WorldWideScience

Sample records for accreting x-ray pulsars

  1. Do we see accreting magnetars in X-ray pulsars?

    Postnov K.A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Strong magnetic field of accreting neutron stars (1014 G is hard to probe by Xray spectroscopy but can be indirectly inferred from spin-up/spin-down measurement in X-ray pulsars. The existing observations of slowly rotating X-ray pulsars are discussed. It is shown that magnetic fields of neutron stars derived from these observations (or lower limits in some cases fall within the standard 1012-1013 G range. Claims about the evidence for accreting magnetars are critically discussed in the light of recent progress in understanding of accretion onto slowly rotating neutron stars in the subsonic regime.

  2. Quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    Quasi-spherical accretion in wind-fed X-ray pulsars is discussed. At X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s, a hot convective shell is formed around the neutron star magnetosphere, and subsonic settling accretion regime sets in. In this regime, accretion rate onto neutron star is determined by the ability of plasma to enter magnetosphere via Rayleigh-Taylor instability. A gas-dynamic theory of settling accretion is constructed taking into account anisotropic turbulence. The angular momentum can be transferred through the quasi-static shell via large-scale convective motions initiating turbulence cascade. The angular velocity distribution in the shell is found depending on the turbulent viscosity prescription. Comparison with observations of long-period X-ray wind-fed pulsars shows that an almost iso-angular-momentum distribution is most likely realized in their shells. The theory explains long-term spin-down in wind- fed accreting pulsars (e.g. GX 1+4) and properties of short-term torque-luminosity correlatio...

  3. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    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. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    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 ω∼1/R2 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 .M∼*≅4×1016 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-term frequency fluctuations, which may correlate or

  5. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N I; Kochetkova, A Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum 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 instability while taking cooling into account. The settling regime of accretion is possible for moderate X-ray luminosities L <4 10^36 erg/s. At higher luminosities a free-fall gap above the NS magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of wind accreting equilibrium XPSRs with known orbital periods (GX 301-2, Vela X-1), the main dimensionless parameters of the model and be determin...

  6. X-ray Pulsars

    Walter, Roland

    2016-01-01

    X-ray pulsars shine thanks to the conversion of the gravitational energy of accreted material to X-ray radiation. The accretion rate is modulated by geometrical and hydrodynamical effects in the stellar wind of the pulsar companions and/or by instabilities in accretion discs. Wind driven flows are highly unstable close to neutron stars and responsible for X-ray variability by factors $10^3$ on time scale of hours. Disk driven flows feature slower state transitions and quasi periodic oscillations related to orbital motion and precession or resonance. On shorter time scales, and closer to the surface of the neutron star, X-ray variability is dominated by the interactions of the accreting flow with the spinning magnetosphere. When the pulsar magnetic field is large, the flow is confined in a relatively narrow accretion column, whose geometrical properties drive the observed X-ray emission. In low magnetized systems, an increasing accretion rate allows the ignition of powerful explosive thermonuclear burning at t...

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

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

    2015-01-01

    Using RXTE/ASM archival data, we investigate the behaviour of the spectral hardness ratio as a function of X-ray luminosity in a sample of six transient X-ray pulsars (EXO 2030+375, GX 304-1, 4U 0115+63, V 0332+63, A 0535+26 and MXB 0656-072). In all sources we find that the spectral hardness ratio defined as $F_{5-12\\mathrm{keV}}/ F_{1.33-3\\mathrm{keV}}$ increases with the ASM flux (1.33--12 keV) at low luminosities and then saturates or even slightly decreases above some critical X-ray luminosity falling into the range $\\sim(3-7)\\times10^{37}$~erg~s$^{-1}$. Two-dimensional structure of accretion columns in the radiation-diffusion limit is calculated for two possible geometries (filled and hollow cylinder) for mass accretion rates $\\dot M$ ranging from $10^{17}$ to 1.2$\\times 10^{18}$~g s$^{-1}$. The observed spectral behaviour in the transient X-ray pulsars with increasing $\\dot M$ can be reproduced by a Compton saturated sidewall emission from optically thick magnetized accretion columns with taking into a...

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

    Farinelli, R; Bozzo, E; Becker, P A

    2016-01-01

    Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high statistical 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. 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. The latter 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. The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been impr...

