-angle scattering of the pulsed X-rays by interstellar dust grains. The peculiar binary PSR J1824-2452H shows a relatively hard X-ray spectrum and possible variability at the binary period, indicative of an intrabinary shock formed by interaction between the relativistic pulsar wind and matter from its non-degenerate companion star.

  14. Young rotation-powered pulsars as ultraluminous X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medvedev, Aleksei S.; Poutanen, Juri

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this paper is to investigate a possible contribution of the rotation-powered pulsars and pulsar wind nebulae to the population of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). We first develop an analytical model for the evolution of the distribution function of pulsars over the spin period and find both the steady-state and the time-dependent solutions. Using the recent results on the X-ray efficiency dependence on pulsar characteristic age, we then compute the X-ray luminosity function (XLF) of rotation-powered pulsars. In a general case, it has a broken power-law shape with a high-luminosity cutoff, which depends on the distributions of the birth spin period and the magnetic field. Using the observed XLF of sources in the nearby galaxies and the condition that the pulsar XLF does not exceed that, we find the allowed region for the parameters describing the birth period distribution. We find that the mean pulsar period should be greater than 10-40 ms. These results are consistent with the constraints obtained from the X-ray luminosity of core-collapse supernovae. We estimate that the contribution of the rotation-powered pulsars to the ULX population is at a level exceeding 3 per cent. For a wide birth period distribution, this fraction grows with luminosity and above 1040 erg s-1 pulsars can dominate the ULX population.

  15. X-Ray Binary Phenomenology and Their Accretion Disk Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazanas, Demosthenes

    We propose a scheme that accounts for the broader spectral and temporal properties of galactic black hole X-ray transients. The fundamental notion behind this proposal is that the mass accretion rate, dot{M}, of the disks of these systems depends on the radius, as it has been proposed for ADIOS. We propose that, because of this dependence of dot{M} on radius, an accretion disk which is geometrically thin and cool at large radii converts into a geometrically thick, advection dominated, hot disk interior to a transition radius at which the local accretion rate drops below the square of the viscosity parameter, a condition for the existence of advection dominated flows. We argue also that such a transition requires in addition that the vertical disk support be provided by magnetic fields. As discussed in other chapters of this book, the origin of these fields is local to the disk by the Poynting Robertson battery, thereby providing a complete self-contained picture for the spectra and evolution of these systems.

  16. Swift Detection of a 65 Day X-Ray Period from the Ultraluminous Pulsar NGC 7793 P13

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chin-Ping; Li, K. L.; Kong, Albert K. H.; Ng, C.-Y.; Chun-Che Lin, Lupin

    2017-01-01

    NGC 7793 P13 is an ultraluminous X-ray source harboring an accreting pulsar. We report on the detection of a ∼65 day period X-ray modulation with Swift observations in this system. The modulation period found in the X-ray band is P = 65.05 ± 0.10 days and the profile is asymmetric with a fast rise and a slower decay. On the other hand, the u-band light curve collected by Swift UVOT confirmed an optical modulation with a period of P = 64.24 ± 0.13 days. We explored the phase evolution of the X-ray and optical periodicities and propose two solutions. A superorbital modulation with a period of ∼2700–4700 days probably caused by the precession of a warped accretion disk is necessary to interpret the phase drift of the optical data. We further discuss the implication if this ∼65 day periodicity is caused by the superorbital modulation. Estimated from the relationship between the spin-orbital and orbital-superorbital periods of known disk-fed high-mass X-ray binaries, the orbital period of P13 is roughly estimated as 3–7 days. In this case, an unknown mechanism with a much longer timescale is needed to interpret the phase drift. Further studies on the stability of these two periodicities with a long-term monitoring could help us to probe their physical origins.

  17. Deep Chandra Survey of the Small Magellanic Cloud. II. Timing Analysis of X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, JaeSub; Antoniou, Vallia; Zezas, Andreas; Haberl, Frank; Sasaki, Manami; Drake, Jeremy J.; Plucinsky, Paul P.; Laycock, Silas

    2017-09-01

    We report the timing analysis results of X-ray pulsars from a recent deep Chandra survey of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We analyzed a total exposure of 1.4 Ms from 31 observations over a 1.2 deg2 region in the SMC under a Chandra X-ray Visionary Program. Using the Lomb–Scargle and epoch-folding techniques, we detected periodic modulations from 20 pulsars and a new candidate pulsar. The survey also covered 11 other pulsars with no clear sign of periodic modulation. The 0.5–8 keV X-ray luminosity (L X ) of the pulsars ranges from 1034 to 1037 erg s‑1 at 60 kpc. All of the Chandra sources with L X ≳ 4 × 1035 erg s‑1 exhibit X-ray pulsations. The X-ray spectra of the SMC pulsars (and high-mass X-ray binaries) are in general harder than those of the SMC field population. All but SXP 8.02 can be fitted by an absorbed power-law model with a photon index of Γ ≲ 1.5. The X-ray spectrum of the known magnetar SXP 8.02 is better fitted with a two-temperature blackbody model. Newly measured pulsation periods of SXP 51.0, SXP 214, and SXP 701, are significantly different from the previous XMM-Newton and RXTE measurements. This survey provides a rich data set for energy-dependent pulse profile modeling. Six pulsars show an almost eclipse-like dip in the pulse profile. Phase-resolved spectral analysis reveals diverse spectral variations during pulsation cycles: e.g., for an absorbed power-law model, some exhibit an (anti)-correlation between absorption and X-ray flux, while others show more intrinsic spectral variation (i.e., changes in photon indices).

  18. 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.

  19. Detection of X-Ray Emission from the Very Old Pulsar J0108-1431

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, G. G.; Kargaltsev, O.; Wong, J. A.; Garmire, G. P.

    2009-01-01

    PSR J0108-1431 is a nearby, 170 Myr old, very faint radio pulsar near the "pulsar death line" in the P-\\dot{P} diagram. We observed the pulsar field with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and detected a point source (53 counts in a 30 ks exposure; energy flux (9 ± 2) × 10-15 erg cm-2 s-1 in the 0.3-8 keV band) close to the radio pulsar position. Based on the large X-ray/optical flux ratio at the X-ray source position, we conclude that the source is the X-ray counterpart of PSR J0108-1431. The pulsar spectrum can be described by a power-law model with photon index Γ ≈ 2.2 and luminosity L 0.3-8 keV ≈ 2 × 1028 d 2 130 erg s-1, or by a blackbody model with temperature kT ≈ 0.28 keV and bolometric luminosity L bol ≈ 1.3 × 1028 d 2 130 erg s-1, for a plausible hydrogen column density N H = 7.3 × 1019 cm-2 (d 130 = d/130 pc). The pulsar converts ~0.4% of its spin-down power into X-ray luminosity, i.e., its X-ray efficiency is higher than for most younger pulsars. From the comparison of the X-ray position with the previously measured radio positions, we estimated the pulsar proper motion of 0.2 arcsec yr-1 (V bottom ≈ 130d 130 km s-1), in the south-southeast direction.

  20. Soft X-ray emission from the radio pulsar PSR 0656 + 14

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cordova, F. A.; Middleditch, J.; Hjellming, R. M.; Mason, K. O.

    1989-01-01

    A radio source with a flux density of a few mJy was found in the error region of the soft X-ray source E0656 + 14, and identified as the radio pulsar PSR 0656 + 14. The radio source has a steep, nonthermal spectrum and a high degree of linear (62 percent) and circular (19 percent) polarization. The X-ray spectrum of the pulsar is among the softest sources observed with the Einstein Observatory. The X-ray data taken with the Einstein imaging proportional counter (IPC) permit a range of blackbody temperatures of 3-6 x 10 to the 5th K, and an equivalent column density of hydrogen smaller than 4 x 10 to the 20th/sq cm. If the assumption is made that the X-ray flux is thermal radiation from surface of the neutron star, then the pulsar must be at a distance smaller than 550 pc, consistent with the low dispersion measure of PSR 0656 + 14. The X-ray timing data suggest that the X-ray emission is modulated at the pulsar's 0.385-s spin period with an amplitude of 18 percent + or - 6 percent, and that there is a 0.0002 probability that this is spurious. It was noted that PSR 0656 + 14 is close to the geometric center of a 20-deg diameter soft X-ray emitting ring called the Gemini-Monoceros enhancement. The close distance of the pulsar, together with its relatively young age of 1.1 x 10 to the 5th yr, makes it possible that the ring is a supernova remnant from the explosion of the pulsar's progenitor. A radio source extending over a region 1.2 to 3.3 arcmin south of the pulsar is a candidate for association with the pulsar.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Orbital Decay and Evidence of Disk Formation in the X-Ray Binary Pulsar OAO 1657-415

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenke, P. A.; Finger, M. H.; Wilson-Hodge, C. A.; Camero-Arranz, A.

    2012-11-01

    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 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 \\dot{P}_{orb} =(-9.74+/- 0.78)\\times 10^{-8} is established.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. New, fast X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant MSH 15--52

    SciTech Connect

    Seward, F.D.; Harnden, F.R. Jr.

    1982-05-15

    A pulsing X-ray source has been discovered within the shell of the supernova remnant MSH 15--52. The period is 0.150 s, and the rate of increase of period with time is the highest measured for any pulsar. These characteristics and the fact that the pulsar is surrounded by a small, bright nebula indicate that this object is very similar to the Crab pulsar.

  9. A new, fast X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant MSH 15-52

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seward, F. D.; Harnden, F. R., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    A pulsing X-ray source has been discovered within the shell of the supernova remnant MSH 15-52. The period is 0.150 s, and the rate of increase of period with time is the highest measured for any pulsar. These characteristics and the fact that the pulsar is surrounded by a small, bright nebula indicate that this object is very similar to the Crab pulsar.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. X-ray and UV radiation from accreting nonmagnetic degenerate dwarfs. II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kylafis, N. D.; Lamb, D. Q.

    1982-01-01

    Numerical calculations of X-ray and UV emission from accreting nonmagnetic degenerate dwarfs are reported, which span the entire range of accretion rates and stellar masses. Calculations include the effects of bremsstrahlung, Compton cooling, radiation pressure, albedo of the stellar surface, Compton degradation and free-free abscription of the X-ray spectrum by the accreting matter. Maximum X-ray luminosity for degenerate dwarfs undergoing spherical accretion is found to be 2.2 x 10 to the 36th ergs/s, which is little changed if accretion occurs radially over only a fraction of the stellar surface, so that the emitted radiation escapes without significant scattering. The temperature characterizing the X-ray spectra produced by degenerate dwarfs strongly depends on the stellar mass and the accretion rate, and it is suggested that the correlation between spectral temperature and luminosity is an important signature of degenerate X-ray sources.

  13. Long-term X-ray timing of the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacolina , M. N.; Pellizzoni, A.; Egron, E.

    2014-03-01

    The relativistic double neutron star binary PSR J0737-3039 is a truly unique system offering the diagnostics of two interacting radio pulsars in a short orbital period system. Clear evidences of orbital phase-dependent interactions between the two neutron stars are seen both in radio and X-rays observations. We present the timing analysis results of the PSR J0737-3039 observations performed in the context of the 2006 and 2011 XMM-Newton Large programs providing ˜ 20000 X-ray counts overall from the system. Despite only marginal orbital flux variability is detected, both pulsars of the system are clearly seen in X-ray providing physical insights on the physics of the mutual interactions in their close environment. In particular, we discuss possible processes behind the peculiar X-ray brightening of the ``lazy pulsar'' PSR B via energy transfer from the ``power plant'' PSR A.

  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. X-ray studies of the black widow pulsar PSR B1957+20

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

    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 is dominated by synchrotron cooling.

  16. X-Ray Studies of the Black Widow Pulsar PSR B1957+20

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

    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.

  17. Two populations of X-ray pulsars produced by two types of supernova.

    PubMed

    Knigge, Christian; Coe, Malcolm J; Podsiadlowski, Philipp

    2011-11-09

    Two types of supernova are thought to produce the overwhelming majority of neutron stars in the Universe. The first type, iron-core-collapse supernovae, occurs when a high-mass star develops a degenerate iron core that exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit. The second type, electron-capture supernovae, is associated with the collapse of a lower-mass oxygen-neon-magnesium core as it loses pressure support owing to the sudden capture of electrons by neon and/or magnesium nuclei. It has hitherto been impossible to identify the two distinct families of neutron stars produced in these formation channels. Here we report that a large, well-known class of neutron-star-hosting X-ray pulsars is actually composed of two distinct subpopulations with different characteristic spin periods, orbital periods and orbital eccentricities. This class, the Be/X-ray binaries, contains neutron stars that accrete material from a more massive companion star. The two subpopulations are most probably associated with the two distinct types of neutron-star-forming supernova, with electron-capture supernovae preferentially producing systems with short spin periods, short orbital periods and low eccentricities. Intriguingly, the split between the two subpopulations is clearest in the distribution of the logarithm of spin period, a result that had not been predicted and which still remains to be explained.

  18. 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

  19. ART-P/Granat observations of the x-ray pulsar Centaurus X-3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutovinov, A. A.; Grebenev, S. A.; Sunyaev, R. A.

    1999-02-01

    We present the results of our study of the X-ray pulsar Cen X-3 with the ART-P telescope on board the GRANAT observatory. The source was observed twice in 1990 with an interval of six months (at orbital phases 0.54-0.91), and both times its X-ray luminosity was almost an order of magnitude lower than that in the standard (high) state. Its emission exhibited large variations, both regular (evolution of the intensity and the degree of low-frequency absorption with orbital phase, changes in the pulse profile in various energy bands) and irregular (bursts with a duration of hundreds and thousands of seconds, during which the flux from the source more than doubled). Bursts were accompanied by a change in hardness; the hardness slightly increased during long (~3000 s) bursts and decreased during short (200-500 s) bursts. In August 1990, an eclipse ingress of the source was observed. At this time, a significant (13 sigma) persistent flux with a softer spectrum than that in the pre-eclipse state and with a strong iron emission line at energies ~ 6.7-6.9 keV was detected. Our analysis shows that the two ART-P observations were performed during the so-called pre-eclipse dip of the source, when its flux was strongly affected by scattering and absorption in a dense cloud of gas along the line of sight (apparently in the stream of matter flowing from the companion star into the accretion disk). The detected bursts could be attributed to a local increase in the transparency of the cloud (with a hole), while the slow variations in the intensity and the spectrum could be caused by a change in the orientation of the cloud, which was accompanied by a decrease in its visible surface area and an increase in its optical depth. The observed flux during the eclipse most likely consisted of several components. First, the pulsar emission scattered in the opaque cloud was observed (this component disappeared some time after the eclipse ingress). Second, we observed the emission that was

  20. 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.

  1. Neutron Star Seismology with Accreting Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strohmayer, Tod

    Neutron stars provide natural laboratories for the study of a number of important topics in fundamental physics, including the composition and equation of state (EOS) of cold matter at the highest densities achievable in nature. The physical conditions in their deep interiors cannot be replicated in terrestrial laboratories, and the nature of matter under such extreme conditions remains one of the major unsolved problems in physics. Direct measurement of the mass - radius relationship for neutron stars is very important for constraining the EOS of dense matter, however, since different phases of dense matter can have similar equations of state, mass and radius measurements alone are not very efficient in determining their interior composition. Additional, complementary observables are needed to more definitively probe the composition of neutron star cores. Asteroseismology, the measurement of the characteristic frequencies of the normal modes of oscillation of stars, can provide a powerful probe of their interiors. For example, helioseismology has provided unprecedented insights about the deep interior of the Sun. Comparable capabilities for neutron star seismology have not yet been achieved, but our recent work indicates that sensitive searches for the signatures of neutron star oscillations can be carried out using the high time resolution, pulse timing data obtained by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE)-and in the case of a single source the XMM-Newton pn camera-from the population of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (AMXPs, Strohmayer & Mahmoodifar 2014a), and in some thermonuclear burst sources (Strohmayer & Mahmoodifar 2014b). It is the primary aim of this proposal to carry out the first such comprehensive search for global oscillation modes across this entire source class of neutron stars using approximately 6 M-sec of RXTE and 100 k-sec of XMMNewton archival data, and thereby significantly advance the nascent field of neutron star seismology. We will

  2. The Radio and X-ray Mode-Switching Pulsar PSR B0943+10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mereghetti, Sandro; Rigoselli, Michela

    2017-09-01

    Observations obtained in the last years challenged the widespread notion that rotation-powered neutron stars are steady X-ray emitters. Besides a few allegedly rotation-powered neutron stars that showed `magnetar-like' variability, a particularly interesting case is that of PSR B0943+10. Recent observations have shown that this pulsar, well studied in the radio band where it alternates between a bright and a quiescent mode, displays significant X-ray variations, anticorrelated in flux with the radio emission. The study of such synchronous radio/X-ray mode switching opens a new window to investigate the processes responsible for the pulsar radio and high-energy emission. Here we review the main X-ray properties of PSR B0943+10 derived from recent coordinated X-ray and radio observations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Discovery of a 0.42-s pulsar in the ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 7793 P13

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Israel, G. L.; Papitto, A.; Esposito, P.; Stella, L.; Zampieri, L.; Belfiore, A.; Rodríguez Castillo, G. A.; De Luca, A.; Tiengo, A.; Haberl, F.; Greiner, J.; Salvaterra, R.; Sandrelli, S.; Lisini, G.

    2017-03-01

    NGC 7793 P13 is a variable (luminosity range ∼100) ultraluminous X-ray source proposed to host a stellar-mass black hole of less than 15 M⊙ in a binary system with orbital period of 64 d and a 18-23 M⊙ B9Ia companion. Within the EXTraS (Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky) project, we discovered pulsations at a period of ∼0.42 s in two XMM-Newton observations of NGC 7793 P13, during which the source was detected at LX ∼ 2.1 × 1039 and 5 × 1039 erg s-1 (0.3-10 keV band). These findings unambiguously demonstrate that the compact object in NGC 7793 P13 is a neutron star accreting at super-Eddington rates. While standard accretion models face difficulties accounting for the pulsar X-ray luminosity, the presence of a multipolar magnetic field with B ∼ few × 1013 G close to the base of the accretion column appears to be in agreement with the properties of the system.

  13. The Orbital Parameters and Nature of the X-ray Pulsar IGR J16393-4643 Using Pulse Timing Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearlman, Aaron B.; Corbet, R. H. D.; Pottschmidt, K.; Skinner, G. K.

    2011-09-01

    A 3.7 day orbital period was previously suggested for the 910 s X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 from a pulse timing study of widely separated X-ray observations (Thompson et al., 2006), placing the system in the supergiant wind-fed region of the Ppulse-Porb diagram. However, orbital periods of 50.2 and 8.1 days could not be excluded. Nespoli et al. (2010) refute this wind-accreting high-mass X-ray binary classification and suggest a symbiotic X-ray binary (SyXB) designation based on infrared spectroscopy of the proposed counterpart and the potential 50.2 day orbital solution. SyXBs are low-mass X-ray binaries in which a neutron star accretes from the inhomogeneous medium around an M-type giant companion. We find that two statistically independent light curves of IGR J16393-4643, from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (15-50 keV) and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) Proportional Counter Array (PCA) Galactic bulge scans (2-10 keV), show highly significant orbital modulation near 4.24 days. Making use of this precise orbital period, we present the results from pulse arrival time analysis on IGR J16393-4643 using RXTE PCA observations. We provide significantly improved phase-connected pulse timing results using archival observations presented in Thompson et al. (2006) and additional pulse timing data not included in their study to determine the orbital parameters of the system. The derived 7.5 M⊙ mass function is inconsistent with a SyXB identification.

  14. 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.

  15. LONG-TERM X-RAY MONITORING OF THE YOUNG PULSAR PSR B1509-58

    SciTech Connect

    Livingstone, Margaret A.; Kaspi, Victoria M.

    2011-11-20

    It has long been thought that the pulsed X-ray properties of rotation-powered pulsars are stable on long timescales. However, long-term, systematic studies of individual sources have been lacking. Furthermore, dramatic X-ray variability has now been observed from two pulsars having inferred sub-critical dipole magnetic fields. Here we present an analysis of the long-term pulsed X-ray properties of the young, energetic pulsar PSR B1509-58 using data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We measured the 2-50 keV pulsed flux for 14.7 yr of X-ray observations and found that it is consistent with being constant on all relevant timescales, and place a 3{sigma} upper limit on day-to-week variability of <28%. In addition, we searched for magnetar-like X-ray bursts in all observations and found none, which we use to constrain the measurable burst rate to less than one per 750 ks of observations. We also searched for variability in the pulse profile and found that it is consistent with being stable on timescales of days to decades. This supports the hypothesis that X-ray properties of rotation-powered X-ray pulsars can be stable on decade-long timescales. In addition, we extend the existing timing solution by 7.1 yr to a total of 28.4 yr and report updated values of the braking index, n = 2.832 {+-} 0.003, and the second braking index, m = 17.6 {+-} 1.9.

  16. Towards Practical 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 P.; Warwick, Robert; Lamb, Andrew

    2015-08-01

    We describe a recent study, conducted by the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Leicester for the European Space Agency, on the feasibility of using X-ray timing observations of pulsars for deep space navigation, a technique commonly referred to as ‘XNAV’. We have considered all primary aspects of the ‘system’, i.e. suitable pulsars and their sky distribution, available and future instrumentation, navigation methods and algorithms, and overall performance (e.g. position accuracy). We have used simulations to identify the best combinations of navigation method and X-ray pulsars with respect to predicted performance, taking account of current and future X-ray instrumentation. The XNAV technique would allow increased spacecraft autonomy, improved position accuracies and lower mission operating costs compared to the NASA and ESA Deep Space Networks (DSN). We have also used a high-level navigation algorithm together with real data (from the RXTE mission archive) for the Crab pulsar to demonstrate key elements of XNAV. X-ray instrumentation suitable for use as a spacecraft operational subsystem must be designed to use only modest spacecraft resources. We show that instrumentation designed for the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer, in production for the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury, offers a roadmap for a practical XNAV system. We identify key areas for future study.

  17. CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF 12 MILLISECOND PULSARS IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER M28

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Van den Berg, Maureen; Servillat, Mathieu; Grindlay, Jonathan E.; Heinke, Craig O.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Begin, Steve; Ransom, Scott M.; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Becker, Werner

    2011-04-01

    We present a Chandra X-ray Observatory investigation of the millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). In what is one of the deepest X-ray observations of a globular cluster, we firmly detect seven and possibly detect two of the 12 known M28 pulsars. With the exception of PSRs B1821-24 and J1824-2452H, the detected pulsars have relatively soft spectra, with X-ray luminosities 10{sup 30}-10{sup 31} erg s{sup -1} (0.3-8 keV), similar to most 'recycled' pulsars in 47 Tucanae and the field of the Galaxy, implying thermal emission from the pulsar magnetic polar caps. We present the most detailed X-ray spectrum to date of the energetic PSR B1821-24. It is well described by a purely non-thermal spectrum with spectral photon index {Gamma} = 1.23 and luminosity 1.4 x 10{sup 33}{Theta}(D/5.5 kpc){sup 2} erg s{sup -1} (0.3-8 keV), where {Theta} is the fraction of the sky covered by the X-ray emission beam(s). We find no evidence for the previously reported line emission feature around 3.3 keV, most likely as a consequence of improvements in instrument calibration. The X-ray spectrum and pulse profile of PSR B1821-24 suggest that the bulk of unpulsed emission from this pulsar is not of thermal origin, and is likely due to low-level non-thermal magnetospheric radiation, an unresolved pulsar wind nebula, and/or small-angle scattering of the pulsed X-rays by interstellar dust grains. The peculiar binary PSR J1824-2452H shows a relatively hard X-ray spectrum and possible variability at the binary period, indicative of an intrabinary shock formed by interaction between the relativistic pulsar wind and matter from its non-degenerate companion star.

  18. 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; hide

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. MAXI/GSC detection of onset of X-ray outburst from Be/X-ray binary pulsar 4U 0115+63

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, M.; Mihara, T.; Sugizaki, M.; Ueno, S.; Tomida, H.; Ishikawa, M.; Sugawara, Y.; Isobe, N.; Shimomukai, R.; Serino, M.; Nakahira, S.; Iwakiri, W.; Shidatsu, M.; Matsuoka, M.; Kawai, N.; Sugita, S.; Yoshii, T.; Tachibana, Y.; Harita, S.; Muraki, Y.; Morita, K.; Yoshida, A.; Sakamoto, T.; Kawakubo, Y.; Kitaoka, Y.; Hashimoto, T.; Tsunemi, H.; Yoneyama, T.; Negoro, H.; Kawase, T.; Sakamaki, A.; Ueda, Y.; Hori, T.; Tanimoto, A.; Oda, S.; Tsuboi, Y.; Nakamura, Y.; Sasaki, R.; Kawai, H.; Yamauchi, M.; Hanyu, C.; Hidaka, K.; Kawamuro, T.; Yamaoka, K.

    2017-08-01

    On 2017 July 27 (MJD 57961), the MAXI/GSC nova-alert system (Negoro et al. 2016) detected an X-ray flux increase from Be/X-ray binary pulsar 4U 0115+63. Subsequent monitoring observations have revealed that the 4-10 keV flux is still increasing steadily.

  1. 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.

  2. Phase Evolution of the Crab Pulsar between Radio and X-Ray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-08-01

    We study the X-ray phases of the Crab pulsar utilizing the 11-year observations from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, 6-year radio observations from Nanshan Telescope, and the ephemeris from Jodrell Bank Observatory. It is found that the X-ray phases in different energy bands and the radio phases from the Nanshan Telescope show similar behaviors, including long-time evolution and short-time variations. Such strong correlations between the X-ray and radio phases imply that the radio and X-ray timing noises are both generated from the pulsar spin that cannot be well described by the the monthly ephemeris from the Jodrell Bank observatory. When using the Nanshan phases as references to study the X-ray timing noise, it has a significantly smaller variation amplitude and shows no long-time evolution, with a change rate of (‑1.1 ± 1.1) × 10‑7 periods per day. These results show that the distance of the X-ray and radio emission regions on the Crab pulsar has no detectable secular change, and it is unlikely that the timing noises resulted from any unique physical processes in the radio or X-ray emitting regions. The similar behaviors of the X-ray and radio timing noises also imply that the variation of the interstellar medium is not the origin of the Crab pulsar’s timing noises, which is consistent with the results obtained from the multi-frequency radio observations of PSR B1540‑06.

  3. X-ray Measurements of Variable Accretion onto the Young Star TW Hydrae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brickhouse, Nancy S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Dupree, A. K.; Wolk, S. J.; Guenther, H. M.