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

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

    2015-09-01

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

  10. Evidence for Magneto-Levitation Accretion in Long-Period X-ray Pulsars

    Ikhsanov, Nazar; Likh, Yury

    2014-01-01

    Study of observed spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars challenges quasi-spherical and Keplerian disk accretion scenarios. It suggests that the magnetospheric radius of the neutron stars is substantially smaller than Alfven radius and the spin-down torque applied to the star from accreting material significantly exceeds the value predicted by the theory. We show that these problems can be avoided if the fossil magnetic field of the accretion flow itself is incorporated into the accretion model. The initially spherical flow in this case decelerates by its own magnetic field and converts into a non-Keplerian disk (magnetic slab) in which the material is confined by its intrinsic magnetic field ("levitates") and slowly moves towards the star on a diffusion timescale. Parameters of pulsars expected within this magneto-levitation accretion scenario are evaluated.

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

    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.

  12. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

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

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter ...

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

    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

  14. Thermonuclear Burning on the Accreting X-Ray Pulsar GRO J1744-28

    Bildsten, L; Bildsten, Lars; Brown, Edward F.

    1996-01-01

    We investigate the thermal stability of nuclear burning on the accreting X-ray pulsar GRO J1744-28. The neutron star's dipolar magnetic field is 50 years. We also discuss the nature of the binary and point out that a velocity measurement of the stellar companion (most likely a Roche-lobe filling giant with m_K>17) will constrain the neutron star mass.

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Accretion regimes in the X-ray pulsar 4U 1901+03

    Reig, P

    2016-01-01

    The source 4U 1901+03 is a high-mass X-ray pulsar than went into outburst in 2003. Observation performed with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer showed spectral and timing variability, including the detection of flares, quasi-periodic oscillations, complex changes in the pulse profiles, and pulse phase dependent spectral variability. We re-analysed the data covering the 2003 X-ray outburst and focused on several aspects of the variability that have not been discussed so far. These are the 10 keV feature and the X-ray spectral states and their association with accretion regimes, including the transit to the propeller state at the end of the outburst. We find that 4U 1901+03 went through three accretion regimes over the course of the X-ray outburst. At the peak of the outburst and for a very short time, the X-ray flux may have overcome the critical limit that marks the formation of a radiative shock at a certain distance above the neutron star surface. Most of the time, however, the source is in the subcritical re...

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

    Kretschmar Peter

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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

    2012-08-01

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

  19. Quasi-spherical accretion in low-luminosity X-ray pulsars: Theory vs. observations

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2012-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion can be realized in slowly rotating wind-fed X-ray pulsars (XPSRs) at X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s. In this regime the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating NS magnetosphere by shear turbulent viscosity in the boundary layer or via large-scale convective motions. In the last case the differential rotation law in the shell is close to iso-angular-momentum rotation. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities while taking cooling into account. Measurements of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasi-spherically wind accreting XPSRs in equilibrium with known orbital periods (like e.g. GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable determination of the main dimensionless parameters of the model and the NS magnetic field. For equilibrium pulsars with indep...

  20. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934: evidence for a long timescale spin evolution

    A. Patruno

    2010-01-01

    Accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because they can be used to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility of constraining gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra-dense matter. Particularly crucia

  1. Hard X-ray Detection and Timing of Accretion-Powered Pulsars with BATSE

    Chakrabarty, Deepto; Prince, Thomas A.

    1996-01-01

    The BATSE all-sky monitor on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is a superb tool for the study of accretion-powered pulsars. In the first part of this thesis, I describe its capabilities for hard X-ray observations above 20 keV, present techniques for timing analysis of the BATSE data, and discuss general statistical issues for the detection of pulsed periodic signals in both the time and frequency domains. BATSE’s 1-day pulsed sensitivity in the 20–60 keV ...

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

    Shakura, N; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model the accreting matter subsonically settles down onto 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 $\\dot M< \\dot M_*\\simeq 4\\times 10^{16}$ g/s. 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 $\\dot \\omega^*$, and $\\partial\\dot\\omega^*/\\partial\\dot M$ near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital perio...