    2013-06-01

    We report X-ray line ratio diagnostics of the electron temperature, electron density and hydrogen column density observed from the classical T Tauri star (CTTS) TW Hydrae using the High Energy Transmission Grating (HETG) spectrometer onboard Chandra. Applying a classical model of magnetically channeled flow from an accretion disk onto the stellar surface, and making the assumption that the absorber of the X-ray shock is the accreting stream itself, we are able to determine all the properties of the accretion, namely the mass accretion rate, stellar magnetic field strength, disk truncation radius, and surface filling factor. We find that the diagnostic ratios, and thus the accretion parameters, are variable, lending support to the absorption assumption. We also report X-ray and optical signatures that respond to the variable accretion, with timescales suggesting the response of the stellar atmosphere to the impact of accretion.

  4. Localization of thermonuclear burning in accreting millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutloukos, Stratos; Miller, Cole

    Nuclear-powered oscillations during Type-I X-ray bursts have so far revealed the spin of about twenty accreting millisecond pulsars in low-mass X-ray binaries. Constraining strong gravity through the emission from the hot spots on the neutron star surface requires understanding of the properties of such burst oscillations. We use adaptive mesh refinement hydrodynamical numerical computations to model the ignition and spreading of thermonuclear flames. Our preliminary simulations suggest that confinement of fuel is important for the localization of thermonuclear burning, like that required for the observed burst oscillations. This is consistent with spectral analyses of RXTE observations that we also present here. The software used in this work was in part developed by the DOE-supported ASCI/Alliances Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes at the University of Chicago. This work was supported by NSF Grant AST0708424.

  5. 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.

  6. A Library of known X-ray Pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud: Time Evolution of their Luminosities and Spin Periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jun; Laycock, Silas; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Drake, Jeremy J.; Hong, Jaesub; Antoniou, Vallia; Zezas, Andreas; Coe, Malcolm; Ho, Wynn

    2017-01-01

    We have collected and analyzed 116 {\\itshape XMM-Newton\\/}, 151 {\\itshape Chandra\\/}, and 952 {\\itshape RXTE\\/} observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), spanning 1997-2014. The resulting observational library provides a comprehensive view of the physical, temporal and statistical properties of the SMC pulsar population across the luminosity range of $L_X= 10^{31.5}-10^{38}$~erg~s$^{-1}$. We report $\\sim$1600 individual pulsar detections, yielding $\\sim$1300 pulse period measurements. Our pipeline generates a suite of products for each pulsar detection: period, flux, event list, high time-resolution light-curve, pulse-profile, periodogram and X-ray spectrum. Upper-limits are estimated for all non-detections bringing the combined database to $\\sim$37,000 observations of 67 pulsars. Combining all three satellites, we generated complete histories of the spin periods, pulse amplitudes, pulse fractions and X-ray luminosities. Many of the pulsars show variations in pulse period due to the combination of orbital motion and accretion torques. Long-term spin-up/down trends are seen in 27/25 pulsars respectively, pointing to sustained transfer of mass and angular momentum to the neutron star on decadal timescales. The distributions of pulse-detection and flux as functions of spin-period provide interesting findings: mapping boundaries of accretion-driven X-ray luminosity, and showing that fast pulsars ($P<$10 s) are rarely detected, yet are more prone to giant outburst. Accompanying this paper is an initial public release of the library so that it can be used by other researchers. We intend the database and pulse profile library to be useful in driving improved models of neutron star magnetospheres and accretion physics.

  7. 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.

  8. A flux state comparison of the transient X-ray pulsar SAX J2103.5+4545

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumback, McKinley; Hickox, Ryan C.; Fuerst, Felix; Pottschmidt, Katja; Britton Hemphill, Paul; Tomsick, John; Wilms, Joern

    2017-08-01

    We present the first NuSTAR observations of SAX J2103.5+4545, a Be X-ray binary with a history of X-ray flares occurring every 2-3 years. We carried out two Target of Opportunity observations in spring of 2016, as J2103 went into outburst with the strongest flux seen from this object since the launch of NuSTAR. We obtained high-quality X-ray spectra in both epochs, with one observation capturing the bright precursor flare for the first time. We fit the spectra with an NPEX (Negative and Positive power law with an EXponential cut-off) model with Gaussian emission lines to constrain the iron line complex and detect a highly ionized iron line at 6.9 keV for the first time. We perform pulse-phase spectroscopy and find that the model parameters do not vary significantly with pulse phase, which has implications for the geometry and orientation of the accretion flow. We also detect a weak absorption feature at ~12 keV that shows strong pulse phase dependence and could, with further study, be classified as a cyclotron resonance scattering feature. If this line is related to cyclotron scattering, it would imply that J2103 has an unusually low magnetic field (~1e12 G) and opens the possibility of using NuSTAR to detect similar features in other transient X-ray pulsars.

  9. Distance Estimation for Eclipsing X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Distance of an X-ray binary can be computed from a rigorous flux scaling law that connects model stellar atmosphere output with observed standard magnitudes of the optical star via either of two standard magnitude calibrations that agree within 4 percent. Accordingly the corresponding distance disagreement (due to the calibrations only) is only 2 percent, which is negligible compared to several other error sources. The flux-distance scaling is not the usual one for spherical stars but preserves directional (i.e. aspect) information, and therefore is not limited to well detached binaries. Bolometric corrections are not needed, so errors in their estimation are avoided. The procedure also models dependence of system brightness and spectroscopically observable temperature on orbital phase and inclination due to tides, irradiance, and eccentric orbits, although those effects cause only minor distance uncertainties for most X-ray binaries. Not taken into account, due to their largely stochastic nature, are radial velocity variations caused by dynamical tides. Expressions are given for derivatives ∂d/∂p, of distance with respect to various parameters. Some of the derivatives are entirely analytic while others are partly numerical. Upper and lower limits to the relative radius, r= R/a, of an X-ray binary's optical star can be measured, although actual rand inclination are otherwise uncertain. An application to the High Mass X-ray Binary Vela X-1/GP Vel, based on archival pulse arrival times and radial velocities, finds a distance of about 2.2 kiloparsecs and also finds distance uncertainties due to estimated magnitude, interstellar extinction, metallicity, orbit size, optical star size, surface temperature, and surface gravity.

  10. 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.

  11. X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF DISRUPTED RECYCLED PULSARS: NO REFUGE FOR ORPHANED CENTRAL COMPACT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Gotthelf, E. V.; Halpern, J. P.; Allen, B.; Knispel, B.

    2013-08-20

    We present a Chandra X-ray survey of the disrupted recycled pulsars (DRPs), isolated radio pulsars with P > 20 ms and B{sub s} < 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} G. These observations were motivated as a search for the immediate descendants of the Almost-Equal-To 10 central compact objects (CCOs) in supernova remnants (SNRs), 3 of which have similar timing and magnetic properties as the DRPs, but are bright, thermal X-ray sources consistent with minimal neutron star (NS) cooling curves. Since none of the DPRs were detected in this survey, there is no evidence that they are ''orphaned'' CCOs, NSs whose SNRs has dissipated. Upper limits on their thermal X-ray luminosities are in the range of log L{sub x} [erg s{sup -1}] = 31.8-32.8, which implies cooling ages >10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} yr, roughly 10 times the ages of the Almost-Equal-To 10 known CCOs in a similar volume of the Galaxy. The order of a hundred CCO descendants that could be detected by this method are thus either intrinsically radio quiet or occupy a different region of (P, B{sub s} ) parameter space from the DRPs. This motivates a new X-ray search for orphaned CCOs among radio pulsars with larger B-fields, which could verify the theory that their fields are buried by the fall-back of supernova ejecta, but quickly regrow to join the normal pulsar population.

  12. 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

  13. 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; hide

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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; hide

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Magnetically funneled accretion challenged by X-rays from T Tauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Christian

    2013-10-01

    Young, forming stars accrete matter along magnetic field lines from the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk. The impact of this material on the stellar surface produces an X-ray emitting plasma of high density usually confirmed by X-ray observations. However, our target, the X-ray bright classical T Tauri star (CTTS) T Tau deviates strongly from this picture. In particular, the density of the cool plasma usually associated with the accretion process is too low to be compatible with the standard accretion scenario. We propose to obtain three 40 ks exposures to test whether this is due to a transient phenomenon or if T Tau permanently differs from established CTTS properties. In that case, a different accretion type and a different soft X-ray generating process must be present.

  18. The Effect of Transient Accretion on the Spin-up of Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Sudip; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2017-01-01

    A millisecond pulsar is a neutron star that has been substantially spun up by accretion from a binary companion. A previously unrecognized factor governing the spin evolution of such pulsars is the crucial effect of nonsteady or transient accretion. We numerically compute the evolution of accreting neutron stars through a series of outburst and quiescent phases, considering the drastic variation of the accretion rate and the standard disk–magnetosphere interaction. We find that, for the same long-term average accretion rate, X-ray transients can spin up pulsars to rates several times higher than can persistent accretors, even when the spin-down due to electromagnetic radiation during quiescence is included. We also compute an analytical expression for the equilibrium spin frequency in transients, by taking spin equilibrium to mean that no net angular momentum is transferred to the neutron star in each outburst cycle. We find that the equilibrium spin rate for transients, which depends on the peak accretion rate during outbursts, can be much higher than that for persistent sources. This explains our numerical finding. This finding implies that any meaningful study of neutron star spin and magnetic field distributions requires the inclusion of the transient accretion effect, since most accreting neutron star sources are transients. Our finding also implies the existence of a submillisecond pulsar population, which is not observed. This may point to the need for a competing spin-down mechanism for the fastest-rotating accreting pulsars, such as gravitational radiation.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. WATCH observations of the X-ray pulsar 301-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Brandt, S.; Lund, N.; Dremin, V.; Lapshov, I.; Siuniaev, R. A.

    1993-01-01

    The wind-fed X-ray pulsar GX 301-2 has been observed by the all-sky X-ray monitor WATCH during the period January 1990-January 1992. During the periastron passage of October 1991 an extremely bright outburst was observed which for a time made the pulsar the brightest source in the hard X-ray sky. The pulse period was determined as P = 678.05 +/- 0.45 s which extends the long spin-up episode observed since 1984. The GX 301-2 system is known to exhibit a recurrent outburst preceding periastron at phase 0.95. We have also identified another recurrent activity period near orbital phase 0.78. Flaring near this phase was seen previously in an observation by HEAO-1 in 1978.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Wayne Hong

    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 millisecond pulsars (MSP) to perform space navigation. By comparing the detected arrival of x-ray photons to a reference database of expected pulsar light-curve 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

  4. 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

  5. Optical pulsations from the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E1048.1-5937

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhillon, V. S.; Marsh, T. R.; Littlefair, S. P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Kerry, P.; Dib, R.; Durant, M.; Kaspi, V. M.; Mignani, R. P.; Shearer, A.

    2009-03-01

    We present high-speed optical photometry of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E1048.1-5937 obtained with ULTRACAM on the 8.2-m Very Large Telescope in 2007 June. We detect 1E1048.1-5937 at a magnitude of i' = 25.3 +/- 0.2, consistent with the values found by Wang et al. and hence confirming their conclusion that the source was approximately 1mag brighter than in 2003-06 due to an on-going X-ray flare that started in 2007 March. The increased source brightness enabled us to detect optical pulsations with an identical period (6.458s) to the X-ray pulsations. The root-mean-square (rms) pulsed fraction in our data is 21 +/- 7 per cent, approximately the same as the 2-10keV X-ray rms pulsed fraction. The optical and X-ray pulse profiles show similar morphologies and appear to be approximately in phase with each other, the latter lagging the former by only 0.06 +/- 0.02 cycles. The optical pulsations in 1E1048.1-5937 are very similar in nature to those observed in 4U0142+61. The implications of our observations for models of anomalous X-ray pulsars are discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Comprehensive Library of X-Ray Pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud: Time Evolution of Their Luminosities and Spin Periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.; Laycock, S. G. T.; Christodoulou, D. M.; Fingerman, S.; Coe, M. J.; Drake, J. J.

    2017-04-01

    We have collected and analyzed the complete archive of XMM-Newton (116), Chandra (151), and RXTE (952) observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), spanning 1997-2014. The resulting observational library provides a comprehensive view of the physical, temporal, and statistical properties of the SMC pulsar population across the luminosity range of {L}X={10}31.2{--}{10}38 erg s-1. From a sample of 65 pulsars we report ˜1654 individual pulsar detections, yielding ˜1260 pulse-period measurements. Our pipeline generates a suite of products for each pulsar detection: spin period, flux, event list, high time-resolution light curve, pulse profile, periodogram, and spectrum. Combining all three satellites, we generated complete histories of the spin periods, pulse amplitudes, pulsed fractions, and X-ray luminosities. Some pulsars show variations in pulse period due to the combination of orbital motion and accretion torques. Long-term spin-up/spin-down trends are seen in 12/11 pulsars, respectively, pointing to sustained transfer of mass and angular momentum to the neutron star on decadal timescales. Of the sample, 30 pulsars have a relatively very small spin period derivative and may be close to equilibrium spin. The distributions of pulse detection and flux as functions of spin period provide interesting findings: mapping boundaries of accretion-driven X-ray luminosity and showing that fast pulsars (P < 10 s) are rarely detected, which as of yet are more prone to giant outbursts. Accompanying this paper is an initial public release of the library so that it can be used by other researchers. We intend the library to be useful in driving improved models of neutron star magnetospheres and accretion physics.

  9. 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.

  10. A Chandra X-Ray Observation of the Binary Millisecond Pulsar PSR J1023+0038

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Archibald, Anne M.; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Kaspi, Victoria M.; 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 (12.5σ) 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 X <~ 3.6 × 1029 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), <~ 7 × 10-6 of the pulsar spin-down luminosity, for a distance of 1.3 kpc and an assumed power-law spectrum with photon index Γ = 1.5.

  11. 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.

  12. Discovery of radio pulsations from the X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant G32. 4-1. 2

    SciTech Connect

    Manchester, R.N.; Tuohy, I.R.; D'Amico, N.

    1982-11-15

    A radio counterpart to the X-ray pulsar discovered by Seward and Harnden in the supernova remnant G320.4-1.2 (MSH 15--52) has been detected. The radio observations confirm the very large period derivative indicated by the X-ray data. This implies that the object is not a member of a binary system and hence is an isolated pulsar similar in some ways to the Crab pulsar. Association of the pulsar and the supernova remnant is supported by the observed pulsar dispersion measure.

  13. 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.

  14. LMXB X-ray Transients: Revealing Basic Accretion Parameters in Non-stationary Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Wenfei; Yan, Zhen; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Wenda

    2014-08-01

    X-ray observations of low mass X-ray binaries(LMXBs), especially those black hole transient systems, have been very important in shaping up our understanding of black hole accretion and testing accretion theory in a broad range of accretion regimes. We show strong evidence for non-stationary accretion regimes in the X-ray observations of spectral states and multi-wavelength observations of disk-jet coupling in more than 100 outbursts of 36 black hole and neutron star transients in the past decade or so. The occurrence of spectral state transitions and the peak episodic jet power during the rising phase of transient outbursts are found correlated with rate-of-increase of the X-ray luminosity, indicating the rate-of-change of the mass accretion rate, in addition to the mass accretion rate, must be considered when interpreting observations of spectral state transitions and disk-jet coupling in these X-ray transients. This is supported by observations since the increase of the mass accretion rate due to its rate-of-change on the observational time scale of interest is significant during outbursts.

  15. 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.

  16. Short-term Variability of X-Rays from Accreting Neutron Star Vela X-1. I. Suzaku Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Odaka, Hirokazu; Khangulyan, Dmitry; Tanaka, Yasuyuki T.; Watanabe, Shin; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Makishima, Kazuo

    2013-04-01

    We have analyzed the time variability of the wide-band X-ray spectrum of Vela X-1, the brightest wind-fed accreting neutron star, on a short timescale of 2 ks by using Suzaku observations with an exposure of 100 ks. During the observation, the object showed strong variability, including several flares and so-called "low states," in which the X-ray luminosity decreases by an order of magnitude. Although the spectral hardness increases with the X-ray luminosity, the majority of the recorded flares do not show any significant changes in circumstellar absorption. However, a sign of heavy absorption was registered immediately before one short flare that showed a significant spectral hardening. In the low states, the flux level is modulated with the pulsar spin period, indicating that even at this state the accretion flow reaches the close proximity of the neutron star. Phenomenologically, the broadband X-ray spectra, which are integrated over the entire spin phase, are well represented by the "NPEX" function (a combination of negative and positive power laws with an exponential cutoff by a common folding energy) with a cyclotron resonance scattering feature at 50 keV. Fitting of the data allowed us to infer a correlation between the photon index and X-ray luminosity. Finally, the circumstellar absorption shows a gradual increase in the orbital phase interval 0.25-0.3, which can be interpreted as an impact of a bow shock imposed by the motion of the compact object in the supersonic stellar wind.

  17. SHORT-TERM VARIABILITY OF X-RAYS FROM ACCRETING NEUTRON STAR VELA X-1. I. SUZAKU OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Odaka, Hirokazu; Khangulyan, Dmitry; Watanabe, Shin; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Tanaka, Yasuyuki T.; Makishima, Kazuo

    2013-04-10

    We have analyzed the time variability of the wide-band X-ray spectrum of Vela X-1, the brightest wind-fed accreting neutron star, on a short timescale of 2 ks by using Suzaku observations with an exposure of 100 ks. During the observation, the object showed strong variability, including several flares and so-called 'low states', in which the X-ray luminosity decreases by an order of magnitude. Although the spectral hardness increases with the X-ray luminosity, the majority of the recorded flares do not show any significant changes in circumstellar absorption. However, a sign of heavy absorption was registered immediately before one short flare that showed a significant spectral hardening. In the low states, the flux level is modulated with the pulsar spin period, indicating that even at this state the accretion flow reaches the close proximity of the neutron star. Phenomenologically, the broadband X-ray spectra, which are integrated over the entire spin phase, are well represented by the 'NPEX' function (a combination of negative and positive power laws with an exponential cutoff by a common folding energy) with a cyclotron resonance scattering feature at 50 keV. Fitting of the data allowed us to infer a correlation between the photon index and X-ray luminosity. Finally, the circumstellar absorption shows a gradual increase in the orbital phase interval 0.25-0.3, which can be interpreted as an impact of a bow shock imposed by the motion of the compact object in the supersonic stellar wind.

  18. 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

  19. Some observational tests of X-ray pulsar emission models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meszaros, P.

    1981-01-01

    The understanding of neutron star physics which relies heavily on knowing values of their mass, radius and magnetic field strength was studied. The only information about these till now comes from the surface radiation. Major uncertainties concerning the nature of the mass exchange and the accretion flow, the magnetopause structure, the infall deceleration, the actual pulsation mechanism and the atmosphere geometry are examined. The alternatives and several possible observational tests are discussed.

  20. 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

  1. The transitional millisecond pulsar IGR J18245-2452 during its 2013 outburst at X-rays and soft gamma-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Falco, V.; Kuiper, L.; Bozzo, E.; Ferrigno, C.; Poutanen, J.; Stella, L.; Falanga, M.

    2017-07-01

    IGR J18245-2452/PSR J1824-2452I is one of the rare transitional accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars, showing direct evidence of switches between states of rotation-powered radio pulsations and accretion-powered X-ray pulsations, dubbed transitional pulsars. IGR J18245-2452 with a spin frequency of 254.3 Hz is the only transitional pulsar so far to have shown a full accretion episode, reaching an X-ray luminosity of 1037 erg s-1 permitting its discovery with INTEGRAL in 2013. In this paper, we report on a detailed analysis of the data collected with the IBIS/ISGRI and the two JEM-X monitors on-board INTEGRAL at the time of the 2013 outburst. We make use of some complementary data obtained with the instruments on-board XMM-Newton and Swift in order to perform the averaged broad-band spectral analysis of the source in the energy range 0.4-250 keV. We have found that this spectrum is the hardest among the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars. We improved the ephemeris, now valid across its full outburst, and report the detection of pulsed emission up to 60 keV in both the ISGRI (10.9σ) and Fermi/GBM (5.9σ) bandpass. The alignment of the ISGRI and Fermi GBM 20-60 keV pulse profiles are consistent at a 25 μs level. We compared the pulse profiles obtained at soft X-rays with XMM-Newton with the soft γ-ray ones, and derived the pulsed fractions of the fundamental and first harmonic, as well as the time lag of the fundamental harmonic, up to 150 μs, as a function of energy. We report on a thermonuclear X-ray burst detected with INTEGRAL, and using the properties of the previously type-I X-ray burst, we show that all these events are powered primarily by helium ignited at a depth of yign ≈ 2.7 × 108 g cm{-2}. For such a helium burst the estimated recurrence time of Δtrec ≈ 5.6 d is in agreement with the observations.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton Observations of the X-Ray Pulsar IGR J16320-4751/AX J1691.9-4752

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodriquez, J.; Bodaghee, A.; Kaaret, P.; Tomsick, J. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Malaguti, G.; Petrucci, P.-O.; Cabanac, C.; Chernyakova, M.; Corbel, S.; hide

    2006-01-01

    We report on observations of the X-ray pulsar IGR J16320-4751 (also known as AX J1631.9-4752) performed simultaneously with International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) and XMM-Newton. We refine the source position and identify the most likely infrared counterpart. Our simultaneous coverage allows us to confirm the presence of X-ray pulsations at approximately 1300 s, that we detect above 20 keV with INTEGRAL for the first time. The pulse fraction is consistent with being constant with energy, which is compatible with a model of polar accretion by a pulsar. We study the spectral properties of IGR J16320-4751 during two major periods occurring during the simultaneous coverage with both satellites, namely a flare and a non-flare period. We detect the presence of a narrow 6.4 keV iron line in both periods. The presence of such a feature is typical of supergiant wind accretors such as Vela X-1 or GX 301-2. We inspect the spectral variations with respect to the pulse phase during the non-flare period, and show that the pulse is solely due to variations of the X-ray flux emitted by the source and not due to variations of the spectral parameters. Our results are therefore compatible with the source being a pulsar in a High Mass X-ray Binary. We detect a soft excess appearing in the spectra as a blackbody with a temperature of approximately 0.07 keV. We discuss the origin of the X-ray emission in IGR J16320-4751: while the hard X-rays are likely the result of Compton emission produced in the close vicinity of the pulsar, based on energy argument we suggest that the soft excess is likely the emission by a collisionally energized cloud in which the compact object is embedded.

  5. INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton Observations of the X-Ray Pulsar IGR J16320-4751/AX J1691.9-4752

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodriquez, J.; Bodaghee, A.; Kaaret, P.; Tomsick, J. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Malaguti, G.; Petrucci, P.-O.; Cabanac, C.; Chernyakova, M.; Corbel, S.; Deluit, S.; DiCocco, G.; Ebisawa, K.; Goldwurm, A.; Henri, G.; Lebrun, F.; Paizis, A.; Walter, R.; Foschini, L.

    2006-01-01

    We report on observations of the X-ray pulsar IGR J16320-4751 (also known as AX J1631.9-4752) performed simultaneously with International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) and XMM-Newton. We refine the source position and identify the most likely infrared counterpart. Our simultaneous coverage allows us to confirm the presence of X-ray pulsations at approximately 1300 s, that we detect above 20 keV with INTEGRAL for the first time. The pulse fraction is consistent with being constant with energy, which is compatible with a model of polar accretion by a pulsar. We study the spectral properties of IGR J16320-4751 during two major periods occurring during the simultaneous coverage with both satellites, namely a flare and a non-flare period. We detect the presence of a narrow 6.4 keV iron line in both periods. The presence of such a feature is typical of supergiant wind accretors such as Vela X-1 or GX 301-2. We inspect the spectral variations with respect to the pulse phase during the non-flare period, and show that the pulse is solely due to variations of the X-ray flux emitted by the source and not due to variations of the spectral parameters. Our results are therefore compatible with the source being a pulsar in a High Mass X-ray Binary. We detect a soft excess appearing in the spectra as a blackbody with a temperature of approximately 0.07 keV. We discuss the origin of the X-ray emission in IGR J16320-4751: while the hard X-rays are likely the result of Compton emission produced in the close vicinity of the pulsar, based on energy argument we suggest that the soft excess is likely the emission by a collisionally energized cloud in which the compact object is embedded.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Short-term variability of X-rays from accreting neutron star Vela X-1. II. Monte Carlo modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Odaka, Hirokazu; Khangulyan, Dmitry; Watanabe, Shin; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Tanaka, Yasuyuki T.; Makishima, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    We develop a Monte Carlo Comptonization model for the X-ray spectrum of accretion-powered pulsars. Simple, spherical, thermal Comptonization models give harder spectra for higher optical depth, while the observational data from Vela X-1 show that the spectra are harder at higher luminosity. This suggests a physical interpretation where the optical depth of the accreting plasma increases with the mass accretion rate. We develop a detailed Monte Carlo model of the accretion flow, including the effects of the strong magnetic field (∼10{sup 12} G), both in geometrically constraining the flow into an accretion column and in reducing the cross section. We treat bulk-motion Comptonization of the infalling material as well as thermal Comptonization. These model spectra can match the observed broadband Suzaku data from Vela X-1 over a wide range of mass accretion rates. The model can also explain the so-called 'low state' in which the luminosity decreases by an order of magnitude. Here, thermal Comptonization should be negligible, so the spectrum is instead dominated by bulk-motion Comptonization.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2008-09-01

    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 A10, 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2009-09-01

    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 A11, 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.

  16. 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.

  17. X-Ray and Rotational Luminosity Correlation and Magnetic Heating of Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, S.; Watanabe, E.; Yatsu, Y.; Enoto, T.; Bamba, A.

    2016-12-01

    Previous works have suggested a correlation between the X-ray luminosity {L}{{x}} and the rotational luminosity {L}{rot} of radio pulsars. However, none of the obtained regression lines is statistically acceptable due to large scatter. We construct a statistical model that has an intrinsic {L}{{x}}-{L}{rot} relation and reproduces the observed {L}{{x}} distribution about it by using a Monte Carlo simulator, which takes into account the effects obscuring the intrinsic relation, i.e., the anisotropy of radiation, additional heating, uncertainty in distance, and the detection limit of the instruments. From the ATNF pulsar catalog we collect 57 “ordinary radio pulsars” with significant detection and 42 with upper limits. The sample does not include high-magnetic-field pulsars (>1013 G), which are analyzed separately. We obtain a statistically acceptable relation {L}{{x}}{(0.5{--}10{keV})={10}31.69({L}{rot}/{L}0)}{c1} with c 1 = 1.03 ± 0.27 and L 0 = 1035.38. The distribution about the obtained {L}{{x}}-{L}{rot} relation is reproduced well by the simulator. Pulsars with abnormally high {L}{{x}} fall into two types: one is the soft gamma-ray pulsars, and the other is pulsars that are thermally bright in comparison with the standard cooling curve. On the other hand, pulsars showing low {L}{{x}} are found to have dim pulsar wind nebulae (PWNs). We argue that there is an unknown mechanism that governs both the magnetospheric emission and the PWNs, and it might involve the production rate of electron-positron pairs. High-field pulsars form a population that is distinct from ordinary pulsars due to their excess luminosities.

  18. The nature of the X-ray pulsar in M 31: An intermediate-mass X-ray binary?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karino, Shigeyuki

    2016-12-01

    The first finding of the spin period of an accreting neutron star in M 31 was recently reported. The observed spin period is 1.2 s, and it shows 1.27 d modulations due to orbital motion. From the orbital information, the mass donor could not be a giant massive star. On the other hand, its observed properties are very odd as those of typical low-mass X-ray binaries. In this study, we compare the observed binary parameters with theoretical models given by a stellar evolution track, and give a restriction on the possible mass range of the donor. According to the standard stellar evolution model, the donor star should be larger than 1.5 M⊙, which suggests that this system is a new member of a rare category, an intermediate-mass X-ray binary. The magnetic field strength of the neutron star suggested by the spin-up/down tendency in this system supports the possibility of an intermediate-mass donor.

  19. Optical and X-ray radiation from fast pulsars - Effects of duty cycle and spectral shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pacini, F.; Salvati, M.

    1987-01-01

    The optical luminosity of PSR 0540 is considerably stronger than what one would have predicted in a simple model developed earlier where the pulses are synchrotron radiation by secondary electrons near the light cylinder. This discrepancy can be eliminated if one incorporates into the model the effects of the large duty cycle and the spectral properties of PSR 0540. It is also shown that the same model can provide a reasonable fit to the observed X-ray fluxes from fast pulsars.

  20. The Fading of Transient Anomalous X-Ray Pulsar XTE J1810-197

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halpern, J. P.; Gotthelf, E. V.

    2005-01-01

    Three observations of the 5.54 s transient anomalous X-ray pulsar XTE J1810-197 obtained over 6 months with the Newton X-ray Multi-Mirror (XMM-Newton) mission are used to study its spectrum and pulsed light curve as the source fades from outburst. The decay is consistent with an exponential of time constant ~300 days but not a power law as predicted in some models of sudden deep crustal heating events. All spectra are well fitted by a blackbody plus a steep power law, a problematic model that is commonly fitted to anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). A two-temperature blackbody fit is also acceptable and better motivated physically in view of the faint optical/IR fluxes, the X-ray pulse shapes that weakly depend on energy in XTE J1810-197, and the inferred emitting areas that are less than or equal to the surface area of a neutron star. The fitted temperatures remained the same while the flux declined by 46%, which can be interpreted as a decrease in area of the emitting regions. The pulsar continues to spin down, albeit at a reduced rate of (5.1+/-1.6)×10-12 s s-1. The inferred characteristic age τc≡P/2P~17,000 yr, magnetic field strength Bs~1.7×1014 G, and outburst properties are consistent with both the outburst and quiescent X-ray luminosities being powered by magnetic field decay, i.e., XTE J1810-197 is a magnetar.

  1. A unified model of accretion flows and X ray emission in low mass X ray binary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamb, F. K.

    1989-01-01

    Recent work on a unified model of accretion flows and X-ray emission in low mass X-ray binaries is summarized. In this model, a weakly magnetic neutron star accretes gas simultaneously from a Keplerian disk and a corona above the inner part of the disk. Photons are produced and escape through an approximately radial inflow of gas captured from the inner disk corona. Changes in the optical depths of the central corona and the radial flow may explain the Z-shaped hardness-intensity and color-color tracks observed in the most luminous sources. Numerical simulations show that the radial flow oscillates when the luminosity rises to within a few percent of the Eddington critical luminosity L sub E, and that the oscillation frequency is approximately 5 to 10 Hz if the radial flow develops approximately 300 km from the neutron star. The 10 to 20 Hz oscillations observed in Sco X-1 when it is on the flaring branch are discussed.

  2. Optical orbit of the X-ray pulsar binary 0535 - 668 (= A0538 - 66)

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchings, J.B.; Crampton, D.; Cowley, A.P.; Olszewski, E.; Thompson, I.B.; Suntzeff, N.

    1985-05-01

    Spectroscopic data are presented from the optical primary of the LMC X-ray source 0535 - 668 during its optical low state. From these data the star appears as a normal B1 star, slightly evolved off the main sequence. Adopting the X-ray outburst period of 16.65 days, radial velocities indicate an orbit with a high eccentricity, and periastron passage very close to the X-ray flux peak. Probable masses are normal for the primary and the pulsar. At periastron, the center of mass separation is less than the primary-star diameter, and during optical outburst the photosphere is larger than the minimum separation. Orbital parameters and implied quantities are discussed. 18 references.

  3. The period history of the X-ray pulsar in MSH 15-52

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Elsner, R. F.; Darbo, W.; Leahy, D.; Naranan, S.; Harnden, F. R.; Seward, F. D.; Sutherland, P. G.; Grindlay, J. E.

    1983-01-01

    New and refined mesurements of the pulse period of the X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant MSH 15-52 are presented. The data were obtained with the Monitor proportional Counter on board the HEAO 2 observatory. The period measurements were obtained by analyzing pulse arrival times determined by cross-correlating sample pulse profiles with a master template. The period history for the source and a representative 0.15 s X-ray light curve are shown. The X-ray measurements alone lead to a refined value of the period derivative of (1.5382 + or -0.0024) x 10 to the -12th s/s, while including the results of more recent radio observations leads to a value of (1.54029 + or -0.00095) x 10 to the -12th s/s. These results indicate a hard-point source surrounded by diffuse nebular emission.

  4. 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.

  5. THE CORRELATION BETWEEN DISPERSION MEASURE AND X-RAY COLUMN DENSITY FROM RADIO PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    He, C.; Ng, C.-Y.; Kaspi, V. M.

    2013-05-01

    Pulsars are remarkable objects that emit across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, providing a powerful probe of the interstellar medium. In this study, we investigate the relation between dispersion measure (DM) and X-ray absorption column density N{sub H} using 68 radio pulsars detected at X-ray energies with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory or XMM-Newton. We find a best-fit empirical linear relation of N{sub H} (10{sup 20} cm{sup -2})= 0.30{sup +0.13}{sub -0.09} DM (pc cm{sup -3}), which corresponds to an average ionization of 10{sup +4}{sub -3}%, confirming the ratio of one free electron per 10 neutral hydrogen atoms commonly assumed in the literature. We also compare different N{sub H} estimates and note that some N{sub H} values obtained from X-ray observations are higher than the total Galactic H I column density along the same line of sight, while the optical extinction generally gives the best N{sub H} predictions.

  6. Performance enhancement of X-ray pulsar navigation using autonomous optical sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kai, Xiong; Chunling, Wei; Liangdong, Liu

    2016-11-01

    This paper develops an integrated navigation method based on the X-ray pulsar navigation (XNAV) system and an autonomous optical navigation system for spacecrafts. The X-ray pulsar navigation is implemented by using the difference between the measured and predicated pulse arrival time, which is calculated by comparing an observed pulse profile with a standard pulse profile. A problem arises from the X-ray signal processing in that the spacecraft's orbit information, which may be unknown, is required to construct the observed pulse profile. The effect of the spacecraft orbit error on the accuracy of the pulse TOA (time of arrival) difference determination is analyzed. It is specified that the performance of the XNAV system may be degraded in the presence of large orbit error. In order to improve the navigation accuracy, an integrated navigation scheme is presented by fusing the measurement information of a X-ray detector and an ultraviolet optical sensor. The XNAV/optical integrated navigation system is effective to mitigate the effect of the spacecraft orbit error. The superiority of the presented scheme is illustrated through numerical simulations.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Absorption Features in the X-ray Spectrum of an Ordinary Radio Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Binarity and Accretion: X-Ray Emission from AGB stars with FUV Excesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahai, Raghvendra

    2012-10-01

    We propose a pilot survey for X-ray emission from AGB stars that are candidates for having binary companions with active accretion. These objects were identified via our innovative technique to search for FUV/NUV excesses in AGB stars using GALEX. The detection (or non-detection) of X-rays from this sample will enable us to begin testing models for the origin of the UV-excesses, leading to vital breakthroughs in our understanding of accretion-related phenomena and binarity in AGB stars. A larger survey, optimised using results fron this study, will be proposed in future cycles.

  19. Benchmark Experiment for Photoionized Plasma Emission from Accretion-Powered X-Ray Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, G. P.; Bailey, J. E.; Liedahl, D. A.; Fontes, C. J.; Kallman, T. R.; Nagayama, T.; Hansen, S. B.; Rochau, G. A.; Mancini, R. C.; Lee, R. W.

    2017-08-01

    The interpretation of x-ray spectra emerging from x-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei accreted plasmas relies on complex physical models for radiation generation and transport in photoionized plasmas. These models have not been sufficiently experimentally validated. We have developed a highly reproducible benchmark experiment to study spectrum formation from a photoionized silicon plasma in a regime comparable to astrophysical plasmas. Ionization predictions are higher than inferred from measured absorption spectra. Self-emission measured at adjustable column densities tests radiation transport effects, demonstrating that the resonant Auger destruction assumption used to interpret black hole accretion spectra is inaccurate.

  20. A Search for Millisecond-pulsar Radio Emission from the Faint Quiescent Soft X-Ray Transient 1H 1905+000

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikhailov, K.; van Leeuwen, J.; Jonker, P. G.

    2017-05-01

    Transitional millisecond pulsars (tMSPs) switch between an accretion-powered state without radio pulsations and a rotation-powered state with radio pulsations. In the former state, tMSPs are X-ray bright, while in the latter state, they are X-ray dim. Soft X-ray transients (SXTs) undergo similar switches in X-ray, between “high” states with bright X-ray outbursts and “low” states of quiescence. The upper limit on the quiescent X-ray luminosity of SXT 1H 1905+000 suggests that its luminosity might be similar to that of the known tMSPs. A detection of radio pulsations would link SXTs more strongly with tMSPs; and thus, e.g., put stricter constraints on tMSP transitional timescales through the connection with the well-known SXT periods of quiescence. A nondetection allows us, based on the telescope sensitivity, to estimate how likely these sources are to pulsate in radio. Over a 10-year span, 2006-2015, we carried out targeted radio observations at 400/800 MHz with Arecibo, and searched for radio pulsations from the quiescent SXT 1H 1905+000. None of the observations have revealed radio pulsations from the targeted SXT. For a 1 ms pulsar, our flux density upper limit is 10.3 μJy. At an assumed distance of 10 kpc this translates to a pseudo-luminosity upper limit of 1.0 mJy kpc2, which makes our search complete to ˜85% of the known MSP population. Given the high sensitivity, and the generally large beaming fraction of millisecond pulsars, we conclude that SXT 1H 1905+000 is unlikely to emit in radio as a tMSP.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Accretion states in X-ray binaries and their connection to GeV emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koerding, Elmar

    Accretion onto compact objects is intrinsically a multi-wavelength phenomenon: it shows emis-sion components visible from the radio to GeV bands. In X-ray binaries one can well observe the evolution of a single source under changes of the accretion rate and thus study the interplay between the different emission components.I will introduce the phenomenology of X-ray bina-ries and their accretion states and present our current understanding of the interplay between the optically thin and optically thick part of the accretion flow and the jet.The recent detection of the Fermi Large Area Telescope of a variable high-energy source coinciding with the position of the x-ray binary Cygnus X-3 will be presented. Its identification with Cygnus X-3 has been secured by the detection of its orbital period in gamma rays, as well as the correlation of the LAT flux with radio emission from the relativistic jets of Cygnus X-3. This will be interpreted in the context of the accretion states of the X-ray binary.

  4. Constraining black hole masses in low-accreting active galactic nuclei using X-ray spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, I.; Gliozzi, M.; Hughes, C.; Titarchuk, L.

    2014-09-01

    In a recent work we demonstrated that a novel X-ray scaling method, originally introduced for Galactic black holes (BHs), can be reliably extended to estimate the mass of supermassive BHs accreting at a moderate to high level. Here we investigate the limits of applicability of this method to low-accreting active galactic nuclei (AGN), using a control sample with good-quality X-ray data and dynamically measured mass. For low-accreting AGN (LX/LEdd ≤ 10-4), because the basic assumption that the photon index positively correlates with the accretion rate no longer holds the X-ray scaling method cannot be used. Nevertheless, the inverse correlation in the Γ-LX/LEdd diagram, found in several low-accreting BHs and confirmed by this sample, can be used to constrain MBH within a factor of ˜10 from the dynamically determined values. We provide a simple recipe to determine MBH using solely X-ray spectral data, which can be used as a sanity check for MBH determination based on indirect optical methods.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. X-Ray/GeV Emissions from Crab-like Pulsars in the LMC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takata, J.; Cheng, K. S.

    2017-01-01

    We discuss X-ray and gamma-ray emissions from Crab-like pulsars, PSRs J0537-6910 and J0540-6919, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Fermi-LAT observations have resolved the gamma-ray emissions from these two pulsars and found pulsed emissions from PSR J0540-6919. The total pulsed radiation in the X-ray/gamma-ray energy bands of PSR J0540-6919 is observed with efficiency {η }J0540∼ 0.06 (in 4π sr), which is about a factor of ten larger than {η }{Crab}∼ 0.006 of the Crab pulsar. Although PSR J0537-6910 has the highest spin-down power among currently known pulsars, the efficiency of the observed X-ray emissions is about two orders of magnitude smaller than that of PSR J0540-6919. This paper mainly discusses what causes the difference in the radiation efficiencies of these three energetic Crab-like pulsars. We discuss electron/positron acceleration and high-energy emission processes within the outer gap model. By solving the outer gap structure with the dipole magnetic field, we show that the radiation efficiency decreases as the inclination angle between the magnetic axis and the rotation axis increases. To explain the difference in the pulse profile and in the radiation efficiency, our model suggests that PSR J0540-6919 has an inclination angle much smaller than that of the Crab pulsar (here we assume the inclination angles of both pulsars are α < 90^\\circ ). On the other hand, we speculate that the difference in the radiation efficiencies between PSRs J0537-6910 and J0549-6919 is mainly caused by the difference in the Earth viewing angle, and that we see PSR J0537-6910 with an Earth viewing angle \\zeta \\gg 90^\\circ (or \\ll 90^\\circ ) measured from the spin axis, while we see PSR J0540-6919 with \\zeta ∼ 90^\\circ .

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-10-01

    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

  11. X-Ray Emission from the Be Star/Pulsar System PSR 1259-63

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavani, Marco

    1997-01-01

    The collaboration involved researchers at Columbia University, ISAS-Tokyo, Princeton University for the data analysis part, and UC Berkeley for the theoretical analysis. Four different ASCA observations of the Be star/pulsar system PSR 1259-63 were successfully carried out in 1994. Data for the first three observations near periastron were analyzed first, and the analysis was completed in 1995 and a summary paper was published by the Astrophysical Journal. A comprehensive theoretical analysis of the X-ray data together with the results of the simultaneous GRO gamma-ray observational campaign was carried out and the results published in a series of papers. We find that the ASCA results can strongly constrain outflow models from the Be star companion of PSR 1259-63 as well as the radiation mechanisms as the pulsar orbits around the periastron region. The X-ray data suggest a misalignment between the pulsar orbital plane and the Be star outflow equatorial plane. We find that shock-driven emission from synchrotron radiating electron/positrons of the pulsar wind is in agreement with all data obtained. For the first time in a plerionic system, particle acceleration can be shown to be more efficient and fast than inverse Compton and synchrotron radiation cooling of typical timescales near 10(exp 2) - 10(exp 3) sec. These results are of great importance for the theory of particle acceleration in transverse shocks. A second theoretical paper on the study of the relativistic pulsar wind and shock acceleration mechanisms is being completed.

  12. X-Ray Diagnostics of Grain Depletion in Matter Accreting onto T Tauri Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, Jeremy J.; Testa, Paola; Hartmann, Lee

    2005-07-01

    Recent analysis of high-resolution Chandra X-ray spectra has shown that the Ne/O abundance ratio is remarkably constant in stellar coronae. Based on this result, we point out the utility of the Ne/O ratio as a discriminant for accretion-related X-rays from T Tauri stars and for probing the measure of grain depletion of the accreting material in the inner disk. We apply the Ne/O diagnostic to the classical T Tauri stars BP Tau and TW Hya-the two stars found to date whose X-ray emission appears to originate, at least in part, from accretion activity. We show that TW Hya appears to be accreting material that is significantly depleted in O relative to Ne. In contrast, BP Tau has an Ne/O abundance ratio consistent with that observed for post-T Tauri stars. We interpret this result in terms of the different ages and evolutionary states of the circumstellar disks of these stars. In the young BP Tau disk (age ~0.6 Myr), dust is still present near the disk corotation radius and can be ionized and accreted, rereleasing elements depleted onto grains. In the more evolved TW Hya disk (age ~10 Myr), evidence points to ongoing coagulation of grains into much larger bodies, and possibly planets, that can resist the drag of inward-migrating gas, and the accreting gas is consequently depleted of grain-forming elements.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Interference as an Origin of the Peaked Noise in Accreting X-Ray Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veledina, Alexandra

    2016-12-01

    We propose a physical model for the peaked noise in the X-ray power density spectra of accreting X-ray binaries. We interpret its appearance as an interference of two Comptonization continua: one coming from the upscattering of seed photons from the cold thin disk and the other fed by the synchrotron emission of the hot flow. Variations of both X-ray components are caused by fluctuations in mass accretion rate, but there is a delay between them corresponding to the propagation timescale from the disk Comptonization radius to the region of synchrotron Comptonization. If the disk and synchrotron Comptonization are correlated, the humps in the power spectra are harmonically related and the dips between them appear at frequencies related as odd numbers 1:3:5. If they are anti-correlated, the humps are related as 1:3:5, but the dips are harmonically related. Similar structures are expected to be observed in accreting neutron star binaries and supermassive black holes. The delay can be easily recovered from the frequency of peaked noise and further used to constrain the combination of the viscosity parameter and disk height-to-radius ratio α(H/R)2 of the accretion flow. We model multi-peak power spectra of black hole X-ray binaries GX 339-4 and XTE J1748-288 to constrain these parameters.

  1. Free-fall accretion and emitting caustics in wind-fed X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2001-05-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries the accreting matter is Compton-cooled and falls freely on to the compact object. The matter has a modest angular momentum l and accretion is quasi-spherical at large distances from the compact object. Initially small non-radial velocities grow in the converging supersonic flow and become substantial in the vicinity of the accretor. The streamlines with l>(GMR*)1/2 (where M and R* are the mass and radius of the compact object) intersect outside R* and form a two-dimensional caustic which emits X-rays. The streamlines with low angular momentum, l<(GMR*)1/2, run into the accretor. If the accretor is a neutron star, a large X-ray luminosity results. We show that the distribution of accretion rate/luminosity over the star surface is sensitive to the angular momentum distribution of the accreting matter. The apparent luminosity depends on the side from which the star is observed and can change periodically with the orbital phase of the binary. The accretor then appears as a `Moon-like' X-ray source.

  2. RXTE and BeppoSAX Observations of the Transient X-ray Pulsar XTE J 18591+083

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corbet, R. H. D.; intZand, J. J. M.; Levine, A. M.; Marshall, F. E.

    2008-01-01

    We present observations of the 9.8 s X-ray pulsar XTE J159+083 made with the All-Sky Monitor (ASM) and Proportional Counter Array (PCA) on board the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), and the Wide Field Cameras (WFC) on board BeppoSAX. The ASM data cover a 12 year time interval and show that an extended outburst occurred between approximately MJD50, 250, and 50, 460 (1996 June 16 to 1997 January 12). The ASM data excluding this outburst interval suggest a possible 61 day modulation. Eighteen sets of PCA observations were obtained over an approx. one month interval in 1999. The flux variability measured with the PCA appears consistent with the possible period found with the ASM. The PCA measurements of the pulse period showed it to decrease non-monotonically and then to increase significantly. Doppler shifts due to orbital motion rather than accretion torques appear to be better able to explain the pulse period changes. Observations with the WFC during the extended outburst give an error box which is consistent with a previously determined PCA error box but is significantly smaller. The transient nature of XTE J1859+083 and the length of its pulse period are consistent with it being a Be/neutral star binary. The possible 61 day orbital period would be of the expected length for a Be star system with a 9.8 s pulse period.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Accretion-driven star formation in central dominant galaxies in X-ray clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarazin, C. L.; Oconnell, R. W.

    1983-05-01

    Analytical and observational evidence for the formation of low-mass stars in the gas accreting in the central dominant galaxies in clusters is presented. Observations of the (U-V) and (K-V) color gradients in accreting galaxies are suggested to reveal colors altered by the appearance of young stars, e.g., the excess blue and the A star spectrum detected in NGC 1275. Low-temperature X ray line emissions from accreting galaxies have been partially surveyed with the result that 10 pct of the brightest cluster galaxies in a magnitude-limited sample show evidence of significant accretion. Photometric data from the quasar 3C 48, located in a galaxy with a very blue population, also suggests low-mass star formation, especially when compared to measurements of NGC 1275, which has the highest accretion rate among observed central dominant cluster galaxies. The quasar, however, would not be accreting interstellar gas.

  6. RADIO-QUIET AND RADIO-LOUD PULSARS: SIMILAR IN GAMMA-RAYS BUT DIFFERENT IN X-RAYS

    SciTech Connect

    Marelli, M.; Mignani, R. P.; Luca, A. De; Salvetti, D.; Parkinson, P. M. Saz; Hartog, P. R. Den

    2015-04-01

    We present new Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of a sample of eight radio-quiet (RQ) γ-ray pulsars detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. For all eight pulsars we identify the X-ray counterpart, based on the X-ray source localization and the best position obtained from γ-ray pulsar timing. For PSR J2030+4415 we found evidence for a ∼10″-long pulsar wind nebula. Our new results consolidate the work from Marelli et al. and confirm that, on average, the γ-ray-to-X-ray flux ratios (F{sub γ}/F{sub X}) of RQ pulsars are higher than for the radio-loud (RL) ones. Furthermore, while the F{sub γ}/F{sub X} distribution features a single peak for the RQ pulsars, the distribution is more dispersed for the RL ones, possibly showing two peaks. We discuss possible implications of these different distributions based on current models for pulsar X-ray emission.

  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. Propeller Effect in the Transient X-Ray Pulsar SMC X-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutovinov, Alexander A.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Krivonos, Roman A.; Molkov, Sergey V.; Poutanen, Juri

    2017-01-01

    We report the results of the monitoring campaign of the transient X-ray pulsar SMC X-2 performed with the Swift/XRT telescope over the period of 2015 September–2016 January during the Type II outburst. During this event, the bolometric luminosity of the source ranged from ≃1039 down to several ×1034 erg s‑1. Moreover, we discovered its dramatic drop by a factor of more than 100 below the limiting value of {L}{lim}≃ 4× {10}36 erg s‑1, which can be interpreted as a transition to the propeller regime. These measurements make SMC X-2 the sixth pulsating X-ray source where such a transition is observed and allow us to estimate the magnetic field of the neutron star in the system B ≃ 3 × 1012 G, which is in agreement with independent results of the spectral analysis.

  9. Tiny Hiccups to Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    We request the Target-of-Opportunity (TOO) component of an ongoing, successful, long-term RXTE monitoring campaign of anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). Their nature had been a long-standing mystery, but with our discoveries of soft gamma-ray repeater-like X-ray bursts from two AXPs, there is compelling evidence that they are magnetars. We request TOO observations of any of five AXPs (and one candidate) should they exhibit anomalous behavior of one or more of the following types: bursts, significant pulse profile changes, glitches or other rotational anomalies, or pulse fractions changes. These observations will allow us to answer basic physical questions about neutron star structure and constrain the physics of magnetars.

  10. Tiny Tremors to Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars (core Program)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    We are requesting the target-of-oppurtunity (ToO) component of an ongoing, successful, long-term RXTE monitoring campaign of anomalous X- ray pulsars (AXPs). Their nature had been a mystery, but with our discoveries of X-ray bursts from AXPs, there is compelling evidence that they are young, isolated, ultra-magnetized neutron stars or "magnetars." We request ToO observations of any of the known and candidate AXPs as well as of any newly discovered AXPs should they exhibit anomalous behavior of one or more of the following types: bursts, significant sudden pulse profile changes, glitches or other rotational anomalies, or pulse fractions changes. These observations will allow us to answer basic physical questions about neutron star structure.

  11. Tiny Tremors to Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars (core Program)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    We are requesting the target-of-oppurtunity (ToO) component of an ongoing, successful, long-term RXTE monitoring campaign of anomalous X- ray pulsars (AXPs). Their nature had been a mystery, but with our discoveries of X-ray bursts from AXPs, there is compelling evidence that they are young, isolated, ultra-magnetized neutron stars or "magnetars." We request ToO observations of any of the known and candidate AXPs as well as of any newly discovered AXPs should they exhibit anomalous behavior of one or more of the following types: bursts, significant sudden pulse profile changes, glitches or other rotational anomalies, or pulse fractions changes. These observations will allow us to answer basic physical questions about neutron star structure.

  12. Tiny Tremors to Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    We are requesting the target-of-oppurtunity (ToO) component of an ongoing, successful, long-term RXTE monitoring campaign of anomalous X- ray pulsars (AXPs). Their nature had been a mystery, but with our discoveries of X-ray bursts from AXPs, there is compelling evidence that they are young, isolated, ultra-magnetized neutron stars or "magnetars." We request ToO observations of any of the known and candidate AXPs as well as of any newly discovered AXPs should they exhibit anomalous behavior of one or more of the following types: bursts, significant sudden pulse profile changes, glitches or other rotational anomalies, or pulse fractions changes. These observations will allow us to answer basic physical questions about neutron star structure.

  13. Tiny Hiccups to Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    We are requesting the target-of-oppurtunity (ToO) component of an ongoing, successful, long-term RXTE monitoring campaign of anomalous X- ray pulsars (AXPs). Their nature had been a mystery, but with our discoveries of X-ray bursts from AXPs, there is compelling evidence that they are young, isolated, ultra-magnetized neutron stars or "magnetars." We request ToO observations of any of the known and candidate AXPs should they exhibit anomalous behavior of one or more of the following types: bursts, significant sudden pulse profile changes, glitches or other rotational anomalies, or pulse fractions changes. These observations will allow us to answer basic physical questions about neutron star structure.