  3. Signs of Magnetic Accretion in the X-ray Pulsar Binary GX 301-2

    Ikhsanov, N R

    2012-01-01

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

  4. A radiation-hydrodynamic model of accretion columns for ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars

    Kawashima, Tomohisa; Ohsuga, Ken; Ogawa, Takumi

    2016-01-01

    Prompted by the recent discovery of pulsed emission from an ultra-luminous X-ray source, M82 X-2 ("ULX-pulsar"), we perform a two-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic simulation of a super-critical 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 density of $10^{-4} {\\rm g}~ {\\rm cm}^{-3}$ 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, while gas cannot. Since the initial gas layer is not in a hydrostatic balance, the column gas falls onto the neutron-star surface, thereby a shock being generated. As a result, the accretion column is composed of two regions: an upper, nearly free-fall region and a lower settling region, as was noted by Basko \\& Sunyaev (1976). The average accretion rate is very high; ${\\dot M}\\sim 10^{2-3} L_{\\rm E}/c^2$ (with $L_{\\rm E}$ being the Eddington luminosity), and s...

  5. NuSTAR discovery of a cyclotron line in the accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    Bodaghee, Arash; Tomsick, John A.; Fornasini, Francesca A.;

    2016-01-01

    The high-mass X-ray binary and accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 was observed by NuSTAR 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...

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

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

    Li, Tao; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2016-01-01

    Neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) generally accrete from the wind matter of their massive companion stars. Recently Shakura et al. (2012) suggested a subsonic accretion model for low-luminosity ($<4\\times 10^{36}$ ergs$^{-1}$), wind-fed X-ray pulsars. To test the feasibility of this model, we investigate the spin period distribution of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with a supergiant companion star, using a population synthesis method. We find that the modeled distribution of supergiant HMXBs in the spin period - orbital period diagram is consistent with observations provided that the winds from the donor stars have relatively low terminal velocities ($\\lesssim 1000$ kms$^{-1}$). The measured wind velocities in several supergiant HMXBs seem to favor this viewpoint. The predicted number ratio of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with persistent X-ray luminosities higher and lower than $4\\times 10^{36}$ ergs$^{-1}$ is about $1:10$.

  8. Contrasting behaviour from two Be/X-ray binary pulsars: insights into differing neutron star accretion modes

    Townsend, L J; 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 175.4s and 85.4s 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 ...

  9. Quasi-periodic X-ray brightness fluctuations in an accreting millisecond pulsar

    Wijnands, R; Homan, J; Chakraborty, D; Markwardt, C B; Morgan, E H; Wijnands, Rudy; Klis, Michiel van der; Homan, Jeroen; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Markwardt, Craig B.; Morgan, Ed H.

    2003-01-01

    The relativistic plasma flows onto neutron stars that are accreting material from stellar companions can be used to probe strong-field gravity as well as the physical conditions in the supranuclear-density interiors of neutron stars. Plasma inhomogeneities orbiting a few kilometres above the stars are observable as X-ray brightness fluctuations on the millisecond dynamical timescale of the flows. Two frequencies in the kilohertz range dominate these fluctuations: the twin kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs). Competing models for the origins of these oscillations (based on orbital motions) all predict that they should be related to the stellar spin frequency, but tests have been difficult because the spins were not unambiguously known. Here we report the detection of kHz QPOs from a pulsar whose spin frequency is known. Our measurements establish a clear link between kHz QPOs and stellar spin, but one not predicted by any current model. A new approach to understanding kHz QPOs is now required. We ...

  10. A Possible 55-day X-ray Period of the Ultraluminous Accreting Pulsar M82 X-2

    Kong, A. K. H.; Hu, C. -P.; Lin, L. C. -C.; Li, K. L.; Jin, R.; Liu, C.Y.; Yen, D. C. -C.

    2016-01-01

    We report a possible detection of a 55-day 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-day orbital period, if the 55-day period is real, it will be the superorbital period of the system. We also investigated variabilities of other three nearby ultraluminous X-ray sources in the central region of M82 with the Chandra data and did not find any evidence of periodicities. Furthermore, we re-examined the...

  11. X-ray pulsars: a review

    Caballero, I

    2012-01-01

    Accreting X-ray pulsars are among the most luminous objects in the X-ray sky. In highly magnetized neutron stars (B~10^12 G), the flow of matter is dominated by the strong magnetic field. The general properties of accreting X-ray binaries are presented, focusing on the spectral characteristics of the systems. The use of cyclotron lines as a tool to directly measure a neutron star's magnetic field and to test the theory of accretion are discussed. We conclude with the current and future prospects for accreting X-ray binary studies.