  14. 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

  15. Implications of rapid rotation for pulse profile models of millisecond-period x-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadeau, Coire

    2007-08-01

    The rapid rotation of recycled neutron stars in accretion-powered millisecond- period X-ray pulsars has important consequences for models of their pulsed emission, and by extension, the analysis of observations of these objects. We begin by considering the problem of calculating the time-varying bolometric flux arising due to emission from a bright spot on the surface of a rapidly rotating neutron star, with rotational period on the order of a millisecond. We restrict to the case of isotropic emission from an infinitesimal emission zone, but carry out the calculations with sufficient generality to incorporate a precisely solved spacetime metric and stellar structure. The geodesic equation is integrated numerically. Using the computer code developed for this work, we investigate the effect that commonly-used simplifying approximations have on the shape of the pulse profile compared to the full calculation. In particular, we consider the effect of neglecting the phase-dependent travel time of photons, approximating the exterior metric as either Schwarzschild or Kerr, and neglecting the rotation- induced oblateness of the neutron star. We also consider the consequences that result when approximate pulse profiles are used to obtain neutron star parameters such as mass, radius, emission inclination, and observer inclination via least squares fitting. Specifically, we look at fitting light curves calculated using the Schwarzschild metric and a spherical star to a light curve calculated using a precisely-solved metric and stellar structure. We are able to conclude that, in an idealised case where there is no random noise component and all light curves are for bolometric fluxes from isotropic emission, neglecting photon times-of-flight or stellar oblateness in model light curves used for fitting can introduce errors at the level of several tens of percent on the determination of mass and radius individually. However, these errors will often offset each other such that the

  16. X-ray observations of the Crushed Pulsar Wind Nebula and Rapidly Moving Pulsar in SNR MSH 15-56

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temim, Tea; Slane, Patrick O.; Plucinsky, Paul P.; Castro, Daniel; Gelfand, Joseph

    2017-08-01

    Composite supernova remnants (SNRs) are those consisting of both a central pulsar that produces a wind of synchrotron-emitting relativistic particle and a supernova (SN) blast wave that expands into the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). The evolution of the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) is coupled to the evolution of its host SNR and characterized by distinct stages, from the PWN’s early expansion into the unshocked SN ejecta to its late-phase interaction with the SNR reverse shock. The signatures of this PWN/SNR interaction can reveal important information about the SNR and PWN dynamics, the ambient medium, particle injection and loss processes, and the eventual escape of PWN’s energetic particles into the interstellar medium. I will present the analysis of recent X-ray observations of the evolved composite SNR MSH 15-56 that appears to have undergone an asymmetric interaction with the SN reverse shock. Such an asymmetric interaction can occur as a result of a density gradient in the ambient medium and/or a moving pulsar that displaces the PWN from the center of the SNR. The 15-year baseline of the Chandra observations allowed us to measure the proper motion of the pulsar, which indeed shows that it is moving at a high velocity. This analysis provides new insight into the evolution of this complex SNR and the late-phase evolution of composite SNRs in general.

  17. Super-Eddington accretion disks in Ultraluminous X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabrika, S.; Vinokurov, A.; Atapin, K.; Sholukhova, O.

    2016-06-01

    The origin of Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in external galaxies whose X-ray luminosities exceed those of the brightest black holes in our Galaxy hundreds and thousands times is mysterious. The most popular models for the ULXs involve either intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) or stellar-mass black holes accreting at super-Eddington rates. Here we review the ULX properties, their X-ray spectra indicate the presence of hot winds in their accretion disks supposing the supercritical accretion. However, the strongest evidences come from optical spectroscopy. The spectra of the ULX counterparts are very similar to that of SS433, the only known supercritical accretor in our Galaxy. The spectra are apparently of WNL type (late nitrogen Wolf-Rayet stars) or LBV (luminous blue variables) in their hot state, which are very scarce stellar objects. We find that the spectra do not originate from WNL/LBV type donors but from very hot winds from the accretion disks, whose physical conditions are similar to those in stellar winds from these stars. The results suggest that bona-fide ULXs must constitute a homogeneous class of objects, which most likely have supercritical accretion disks.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2007-09-01

    Recently discovered transient events in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) may be a Rosetta Stone for understanding the persistent emission from magnetars. They also may hold the key to quantifying the number of magnetars in the Galaxy. Here we request Chandra TOO time to observe any AXP following a rare transient event, including a major outburst or a long-duration flare. Specifically, the requested observations will determine the pulsed fraction and spectral evolution of a transient AXP event as the source relaxes back to quiescence, in order to quantitatively test the "twisted magnetosphere" model for magnetars, and establish the basic phenomenology of transient AXP events.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2005-09-01

    Recently discovered transient events in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) may be a Rosetta Stone for understanding the persistent emission from magnetars. They also may hold the key to quantifying the number of magnetars in the Galaxy. Here we request Chandra TOO time to observe any AXP following a rare transient event, including a major outburst or a long-duration flare. Specifically, the requested observations will determine the pulsed fraction and spectral evolution of a transient AXP event as the source relaxes back to quiescence, in order to quantitatively test the "twisted magnetosphere" model for magnetars, and establish the basic phenomenology of transient AXP events.

  1. Tiny Hiccups To Titanic Explosions: Tackling Transients in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Victoria

    2006-09-01

    Recently discovered transient events in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) may be a Rosetta Stone for understanding the persistent emission from magnetars. They also may hold the key to quantifying the number of magnetars in the Galaxy. Here we request Chandra TOO time to observe any AXP following a rare transient event, including a major outburst or a long-duration flare. Specifically, the requested observations will determine the pulsed fraction and spectral evolution of a transient AXP event as the source relaxes back to quiescence, in order to quantitatively test the "twisted magnetosphere" model for magnetars, and establish the basic phenomenology of transient AXP events.

  2. Thermal cycles from a two-zone accreting model - X-ray bursts and shell flashes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regev, O.; Livio, M.

    1984-05-01

    The mechanisms of red-giant shell-flash emission and neutron-star X-ray bursts are investigated theoretically, extending the two-zone model of Barranco et al. (1980) by means of a third time-dependent nonlinear equation to account for the accretion process. The physical assumptions are explained, the equations are derived, and the results of numerical integration are presented graphically for a set of standard input parameters and several variants. Two types of limit-cycle oscillations are identified: thermal oscillations arising from nuclear burning in a thin shell of red giants (leading to shell flashes) and oscillations driven by both nuclear burning and mass accretion in the high-density thermonuclear-ignition region at the surface of neutron stars (leading to X-ray bursts). The two-zone model is shown to account for such burster properties as high-accretion rate stabilization, core heat-exchange effects, and double-peaked bursts.

  3. X-rays and Doppler imaging: Do soft emission and accretion coincide?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolter, Uwe

    2010-10-01

    Classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) are young, accreting systems. The accretion causes a variable soft X-ray excess and unusual line ratios in the He-like triplets. Accretion signatures can also be seen in optical Doppler images. However, the true correlation of these different signatures only accessible by simultaneous X-ray and ground-based observations has not been studied to date. We propose an 80 ksec XMM-Newton observation covering two full rotations of the CTTS MN Lup; furthermore, we propose simultaneous VLT/UVES spectral observations to obtain a Doppler image of its surface. With its short rotation period and fast rotation, MN Lup is a truly unique target for these observations.

  4. 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) .

  5. 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.

  6. Modeling High-resolution Spectra from X-ray Illuminated Accretion Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, Javier; Kallman, T.

    2010-01-01

    This work is focused on the study of X-ray illuminated accretion disks around compact objects by modeling their structure and reprocessed spectra. Use of low-accuracy and incomplete atomic data is a key limitation in models which have been calculated so far. We remedy this situation by incorporating data for line energies, transition probabilities and photoionization cross sections taken from various sources, most notably calculations using the R-matrix suite of codes. We also implement a self-consistent approach for the radiative transfer of X-rays and the heating and ionization of the gas. These promise to lead to significant improvements in the understanding of the X-ray observations of active galactic nuclei (AGN), X-ray binaries and galactic black holes. By performing detailed radiative transfer calculations we have computed the reflected spectra from constant density slabs for different input parameters (e.g., density, strength of incident X-rays, iron abundance), including the redistribution of photons due to Compton scattering. Although broad and skewed iron emission lines observed in many accreting systems are often attributed to the Doppler effect and gravitational redshift, our results show that Comptonization can be responsible for a significant fraction of the line broadening. By analyzing simulated Suzaku observations from our models, we provide equivalent and physical widths and line centroid energies for atomic lines, absorption edges and recombination continua (among other features). These are provided in tabular and graphical form that can be used directly in the interpretation of observational data.

  7. Radio emission from Sgr A*: pulsar transits through the accretion disc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christie, I. M.; Petropoulou, M.; Mimica, P.; Giannios, D.

    2017-06-01

    Radiatively inefficient accretion flow models have been shown to accurately account for the spectrum and luminosity observed from Sgr A* in the X-ray regime down to mm wavelengths. However, observations at a few GHz cannot be explained by thermal electrons alone but require the presence of an additional non-thermal particle population. Here, we propose a model for the origin of such a population in the accretion flow via means of a pulsar orbiting the supermassive black hole in our Galaxy. Interactions between the relativistic pulsar wind with the disc lead to the formation of a bow shock in the wind. During the pulsar's transit through the accretion disc, relativistic pairs, accelerated at the shock front, are injected into the disc. The radio-emitting particles are long lived and remain within the disc long after the pulsar's transit. Periodic pulsar transits through the disc result in regular injection episodes of non-thermal particles. We show that for a pulsar with spin-down luminosity Lsd ∼ 3 × 1035 erg s-1 and a wind Lorentz factor of γw ∼ 104 a quasi-steady synchrotron emission is established with luminosities in the 1-10 GHz range comparable to the observed one.

  8. X-ray emission properties of the old pulsar PSR B2224+65

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hui, C. Y.; Becker, W.

    2007-06-01

    Using archival Chandra data we studied the X-ray emission properties of PSR B2224+65 and its environment. Albeit limited by photon statistics the spectral analysis suggests that the bulk of the emission from PSR B2224+65 is non-thermal. Fitting a power-law model to the observed energy spectrum yields a photon index of Γ=1.58+0.43-0.33. The possible origin of the non-thermal pulsar emission is discussed in the context of the outer-gap model. We did not find any evidence for a compact nebula around PSR B2224+65 though the Chandra data reveal the existence of an extended feature which appears to be associated with PSR B2224+65. It extends from the pulsar position about 2 arcmin to the north-west. Its orientation deviates by ˜118° from the pulsar's proper motion direction. Investigating its energy spectrum shows that the emission of this extended feature is much harder than that of the pulsar itself and is non-thermal in nature.

  9. 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.

  10. Pulsed Thermal Emission from the Accreting Pulsar XMMU J054134.7-682550

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manousakis, Antonis; Walter, Roland; Audard, Marc; Lanz, Thierry

    2009-05-01

    XMMU J054134.7-682550, located in the LMC, featured a type II outburst in August 2007. We analyzed XMM-Newton (EPIC-MOS) and RXTE (PCA) data in order to derive the spectral and temporal characteristics of the system throughout the outburst. Spectral variability, spin period evolution, energy dependent pulse shape are discussed. The outburst (LX~3×1038 erg/s~LEDD) spectrum can be modeled using, cutoff power law, soft X-ray blackbody, disk emission, and cyclotron absorption line. The blackbody component shows a sinusoidal behavior, expected from hard X-ray reprocessing on the inner edge of the accretion disk. The thickness of the inner accretion disk (width of ~75 km) can be constrained. The spin-up of the pulsar during the outburst is the signature of a (huge) accretion rate. Simbol-X will provide similar capabilities as XMM-Newton and RXTE together, for such bright events.

  11. 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.

  12. Unveiling slim accretion disc in AGN through X-ray and Infrared observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelló-Mor, Núria; Kaspi, Shai; Netzer, Hagai; Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Ho, Luis C.; Bai, Jin-Ming; Bian, Wei-Hao; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Wang, Jian-Min

    2017-05-01

    In this work, which is a continuation of Castelló-Mor et al., we present new X-ray and infrared (IR) data for a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGN) covering a wide range in Eddington ratio over a small luminosity range. In particular, we rigorously explore the dependence of the optical-to-X-ray spectral index αOX and the IR-to-optical spectral index on the dimensionless accretion rate, \\dot{M} = \\dot{m}/η, where \\dot{m} = LAGN/LEdd and η is the mass-to-radiation conversion efficiency, in low- and high-accretion rate sources. We find that the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the faster accreting sources is surprisingly similar to those from the comparison sample of sources with lower accretion rate. In particular: (i) The optical-to-UV AGN SED of slow and fast accreting AGN can be fitted with thin accretion disc (AD) models. (ii) The value of αOX is very similar in slow and fast accreting systems up to a dimensionless accretion rate \\dot{M}c ˜ 10. We only find a correlation between αOX and \\dot{M} for sources with \\dot{M} > \\dot{M}c. In such cases, the faster accreting sources appear to have systematically larger αOX values. (iii) We also find that the torus in the faster accreting systems seems to be less efficient in reprocessing the primary AGN radiation having lower IR-to-optical spectral slopes. These findings, failing to recover the predicted differences between the SEDs of slim and thin ADs within the observed spectral window, suggest that additional physical processes or very special geometry act to reduce the extreme-UV radiation in fast accreting AGN. This may be related to photon trapping, strong winds and perhaps other yet unknown physical processes.

  13. 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.

  14. Probing the Evolving X-ray Sources of Accreting Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkins, Dan

    2013-04-01

    Material spiralling into black holes powers some of the most luminous objects we see in the Unviverse; AGN and galactic black hole binaries. X-rays are emitted from a corona of energetic particles around the black hole and are seen to reflect off of the accretion disc. As well as being impressive objects in their own right, the black holes in AGN can emit such large amounts of energy that they are important in governing the growth of galaxies and clusters. Through detailed analysis of the observed reflection features in the X-ray spectrum and the variability of the detected emission showing reverberation time lags between the directly observed continuum and the reflection, it is possible to detect the emission from material right down to the innermost stable orbit around the black hole. Comparing these observations to the results of general relativistic ray tracing simulations allows them to be analysed in the context of the geometry of the X-ray emitting region and it has been possible to constrain the locations of the X-ray sources in a number of AGN including 1H 0707-495, IRAS 13224-3809 and MCG-6-30-15. With high quality data from long X-ray observations of these sources, it has, for the first time, been possible to follow the evolution of the coronal X-ray source as the luminosity of the source goes up and down. We are able to find evidence that the size and other properties of the X-ray source changes on the timescale of a few hours, giving rise to the extreme variability seen in these sources with the source increasing in size as the luminosity increases. Such detailed analysis of observations (both of spectra and variability) and studies of how the X-ray source is changing is paving the way to the science that will be possible with the next generation of X-ray instruments (NuStar and Astro-H) and will allow us to understand the processes at work in the innermost regions of accretion black holes, releasing energy from the accretion flow to power some of the

  15. 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.

  16. Unveiling slim accretion disc in AGN through X-ray and Infrared observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelló-Mor, Núria; Kaspi, Shai; Netzer, Hagai; Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Ho, Luis C.; Bai, Jin-Ming; Bian, Wei-Hao; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Wang, Jian-Min

    2017-01-01

    In this work, which is a continuation of Castello-Mor et al. (2016), we present new X-ray and infrared (IR) data for a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGN) covering a wide range in Eddington ratio over a small luminosity range. In particular, we rigorously explore the dependence of the optical-to-X-ray spectral index αOX and the IR-to-optical spectral index on the dimensionless accretion rate, dot{M}=dot{m}/η where dot{m}=LAGN/LEdd and η is the mass-to-radiation conversion efficiency, in low and high accretion rate sources. We find that the SED of the faster accreting sources are surprisingly similar to those from the comparison sample of sources with lower accretion rate. In particular: I) the optical-to-UV AGN SED of slow and fast accreting AGN can be fitted with thin AD models. II) The value of αOX is very similar in slow and fast accreting systems up to a dimensionless accretion rate dot{M}c ˜10. We only find a correlation between αOX and dot{M} for sources with dot{M}>dot{M}c. In such cases, the faster accreting sources appear to have systematically larger αOX values. III) We also find that the torus in the faster accreting systems seems to be less efficient in reprocessing the primary AGN radiation having lower IR-to-optical spectral slopes. These findings, failing to recover the predicted differences between the SEDs of slim and thin ADs within the observed spectral window, suggest that additional physical processes or very special geometry act to reduce the extreme UV radiation in fast accreting AGN. This may be related to photon trapping, strong winds, and perhaps other yet unknown physical processes.

  17. Black holes in short period X-ray binaries and the transition to radiatively inefficient accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knevitt, G.; Wynn, G. A.; Vaughan, S.; Watson, M. G.

    2014-02-01

    By comparing the orbital period distributions of black hole and neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) in the Ritter-Kolb catalogue we show that there is statistical evidence for a dearth of black hole systems at short orbital periods (Porb < 4 h). This could either be due to a true divergence in orbital period distributions of these two types of system, or to black hole LMXBs being preferentially hidden from view at short orbital periods. We explore the latter possibility, by investigating whether black hole LMXBs could be concealed by a switch to radiatively inefficient accretion at low luminosities. The peak luminosity and the duration of X-ray binary outbursts are related to the disc radius and, hence, the orbital period. At short periods, where the peak outburst luminosity drops close to the threshold for radiatively inefficient accretion, black hole LMXBs have lower outburst luminosities, shorter outburst durations and lower X-ray duty cycles than comparable neutron star systems. These factors can combine to severely reduce the detection probability of short period black hole LMXBs relative to those containing neutron stars. We estimate the outburst properties and orbital period distribution of black hole LMXBs using two models of the transition to radiatively inefficient accretion: an instantaneous drop in accretion efficiency (η) to zero, at a fraction (f) of the Eddington luminosity (LEdd) and a power-law efficiency decrease, η ∝ dot{M}^n, for L < f LEdd. We show that a population of black hole LMXBs at short orbital periods can only be hidden by a sharp drop in efficiency, either instantaneous or for n ≳ 3. This could be achieved by a genuine drop in luminosity or through abrupt spectral changes that shift the accretion power out of a given X-ray band.

  18. EXPLAINING THE EARLY EXIT OF ETA CARINAE FROM ITS 2009 X-RAY MINIMUM WITH THE ACCRETION MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Kashi, Amit; Soker, Noam E-mail: soker@physics.technion.ac.il

    2009-08-10

    We use the accretion model to explain the early exit of {eta} Car from its 2009 X-ray minimum. In the accretion model, the secondary star accretes mass from the primary wind near periastron passage, a process that suppresses the secondary wind. As the shocked secondary wind is responsible for most of the X-ray emission, the accretion process accounts for the X-ray minimum. The early exit from the 2009 X-ray minimum after four weeks, instead of 10 weeks as in the two previous minima, is attributed to the primary wind that during the last minimum was somewhat faster and of lower mass-loss rate than during the two previous X-ray minima. This results in a much lower mass accretion rate during the X-ray minimum. We show that using fluctuations in these quantities that are within the range deduced from fluctuations in the X-ray flux outside the minimum, can account for the short duration of the last X-ray minimum. The shorter X-ray minimum may have further implications on the recovery of the system from the spectroscopic event.

  19. X-ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. II. Diagnostic Tools for X-ray Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Mushotzky, R. F.

    2011-04-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra from accreting sources. We use our new reflection code to compute the reflected spectra from an accretion disk illuminated by X-rays. This set of models covers different values of ionization parameter, solar iron abundance, and photon index for the illuminating spectrum. These models also include the most complete and recent atomic data for the inner shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We concentrate our analysis on the 2-10 keV energy region and in particular on the iron K-shell emission lines. We show the dependency of the equivalent width (EW) of the Fe Kα on the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is ~800 eV for models with log ξ ~ 1.5 and decreases monotonically as ξ increases. For lower values of ξ, the Fe Kα EW decreases to a minimum near log ξ ~ 0.8. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low-ionized, reflection-dominated cases, the 2-10 keV energy region shows a very broad, curving continuum that cannot be represented by a simple power law. We show that in addition to the Fe K-shell emission, there are other prominent features such as the Si and S Lα lines, a blend of Ar VIII-XI lines, and the Ca X Kα line. In some cases, the S XV blends with the He-like Si radiative recombination continua producing a broad feature that cannot be reproduced by a simple Gaussian profile. This could be used as a signature of reflection.

  20. X-Ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. II. Diagnostic Tools for X-Ray Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Mushotzky, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra from accreting sources. We use our new reflection code to compute the reflected spectra from an accretion disk illuminated by X-rays. This set of models covers different values of ionization parameter, solar iron abundance and photon index for the illuminating spectrum. These models also include the most complete and recent atomic data for the inner-shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We concentrate our analysis to the 2 - 10 keV energy region, and in particular to the iron K-shell emission lines. We show the dependency of the equivalent width (EW) of the Fe Ka with the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is approx. 800 eV for models with log Epsilon approx. 1.5, and decreases monotonically as Epsilon increases. For lower values of Epsilon the Fe K(alpha) EW decreases to a minimum near log Epsilon approx. 0.8. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low ionized, reflection dominated cases, the 2 -10 keV energy region shows a very broad, curving continuum that cannot be represented by a simple power-law. We show that in addition to the Fe K-shell emission, there are other prominent features such as the Si and S L(alpha) lines, a blend of Ar VIII-XI lines, and the Ca x K(alpha) line. In some cases the S xv blends with the He-like Si RRC producing a broad feature that cannot be reproduced by a simple Gaussian profile. This could be used as a signature of reflection.

  1. X-RAY REFLECTED SPECTRA FROM ACCRETION DISK MODELS. II. DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS FOR X-RAY OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    GarcIa, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Mushotzky, R. F. E-mail: timothy.r.kallman@nasa.gov

    2011-04-20

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra from accreting sources. We use our new reflection code to compute the reflected spectra from an accretion disk illuminated by X-rays. This set of models covers different values of ionization parameter, solar iron abundance, and photon index for the illuminating spectrum. These models also include the most complete and recent atomic data for the inner shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We concentrate our analysis on the 2-10 keV energy region and in particular on the iron K-shell emission lines. We show the dependency of the equivalent width (EW) of the Fe K{alpha} on the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is {approx}800 eV for models with log {xi} {approx} 1.5 and decreases monotonically as {xi} increases. For lower values of {xi}, the Fe K{alpha} EW decreases to a minimum near log {xi} {approx} 0.8. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low-ionized, reflection-dominated cases, the 2-10 keV energy region shows a very broad, curving continuum that cannot be represented by a simple power law. We show that in addition to the Fe K-shell emission, there are other prominent features such as the Si and S L{alpha} lines, a blend of Ar VIII-XI lines, and the Ca X K{alpha} line. In some cases, the S XV blends with the He-like Si radiative recombination continua producing a broad feature that cannot be reproduced by a simple Gaussian profile. This could be used as a signature of reflection.

  2. 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.

  3. Flat Power Spectra of Ultraluminous X-ray Sources: Evidence of Super-Eddington Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atapin, K.; Fabrika, S.

    2017-06-01

    We analyze a stochastic X-ray variability of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) using a sample of 12 objects. Recently, we have found that the power spectrum of SS 433 can be fitted by the broken power law with a flat spectrum between 10-5 and 10-3 Hz. Similar flat power spectra are shown in ultraluminous X-ray sources NGC 5408 X-1, NGC 6946 X-1, and M82 X-1. These objects also have quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) near 0.01 Hz. We suppose that such a type of variability may be related to the structure of supercritical disk and they may represent an evidence of supercritical accretion in these sources.

  4. X-ray reflection from black-hole accretion discs with a radially stratified ionisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svoboda, J.; Domcek, V.; Dovčiak, M.; Guainazzi, M.; Marinucci, A.

    2015-07-01

    Recent X-ray observations have suggested a very high compactness of coronae in Active Galactic Nuclei as well as in X-ray Binaries. The compactness of the source implies that the black-hole accretion disc irradiation is a strong function of radius. We will show how the X-ray spectra are modified assuming the radially stratified ionisation according to the illumination by a point-like source on the black-hole rotational axis. We will discuss how this affects the measurements of the other model parameters, such as spin and radial emissivity. We will show the application of this model to the recent XMM-Newton/NUSTAR data of an active galaxy MCG-6-30-15.

  5. 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.

  6. EVIDENCE OF FAST MAGNETIC FIELD EVOLUTION IN AN ACCRETING MILLISECOND PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    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 {approx}180 Degree-Sign 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.

  7. Chandra X-Ray Observations of 19 Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Grindlay, Jonathan E.; Heinke, Craig O.; Camilo, Fernando; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Becker, Werner

    2006-08-01

    We present spectral and long-timescale variability analyses of Chandra X-Ray Observatory ACIS-S observations of the 19 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with precisely known positions in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. The X-ray emission of the majority of these MSPs is well described by a thermal (blackbody or neutron star hydrogen atmosphere) spectrum with a temperature Teff~(1-3)×106 K, emission radius Reff~0.1-3 km, and luminosity LX~1030-1031 ergs s-1. For several MSPs, there are indications that a second thermal component is required, similar to what is seen in some nearby field MSPs. The observed radiation most likely originates from the heated magnetic polar caps of the MSPs. The small apparent scatter in LX is consistent with thermal emission from the polar caps of a global dipole field, although the small emission areas may imply either a more complex small-scale magnetic field configuration near the neutron star surface or nonuniform polar cap heating. The radio eclipsing binary MSPs 47 Tuc J, O, and W show a significant nonthermal (power-law) component, with spectral photon index Γ~1-1.5, which most likely originates in an intrabinary shock formed due to interaction between the relativistic pulsar wind and matter from the stellar companion. We reexamine the X-ray-spin-down luminosity relation (LX-E˙ relation) and find that for the MSPs with thermal spectra LX~E˙β, where β~0.2+/-1.1. Due to the large uncertainties in both parameters, the result is consistent with both the linear LX-E˙ relation and the flatter LX~E˙0.5 predicted by polar cap heating models. In terms of X-ray properties, we find no clear systematic differences between MSPs in globular clusters and in the field of the Galaxy. We discuss the implications of these results on the present understanding of the X-ray emission properties of MSPs.

  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 Second Millisecond Accreting Pulsar: XTE J1751-305

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markwardt, C. B.; Swank, J. H.; Strohmayer, T. E.; in 't Zand, J. J. M.; Marshall, F. E.

    2002-08-01

    We report the discovery by the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array of a second transient accreting millisecond pulsar, XTE J1751-305, during regular monitoring observations of the Galactic bulge region. The pulsar has a spin frequency of 435 Hz, making it one of the fastest pulsars. The pulsations contain the signature of orbital Doppler modulation, which implies an orbital period of 42 minutes, the shortest orbital period of any known radio or X-ray millisecond pulsar. The mass function, fX=(1.278+/-0.003)×10-6 Msolar, yields a minimum mass for the companion of between 0.013 and 0.017 Msolar, depending on the mass of the neutron star. No eclipses were detected. A previous X-ray outburst in 1998 June was discovered in archival All-Sky Monitor data. Assuming mass transfer in this binary system is driven by gravitational radiation, we constrain the orbital inclination to be in the range 30°-85° and the companion mass to be 0.013-0.035 Msolar. The companion is most likely a heated helium dwarf. We also present results from the Chandra High Resolution Camera-S observations, which provide the best-known position of XTE J1751-305.

  10. 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.

  11. ANISOTROPY OF X-RAY BURSTS FROM NEUTRON STARS WITH CONCAVE ACCRETION DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. Population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs - II. X-ray and UV emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Woods, T. E.; Yungelson, L. R.; Gilfanov, M.; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-11-01

    Accreting white dwarfs (WDs) with non-degenerate companions are expected to emit in soft X-rays and the UV, if accreted H-rich material burns stably. They are an important component of the unresolved emission of elliptical galaxies, and their combined ionizing luminosity may significantly influence the optical line emission from warm interstellar medium (ISM). In an earlier paper, we modelled populations of accreting WDs, first generating WD with main-sequence, Hertzsprung gap and red giant companions with the population synthesis code BSE, and then following their evolution with a grid of evolutionary tracks computed with MESA. Now we use these results to estimate the soft X-ray (0.3-0.7 keV), H- and He II-ionizing luminosities of nuclear burning WDs and the number of supersoft X-ray sources for galaxies with different star formation histories. For the starburst case, these quantities peak at ˜1 Gyr and decline by ˜1-3 orders of magnitude by the age of 10 Gyr. For stellar ages of ˜10 Gyr, predictions of our model are consistent with soft X-ray luminosities observed by Chandra in nearby elliptical galaxies and He II 4686 Å/H β line ratio measured in stacked Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra of retired galaxies, the latter characterizing the strength and hardness of the UV radiation field. However, the soft X-ray luminosity and He II 4686 Å/H β ratio are significantly overpredicted for stellar ages of ≲4-8 Gyr. We discuss various possibilities to resolve this discrepancy and tentatively conclude that it may be resolved by a modification of the typically used criteria of dynamically unstable mass-loss for giant stars.

  13. The detection of pulsed X-ray emission from a nearby radio pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yancopoulos, S.; Hamilton, T. T.; Helfand, D. J.

    1994-01-01

    As part of a search for thermal surface radiation from nearby neutron stars, we have carried out a 45,000 s observation of the nearby radio pulsar PSR 1929+10 with the ROSAT PSPC. After background subtraction, a net of 420 +/- 25 photons in the 0.1 to 2.0 keV band were detected at the position of the pulsar, corresponding to a luminosity of 1.2 x 10(exp 30) ergs/sec for a source distance of 250 pc, or approximately 3 x 10(exp -4) of the pulsar's spin-down luminosity. We find coherent pulsations from PSR 1929+10 at the radio period of 0.2265 s. The folded light curve is well fitted by a sinusoidal oscillation with a pulsed fraction of about 30%. The total spectrum is fitted by a blackbody with a temperature T(sub infinity) approximately equals 3.2 x 10(exp 6) K; the implied emitting area has a radius of less than 50 m. The maximum of the X-ray light curve coincides with the radio pulse, suggesting that we are detecting the hot magnetic polar cap of the star. The temperature limit for the remainder of the stellar surface is T(sub infinity) less than 3 x 10(exp 5) K. The spatial distribution of the photons is consistent with the instrument point-spread function. We discuss the implications of these results for the temperature distribution over the surface of the star and use this detection to constrain various heating mechanisms for rotation-powered neutron stars. We also use a simple model of general relativistic light bending near the stellar surface in conjunction with the radio emission geometry and the X-ray pulsed fraction to derive a radius for the neutron star of R = 9 +/- 3 km.

  14. Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: X-ray observations, models, and feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.

    2016-05-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this ``quasar mode'' feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in a ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow, providing a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, show that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and the dynamics of these winds. Some of these models have been directly compared to X-ray spectra, providing important insights into the wind physics. However, fundamental improvements on these studies will come only from the unprecedented energy resolution and sensitivity of the upcoming X-ray observatories, namely ASTRO-H (launch date early 2016) and Athena (2028).

  15. Information about accretion flows from X-ray timing of pulsating sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamb, F. K.; Pines, D.; Shaham, J.

    1976-01-01

    The response was studied of a rotating neutron star to fluctuating torques and it was found that the observed variations in the pulsation periods of the compact X-ray sources Cen X-3 and Her X-1 could be caused by short time scale fluctuations in the accretion torques acting on the neutron stars. The sizes and rates of the required fluctuations are consistent with current accretion models. Such fluctuations can cause period variations either (a) directly, by causing a random walk of the star's angular velocity or (b) indirectly, by exciting a long-period mode of the neutron star, such as the Tkachenko mode of the rotating neutron superfluid. Phenomena in compact X-ray sources and cataclysmic variables which may be caused by fluctuating mass flow rates are also discussed.

  16. X-ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. I. Constant Density Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, Javier; Kallman, Timothy R.

    2009-01-01

    We present new models for illuminated accretion disks, their structure and reprocessed emission. We consider the effects of incident X-rays on the surface of an accretion disk by solving simultaneously the equations of radiative transfer, energy balance and ionization equilibrium over a large range of column densities. We assume plane-parallel geometry and azimuthal symmetry, such that each calculation corresponds to a ring at a given distance from the central object. Our models include recent and complete atomic data for K-shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We examine the effect on the spectrum of fluorescent Ka line emission and absorption in the emitted spectrum. We also explore the dependence of the spectrum on the strength of the incident X-rays and other input parameters, and discuss the importance of Comptonization on the emitted spectrum.

  17. Information about accretion flows from X-ray timing of pulsating sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamb, F. K.; Pines, D.; Shaham, J.

    1976-01-01

    The response was studied of a rotating neutron star to fluctuating torques and it was found that the observed variations in the pulsation periods of the compact X-ray sources Cen X-3 and Her X-1 could be caused by short time scale fluctuations in the accretion torques acting on the neutron stars. The sizes and rates of the required fluctuations are consistent with current accretion models. Such fluctuations can cause period variations either (a) directly, by causing a random walk of the star's angular velocity or (b) indirectly, by exciting a long-period mode of the neutron star, such as the Tkachenko mode of the rotating neutron superfluid. Phenomena in compact X-ray sources and cataclysmic variables which may be caused by fluctuating mass flow rates are also discussed.

  18. X-ray accretion signatures in the close CTTS binary V4046 Sagittarii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günther, H. M.; Liefke, C.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Robrade, J.; Ness, J.-U.

    2006-11-01

    We present Chandra HETGS observations of the classical T Tauri star (CTTS) V4046 Sgr. The He-like triplets of O VII, Ni IX, and Si XIII are clearly detected. Similar to the CTTS TW Hya and BP Tau, the forbidden lines of O VII and Ne IX are weak compared to the intercombination line, indicating high plasma densities in the X-ray emitting regions. The Si XIII triplet, however, is within the low-density limit, in agreement with the predictions of the accretion funnel infall model with an additional stellar corona. V4046 Sgr is the first close binary exhibiting these features. Together with previous high-resolution X-ray data on TW Hya and BP Tau, and in contrast to T Tau, now three out of four CTTS show evidence of accretion funnels.

  19. Restablished Accretion in Post-outburst Classical Novae Revealed by X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernanz, Margarita; Ferri, Carlo; Sala, Glòria

    2009-05-01

    Classical novae are explosions on accreting white dwarfs (hereinafter WDs) in cataclysmic variables (hereinafter CVs) a hydrogen thermonuclear runaway on top of the WD is responsible for the outburst. X-rays provide a unique way to study the turn-off of H-burning, because super soft X-rays reveal the hot WD photosphere, but also to understand how accretion is established again in the binary system. Observations with XMM-Newton of some post-outburst novae have revealed such a process, but a coverage up to larger energies -as Simbol-X will provide- is fundamental to well understand the characteristics of the binary system and of the nova ejecta. We present a brief summary of our results up to now and prospects for the Simbol-X mission.

  20. HST UV observations of the accretion disk corona X-ray binary X1822-371

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Puchnarewicz, E. M.; Mason, K. O.; Cordova, F. A.

    1995-01-01

    The Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided the first ultraviolet orbital light curve of the low-mass X-ray binary X1822-371. The shape of the UV light curve changes with wavelength providing the first direct clues to the temperature of the various system components. The data support the idea that the system contains a thick, structured accretion disk.

  1. Black hole accretion rings revealed by future X-ray spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sochora, V.; Karas, V.; Svoboda, J.; Dovčiak, M.

    2011-11-01

    Spectral features can arise by reflection of coronal X-rays on a black hole accretion disc. The resulting profile bears various imprints of a strong gravitational field acting on the light-emitting gas. The observed shape of the reflection line is formed by integrating contributions over a range of radii across the accretion disc plane, where the individual photons experience a different level of energy shifts, boosting and amplification by relativistic effects. These have to be convolved with the intrinsic emissivity of the line, which is a function of radius and the emission angle in the local frame. We study if the currently discussed instruments on-board X-ray satellites will be able to reveal the departure of the line radial emissivity from a simple smooth power-law function, which is often assumed in data fitting and its interpretation. Such a departure can be a result of excess emission occurring at a certain distance. This could be used to study variations with a radius of the line production or to constrain the position of the inner edge of the accretion disc. By simulating artificial data from a bright active galactic nucleus of a type 1 Seyfert galaxy (inclination ≃30°, X-ray flux ≃1-2 mCrab in a keV energy band) we show that the required sensitivity and energy resolution could be reached with a large area detector of the proposed Large Observatory for X-ray Timing mission. Galactic black holes will provide another category of potentially suitable targets if the relativistic spectral features are indeed produced by reflection from their accretion discs.

  2. Variable X-Ray and UV emission from AGB stars: Accretion activity associated with binarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahai, Raghvendra; Sanz-Forcada, Jorge; Sánchez Contreras, Carmen

    2016-07-01

    Almost all of our current understanding of the late evolutionary stages of (1 — 8) Mʘ stars is based on single-star models. However, binarity can drastically affect late stellar evolution, producing dramatic changes in the history and geometry of mass loss that occurs in stars as they evolve off the AGB to become planetary nebulae (PNe). A variety of binary models have been proposed, which can lead to the generation of accretion disks and magnetic fields, which in turn produce the highly collimated jets that have been proposed as the primary agents for the formation of bipolar and multipolar PNe. However, observational evidence of binarity in AGB stars is sorely lacking simply these stars are very luminous and variable, invalidating standard techniques for binary detection. Using an innovative technique of searching for UV emission from AGB stars with GALEX, we have identified a class of AGB stars with far- ultraviolet excesses (fuvAGB stars), that are likely candidates for active accretion associated with a binary companion. We have carried out a pilot survey for X-ray emission from fuvAGB stars. The X-ray fluxes are found to vary in a stochastic or quasi-periodic manner on roughly hour-long times-scales, and simultaneous UV observations show similar variations in the UV fluxes. We discuss several models for the X-ray emission and its variability and find that the most likely scenario for the origin of the X-ray (and FUV) emission involves accretion activity around a main-sequence companion star, with confinement by strong magnetic fields associated with the companion and/or an accretion disk around it.

  3. EXTENDED HARD X-RAY EMISSION FROM THE VELA PULSAR WIND NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Mattana, F.; Terrier, R.; Zurita Heras, J. A.; Goetz, D.; Caballero, I.; Soldi, S.; Schanne, S.; Ponti, G.; Falanga, M.; Renaud, M.

    2011-12-10

    The nebula powered by the Vela pulsar is one of the best examples of an evolved pulsar wind nebula, allowing access to the particle injection history and the interaction with the supernova ejecta. We report on the INTEGRAL discovery of extended emission above 18 keV from the Vela nebula. The northern side has no known counterparts and it appears larger and more significant than the southern one, which is in turn partially coincident with the cocoon, the soft X-ray, and TeV filament toward the center of the remnant. We also present the spectrum of the Vela nebula in the 18-400 keV energy range as measured by IBIS/ISGRI and SPI on board the INTEGRAL satellite. The apparent discrepancy between IBIS/ISGRI, SPI, and previous measurements is understood in terms of the point-spread function, supporting the hypothesis of a nebula more diffuse than previously thought. A break at {approx}25 keV is found in the spectrum within 6' from the pulsar after including the Suzaku XIS data. Interpreted as a cooling break, this points out that the inner nebula is composed of electrons injected in the last {approx}2000 years. Broadband modeling also implies a magnetic field higher than 10 {mu}G in this region. Finally, we discuss the nature of the northern emission, which might be due to fresh particles injected after the passage of the reverse shock.

  4. Inner Accretion Disk Regions of Black Hole X-ray Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvesen, Greg

    2015-01-01

    The innermost regions of accretion disks in black hole X-ray binaries dominate the observed X-ray emission, which is the main diagnostic that one uses to gain insights into the physics of black holes and accretion. The standard spectrum predicted from a geometrically thin, optically thick disk experiences non-trivial modification due to conspiring physical effects operating within the vertical disk structure such as Comptonization, free-free emission/absorption, bound-free opacities, and energy dissipation by magnetic processes. The complicated interplay of these effects cause the seed accretion disk spectrum to become hardened and it is this hardened emergent spectrum that we observe. To zeroth order, this hardening can be described by a phenomenological parameter called the spectral hardening factor.In practice, the adopted degree of spectral hardening is confined to lie within a rather restrictive range. I will discuss the following consequences of relaxing this criterion, while still requiring the spectral hardening factor to take on physically plausible values. Examining multiple state transitions of the black hole X-ray binary GX 339-4 with archival data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, I will show that appealing to a spectral hardening factor that varies during state transitions provides a viable alternative to a truncated disk model for the evolution of the inner accretion disk. Having demonstrated that moderate degrees of accretion disk spectral hardening cannot be ruled out by observations, I will explore this possibility from a theoretical standpoint. Extending previous work on radiative transfer modeling coupled to the vertical disk structure, I present the impacts on the emergent accretion disk spectrum caused by disk inclination and by allowing accretion power to be dissipated in the corona. Using magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a localized patch of the accretion disk (i.e., shearing box) performed with the Athena code, I will present the

  5. An X-ray outburst from the rapidly accreting young star that illuminates McNeil's nebula.

    PubMed

    Kastner, J H; Richmond, M; Grosso, N; Weintraub, D A; Simon, T; Frank, A; Hamaguchi, K; Ozawa, H; Henden, A

    2004-07-22

    Young, low-mass stars are luminous X-ray sources whose powerful X-ray flares may exert a profound influence over the process of planet formation. The origin of the X-ray emission is uncertain. Although many (or perhaps most) recently formed, low-mass stars emit X-rays as a consequence of solar-like coronal activity, it has also been suggested that X-ray emission may be a direct result of mass accretion onto the forming star. Here we report X-ray imaging spectroscopy observations which reveal a factor approximately 50 increase in the X-ray flux from a young star that is at present undergoing a spectacular optical/infrared outburst (this star illuminates McNeil's nebula). The outburst seems to be due to the sudden onset of a phase of rapid accretion. The coincidence of a surge in X-ray brightness with the optical/infrared eruption demonstrates that strongly enhanced high-energy emission from young stars can occur as a consequence of high accretion rates. We suggest that such accretion-enhanced X-ray emission from erupting young stars may be short-lived, because intense star-disk magnetospheric interactions are quenched rapidly by the subsequent flood of new material onto the star.

  6. Time dependent spectrum of an X-ray irradiated accretion disc with stochastic perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maqbool, Bari; Wani, Naveel; Iqbal, Naseer; Misra, Ranjeev

    2016-07-01

    The X-rays emitted by the inner regions of the accretion disk induce structural changes in the outer regions of the disk. We study here how the effective temperature and hence the corresponding spectrum of the disk is altered by stochastic perturbations in the outer regions and thereby try to study the long term variability which has been observed in some X-ray binaries. We use a time dependent global hydrodynamic code to study the variations in the effective temperature of the disk in response to sinusoidal accretion rate perturbations introduced at different radii and with different time periods. To quantify the results, we calculate the root mean square effective temperature at different radii and the root mean square flux at different frequencies. From our calculations of the time-lags in accretion rate, effective temperature and the different frequencies, we find that the time-lags in presence of X-ray irradiation is significantly smaller than the expected viscous time-scale.

  7. Geometry of X-ray sources in accreting black-hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdziarski, Andrzej

    2016-07-01

    The structure of the X-ray sources in the hard spectral state of accreting black-hole binaries has been a subject of intense debate. The paradigm dominant for many years postulated that the accretion disc in the hard state is truncated at some radius >> the innermost stable orbit (ISCO) whereas the disc reaches the ISCO in the soft state. This paradigm explains a large body of observed phenomena, including the spectral and variability differences between the states and outbursts of transient sources, proceeding from quiescence (where no disc is present) through the hard state to the peak flux in the soft state. On the other hand, there have been numerous claims in recent years that the disc extends to the ISCO in the hard state. Also, the primary X-ray source has been postulated to consist of a compact source on-axis of the rotating black hole (a lamppost). Those claims are based on observations of broad Fe K lines and of soft X-ray components interpreted as blackbody-emitting accretion discs. I will discuss arguments for and against the disc truncation and the lamppost geometry based on current spectral and timing results.

  8. Energetic X-ray-emitting jets from the fast-moving middle-aged pulsar B2224+65

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Q. Daniel; Johnson, Seth

    2017-08-01

    We present evidence for jets from the nearby pulsar, B2224+65, based on three epochs of Chandra X-ray observations, separated by 6 years from each other. This relatively slow rotating pulsar is well known for its extreme velocity of proper motion and associated "Guitar"-shaped optical nebula in the opposite direction. The main jet-like X-ray-emitting feature is extremely narrow and significantly curved near the pulsar, but further away remains amazingly straight and is directed about 62 degrees away from the nebula, the X-ray emission of which is also detected. We find the consistent proper motions of the pulsar and the feature. The substructure of the feature varies among the epochs, while its spectrum is well characterized by a power law with a photon index of 1.2, is significantly harder than that of the pulsar, and remains remarkably consistent spatially and with the time. These results can be explained most intuitively by ballistic, relativistic, and probably magnetic field-dominated jets from the pulsar, similar to those from active galactic nuclei. Indeed, we also detect the extended X-ray emission from the putative counter-jet, albeit at a much fainter level and a much smaller scale. The luminosity of these features is 7e30 erg/s in the Chandra band, accounting for about 1% of the spin-down energy rate of the pulsar. Because of the flat nonthermal X-ray spectrum, this fraction increases with the photon energy. The total power required to generate the jets is likely greater than 10% of the rate. Much of the acceleration of the particles for the (synchrotron) X-ray emission to energies > 100 TeV likely occurs within the jets, probably via magnetic field re-connection. This jet scenario and the underlying physics can be further tested by a carefully designed X-ray monitoring of the substructure and by a measurement of the radio polarization of the pulsar, as its spin axis is expected to be aligned with the jets. We speculate that the energetic jet ejection

  9. The luminosity dependence of the phase-averaged X-ray spectrum of the transient 42 second pulsar EXO 2030+375

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmar, A. N.; Reynolds, A. P.; White, N. E.

    1993-01-01

    We report on the evolution in the X-ray spectrum of the transient X-ray pulsar EXO 2030+375 during part of an outburst in 1985 May-August. The overall continuum spectral shape is similar to that of other accreting pulsars and can be represented by a power-law spectrum modified at low energies by significant absorption and at high-energies either by an exponential cut-off or by the effects of cyclotron scattering. As the luminosity decreased by a factor of approximately 100, the X-ray spectrum became harder with the photon index decreasing from 1.83 +/- 0.01 to 1.29 +/- 0.01. In addition, the high-energy cutoff decreased from 20 to 10 keV during the same interval. If the cutoff is interpreted in terms of cyclotron resonance scattering, then this implies a magnetic field strength that decreased from 2.6 x 10(exp 12) G to 1.3 x 10(exp 12) G. This variation implies that the cutoff energy does not provide a reliable measure of the surface magnetic field strength in this system.

  10. Accretion by rotating magnetic neutron stars. III - Accretion torques and period changes in pulsating X-ray sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ghosh, P.; Lamb, F. K.

    1979-01-01

    The solutions of the two-dimensional hydromagnetic equations are used to calculate the torque on a magnetic neutron star accreting from a Keplerian disk. It is found that the magnetic coupling between the star and the plasma in the outer transition zone is appreciable; that as a result, the spin-up torque on fast rotators is substantially less than that on slow rotators, and that for sufficiently high stellar angular velocities or sufficiently low mass accretion rates, the rotation of the star can be braked while accretion continues. These results are applied to pulsating X-ray sources, revealing that at high luminosities a star of given spin period rotating in the same direction as the disk can experience either spin-up or spin-down, depending on its luminosity. Also considered are the general problem of interpreting period changes in pulsating X-ray sources, and the dipole magnetic moments of nine pulsating X-ray sources are estimated by fitting the theoretical spin-up equation to estimates of the average luminosity and spin-up rate of each source.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Observational constraints on the specific accretion-rate distribution of X-ray-selected AGNs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakakis, A.; Aird, J.; Schulze, A.; Dwelly, T.; Salvato, M.; Nandra, K.; Merloni, A.; Schneider, D. P.

    2017-10-01

    This paper estimates the specific accretion-rate distribution of AGNs using a sample of 4821 X-ray sources from both deep and shallow surveys. The specific accretion-rate distribution is used as a proxy of the Eddington ratio and is defined as the probability of a galaxy with a given stellar mass and redshift hosting an active nucleus with a certain specific accretion rate. We find that the probability of a galaxy hosting an AGN increases with decreasing specific accretion rate. There is evidence that this trend reverses at low specific accretion rates, λ ≲ 10 - 4-10 - 3 (Eddington units). There is a break close to the Eddington limit, above which the probability of an accretion event decreases steeply. The specific accretion-rate distribution evolves such that the fraction of AGNs among galaxies drops towards lower redshifts. This decrease in the AGN duty cycle is responsible for the strong evolution of the accretion density of the Universe from redshift z ≈ 1-1.5 to the present day. Our analysis also suggests that this evolution is accompanied by a decoupling of accretion events on to black holes from the formation of stars in galaxies. There is also evidence that at earlier times the relative probability of high versus low specific accretion-rate events among galaxies increases. We argue that this differential redshift evolution of the AGN duty cycle with respect to λ produces the AGN downsizing trend, whereby luminous sources peak at earlier epochs compared to less luminous ones. Finally, we also find a stellar mass dependence of the specific accretion-rate distribution, with more massive galaxies avoiding high specific accretion-rate events.

  14. Accretion and Ejection in Black-Hole X-Ray Transients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kylafis, N. D.; Belloni, T. M.

    A rich phenomenology has been accumulated over the years regarding accretion and ejection in black-hole X-ray transients (BHTs). Here we summarize the current observational picture of the outbursts of BHTs, based on the evolution traced in a hardness - luminosity diagram (HLD), and we offer a physical interpretation with two assumptions, easily justifiable. The first is that the mass-accretion rate to the black hole in a BHT outburst has a generic bell-shaped form. This is guaranteed by the observational fact that all BHTs start their outburst and end it at the quiescent state, i.e., at very low accretion rate. The second assumption is that at low accretion rates the accretion flow is geometrically thick, ADAF-like, while at high accretion rates it is geometrically thin. Both, at the beginning and the end of an outburst, a strong poloidal magnetic field develops locally in the ADAF-like part of the accretion flow, and this explains naturally why a jet is always present in the right part of the HLD. "Memory" of the system explains naturally why BHTs traverse the q-shaped curves in the HLD always in the counterclockwise direction and that no BHT is expected to ever traverse the entire curve in the clockwise direction. The only parameter in our picture is the accretion rate.

  15. PSR J0357+3205: A FAST-MOVING PULSAR WITH A VERY UNUSUAL X-RAY TRAIL

    SciTech Connect

    De Luca, A.; Mignani, R. P.; Marelli, M.; Salvetti, D.; Sartore, N.; Caraveo, P. A.; Bignami, G. F.; Belfiore, A.; Saz Parkinson, P.

    2013-03-01

    The middle-aged PSR J0357+3205 is a nearby, radio-quiet, bright {gamma}-ray pulsar discovered by the Fermi mission. Our previous Chandra observation revealed a huge, very peculiar structure of diffuse X-ray emission originating at the pulsar position and extending for >9' on the plane of the sky. To better understand the nature of such a nebula, we have studied the proper motion of the parent pulsar. We performed relative astrometry on Chandra images of the field spanning a time baseline of 2.2 yr, unveiling a significant angular displacement of the pulsar counterpart, corresponding to a proper motion of 0.''165 {+-} 0.''030 yr{sup -1} at a position angle (P.A.) of 314 Degree-Sign {+-} 8 Degree-Sign . At a distance of {approx}500 pc, the space velocity of the pulsar would be of {approx}390 km s{sup -1} assuming no inclination with respect to the plane of the sky. The direction of the pulsar proper motion is aligned very well with the main axis of the X-ray nebula (P.A. = 315. Degree-Sign 5 {+-} 1. Degree-Sign 5), pointing to a physical, yet elusive, link between the nebula and the pulsar space velocity. No optical emission in the H{alpha} line is seen in a deep image collected at the Gemini telescope, which implies that the interstellar medium into which the pulsar is moving is fully ionized.

  16. Soft X-Ray Excess from Shocked Accreting Plasma in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukumura, Keigo; Hendry, Douglas; Clark, Peter; Tombesi, Francesco; Takahashi, Masaaki

    2016-08-01

    We propose a novel theoretical model to describe the physical identity of the soft X-ray excess that is ubiquitously detected in many Seyfert galaxies, by considering a steady-state, axisymmetric plasma accretion within the innermost stable circular orbit around a black hole (BH) accretion disk. We extend our earlier theoretical investigations on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic accretion, which implied that the accreting plasma can develop into a standing shock under suitable physical conditions, causing the downstream flow to be sufficiently hot due to shock compression. We perform numerical calculations to examine, for sets of fiducial plasma parameters, the physical nature of fast magnetohydrodynamic shocks under strong gravity for different BH spins. We show that thermal seed photons from the standard accretion disk can be effectively Compton up-scattered by the energized sub-relativistic electrons in the hot downstream plasma to produce the soft excess feature in X-rays. As a case study, we construct a three-parameter Comptonization model of inclination angle θ obs, disk photon temperature kT in, and downstream electron energy kT e to calculate the predicted spectra in comparison with a 60 ks XMM-Newton/EPIC-pn spectrum of a typical radio-quiet Seyfert 1 active galactic nucleus, Ark 120. Our χ 2-analyses demonstrate that the model is plausible for successfully describing data for both non-spinning and spinning BHs with derived ranges of 61.3 keV ≲ kT e ≲ 144.3 keV, 21.6 eV ≲ kT in ≲ 34.0 eV, and 17.°5 ≲ θ obs ≲ 42.°6, indicating a compact Comptonizing region of three to four gravitational radii that resembles the putative X-ray coronae.

  17. An unexpected drop in the magnetic field of the X-ray pulsar V0332+53 after the bright outburst occurred in 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cusumano, G.; La Parola, V.; D'Aì, A.; Segreto, A.; Tagliaferri, G.; Barthelmy, S. D.; Gehrels, N.