  12. Comptonization in the accretion column of the X-ray pulsar GX~1+4

    Galloway, D. K.

    2000-01-01

    X-ray observations of the binary pulsar GX 1+4 made using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite between February 1996 and May 1997 were analysed to quantify source spectral variation with luminosity. Mean Proportional Counter Array (PCA) spectra over the range 2-40 keV are best fitted with a Comptonization model, with source spectrum temperature T_0 approx 1-1.3 keV, plasma temperature T_e approx 6-10 keV, and optical depth tau approx 2-6. The range of fitted T_0 was consistent wit...

  13. A Possible 55-day X-ray Period of the Ultraluminous Accreting Pulsar M82 X-2

    Kong, A K H; Lin, L C -C; Li, K L; Jin, R; Liu, C Y; Yen, D C -C

    2016-01-01

    We report a possible detection of a 55-day 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-day orbital period, if the 55-day period is real, it will be the superorbital period of the system. We also investigated variabilities of other three nearby ultraluminous X-ray sources in the central region of M82 with the Chandra data and did not find any evidence of periodicities. Furthermore, we re-examined the previously reported 62-day 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 confirmed that the 62-day period is not stable, suggesting that it is not the orbital period of M82 X-1 in agreement with previous work.

  14. The Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar IGR J00291+5934: Evidence for a Long Timescale Spin Evolution

    Patruno, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because it is possible to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility to constrain gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra dense matter. Particularly crucial to our understanding is the measurement of the long term spin evolution of the accreting neutron star. An open question is whether these accreting pulsars are spinning up during an outburst and spinning down in quiescence as predicted by the recycling scenario. Until now it has been very difficult to measure torques, due to the presence of fluctuations in the pulse phases that compromise their measurements with standard coherent timing techniques. By applying a new method, I am now able to measure a spin up during an outburst and a spin down during quiescence. I ascribe the spin up (Fdot=5.1(3)x10^{-13}\\Hz/s) to accretion torques and the spin down (Fdot=-3.0(8)x10^{-15} Hz/s) to magneto dipole torques, as those observ...

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

    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.

  16. NuSTAR discovery of a cyclotron line in the accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    Bodaghee, Arash; Fornasini, Francesca A; 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

    2016-01-01

    The high-mass X-ray binary and accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 was observed by NuSTAR 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(+1.1/-1.3) keV. This allowed us to measure the magnetic field strength of the neutron star for the first time: B = (2.5+/-0.1)e12 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' = -2e-8 s/s (-0.6 s per year, or a frequency derivative of nu' = 3e-14 Hz/s ). 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 i...

  17. An accretion model for the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61

    Truemper, J E; Kylafis, N D; Ertan, Ü; Zezas, A

    2012-01-01

    We propose that the quiescent emission of AXPs/SGRs is powered by accretion from a fallback disk, requiring magnetic dipole fields in the range 10^{12}-10^{13} G, and that the luminous hard tails of their X-ray spectra are produced by bulk-motion Comptonization in the radiative shock near the bottom of the accretion column. This radiation escapes as a fan beam, which is partly absorbed by the polar cap photosphere, heating it up to relatively high temperatures. The scattered component and the thermal emission from the polar cap form a polar beam. We test our model on the well-studied AXP 4U 0142+61, whose energy-dependent pulse profiles show double peaks, which we ascribe to the fan and polar beams. The temperature of the photosphere (kT~0.4 keV) is explained by the heating effect. The scattered part forms a hard component in the polar beam. We suggest that the observed high temperatures of the polar caps of AXPs/SGRs, compared with other young neutron stars, are due to the heating by the fan beam. Using beam...

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

    Pintore, Fabio; Di Salvo, Tiziana; Del Santo, Melania; Riggio, Alessandro; D'Aì, Antonino; Burderi, Luciano; Scarano, Fabiana; Iaria, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed a 115 ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 days 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 (photon index ~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 (~0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated to reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity ...