    2016-07-01

    How the accreted mass settling on the surface of a neutron star affects the topology of the magnetic field and how the secular evolution of the binary system depends on the magnetic field change is still an open issue. We report evidence for a clear drop in the observed magnetic field in the accreting pulsar V0332+53 after undergoing a bright 3-month long X-ray outburst. We determine the field from the position of the fundamental cyclotron line in its X-ray spectrum and relate it to the luminosity. For equal levels of luminosity, in the declining phase we measure a systematically lower value of the cyclotron line energy with respect to the rising phase. This results in a drop of ˜1.7 × 1011 G of the observed field between the onset and the end of the outburst. The settling of the accreted plasma on to the polar cap seems to induce a distortion of the magnetic field lines weakening their intensity along the accretion columns. Therefore, the dissipation rate of the magnetic field could be much faster than previously estimated, unless the field is able to restore its original configuration on a time-scale comparable with the outbursts recurrence time.

  18. CONTINUED NEUTRON STAR CRUST COOLING OF THE 11 Hz X-RAY PULSAR IN TERZAN 5: A CHALLENGE TO HEATING AND COOLING MODELS?

    SciTech Connect

    Degenaar, N.; Miller, J. M.; Wijnands, R.; Altamirano, D.; Fridriksson, J.; Brown, E. F.; Cackett, E. M.; Homan, J.; Heinke, C. O.; Sivakoff, G. R.; Pooley, D.

    2013-09-20

    The transient neutron star low-mass X-ray binary and 11 Hz X-ray pulsar IGR J17480-2446 in the globular cluster Terzan 5 exhibited an 11 week accretion outburst in 2010. Chandra observations performed within five months after the end of the outburst revealed evidence that the crust of the neutron star became substantially heated during the accretion episode and was subsequently cooling in quiescence. This provides the rare opportunity to probe the structure and composition of the crust. Here, we report on new Chandra observations of Terzan 5 that extend the monitoring to ≅2.2 yr into quiescence. We find that the thermal flux and neutron star temperature have continued to decrease, but remain significantly above the values that were measured before the 2010 accretion phase. This suggests that the crust has not thermally relaxed yet, and may continue to cool. Such behavior is difficult to explain within our current understanding of heating and cooling of transiently accreting neutron stars. Alternatively, the quiescent emission may have settled at a higher observed equilibrium level (for the same interior temperature), in which case the neutron star crust may have fully cooled.

  19. X-RAY SPECTRA FROM MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SIMULATIONS OF ACCRETING BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Krolik, Julian H.; Noble, Scott C. E-mail: jhk@pha.jhu.edu

    2013-06-01

    We present the results of a new global radiation transport code coupled to a general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulation of an accreting, non-rotating black hole. For the first time, we are able to explain from first principles in a self-consistent way all the components seen in the X-ray spectra of stellar-mass black holes, including a thermal peak and all the features associated with strong hard X-ray emission: a power law extending to high energies, a Compton reflection hump, and a broad iron line. Varying only the mass accretion rate, we are able to reproduce a wide range of X-ray states seen in most galactic black hole sources. The temperature in the corona is T{sub e} {approx} 10 keV in a boundary layer near the disk and rises smoothly to T{sub e} {approx}> 100 keV in low-density regions far above the disk. Even as the disk's reflection edge varies from the horizon out to Almost-Equal-To 6M as the accretion rate decreases, we find that the shape of the Fe K{alpha} line is remarkably constant. This is because photons emitted from the plunging region are strongly beamed into the horizon and never reach the observer. We have also carried out a basic timing analysis of the spectra and find that the fractional variability increases with photon energy and viewer inclination angle, consistent with the coronal hot spot model for X-ray fluctuations.

  20. On the X-ray spectra of luminous, inhomogeneous accretion flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merloni, A.; Malzac, J.; Fabian, A. C.; Ross, R. R.

    2006-08-01

    We discuss the expected X-ray spectral and variability properties of black hole accretion discs at high luminosity, under the hypothesis that radiation-pressure-dominated discs are subject to violent clumping instabilities and, as a result, have a highly inhomogeneous two-phase structure. After deriving the full accretion disc solutions explicitly in terms of the parameters of the model, we study their radiative properties both with a simple two-zone model, treatable analytically, and with radiative transfer simulations which account simultaneously for energy balance and Comptonization in the hot phase, together with reflection, reprocessing, ionization and thermal balance in the cold phase. We show that, if not only the density, but also the heating rate within these flows is inhomogeneous, then complex reflection-dominated spectra can be obtained for a high enough covering fraction of the cold phase. In general, large reflection components in the observed X-ray spectra should be associated with strong soft excesses, resulting from the combined emission of ionized atomic emission lines. The variability properties of such systems are such that, even when contributing to a large fraction of the hard X-ray spectrum, the reflection component is less variable than the power-law-like emission originating from the hot Comptonizing phase, in agreement with what is observed in many Narrow Line Seyfert 1 galaxies and bright Seyfert 1. Our model falls within the family of those trying to explain the complex X-ray spectra of bright AGN with ionized reflection, but presents an alternative, specific, physically motivated, geometrical set-up for the complex multiphase structure of the inner regions of near-Eddington accretion flows.

  1. Soft x-ray properties of the binary millisecond pulsar J0437-4715

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman L.

    1995-01-01

    We obtained a light curve for the 5.75 ms pulsar J0437-4715 in the 65-120 A range with 0.5 ms time resolution using the Deep Survey instrument on the EUVE satellite. The single-peaked profile has a pulsed fraction of 0. 27 +/- 0.05, similar to the ROSAT data in the overlapping energy band. A combined analysis of the EUVE and ROSAT data is consistent with a power-law spectrum of energy index alpha = 1.2-1.5, intervening column density NH = (5-8) x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, and luminosity 5.0 x 10(exp 30) ergs/s in the 0.1-2. 4 keV band. We also use a bright EUVE/ROSAT source only 4.3 deg from the pulsar, the Seyfert galaxy RX J0437.4-4711 (= EUVE J0437-471 = lES 0435-472), to obtain an independent upper limit on the intervening absorption to the pulsar, NH less than 1.2 x 10(exp 20)/sq cm. Although a blackbody spectrum fails to fit the ROSAT data, two-component spectral fits to the combined EUVE/ROSAT data are used to limit the temperatures and surface areas of thermal emission that might make partial contributions to the flux. A hot polar cap of radius 50-600 m and temperature (1.0-3.3) x 10(exp 6) K could be present. Alternatively, a larger region with T = (4-12) x 10(exp 5) K and area less than 200 sq km, might contribute most of the EUVE and soft X-ray flux, but only if a hotter component were present as well. Any of these temperatures would require some mechanism(s) of surface reheating to be operating in this old pulsar, the most plausible being the impact of accelerated electrons and positrons onto the polar caps. The kinematically corrected spin-down power of PSR J0437-4715 is only 4 x 10(exp 33) ergs/s, which is an order of magnitude less than that of the lowest-luminosity gamma-ray pulsars Geminga and PSR B1055-52. The absence of high-energy gamma-rays from PSR J0437-4715 might signify an inefficient or dead outer gap accelerator, which in turn accounts for the lack of a more luminous reheated surface such as those intermediate-age gamma-ray pulsars may have.

  2. Soft X-Ray Properties of the Binary Millisecond Pulsar J0437-4715

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman, L.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We obtained a light curve for the 5.75 ms pulsar J0437-4715 in the 65-120 A range with 0.5 ms time resolution using the Deep Survey instrument on the EUVE satellite. The single-peaked profile has a pulsed fraction of 0.27 +/- 0.05, similar to the ROSAT data in the overlapping energy band. A combined analysis of the EUVE and ROSAT data is consistent with a power-law spectrum of energy index alpha = 1.2 - 1.5, intervening column density N(sub H) = (5 - 8) x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, and luminosity 5.0 x 10(exp 30) ergs/s in the 0.1 - 2.4 keV band. We also use a bright EUVE/ROSAT source only 4.2 min. from the pulsar, the Seyfert galaxy RX J0437.4-4711 (= EUVE J0437-471 = IES 0435-472), to obtain an independent upper limit on the intervening absorption to the pulsar, N(sub H) less than 1.2 x 10(exp 20)/sq cm. Although a blackbody spectrum fails to fit the ROSAT data, two-component spectral fits to the combined EUVE/ROSAT data are used to limit the temperatures and surface areas of thermal emission that might make partial contributions to the flux. A hot polar cap of radius 50 - 600 m and temperature (1.0 - 3.3) x 10(exp 6) K could be present. Alternatively, a larger region with T = (4 - 12) x 10(exp 5) K and area less than 200 sq km, might contribute most of the EUVE and soft X-ray flux, but only if a hotter component were present as well. Any of these temperatures would require some mechanism(s) of surface reheating to be operating in this old pulsar, the most plausible being the impact of accelerated electrons and positrons onto the polar caps. The kinematically corrected spin-down power of PSR J0437-4715 is only 4 x 10(exp 33) ergs/s, which is an order of magnitude less than that of the lowest-luminosity gamma-ray pulsars Geminga and PSR B1055-52. The absence of high-energy gamma-rays from PSR J0437-4715 might signify an inefficient or dead outer gap accelerator, which in turn accounts for the lack of a more luminous reheated surface such as those intermediate-age gamma

  3. Pulsar Polar Cap Heating and Surface Thermal X-ray Emission. 2; Inverse Compton 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 production of electron-positron pairs by inverse Compton scattered (ICS) photons above a pulsar polar cap (PC) and calculate surface heating by returning positrons. This paper is a continuation of our self-consistent treatment of acceleration, pair dynamics, and electric field screening above pulsar PCs. We calculate the altitude of the inverse Compton pair-formation fronts, the flux of returning positrons, and present the heating efficiencies and X-ray luminosities. We revise pulsar death lines implying cessation of pair formation, and present them in surface magnetic field-period space. We find that virtually all known radio pulsars are capable of producing pairs by resonant and nonresonant ICS photons radiated by particles accelerated above the PC in a pure star-centered dipole field, so that our ICS pair death line coincides with empirical radio pulsar death. Our calculations show that ICS pairs are able to screen the accelerating electric field only for high PC surface temperatures and magnetic fields. We argue that such screening at ICS pair fronts occurs locally, slowing but not turning off acceleration of particles until screening can occur at a curvature radiation (CR) pair front at higher altitude. In the case where no screening occurs above the PC surface, we anticipate that the pulsar gamma-ray luminosity will be a substantial fraction of its spin-down luminosity. The X-ray luminosity resulting from PC heating by ICS pair fronts is significantly lower than the PC heating luminosity from CR pair fronts, which dominates for most pulsars. PC heating from ICS pair fronts is highest in millisecond pulsars, which cannot produce CR pairs, and may account for observed thermal X-ray components in the spectra of these old pulsars.

  4. 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.

  5. Magnetic fields in Supernova Remnants and Pulsar-Wind Nebulae: Deductions from X-ray Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, S. P.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic field strengths B in synchrotron sources are notoriously difficult to measure. Simple arguments such as equipartition of energy can give values for which the total energy is a minimum, but there is no guarantee that Nature obeys it, or even if so, what particle population (just electrons? electrons plus ions?) should have an energy density comparable to that in magnetic field. However, the operation of synchrotron losses can provide additional information, if those losses are manifested in the synchrotron spectra as steepenings of the spectral-energy distribution above some characteristic frequency often called a "break" (though it is more typically a gradual curvature). A source of known age, if it has been accelerating particles continuously, will have such a break above the energy at which particle radiative lifetimes equal the source age, and this can give B. However, in spatially resolved sources such as supernova remnants (SNRs) and pulsar-wind nebulae (PWNe), systematic advection of particles, if at a known rate, gives a second measure of particle age to compare with radiative lifetimes. In most young SNRs, synchrotron X-rays make a contribution to the X-ray spectrum, and are usually found in thin rims at the remnant edges. If the rims are thin in the radial direction due to electron energy losses, a magnetic-field strength can be estimated. I present recent modeling of this process, along with models in which rims are thin due to decay of magnetic turbulence, and apply them to the remnants of SN 1006 and Tycho. In PWNe, outflows of relativistic plasma behind the pulsar wind termination shock are likely quite inhomogeneous, so magnetic-field estimates based on source lifetimes and assuming spatial uniformity can give misleading values for B. I shall discuss inhomogeneous PWN models and the effects they can have on B estimates.

  6. X-ray Fe-lines from Relativistic Accretion Disks Around Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stella, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    The Gas Scintillation Proportional Counter (GSPC) on board the European X-ray Satellite EXOSAT (1983-1986) provided detections of Fe K-alpha emission features around 6-7 keV in the X-ray spectra of accreting neutron star and black hole candidates in X-ray binaries. Surprisingly the width of these lines was found to be broader than the GSPC resolution 10% at 6 keV): it could not be explained by thermal broadening, nor blending of (unresolved) lines from different ionization stages of Fe; very large Doppler shifts and, perhaps, thermal Comptonisation provided more promising interpretations. In 1989 Nick White and I developed the first general relativistic model for the Fe-line profile that is produced by matter orbiting in an accretion disk. By fitting the GSPC Fe-line of the black hole candidate Cyg X-1 with our model we inferred an emitting line region extending to a few tens Schwarzschild radii from the black hole, where matter orbits at ~0.1-0.2 the speed of light and effects such as relativistic Doppler shifts and boosting, as well as gravitational and transverse redshifts are conspicuous. We joined forces with Andy Fabian and Martin Rees, who were working on the same interpretation, and published the results in a MNRAS paper. The relativistic disk interpretation of the broad Fe-lines gave rise to much interest on the possibility of measuring black hole mass and spin and probing the innermost regions of accretion flows and the very strong gravitational fields close to compact objects. Very broad and sometimes highly redshifted Fe-lines have been studied by now in tens of X-ray binaries and bright Active Galactic Nuclei with the CCD detectors of the Chandra and XMM/Newton X-ray telescopes; in some cases the line profile implies the presence of a fast spinning black hole. The potential of the Fe-line diagnostics remains to be largely exploited. Moreover some alternative interpretations are not yet ruled out. An X-ray instrument with a broad energy response

  7. X-Ray Constraints on Accretion and Starburst Processes in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ptak, Andrew Francis

    The results of X-ray observations of a sample of nearby low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN), low-ionization nuclear emission line regions (LINERs), and starburst galaxies are presented. In general the 0.4-10.0 keV spectra of this heterogenous sample are fit well by a two-component model consisting of an optically-thin plasma with a temperature of ~0.7 keV and a power-law model with a photon index of ~1.7. Both the hot gas component and the hard, possibly nonthermal, X-ray emission appear to be common features of galaxies showing signs of nuclear activity. The spectrum of the hard component (roughly in the 2-10 keV bandpass) is most consistent with AGN, which are postulated to be accreting supermassive blackholes. X-ray binaries that are probably accreting blackhole candidates also appear to contribute significantly to the hard, and possibly to a lesser extent, the soft X-ray emission. Very hot (T~108 K) gas in a 'superwind' may also be contributing to the hard flux in some cases, probably concentrated in the nuclear regions of the galaxies. Another possible contributor to the featureless X-ray continuum may be inverse-Compton scattering of infrared photons, but the contribution of this component is sensitive to model assumptions. The soft emission appears to be supernovae-heated interstellar medium (ISM). In some cases, the SN-heating is actually in the form of a superwind, in which case ~90% of the X-ray emitting gas is 'swept-up' ISM and the remainder is (cooling) superwind emission out in the disks of the galaxies. Very low absolutes abundances are observed, but the uncertainties are large. Relative abundances are more secure and suggest that Fe is underabundant relative to α-process elements. The low relative Fe abundance may be due to enrichment by Type-II supernovae and∨ dust depletion, but non-equilibrium ionization may also be playing a part. Future observations by X-ray telescopes with high spatial and spectral resolution and improved

  8. The Relation Between Accretion Rate And Jet Power in X-Ray Luminous Elliptical Galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Steven W.; Dunn, R.J.H.; Fabian, A.C.; Taylor, G.B.; Reynolds, C.S.; /Maryland U.

    2006-03-10

    Using Chandra X-ray observations of nine nearby, X-ray luminous elliptical galaxies with good optical velocity dispersion measurements, we show that a tight correlation exists between the Bondi accretion rates calculated from the observed gas temperature and density profiles and estimated black hole masses, and the power emerging from these systems in relativistic jets. The jet powers, which are inferred from the energies and timescales required to inflate cavities observed in the surrounding X-ray emitting gas, can be related to the accretion rates using a power law model of the form log (P{sub Bondi}/10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}) = A + B log (P{sub jet}/10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}), with A = 0.62 {+-} 0.15 and B = 0.77 {+-} 0.18. Our results show that a significant fraction of the energy associated with the rest mass of material entering the Bondi accretion radius (2.4{sub -0.7}{sup +1.0} per cent, for P{sub jet} = 10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}) eventually emerges in the relativistic jets. Our results have significant implications for studies of accretion, jet formation and galaxy formation. The observed tight correlation suggests that the Bondi formulae provide a reasonable description of the accretion process in these systems, despite the likely presence of magnetic pressure and angular momentum in the accreting gas. The similarity of the P{sub Bondi} and P{sub jet} values argues that a significant fraction of the matter entering the accretion radius flows down to regions close to the black holes, where the jets are presumably formed. The tight correlation between P{sub Bondi} and P{sub jet} also suggests that the accretion flows are approximately stable over timescales of a few million years. Our results show that the black hole ''engines'' at the hearts of large elliptical galaxies and groups feed back sufficient energy to stem cooling and star formation, leading naturally to the observed exponential cut off at the bright end of the galaxy luminosity function.

  9. ANOMALOUS X-RAY PULSARS AND SOFT GAMMA-RAY REPEATERS IN THE OUTER GAP MODEL: CONFRONTING FERMI OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Tong, H.; Song, L. M.; Xu, R. X.

    2011-09-01

    Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are magnetar candidates, i.e., neutron stars powered by a strong magnetic field. If they are indeed magnetars, they will emit high-energy gamma rays that are detectable by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), according to the outer gap model. However, no significant detection is reported in recent Fermi-LAT observations of all known AXPs and SGRs. Considering the discrepancy between theory and observations, we calculate the theoretical spectra for all AXPs and SGRs with sufficient observational parameters. Our results show that most AXPs and SGRs are high-energy gamma-ray emitters if they are really magnetars. The four AXPs 1E 1547.0-5408, XTE J1810-197, 1E 1048.1-5937, and 4U 0142+61 should have been detected by Fermi-LAT. There is therefore a conflict between the outer gap model in the case of magnetars and Fermi observations. Possible explanations in the magnetar model are discussed. On the other hand, if AXPs and SGRs are fallback disk systems, i.e., accretion-powered for the persistent emissions, most of them are not high-energy gamma-ray emitters. Future deep Fermi-LAT observations of AXPs and SGRs will help us make clear whether they are magnetars or fallback disk systems.

  10. X-ray spectroscopy of the galaxy M87 - Radiative accretion of the hot plasma halo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canizares, C. R.; Clark, G. W.; Jernigan, J. G.; Markert, T. H.

    1982-01-01

    Canizares et al. (1979) have reported the detection of the O VIII Lyman-alpha line from the vicinity of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 in the Virgo cluster. The detection is based on high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy studies performed with the Focal Plane Crystal Spectrometer on the Einstein Observatory. The presence of a strong O VIII line indicates the existence of some material which is cooler than the bulk of the X-ray emitting gas surrounding M87. The result is interpreted as favoring models which call for radiative accretion of the hot gas onto M87. The present investigation is concerned with further high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of M87. Seven additional emission line blends due primarily to ionized iron have been detected. These data make it possible to derive the approximate distribution of the quantity of emitting material over more than a decade in temperature for the central part of the M87 source. The obtained results are in excellent agreement with expectations for radiative, pressure driven accretion.

  11. A New Analytical Model for X-Ray Time Lags from Accreting Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroon, John J.; Becker, P. A.

    2014-01-01

    Accreting black holes show a wide variety of rapid time variability including the manifestation of X-ray time lags, in which the hard or soft component of the signal arrives later than the other component. Despite a large body of observational evidence for time lags, no coherent theoretical model explaining the physical origin of these lags has been presented. In this presentation, we reexamine the problem by developing a new analytical model for the production of X-ray time lags based on the diffusion and Comptonization of seed photons in a spherical homogeneous corona. Starting with the fundamental transport equation, we obtain an exact analytical solution for the Fourier transform of the Green's function resulting from an instantaneous flash of monochromatic radiation in a thin radial shell. The Green's function is convolved with a bremsstrahlung source spectrum to compute the time lags associated with a localized broadband flash resulting from an instability in the disk. The diffusion and Comptonization of the bremsstrahlung seed photons as they propagate towards the edge of the cloud naturally produces a time lag that diminishes with increasing Fourier frequency, in agreement with the observations for a variety of accreting black hole sources. Hence the new model can be used to interpret a large body of existing and future timing observations of X-ray transients from black hole sources.

  12. Spectra of black hole accretion models of ultraluminous X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayan, Ramesh; Sa̧dowski, Aleksander; Soria, Roberto

    2017-08-01

    We present general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics simulations of super-Eddington accretion on a 10 M⊙ black hole. We consider a range of mass accretion rates, black hole spins and magnetic field configurations. We compute the spectra and images of the models as a function of viewing angle and compare them with the observed properties of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). The models easily produce apparent luminosities in excess of 1040 erg s-1 for pole-on observers. However, the angle-integrated radiative luminosities rarely exceed 2.5 × 1039 erg s-1 even for mass accretion rates of tens of Eddington. The systems are thus radiatively inefficient, though they are energetically efficient when the energy output in winds and jets is also counted. The simulated models reproduce the main empirical types of spectra - disc-like, supersoft, soft, hard - observed in ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). The magnetic field configuration, whether 'standard and normal evolution' (SANE) or 'magnetically arrested disc' (MAD), has a strong effect on the results. In SANE models, the X-ray spectral hardness is almost independent of accretion rate, but decreases steeply with increasing inclination. MAD models with non-spinning black holes produce significantly softer spectra at higher values of \\dot{M}, even at low inclinations. MAD models with rapidly spinning black holes are unique. They are radiatively efficient (efficiency factor ∼10-20 per cent), superefficient when the mechanical energy output is also included (70 per cent) and produce hard blazar-like spectra. In all models, the emission shows strong geometrical beaming, which disagrees with the more isotropic illumination favoured by observations of ULX bubbles.

  13. The Geminga Pulsar: Soft X-Ray Variability and an EUVE Observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman L.

    1996-01-01

    We observed the Geminga pulsar with the EUVE satellite, detecting pulsed emission in the Deep Survey imager. Joint spectral fits of the EUVE flux with ROSAT PSPC data are consistent with thermal plus power-law models in which the thermal component makes the dominant contribution to the soft X-ray flux seen by EUVE and ROSAT. The data are consistent with blackbody emission of T = (4-6) x 10(exp 5) K over most of the surface of the star at the measured parallax distance of 160 pc. Although model atmospheres are more realistic, and can fit the data with effective temperatures a factor of 2 lower, current data would not discriminate between these and blackbody models. We also find evidence for variability of Geminga's soft X-ray pulse shape. Narrow dips in the light curve that were present in 1991 had largely disappeared in 1993/1994, causing the pulsed fraction to decline from 32% to 18%. If the dips are attributed to cyclotron resonance scattering by an e(+/-) plasma on closed magnetic field lines, then the process that resupplies that plasma must be variable.

  14. Disentangling X-Ray Emission Processes In Vela-Like Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaensler, Bryan; Mushotzky, Richard (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This grant is to support analysis of data from the X-ray Multi-mirror Mission (XMM). Specifically, we have been awarded time to observe two young neutron stars, B1823-13 and B1046-58, whose X-ray emission is expected to be a complicated combination of emission from an associated supernova remnant, from a wind-powered synchrotron nebula, from magnetospheric pulsations, and from the surface of the neutron star itself. It is only with XMM's unique combination of spectral, temporal and angular resolution that all these different processes can be separated and studied. Observations of B1823-13 have been conducted and analyzed. We interpret the data as follows: The unpulsed extended non-thermal nature of the central core argues that the extended source of emission corresponds to synchrotron emission from a nebula powered by the pulsar. The temperature of the diffuse component is too high to be interpreted as thermal emission; we rather argue that this extended component is non-thermal emission from a surrounding supernova remnant shell.

  15. Rapid X-Ray Variations of the Geminga Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hui, C. Y.; Lee, Jongsu; Kong, A. K. H.; Tam, P. H. T.; Takata, J.; Cheng, K. S.; Ryu, Dongsu

    2017-09-01

    A recent study by Posselt et al. reported the deepest X-ray investigation of the Geminga pulsar wind nebula (PWN) by using Chandra X-ray Observatory. In comparison with previous studies of this system, a number of new findings have been reported, and we found that these suggest the possible variabilities in various components of this PWN. This motivates us to carry out a dedicated search for the morphological and spectral variations of this complex nebula. We have discovered variabilities on timescales from a few days to a few months from different components of the nebula. The fastest change occurred in the circumstellar environment at a rate of 80% of the speed of light. One of the most spectacular results is the wiggling of a half light-year long tail as an extension of the jet, which is significantly bent by the ram pressure. The jet wiggling occurred at a rate of about 20% of the speed of light. This twisted structure could possibly be a result of a propagating torsional Alfv´en wave. We have also found evidence of spectral hardening along this tail for a period of about nine months.

  16. The Geminga Pulsar: Soft X-Ray Variability and an EUVE Observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman L.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We observed the Geminga pulsar with the EUVE satellite, detecting pulsed emission in the Deep Survey imager. Joint spectral fits of the EUVE flux with ROSAT PSPC data are consistent with thermal plus power-law models in which the thermal component makes the dominant contribution to the soft X-ray flux seen by EUVE and ROSAT. The data are consistent with blackbody emission of T = (4 - 6) x 10(exp 5) K over most of the surface of the star at the measured parallax distance of 160 pc. Although model atmospheres are more realistic, and can fit the data with effective temperatures a factor of 2 lower, current data would not discriminate between these and blackbody models. We also find evidence for variability of Geminga's soft X-ray pulse shape. Narrow dips in the light curve that were present in 1991 had largely disappeared in 1993/1994, causing the pulsed fraction to decline from 32% to 18%. If the dips are attributed to cyclotron resonance scattering by an e1 plasma on closed magnetic field lines, then the process that resupplies that plasma must be variable.

  17. Constraining the mass of accreting black holes in ultraluminous X-ray sources with ultrafast outflows.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiacconi, D.; Pinto, C.; Walton, D. J.; Fabian, A. C.

    2017-07-01

    The nature of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) -- off-nuclear extra-galactic sources with luminosity, assumed isotropic, $\\gtrsim 10^{39}$ erg s$^{-1}$ -- is still debated. One possibility is that ULXs are stellar black holes accreting beyond the Eddington limit. This view has been recently reinforced by the discovery of ultrafast outflows at $\\sim 0.1$-$0.2c$ in the high resolution spectra of a handful of ULXs, as predicted by models of supercritical accretion discs. Under the assumption that ULXs are powered by super-Eddington accretion onto black holes, we use the properties of the observed outflows to self-consistently constrain their masses and accretion rates. We find masses $\\lesssim 100$ M$_{\\odot}$ and typical accretion rates $\\sim 10^{-5}$ M$_{\\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, i.e. $\\approx 10$ times larger than the Eddington limit calculated with a radiative efficiency of 0.1. However, the emitted luminosity is only $\\approx 10\\%$ beyond the Eddington luminosity, because most of the energy released in the inner part of the accretion disc is used to accelerate the wind, which implies radiative efficiency $\\sim 0.01$. Our results are consistent with a formation model where ULXs are black hole remnants of massive stars evolved in low-metallicity environments.

  18. Constraining the mass of accreting black holes in ultraluminous X-ray sources with ultrafast outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiacconi, Davide; Pinto, Ciro; Walton, Dominic J.; Fabian, Andrew C.

    2017-07-01

    The nature of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) - off-nuclear extragalactic sources with luminosity, assumed isotropic, ≳1039 erg s-1 - is still debated. One possibility is that ULXs are stellar black holes (BHs) accreting beyond the Eddington limit. This view has been recently reinforced by the discovery of ultrafast outflows at ∼0.1-0.2c in the high-resolution spectra of a handful of ULXs, as predicted by models of supercritical accretion discs. Under the assumption that ULXs are powered by super-Eddington accretion on to BHs, we use the properties of the observed outflows to self-consistently constrain their masses and accretion rates. We find masses ≲100 M⊙ and typical accretion rates ∼10-5 M⊙ yr-1, i.e. ≈10 times larger than the Eddington limit calculated with a radiative efficiency of 0.1. However, the emitted luminosity is only ≈10 per cent beyond the Eddington luminosity, because most of the energy released in the inner part of the accretion disc is used to accelerate the wind, which implies radiative efficiency ∼0.01. Our results are consistent with a formation model where ULXs are BH remnants of massive stars evolved in low-metallicity environments.

  19. Measuring X-ray Binary Accretion State Distributions in Extragalactic Environments using XMM-Newton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Lacey; Lehmer, Bret; Yukita, Mihoko; Hornschemeier, Ann E.; Ptak, Andrew; Wik, Daniel R.; Zezas, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    X-ray binary systems (XRBs) in the MW can exist in several different accretion states, and many have been found to vary along specific tracks on intensity-color diagrams. Observationally measuring the distributions of these accretion states in a variety of environments can aid in population synthesis modeling and ultimately help us understand the formation and evolution of XRBs and their compact object components (i.e., black holes and neutron stars). Recent innovative studies with NuSTAR have demonstrated the utility of color-color and intensity-color diagrams in differentiating between XRB accretion states in extragalactic environments (NGC 253, M83, and M31). The key to NuSTAR’s success is its sensitivity above »10keV, where spectral differences between accretion states are most pronounced. However, due to the relatively low spatial resolution and large background of NuSTAR, the constraints from these diagrams is limited to only bright sources in nearby galaxies. In this poster, we present evidence that XMM-Newton observations of M83 in the 4.0-12.0 keV range can be used to create similar color-intensity and color-color diagrams and therefore differentiate between these accretion states. We will further discuss plans to leverage XMM-Newton’s vast archive and 17-year baseline to dramatically expand studies of accretion state distributions and state transitions for XRB populations in extragalactic environments.

  20. Probing the effects of a thermonuclear X-ray burst on the neutron star accretion flow with NuSTAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degenaar, N.; Koljonen, K. I. I.; Chakrabarty, D.; Kara, E.; Altamirano, D.; Miller, J. M.; Fabian, A. C.

    2016-03-01

    Observational evidence has been accumulating that thermonuclear X-ray bursts ignited on the surface of neutron stars influence the surrounding accretion flow. Here, we exploit the excellent sensitivity of NuSTAR up to 79 keV to analyse the impact of an X-ray burst on the accretion emission of the neutron star LMXB 4U 1608-52. The ≃200 s long X-ray burst occurred during a hard X-ray spectral state, and had a peak intensity of ≃30-50 per cent of the Eddington limit with no signs of photospheric radius expansion. Spectral analysis suggests that the accretion emission was enhanced up to a factor of ≃5 during the X-ray burst. We also applied a linear unsupervised decomposition method, namely non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), to study this X-ray burst. We find that the NMF performs well in characterizing the evolution of the burst emission and is a promising technique to study changes in the underlying accretion emission in more detail than is possible through conventional spectral fitting. For the burst of 4U 1608-52, the NMF suggests a possible softening of the accretion spectrum during the X-ray burst, which could potentially be ascribed to cooling of a corona. Finally, we report a small (≃3 per cent) but significant rise in the accretion emission ≃0.5 h before the X-ray burst, although it is unclear whether this was related to the X-ray burst ignition.

  1. X-RAY EMISSION FROM J1446–4701, J1311–3430, AND OTHER BLACK WIDOW PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Arumugasamy, Prakash; Pavlov, George G.; Garmire, Gordon P.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results of detailed X-ray analysis of two black-widow pulsars (BWPs), J1446–4701 and J1311–3430. PSR J1446–4701 is a BWP with orbital parameters near the median values of the sample of known BWPs. Its X-ray emission that was detected by XMM-Newton is well characterized by a soft power-law (PL) spectrum (photon index Γ ≈ 3), and it shows no significant orbital modulations. In view of a lack of radio eclipses and an optical non-detection, the system most likely has a low orbital inclination. PSR J1311–3430 is an extreme BWP with a very compact orbit and the lowest minimum mass companion. Our Chandra data confirm the hard Γ ≈ 1.3 emission seen in previous observations. Through phase-restricted spectral analysis, we found a hint (∼2.6σ) of spectral hardening around pulsar inferior conjunction. We also provide a uniform analysis of the 12 BWPs observed with Chandra and compare their X-ray properties. Pulsars with soft, Γ > 2.5 emission seem to have lower than average X-ray and γ-ray luminosities. We do not, however, see any other prominent correlation between the pulsar’s X-ray emission characteristics and any of its other properties. The contribution of the intra-binary shock to the total X-ray emission, if any, is not discernible in this sample of pulsars with shallow observations.

  2. X-Ray Emission from J1446--4701, J1311--3430, and Other Black Widow Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arumugasamy, Prakash; Pavlov, George G.; Garmire, Gordon P.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results of detailed X-ray analysis of two black-widow pulsars (BWPs), J1446-4701 and J1311-3430. PSR J1446-4701 is a BWP with orbital parameters near the median values of the sample of known BWPs. Its X-ray emission that was detected by XMM-Newton is well characterized by a soft power-law (PL) spectrum (photon index Γ ≈ 3), and it shows no significant orbital modulations. In view of a lack of radio eclipses and an optical non-detection, the system most likely has a low orbital inclination. PSR J1311-3430 is an extreme BWP with a very compact orbit and the lowest minimum mass companion. Our Chandra data confirm the hard Γ ≈ 1.3 emission seen in previous observations. Through phase-restricted spectral analysis, we found a hint (˜2.6σ) of spectral hardening around pulsar inferior conjunction. We also provide a uniform analysis of the 12 BWPs observed with Chandra and compare their X-ray properties. Pulsars with soft, Γ > 2.5 emission seem to have lower than average X-ray and γ-ray luminosities. We do not, however, see any other prominent correlation between the pulsar’s X-ray emission characteristics and any of its other properties. The contribution of the intra-binary shock to the total X-ray emission, if any, is not discernible in this sample of pulsars with shallow observations.

  3. Guitar with a bow: a jet-like X-ray-emitting feature associated a fast-moving pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Q. Daniel

    2011-09-01

    The Guitar Nebula is known to be a ram-pressure confined pulsar wind nebula associated with the very fast-moving pulsar B2224+65. Existing observations at two epochs have shown an unexpected 2 arcmin long X-ray-emitting jet-like feature emanating from the pulsar and offset from its proper motion direction by 118 degree. We propose a deep third epoch observation of this system in order to measure the X-ray spectral gradient across the feature as well as to confirm its proper motion, its morphological variation with time, and the presence of a counter jet. We will then critically test scenarios proposed to explain this system, which represents a class of similarly enigmatic objects recently discovered locally and in the central region of our Galaxy.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a new global radiation transport code coupled to a general relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulation of an accreting, nonrotating black hole. For the first time, we are able to explain from first principles in a self-consistent way the X-ray spectra observed from stellar-mass black holes, including a thermal peak, Compton reflection hump, power-law tail, and broad iron line. Varying only the mass accretion rate, we are able to reproduce the low/hard, steep power-law, and thermal-dominant states seen in most galactic black hole sources. The temperature in the corona is T(sub e) 10 keV in a boundary layer near the disk and rises smoothly to T(sub e) greater than or approximately 100 keV in low-density regions far above the disk. Even as the disk's reflection edge varies from the horizon out to approximately equal to 6M as the accretion rate decreases, we find that the shape of the Fe Ka line is remarkably constant. This is because photons emitted from the plunging region are strongly beamed into the horizon and never reach the observer. We have also carried out a basic timing analysis of the spectra and find that the fractional variability increases with photon energy and viewer inclination angle, consistent with the coronal hot spot model for X-ray fluctuations.

  5. REVISITING PUTATIVE COOL ACCRETION DISKS IN ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCES

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J. M.; King, A. L.; Reynolds, M. T.; Reis, R. C.; Walton, D. J.; Fabian, A. C.; Miller, M. C.

    2013-10-20

    Soft, potentially thermal spectral components observed in some ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) can be fit with models for emission from cool, optically thick accretion disks. If that description is correct, the low temperatures that are observed imply accretion onto 'intermediate-mass' black holes. Subsequent work has found that these components may follow an inverse relationship between luminosity and temperature, implying a non-blackbody origin for this emission. We have re-analyzed numerous XMM-Newton spectra of extreme ULXs. Crucially, observations wherein the source fell on a chip gap were excluded owing to their uncertain flux calibration, and the neutral column density along the line of sight to a given source was jointly determined by multiple spectra. The luminosity of the soft component is found to be positively correlated with temperature, and to be broadly consistent with L∝T {sup 4} in the measured band pass, as per blackbody emission from a standard thin disk. These results are nominally consistent with accretion onto black holes with masses above the range currently known in Galactic X-ray binaries, though there are important caveats. Emission from inhomogeneous or super-Eddington disks may also be consistent with the data.

  6. Coronal accretion: the power of X-ray emission in AGN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, B.-F.; Taam, R. E.; Qiao, E.; Yuan, W.

    2016-02-01

    The optical/UV and X-ray emissions in luminous AGN are commonly believed to be produced in an accretion disk and an embedded hot corona respectively. We explore the possibility that a geometrically thick coronal gas flow, which is supplied by gravitational capture of interstellar medium or stellar wind, condenses partially to a geometrically thin cold disk and accretes via a thin disk and a corona onto the supermassive black hole. We found that for mass supply rates less than about 0.01 (expressed in Eddington units), condensation does not occur and the accretion flow takes the form of a corona/ADAF. For higher mass supply rates, corona gas condenses to the disk. As a consequence, the coronal mass flow rate decreases and the cool mass flow rate increases towards the black hole. Here the thin disk is characterized by the condensation rate of hot gas as it flows towards the black hole. With increase of mass supply rate, condensation becomes more efficient, while the mass flow rate of the coronal gas attains values of order 0.02 in the innermost regions of the disk, which can help to elucidate the production of strong X-ray with respect to the optical and ultraviolet radiation in high luminosity AGN.

  7. The rotation-powered nature of some soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, Jaziel G.; Cáceres, D. L.; de Lima, R. C. R.; Malheiro, M.; Rueda, J. A.; Ruffini, R.

    2017-03-01

    Context. Soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are slow rotating isolated pulsars whose energy reservoir is still matter of debate. Adopting neutron star (NS) fiducial parameters; mass M = 1.4 M⊙, radius R = 10 km, and moment of inertia, I = 1045 g cm2, the rotational energy loss, Ėrot, is lower than the observed luminosity (dominated by the X-rays) LX for many of the sources. Aims: We investigate the possibility that some members of this family could be canonical rotation-powered pulsars using realistic NS structure parameters instead of fiducial values. Methods: We compute the NS mass, radius, moment of inertia and angular momentum from numerical integration of the axisymmetric general relativistic equations of equilibrium. We then compute the entire range of allowed values of the rotational energy loss, Ėrot, for the observed values of rotation period P and spin-down rate Ṗ. We also estimate the surface magnetic field using a general relativistic model of a rotating magnetic dipole. Results: We show that realistic NS parameters lowers the estimated value of the magnetic field and radiation efficiency, LX/Ėrot, with respect to estimates based on fiducial NS parameters. We show that nine SGRs/AXPs can be described as canonical pulsars driven by the NS rotational energy, for LX computed in the soft (2-10 keV) X-ray band. We compute the range of NS masses for which LX/Ėrot< 1. We discuss the observed hard X-ray emission in three sources of the group of nine potentially rotation-powered NSs. This additional hard X-ray component dominates over the soft one leading to LX/Ėrot > 1 in two of them. Conclusions: We show that 9 SGRs/AXPs can be rotation-powered NSs if we analyze their X-ray luminosity in the soft 2-10 keV band. Interestingly, four of them show radio emission and six have been associated with supernova remnants (including Swift J1834.9-0846 the first SGR observed with a surrounding wind nebula). These observations give

  8. Discovery of a Second Millesecond Accreting Pulsar: XTE J1751-305

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markwardt, C. B.; Swank, J. H.; Strohmayer, T. E.; intZand, J. J. M.; Marshall, F. E.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We report the discovery by the RXTE PCA of a second transient accreting millisecond pulsar, XTE J1751-305, during regular monitoring observations of the galactic bulge region. The pulsar has a spin frequency of 435 Hz, making it one of the fastest pulsars. The pulsations contain the signature of orbital Doppler modulation, which implies an orbital period of 42 minutes, the shortest orbital period of any known radio or X-ray millisecond pulsar. The mass function, f(sub x) = (1.278 +/- 0.003) x 10 (exp -6) solar mass, yields a minimum mass for the companion of between 0.013 and 0.0017 solar mass depending on the mass of the neutron star. No eclipses were detected. A previous X-ray outburst in June, 1998, was discovered in archival All-Sky Monitor data. Assuming mass transfer in this binary system is driven by gravitational radiation, we constrain the orbital inclination to be in the range 30 deg-85 deg and the companion mass to be 0.013-0.035 solar mass. The companion is most likely a heated helium dwarf. We also present results from the Chandra HRC-S observations which provide the best known position of XTE J1751-305.

  9. THE PROPER MOTION AND X-RAY ANALYSIS OF THE PULSAR WIND NEBULA, PSR J1741-2054 USING CHANDRA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auchettl, Katie; Slane, Patrick O.; Romani, Roger W.; Kargaltsev, Oleg; Pavlov, George G.

    2014-08-01

    A pulsar dissipates its rotational energy by generating relativistic winds, which in turn produces a population of high energy electrons and positions that we observe as a synchrotron emitting nebula. If the pulsar has a high space velocity, the corresponding nebula will have a bow-shock morphology due to the pulsar wind being confined by ram pressure. Pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) provide a good test bed to study the dynamics and interaction of relativistic outflows with their environment and the corresponding shocks that result from these interactions. They can also aid in understanding the evolution of the neutron star and the properties of the local medium with which they are interacting. Here we report on the X-ray analysis of PSR J1741-2054 carried out as a part of the Chandra XVP program (6 ACIS-S observations, totalling ~300 ks over 5 months). By registering this new epoch of observations using X-ray point sources in the field of view to an archival observation taken 3.2 years earlier, we are able to measure the proper motion of the pulsar with >3σ significance. We also investigate the spatial and spectral properties of the pulsar, its compact nebula and extended tail. We find that the compact nebula can be well described with an absorbed power-law with photon index of Γ=1.6+/-0.2, while the tail shows no evidence of variation in the spectral index with the distance from the pulsar. We have also investigated the X-ray spectrum of the neutron star. We find nonthermal emission accompanied by a significant thermal component and will provide constraints on the overall nature of the emission.

  10. Modeling X-ray Absorbers in AGNs with MHD-Driven Accretion-Disk Winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukumura, Keigo; Kazanas, D.; Shrader, C. R.; Tombesi, F.; Contopoulos, J.; Behar, E.

    2013-04-01

    We have proposed a systematic view of the observed X-ray absorbers, namely warm absorbers (WAs) in soft X-ray and highly-ionized ultra-fast outflows (UFOs), in the context of magnetically-driven accretion-disk wind models. While potentially complicated by variability and thermal instability in these energetic outflows, in this simplistic model we have calculated 2D kinematic field as well as density and ionization structure of the wind with density profile of 1/r corresponding to a constant column distribution per decade of ionization parameter. In particular we show semi-analytically that the inner layer of the disk-wind manifests itself as the strongly-ionized fast outflows while the outer layer is identified as the moderately-ionized absorbers. The computed characteristics of these two apparently distinct absorbers are consistent with X-ray data (i.e. a factor of ~100 difference in column and ionization parameters as well as low wind velocity vs. near-relativistic flow). With the predicted contour curves for these wind parameters one can constrain allowed regions for the presence of WAs and UFOs.The model further implies that the UFO's gas pressure is comparable to that of the observed radio jet in 3C111 suggesting that the magnetized disk-wind with density profile of 1/r is a viable agent to help sustain such a self-collimated jet at small radii.

  11. Ionization break-out from millisecond pulsar wind nebulae: an X-ray probe of the origin of superluminous supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metzger, Brian D.; Vurm, Indrek; Hascoët, Romain; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic spin-down of a rapidly rotating (millisecond) neutron star has been proposed as the power source of hydrogen-poor `superluminous' supernovae (SLSNe-I). However, producing an unambiguous test that can distinguish this model from alternatives, such as circumstellar interaction, has proven challenging. After the supernova explosion, the pulsar wind inflates a hot cavity behind the expanding stellar ejecta: the nascent millisecond pulsar wind nebula. Electron/positron pairs injected by the wind cool through inverse Compton scattering and synchrotron emission, producing a pair cascade and hard X-ray spectrum inside the nebula. These X-rays ionize the inner exposed side of the ejecta, driving an ionization front that propagates outwards with time. Under some conditions this front can breach the ejecta surface within months after the optical supernova peak, allowing ˜0.1-1 keV photons to escape the nebula unattenuated with a characteristic luminosity LX ˜ 1043-1045 erg s-1. This `ionization break-out' may explain the luminous X-ray emission observed from the transient SCP 06F, providing direct evidence that this SLSN was indeed engine powered. Luminous break-out requires a low ejecta mass and that the spin-down time of the pulsar be comparable to the photon diffusion time-scale at optical maximum, the latter condition being similar to that required for a supernova with a high optical fluence. These relatively special requirements may explain why most SLSNe-I are not accompanied by detectable X-ray emission. Global asymmetry of the supernova ejecta increases the likelihood of an early break-out along the direction of lowest density. Atomic states with lower threshold energies are more readily ionized at earlier times near optical maximum, allowing `UV break-out' across a wider range of pulsar and ejecta properties than X-ray break-out, possibly contributing to the blue/UV colours of SLSNe-I.

  12. X-RAY INVESTIGATION OF THE DIFFUSE EMISSION AROUND PLAUSIBLE {gamma}-RAY EMITTING PULSAR WIND NEBULAE IN KOOKABURRA REGION

    SciTech Connect

    Kishishita, Tetsuichi; Bamba, Aya; Uchiyama, Yasunobu

    2012-05-10

    We report on the results from Suzaku X-ray observations of the radio complex region called Kookaburra, which includes two adjacent TeV {gamma}-ray sources HESS J1418-609 and HESS J1420-607. The Suzaku observation revealed X-ray diffuse emission around a middle-aged pulsar PSR J1420-6048 and a plausible pulsar wind nebula (PWN) Rabbit with elongated sizes of {sigma}{sub X} = 1.'66 and {sigma}{sub X} = 1.'49, respectively. The peaks of the diffuse X-ray emission are located within the {gamma}-ray excess maps obtained by H.E.S.S. and the offsets from the {gamma}-ray peaks are 2.'8 for PSR J1420-6048 and 4.'5 for Rabbit. The X-ray spectra of the two sources were well reproduced by absorbed power-law models with {Gamma} = 1.7-2.3. The spectral shapes tend to become softer according to the distance from the X-ray peaks. Assuming the one-zone electron emission model as the first-order approximation, the ambient magnetic field strengths of HESS J1420-607 and HESS J1418-609 can be estimated as 3 {mu}G and 2.5 {mu}G, respectively. The X-ray spectral and spatial properties strongly support that both TeV sources are PWNe, in which electrons and positrons accelerated at termination shocks of the pulsar winds are losing their energies via the synchrotron radiation and inverse Compton scattering as they are transported outward.

  13. Accretion and ejection in black-hole X-ray transients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kylafis, N. D.; Belloni, T. M.

    2015-02-01

    Context. A rich phenomenology has been accumulated over the years regarding accretion and ejection in black-hole X-ray transients (BHTs) and it needs an interpretation. Aims: Here we summarize the current observational picture of the outbursts of BHTs, based on the evolution traced in a hardness-luminosity diagram (HLD), and we offer a physical interpretation. Methods: The basic ingredient in our interpretation is the Poynting-Robertson cosmic battery (PRCB), which provides locally the poloidal magnetic field needed for the ejection of the jet. In addition, we make two assumptions, easily justifiable. The first is that the mass-accretion rate to the black hole in a BHT outburst has a generic bell-shaped form, whose characteristic time scale is much longer than the dynamical or the cooling ones. This is guaranteed by the observational fact that all BHTs start their outburst and end it at the quiescent state, i.e., at very low accretion rate, and that state transitions take place over long time scales (hours to days). The second assumption is that at low accretion rates the accretion flow is geometrically thick, ADAF-like, while at high accretion rates it is geometrically thin. Last, but not least, we demonstrate that the previous history of the system is absolutely necessary for the interpretation of the HLD. Results: Both, at the beginning and the end of an outburst, the PRCB establishes a strong poloidal magnetic field in the ADAF-like part of the accretion flow, and this explains naturally why a jet is always present in the right part of the HLD. In the left part of the HLD, the accretion flow is in the form of a thin disk, and such a disk cannot sustain a strong poloidal magnetic filed. Thus, no jet is expected in this part of the HLD. Finally, the counterclockwise traversal of the HLD is explained as follows: all outbursts start from the quiescent state, in which the inner part of the accretion flow is ADAF-like, threaded by a poloidal magnetic field. As the

  14. Measuring the stellar wind parameters in IGR J17544-2619 and Vela X-1 constrains the accretion physics in supergiant fast X-ray transient and classical supergiant X-ray binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giménez-García, A.; Shenar, T.; Torrejón, J. M.; Oskinova, L.; Martínez-Núñez, S.; Hamann, W.-R.; Rodes-Roca, J. J.; González-Galán, A.; Alonso-Santiago, J.; González-Fernández, C.; Bernabeu, G.; Sander, A.

    2016-06-01

    two stars is their terminal velocities (ν∞ = 1500 km s-1 in IGR J17544-2619 and ν∞ = 700 km s-1 in Vela X-1), which have important consequences on the X-ray luminosity of these sources. Conclusions: The donors of IGR J17544-2619 and Vela X-1 have similar spectral types as well as similar parameters that physically characterize them and their spectra. In addition, the orbital parameters of the systems are similar too, with a nearly circular orbit and short orbital period. However, they show moderate differences in their stellar wind velocity and the spin period of their neutron star which has a strong impact on the X-ray luminosity of the sources. This specific combination of wind speed and pulsar spin favors an accretion regime with a persistently high luminosity in Vela X-1, while it favors an inhibiting accretion mechanism in IGR J17544-2619. Our study demonstrates that the relative wind velocity is critical in class determination for the HMXBs hosting a supergiant donor, given that it may shift the accretion mechanism from direct accretion to propeller regimes when combined with other parameters.

  15. Hercules X-1: Spectral Variability of an X-Ray Pulsar in a Stellar Binary System. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, S. H.

    1976-01-01

    A cosmic X-ray spectroscopy experiment onboard the Orbiting Solar Observatory 8 (OSO-8), observed Her x-1 continuously for approximately 8 days. Spectral-temporal correlations of the X-ray emission were obtained. The major results concern observations of: (1) iron band emission, (2) spectral hardening (increase in effective x-ray temperature) within the X-ray pulse, and (3) a transition from an X-ray low state to a high state. The spectrum obtained prior to the high state can be interpreted as reflected emission from a hot coronal gas surrounding an accretion disk, which itself shields the primary X-ray source from the line of sight during the low state. The spectral hardening within the X-ray pulse was indicative of the beaming mechanism at the neutron star surface. The hardest spectrum by pulse phase was identified with the line of sight close to the Her x-1 magnetic dipole axis, and the X-ray pencil beam become harder with decreasing angle between the line of sight and the dipole axis.

  16. First results of X-ray pulsar observations with the ART-P telescope onboard 'Granat' observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil'fanov, M. R.; Sunyaev, R. A.; Churazov, E. M.; Babalian, G.; Pavlinskii, M.; Iamburenko, N. S.; Khavenson, N.

    Results are presented on February-August 1990 observations carried out with the coded-mask telescope ART-P on board the astrophysical observatory Granat. More than 100 sessions of observations of different X-ray sources were performed. The operation of the telescope in the 'photon-by-photon' mode with time resolution of about 4 ms made it possible to observe X-ray pulsars. Results include data on Her X-1, OAO1657 - 415, 4U0115 + 63, and GX1 + 4.

  17. Multi-wavelength emissions from the millisecond pulsar binary PSR J1023+0038 during an accretion active state

    SciTech Connect

    Takata, J.; Leung, Gene C. K.; Wu, E. M. H.; Cheng, K. S.; Li, K. L.; Kong, A. K. H.; Tam, P. H. T.; Hui, C. Y.; Xing, Yi; Wang, Zhongxiang; Cao, Yi; Tang, Sumin E-mail: akong@phys.nthu.edu.tw

    2014-04-20

    Recent observations strongly suggest that the millisecond pulsar binary PSR J1023+0038 has developed an accretion disk since 2013 June. We present a multi-wavelength analysis of PSR J1023+0038, which reveals that (1) its gamma-rays suddenly brightened within a few days in 2013 June/July and has remained at a high gamma-ray state for several months; (2) both UV and X-ray fluxes have increased by roughly an order of magnitude; and (3) the spectral energy distribution has changed significantly after the gamma-ray sudden flux change. Time variabilities associated with UV and X-rays are on the order of 100-500 s and 50-100 s, respectively. Our model suggests that a newly formed accretion disk, due to the sudden increase of the stellar wind, could explain the changes of all these observed features. The increase of UV is emitted from the disk, and a new component in gamma-rays is produced by inverse Compton scattering between the new UV component and pulsar wind. The increase of X-rays results from the enhancement of injection pulsar wind energy into the intra-binary shock due to the increase of the stellar wind. We also predict that the radio pulses may be blocked by the evaporated winds from the disk, and the pulsar is still powered by rotation.