  19. Spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars

    Ikhsanov, N R; Beskrovnaya, N G

    2014-01-01

    Spin evolution of X-ray pulsars in High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs) is discussed under various assumptions about the geometry and physical parameters of the accretion flow. The torque applied to the neutron star from the accretion flow and equilibrium period of the pulsars are evaluated. We show that the observed spin evolution of the pulsars can be explained in terms of a scenario in which the neutron star accretes material from a magnetized stellar wind.

  20. Orbital Evolution Measurement of the Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658

    Chetana Jain; Anjan Dutta; Biswajit Paul

    2007-12-01

    We present results from a pulse timing analysis of the accretion-powered millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658 using X-ray data obtained during four outbursts of this source. Extensive observations were made with the proportional counter array of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) during the four outbursts that occurred in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005. Instead of measuring the arrival times of individual pulses or the pulse arrival time delay measurement that is commonly used to determine the orbital parameters of binary pulsars, we have determined the orbital ephemeris during each observation by optimizing the pulse detection against a range of trial ephemeris values. The source exhibits a significant pulse shape variability during the outbursts. The technique used by us does not depend on the pulse profile evolution, and is therefore, different from the standard pulse timing analysis. Using 27 measurements of orbital ephemerides during the four outbursts spread over more than 7 years and more than 31,000 binary orbits, we have derived an accurate value of the orbital period of 7249.156862(5) s (MJD = 50915) and detected an orbital period derivative of (3.14 ± 0.21) × 10-12 s s-1. We have included a table of the 27 mid-eclipse time measurements of this source that will be valuable for further studies of the orbital evolution of the source, especially with ASTROSAT. We point out that the measured rate of orbital period evolution is considerably faster than the most commonly discussed mechanisms of orbital period evolution like mass transfer, mass loss from the companion star and gravitational wave radiation. The present time scale of orbital period change, 73 Myr is therefore likely to be a transient high value of period evolution and similar measurements during subsequent outbursts of SAX J1808.4–3658 will help us to resolve this.

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

    Stefanov, I. Zh.

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Stefanov, Ivan Zh

    2015-01-01

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

  3. X-ray coherent pulsations during a sub-luminous accretion disk state of the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859

    Papitto, A; Belloni, T M; Burgay, M; Pellizzoni, A; Possenti, A; Torres, D F

    2014-01-01

    Radio millisecond pulsars in binary systems are spun up to their present period by a Gyr-long phase of accretion of the mass transferred from a low-mass companion star. Recently, three such systems have been observed to switch between an accretion disk state and a radio pulsar regime over time-scales ranging from weeks to years, and were dubbed transitional millisecond pulsars. These sources have been often found in a sub-luminous accretion disk state, characterized by a lower X-ray luminosity (~1E33-1E34 erg/s) than the level usually attained by similar sources during X-ray outbursts (~1E36 erg/s), and by a bright radio and gamma-ray emission. The physical mechanism acting in this enigmatic state is still unclear. Here, we present the first detection of X-ray pulsations from the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859. Pulsations were detected by XMM-Newton during an observation performed while the source was in a sub-luminous accretion disk state. They had an rms amplitude of (7.7+/-0.5)% with a sec...

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

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

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model the accreting matter subsonically settles down onto 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...

  5. Nustar Detection of Hard X-Ray Phase Lags from the Accreting Pulsar GS 0834-430

    Miyasaka, Hiromasa; Bachetti, Matteo; Harrison, Fiona A.; Fu¨rst, Felix; Barret, Didier; Bellm, Eric C.; Boggs, Steven E.; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chenevez, Jérôme; Christensen, Finn Erland; Craig, William W.; Grefenstette, Brian W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Madsen, Kristin K.; Natalucci, Lorenzo; Pottschmidt, Katja; Stern, Daniel; Tomsick, John A.; Walton, Dominic J.; Wilms, Jo¨rn; Zhang, William

    2013-01-01

    V 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...

  6. Massive stars and X-ray pulsars

    This thesis is a collection of 7 separate articles entitled: long term changes in ultraviolet lines in γ CAS, UV observations of γ CAS: intermittent mass-loss enhancement, episodic mass loss in γ CAS and in other early-type stars, spin-up and spin-down of accreting neutron stars, an excentric close binary model for the X Persei system, has a 97 minute periodicity in 4U 1700-37/HD 153919 really been discovered, and, mass loss and stellar wind in massive X-ray binaries. (Articles 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 have been previously published). The first three articles are concerned with the irregular mass loss in massive stars. The fourth critically reviews thoughts since 1972 on the origin of the changes in periodicity shown by X-ray pulsars. The last articles indicate the relation between massive stars and X-ray pulsars. (C.F.)