  18. 16 yr of RXTE monitoring of five anomalous X-ray pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Dib, Rim; Kaspi, Victoria M. E-mail: vkaspi@physics.mcgill.ca

    2014-03-20

    We present a summary of the long-term evolution of various properties of the five non-transient anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) 1E 1841–045, RXS J170849.0–400910, 1E 2259+586, 4U 0142+61, and 1E 1048.1–5937, regularly monitored with RXTE from 1996 to 2012. We focus on three properties of these sources: the evolution of the timing, pulsed flux, and pulse profile. We report several new timing anomalies and radiative events, including a putative anti-glitch seen in 1E 2259+586 in 2009, and a second epoch of very large spin-down rate fluctuations in 1E 1048.1–5937 following a large flux outburst. We compile the properties of the 11 glitches and 4 glitch candidates observed from these 5 AXPs between 1996 and 2012. Overall, these monitoring observations reveal several apparent patterns in the behavior of this sample of AXPs: large radiative changes in AXPs (including long-lived flux enhancements, short bursts, and pulse profile changes) are rare, occurring typically only every few years per source; large radiative changes are almost always accompanied by some form of timing anomaly, usually a spin-up glitch; only 20%-30% of timing anomalies are accompanied by any form of radiative change. We find that AXP radiative behavior at the times of radiatively loud glitches is sufficiently similar to suggest common physical origins. The similarity in glitch properties when comparing radiatively loud and radiatively silent glitches in AXPs suggests a common physical origin in the stellar interior. Finally, the overall similarity of AXP and radio pulsar glitches suggests a common physical origin for both phenomena.

  19. Absolute navigation for Mars final approach using relative measurements of X-ray pulsars and Mars orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-09-01

    To achieve a precise Mars landing, the autonomous navigation performance of Mars final approach phase need to be further improved. In this paper, an absolute navigation scheme for Mars finial approach phase using relative measurements of X-ray pulsars and Mars orbiter is proposed. By introducing the difference of time of arrival (DTOA) measurement, the states of approach spacecraft and orbiter are estimated at the same time. Compared to the navigation scheme based on the absolute measurements of pulsars, the error sources such as planetary ephemeris error, pulsar parameter uncertainties, and radio beacon position deviations, are correspondingly reduced or eliminated. Through observability analysis, the method of absolute navigation using relative information is proved observable under the condition of reasonable pulsars selection. The design optimization of beacon configuration based on the Fisher Information Matrix (FIM) is also carried out for achieving a better observability. Two navigation schemes respectively based on the absolute/relative measurements of X-ray pulsars are compared by numerical simulations, and the navigation performance is assessed and the feasibility of the proposed scheme is verified.

  20. Accretion in young stars: measure of the stream velocity of TW Hya from the X-ray Doppler shift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiroffi, Costanza; Bonito, Rosaria; Orlando, Salvatore; Miceli, Marco; Peres, Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    High-resolution X-ray spectra are a unique tool to investigate the accretion process in young stars. In fact X-rays allow to investigate the accretion-shock region, where the infalling material is heated by strong shocks due to the impact with the denser stellar atmosphere. Here we show for the first time that it is possible to constrain the velocity of the accretion stream by measuring the Doppler shift of the emitted X-rays. To this aim we analyzed the deep Chandra/HETGS observation of the accreting young star TW Hya. We selected a sample of emission lines free from significant blends, fitted them with gaussian profiles, computed the radial velocity corresponding to each line, and averaged these velocities to obtain an accurate estimate of the global velocity of the X-ray emitting plasma. After correcting for Earth's motion, we compared this observed velocity with the photospheric radial velocity. In order to check this procedure we applied the same technique to other Chandra/HETGS spectra of single stars, whose X-rays are due only to coronal plasma. While spectra of pure coronal sources provide Doppler shifts in agreement with the known stellar radial velocity, we found that the X-ray spectrum of TW Hya is red-shifted by ~30-40 km/s with respect to the stellar photosphere. This proves that the X-ray emitting plasma on TW Hya is moving with respect to the stellar surface, definitively confirming that it originates in the accretion-shock region. The observed velocity suggests that the base of the accretion region is located at low latitudes of the stellar surface.

  1. A Brown Dwarf Companion for the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2001-08-01

    The BeppoSAX Wide Field Cameras have revealed a population of faint neutron star X-ray transients in the Galactic bulge. King conjectured that these neutron stars are accreting from brown dwarfs with a time-averaged mass transfer rate ~10-11 Msolar yr-1 that is low enough for accretion disk instabilities. We show that the measured orbital parameters of the 401 Hz accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 support this hypothesis. A main-sequence mass donor requires a nearly face-on inclination and a higher than observed, and can thus be excluded. However, the range of allowed inclinations is substantially relaxed, and the predicted is consistent with that observed if a hot 0.05 Msolar dwarf is the donor. The remaining puzzle is explaining the brown dwarf radius required (0.13 Rsolar) to fill the Roche lobe. Recent observational and theoretical work has shown that all transiently accreting neutron stars have a minimum luminosity in quiescence set by the time-averaged mass transfer rate onto the neutron star. We show here that the constant heating of the brown dwarf by this quiescent neutron star emission appears adequate to maintain the higher entropy implied by a 0.13 Rsolar radius. All of our considerations very strongly bolster the case that SAX J1808.4-3658 is a progenitor to compact millisecond radio pulsar binaries (e.g., like those found by Camilo and collaborators in 47 Tuc). The very low of SAX J1808.4-3658 implies that the progenitors to these radio pulsars are long-lived (~Gyr) transient systems, rather than short-lived (~Myr) Eddington-limited accretors. Hence, the accreting progenitor population to millisecond radio pulsars in 47 Tuc could still be present and found in quiescence with Chandra.

  2. The Magnetar Nature and the Outburst Mechanism of a Transient Anomalous X-ray Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guver, Tolga; Ozel, Feryal; Gogus, Ersin; Kouveliotou, Chryssa

    2007-01-01

    Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) belong to a class of neutron stars believed to harbor the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, as indicated by their energetic bursts and their rapid spindowns. However, a direct measurement of their surface field strengths has not been made to date. It is also not known whether AXP outbursts result from changes in the neutron star magnetic field or crust properties. Here we report the first, spectroscopic measurement of the surface magnetic field strength of an AXP, XTE J1810-197, and solidify its magnetar nature. The field strength obtained from detailed spectral analysis and modeling is remarkably close to the value inferred from the rate of spindown of this source and remains nearly constant during numerous observations spanning over two orders of magnitude in source flux. The surface temperature, on the other hand, declines steadily and dramatically following the 2003 outburst of this source. Our findings demonstrate that heating occurs in the upper neutron star crust during an outburst and sheds light on the transient behaviour of AXPs.

  3. Detailed Physical Modeling Reveals the Magnetar Nature of a Transient Anomalous X-ray Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guever, T.; Oezel, F.; Goegues, E.; Kouveliotou, C.

    2007-01-01

    Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) belong to a class of neutron stars believed to harbor the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, as indicated by their energetic bursts and their rapid spindowns. However, a direct measurement of their surface field strengths has not been made to date. It is also not known whether AXP outbursts result from changes in the neutron star magnetic field or crust properties. Here we report the first, spectroscopic measurement of the surface magnetic field strength of an AXP, XTE J1810-197, and solidify its magnetar nature. The field strength obtained from detailed spectral analysis and modeling is remarkably close to the value inferred from the rate of spindown of this source and remains nearly constant during numerous observations spanning over two orders of magnitude in source flux. The surface temperature, on the other hand, declines steadily and dramatically following the 2003 outburst of this source. Our findings demonstrate that heating occurs in the upper neutron star crust during an outburst and sheds light on the transient behaviour of AXPs.

  4. The Multi-Component Nature of the Vela Pulsar Nonthermal X-ray Spectrum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Strickman, Mark S.; Gwinn, Carl; McCulloch, P.; Moffet, D.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We report on our analysis of a 274 ks observation of the Vela pulsar with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The double-peaked, pulsed emission at 2 - 30 keV, which we had previously detected during a 93 ks observation, is confirmed with much improved statistics. There is now clear evidence, both in the spectrum and the light curve, that the emission in the RXTE band is a blend of two separate non-thermal components. The spectrum of the harder component connects smoothly with the OSSE, COMPTEL and EGRET spectrum and the peaks in the light curve are in phase coincidence with those of the high-energy light curve. The spectrum of the softer component is consistent with an extrapolation to the pulsed optical flux, and the second RXTE pulse is in phase coincidence with the second optical peak. In addition, we see a peak in the 2-8 keV RXTE pulse profile at the radio phase.

  5. Detection of cyclotron resonance scattering feature in high-mass X-ray binary pulsar SMC X-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaisawal, Gaurava K.; Naik, Sachindra

    2016-09-01

    We report broad-band spectral properties of the high-mass X-ray binary pulsar SMC X-2 by using three simultaneous Nuclear Spectroscopy Telescope Array and Swift/XRT observations during its 2015 outburst. The pulsar was significantly bright, reaching a luminosity up to as high as ˜5.5 × 1038 erg s-1 in 1-70 keV range. Spin period of the pulsar was estimated to be 2.37 s. Pulse profiles were found to be strongly luminosity dependent. The 1-70 keV energy spectrum of the pulsar was well described with three different continuum models such as (i) negative and positive power law with exponential cutoff, (ii) Fermi-Dirac cutoff power law and (iii) cutoff power-law models. Apart from the presence of an iron line at ˜6.4 keV, a model independent absorption like feature at ˜27 keV was detected in the pulsar spectrum. This feature was identified as a cyclotron absorption line and detected for the first time in this pulsar. Corresponding magnetic field of the neutron star was estimated to be ˜2.3 × 1012 G. The cyclotron line energy showed a marginal negative dependence on the luminosity. The cyclotron line parameters were found to be variable with pulse phase and interpreted as due to the effect of emission geometry or complicated structure of the pulsar magnetic field.

  6. X-ray constraints on the fraction of obscured active galactic nuclei at high accretion luminosities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakakis, A.; Salvato, M.; Liu, Z.; Buchner, J.; Brandt, W. N.; Ananna, T. Tasnim; Schulze, A.; Shen, Yue; LaMassa, S.; Nandra, K.; Merloni, A.; McGreer, I. D.

    2017-08-01

    The wide-area XMM-XXL X-ray survey is used to explore the fraction of obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at high accretion luminosities, LX(2-10 keV) ≳ 1044 erg s - 1, and out to redshift z ≈ 1.5. The sample covers an area of about 14 deg2 and provides constraints on the space density of powerful AGNs over a wide range of neutral hydrogen column densities extending beyond the Compton-thick limit, NH ≈ 1024 cm - 2. The fraction of obscured Compton-thin (NH = 1022-1024 cm - 2) AGNs is estimated to be ≈0.35 for luminosities LX(2-10 keV) > 1044 erg s - 1, independent of redshift. For less luminous sources, the fraction of obscured Compton-thin AGNs increases from 0.45 ± 0.10 at z = 0.25 to 0.75 ± 0.05 at z = 1.25. Studies that select AGNs in the infrared via template fits to the observed spectral energy distribution of extragalactic sources estimate space densities at high accretion luminosities consistent with the XMM-XXL constraints. There is no evidence for a large population of AGNs (e.g. heavily obscured) identified in the infrared and missed at X-ray wavelengths. We further explore the mid-infrared colours of XMM-XXL AGNs as a function of accretion luminosity, column density and redshift. The fraction of XMM-XXL sources that lie within the mid-infrared colour wedges defined in the literature to select AGNs is primarily a function of redshift. This fraction increases from about 20-30 per cent at z = 0.25 to about 50-70 per cent at z = 1.5.

  7. Centrally Concentrated X-Ray Radiation from an Extended Accreting Corona in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, B. F.; Taam, Ronald E.; Qiao, Erlin; Yuan, Weimin

    2017-10-01

    The X-ray emission from bright active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is believed to originate in a hot corona lying above a cold, geometrically thin accretion disk. A highly concentrated corona located within ∼10 gravitational radii above the black hole is inferred from observations. Based on the accretion of interstellar medium/wind, a disk corona model has been proposed in which the corona is well coupled to the disk by radiation, thermal conduction, as well as by mass exchange. Such a model avoids artificial energy input to the corona and has been used to interpret the spectral features observed in AGN. In this work, it is shown that the bulk emission size of the corona is very small for the extended accretion flow in our model. More than 80% of the hard X-ray power is emitted from a small region confined within 10 Schwarzschild radii around a non-spinning black hole, which is expected to be even smaller accordingly for a spinning black hole. Here, the corona emission is more extended at higher Eddington ratios. The compactness parameter of the corona, l=\\tfrac{L}{R}\\tfrac{{σ }{{T}}}{{m}{{e}}{c}3}, is shown to be in the range of 1–33 for Eddington ratios of 0.02–0.1. Combined with the electron temperature in the corona, this indicates that electron–positron pair production is not dominant in this regime. A positive relation between the compactness parameter and photon index is also predicted. By comparing the above model predictions with observational features, we find that the model is in agreement with observations.

  8. Simulations of the magnetospheres of accreting millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parfrey, Kyle; Spitkovsky, Anatoly; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2017-08-01

    Accreting pulsars power relativistic jets and display a complex spin phenomenology. These behaviours may be closely related to the large-scale configuration of the star's magnetic field, shaped by its interaction with the surrounding accretion disc. Here, we present the first relativistic simulations of the interaction of a pulsar magnetosphere with an accretion flow. Our axisymmetric simulations treat the magnetospheric, or coronal, regions using a resistive extension of force-free electrodynamics. The magnetic field is also evolved inside the disc, which is a defined volume with a specified velocity field and conductivity profile, found using an α-disc model. We study a range of disc α-parameters, thicknesses, magnetic Prandtl numbers and inner truncation radii. We find that a large fraction of the magnetic flux in the pulsar's closed zone is opened by the intrusion of the disc, leading to an enhancement of the power extracted by the pulsar wind and the spin-down torque applied to the pulsar. In our simulations, most of the spin-down contribution to the stellar torque acts on open field lines. The efficiency of field-line opening is high in the simulations' long-term quasi-steady states, which implies that a millisecond pulsar's electromagnetic wind could be strong enough to power the observed neutron-star radio jets, and may significantly affect the pulsar's spin evolution.

  9. A New Supernova Remnant Coincident with the Slow X-Ray Pulsar AX J1845-0258.

    PubMed

    Gaensler; Gotthelf; Vasisht

    1999-11-20

    We report on Very Large Array observations in the direction of the recently discovered slow X-ray pulsar AX J1845-0258. In the resulting images, we find a 5&arcmin; shell of radio emission; the shell is linearly polarized with a nonthermal spectral index. We classify this source as a previously unidentified, young (<8000 yr) supernova remnant (SNR), G29.6+0.1, which we propose is physically associated with AX J1845-0258. The young age of G29.6+0.1 is then consistent with the interpretation that anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are isolated, highly magnetized neutron stars ("magnetars"). Three of the six known AXPs can now be associated with SNRs; we conclude that AXPs are young ( less, similar10,000 yr) objects and that they are produced in at least 5% of core-collapse supernovae.

  10. 2S 1553-542: a Be/X-ray binary pulsar on the far side of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutovinov, Alexander A.; Buckley, David A. H.; Townsend, Lee J.; Tsygankov, Sergey S.; Kennea, Jamie

    2016-11-01

    We report the results of a comprehensive analysis of X-ray (Chandra and Swift observatories), optical (Southern African Large Telescope, SALT) and near-infrared (the VVV survey) observations of the Be/X-ray binary pulsar 2S 1553-542. Accurate coordinates for the X-ray source are determined and are used to identify the faint optical/infrared counterpart for the first time. Using VVV and SALTICAM photometry, we have constructed the spectral energy distribution (SED) for this star and found a moderate NIR excess that is typical for Be stars and arises due to the presence of circumstellar material (disc). A comparison of the SED with those of known Be/X-ray binaries has allowed us to estimate the spectral type of the companion star as B1-2V and the distance to the system as >15 kpc. This distance estimation is supported by the X-ray data and makes 2S 1553-542 one of the most distant X-ray binaries within the Milky Way, residing on the far side in the Scutum-Centaurus arm or even further.

  11. Orbital evolution of an accreting millisecond pulsar: witnessing the banquet of a hidden black widow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Salvo, T.; Burderi, L.; Riggio, A.; Papitto, A.; Menna, M. T.

    2008-10-01

    We have performed a timing analysis of all the four X-ray outbursts from the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 observed so far by the Proportional Counter Array on board the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. For each of the outbursts, we derived the best-fitting value of the time of ascending node passage. We find that these times follow a parabolic trend, which gives an orbital-period derivative , and a refined estimate of the orbital period, Porb = 7249.156499 +/- 1.8 × 10-5 s (reference epoch T0 = 50914.8099 MJD). This derivative is positive, suggesting a degenerate or fully convective companion star, but is more than one order of magnitude higher than what is expected from secular evolution driven by angular momentum losses caused by gravitational radiation under the hypothesis of conservative mass transfer. Using simple considerations on the angular momentum of the system, we propose an explanation of this puzzling result assuming that during X-ray quiescence the source is ejecting matter (and angular momentum) from the inner Lagrangian point. We have also verified that this behaviour is in agreement with a possible secular evolution of the system under the hypothesis of highly non-conservative mass transfer. In this case, we find stringent constraints on the masses of the two components of the binary system and its inclination. The proposed orbital evolution indicates that in this kind of sources the neutron star is capable to efficiently ablate the companion star, suggesting that this kind of objects are part of the population of the so-called black widow pulsars, still visible in X-rays during transient mass-accretion episodes.

  12. X-rays and gamma-rays from accretion flows onto black holes in Seyferts and X-ray binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zdziarski, Andrzej A.; Johnson, W. Neil; Poutanen, Juri; Magdziarz, Pawel; Gierlinski, Marek

    1997-01-01

    Observations and theoretical models of X-ray/gamma ray spectra of radio quiet Seyfert galaxies and Galactic black hole candidates are reviewed. The spectra from these objects share the following characteristics: an underlying power law with a high energy cutoff above 200 keV; a Compton reflection component with a Fe K alpha line, and a low energy absorption by intervening cold matter. The X-ray energy spectral index, alpha, is typically in the range between 0.8 and 1 in Seyfert spectra, and that of the hard state spectra of the black hole candidates Cygnus X-1 and GX 339-4 is typically between 0.6 and 0.8. The Compton reflection component corresponds with cold matter covering a solid angle of between 0.8pi and 2pi as seen from the X-ray source. The broadband spectra of both classes of sources are well fitted by Compton upscattering of soft photons in thermal plasma. The fits yield a thermal plasma temperature of 100 keV and the Thomson optical depth of 1. All the spectra presented are cut off before the electron rest energy 511 keV, indicating that electron/positron pair production is an important process.

  13. X-rays and gamma-rays from accretion flows onto black holes in Seyferts and X-ray binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zdziarski, Andrzej A.; Johnson, W. Neil; Poutanen, Juri; Magdziarz, Pawel; Gierlinski, Marek

    1997-01-01

    Observations and theoretical models of X-ray/gamma ray spectra of radio quiet Seyfert galaxies and Galactic black hole candidates are reviewed. The spectra from these objects share the following characteristics: an underlying power law with a high energy cutoff above 200 keV; a Compton reflection component with a Fe K alpha line, and a low energy absorption by intervening cold matter. The X-ray energy spectral index, alpha, is typically in the range between 0.8 and 1 in Seyfert spectra, and that of the hard state spectra of the black hole candidates Cygnus X-1 and GX 339-4 is typically between 0.6 and 0.8. The Compton reflection component corresponds with cold matter covering a solid angle of between 0.8pi and 2pi as seen from the X-ray source. The broadband spectra of both classes of sources are well fitted by Compton upscattering of soft photons in thermal plasma. The fits yield a thermal plasma temperature of 100 keV and the Thomson optical depth of 1. All the spectra presented are cut off before the electron rest energy 511 keV, indicating that electron/positron pair production is an important process.

  14. Discovery of a Be/X-ray pulsar binary and associated supernova remnant in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hénault-Brunet, V.; Oskinova, L. M.; Guerrero, M. A.; Sun, W.; Chu, Y.-H.; Evans, C. J.; Gallagher, J. S., III; Gruendl, R. A.; Reyes-Iturbide, J.

    2012-02-01

    We report on a new Be/X-ray pulsar binary located in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The strong pulsed X-ray source was discovered with the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories. The X-ray pulse period of 1062 s is consistently determined from both Chandra and XMM-Newton observations, revealing one of the slowest rotating X-ray pulsars known in the SMC. The optical counterpart of the X-ray source is the emission-line star 2dFS 3831. Its B0-0.5(III)e+ spectral type is determined from VLT-FLAMES and 2dF optical spectroscopy, establishing the system as a Be/X-ray binary (Be-XRB). The hard X-ray spectrum is well fitted by a power law with additional thermal and blackbody components, the latter reminiscent of persistent Be-XRBs. This system is the first evidence of a recent supernova in the low-density surroundings of NGC 602. We detect a shell nebula around 2dFS 3831 in Hα and [O III] images and conclude that it is most likely a supernova remnant. If it is linked to the supernova explosion that created this new X-ray pulsar, its kinematic age of (2-4) × 104 yr provides a constraint on the age of the pulsar.

  15. Simultaneous X-ray and radio observations of the radio-mode-switching pulsar PSR B1822-09

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermsen, W.; Kuiper, L.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Mitra, D.; Rankin, J. M.; Stappers, B. W.; Wright, G. A. E.; Basu, R.; Szary, A.; van Leeuwen, J.

    2017-04-01

    We report on simultaneous X-ray and radio observations of the radio-mode-switching pulsar PSR B1822-09 with ESA's XMM-Newton and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope and Lovell radio telescopes. PSR B1822-09 switches between a radio-bright and radio-quiet mode, and we discovered a relationship between the durations of its modes and a known underlying radio-modulation time-scale within the modes. We discovered X-ray (energies 0.2-1.4 keV) pulsations with a broad sinusoidal pulse, slightly lagging the radio main pulse in phase by 0.094 ± 0.017, with an energy-dependent pulsed fraction varying from ∼0.15 at 0.3 keV to ∼0.6 at 1 keV. No evidence is found for simultaneous X-ray and radio mode switching. The total X-ray spectrum consists of a cool component (T ∼0.96 × 106 K, hotspot radius R ∼2.0 km) and a hot component (T ∼2.2 × 106 K, R ∼100 m). The hot component can be ascribed to the pulsed emission and the cool component to the unpulsed emission. The high-energy characteristics of PSR B1822-09 resemble those of middle-aged pulsars such as PSR B0656+14, PSR B1055-52 and Geminga, including an indication for pulsed high-energy gamma-ray emission in Fermi Large Area Telescope data. Explanations for the high pulsed fraction seem to require different temperatures at the two poles of this orthogonal rotator, or magnetic anisotropic beaming effects in its strong magnetic field. In our X-ray skymap, we found a harder source at only 5.1 ± 0.5 arcsec from PSR B1822-09, which might be a pulsar wind nebula.

  16. X-ray selected Type-2 QSOs: ongoing star formation and obscured accretion.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainieri, Vincenzo; Cosmos Collaboration

    2009-09-01

    Although the fraction of obscured AGN is found to decrease with luminosity from several studies, a non-negligible population of obscured QSOs is still required by the X-ray background synthesis models. We present a large sample (121 objects) of X-ray selected Type-2 QSOs from the XMM-COSMOS survey: sources with high X-ray luminosity (LX>10^{44} erg s^{-1}) and heavy obscuration (NH>10^{22} cm^{-2}), as derived from a detailed X-ray spectral analysis (see Mainieri et al.,2007, ApJS, 172, 368) of the 1800 X-ray point-like sources in this survey. Few (˜5%) of the Type-2 QSOs are best fitted with a pure reflection model. We have performed optical spectroscopy for ˜ 30% of the sample and for the remaining sources we have derived accurate photometric redshifts. The redshift range covered is wide, 0.30.8).We compare the general properties of the host galaxies with the ongoing accretion in their nuclei. Morphology: using five non-parametric diagnostics (asymmetry, concentration, Gini coefficient, M20, ellipticity) we found that ˜10% of the Type-2 QSOs are in elliptical galaxies, ˜55% in disk galaxies and ˜35% in irregular galaxies. The majority of the irregular hosts can be described as undergoing merger activity or show tidal debris. Stellar masses have been derived from SED fitting to the observed photometry(from 0.3 to 4.5 micron) and star formation rates from the [OII] or Hα line fluxes. The majority (˜75%) of QSO-2 host galaxies have stellar masses above log(Mstar)˜10.5 MSun and have ongoing star formation (˜100 MSun/yr). The value of 10.5 MSun is similar to the characteristic mass for obscured AGN (Kauffmann et al. 2003) and radio-loud AGN (Best et al. 2005) in the SDSS. It is also consistent with the more general result that the fraction of galaxies hosting AGN increases with the stellar mass.

  17. DISCOVERY OF PSR J1227−4853: A TRANSITION FROM A LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARY TO A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Jayanta; Bhattacharyya, Bhaswati; Stappers, Ben; Ray, Paul S.; Wolff, Michael; Wood, Kent S.; Chengalur, Jayaram N.; Deneva, Julia; Camilo, Fernando; Johnson, Tyrel J.; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Bassa, Cees G.; Keane, Evan F.; Ferrara, Elizabeth C.; Harding, Alice K.

    2015-02-10

    XSS J12270−4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9−4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disk disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227−4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm{sup −3} associated with this source, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that, post-transition, the system hosts an active radio MSP. This is the third system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824−2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary states. We report timing observations of PSR J1227−4853 with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of the rotational and orbital parameters of the system. The companion mass measurement of 0.17–0.46 M{sub ⊙} suggests that this is a redback system. PSR J1227−4853 is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz with additional short-duration eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of ∼10{sup 35} erg s{sup −1}. We report simultaneous imaging and timing observations with the GMRT, which suggests that eclipses are caused by absorption rather than dispersion smearing or scattering.

  18. System mass constraints for the accreting millisecond pulsar XTE J1814-338 using Bowen fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Steeghs, D.; Casares, J.; Charles, P. A.; Muñoz-Darias, T.; Marsh, T. R.; Hynes, R. I.; O'Brien, K.

    2017-04-01

    We present phase-resolved spectroscopy of the millisecond X-ray pulsar XTE J1814-338 obtained during its 2003 outburst. The spectra are dominated by high-excitation emission lines of He II λ4686, Hβ, and the Bowen blend C III/N III 4630-50 Å. We exploit the proven Bowen fluorescence technique to establish a complete set of dynamical system parameter constraints using bootstrap Doppler tomography, a first for an accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar binary. The reconstructed Doppler map of the N III λ4640 Bowen transition exhibits a statistically significant (>4σ) spot feature at the expected pos