  7. X-ray pulsar rush in 1998

    We present recent remarkable topics about discoveries of X-ray pulsars. 1. Pulsations from two Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters: These pulsars have enormously strong magnetic field (B ∼ 1015 G), thus these are called as 'magnetar', new type of X-ray pulsars. 2. New Crab-like pulsars: These discoveries lead to suggesting universality of Crab-like pulsars. 3. An X-ray bursting millisecond pulsar: This is strong evidence for the recycle theory of generating radio millisecond pulsars. 4. X-ray pulsar rush in the SMC: This indicates the younger star formation history in the SMC. (author)

  8. NuSTAR detection of 4s Hard X-ray Lags from the Accreting Pulsar GS 0834-430

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

    2014-01-01

    consistent with that observed in many other magnetized accreting pulsars. We fail to detect cyclotron resonance scattering features in either phase-averaged nor phase-resolved spectra that would allow us to constrain the pulsar’s magnetic field. We detect a pulse period of ∼ 12.29 s in all energy bands. The...

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Mushtukov, Alexander A; Serber, Alexander V; Suleimanov, Valery F; Poutanen, Juri

    2015-01-01

    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 onto 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 ene...

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

    Lutovinov, A; Postnov, K; Krivonos, R; Molkov, S; Tomsick, J

    2016-01-01

    We report on the first focused hard X-ray view of the absorbed supergiant system IGRJ18027-2016 performed with the NuSTAR observatory. The pulsations are clearly detected with a period of P_{spin}=139.866(1) s and a pulse fraction of about 50-60% 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 dP/dt~6x10^{-10} s/s. 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~3x10^{12} G at the surface of the neutron star, which is typical for X-ray pulsars.

  12. Spectroscopic Studies of X-Ray Binary Pulsars

    F. Nagase

    2002-03-01

    Several new features of X-ray binary pulsars are revealed from recent observations with ASCA, RXTE, BeppoSAX and other X-ray observatories. Among these, I will review in this paper some recent progress in spectroscopic studies of accreting X-ray pulsars in binary systems (XBPs). First, I will discuss soft excess features observed in the energy spectra of XBPs and propose that it is a common feature for various subclasses of XBPs. Next I will present some recent results of high resolution spectroscopy with ASCA and Chandra.

  13. The X-ray spectrum of the newly discovered accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Papitto, A; Di Salvo, T; Burderi, L; D'Aì, A; Iaria, R; Bozzo, E; Menna, M T

    2010-01-01

    We report on an XMM-Newton observation of the accreting millisecond pulsar, IGR J17511-3057. Pulsations at 244.8339512(1) Hz are observed with an RMS pulsed fraction of 14.4(3)%. A precise solution for the P_orb=12487.51(2)s binary system is derived. The measured mass function indicates a main sequence companion with a mass between 0.15 and 0.44 Msun. The XMM-Newton spectrum of the source can be modelled by at least three components, multicoloured disc emission, thermal emission from the NS surface and thermal Comptonization emission. Spectral fit of the XMM-Newton data and of the RXTE data, taken in a simultaneous temporal window, constrain the Comptonization parameters: the electron temperature, kT_e=51(+6,-4) keV, is rather high, while the optical depth (tau=1.34(+0.03,-0.06)) is moderate. The energy dependence of the pulsed fraction supports the interpretation of the cooler thermal component as coming from the accretion disc, and indicates that the Comptonizing plasma surrounds the hot spots on the NS sur...

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    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.

  16. Spectral Properties of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    Ye Lu; Wei Wang; Yong-Heng Zhao

    2003-01-01

    We examine the spectra of the persistent emission from anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and their variation with the spin-down rate Ω. Based on an accretion-powered model, the influences of both the magnetic field and the mass accretion rate on the spectral properties of AXPs are addressed. We then investigate the relation between the spectral property of AXPs and mass accretion rate M. The result shows that there exists a linear correlation between the photon index and the mass accretion rate: the spectral hardness increases with increasing M. A possible emission mechanism for the explanation of the spectral properties of AXPs is also discussed.

  17. On Low Mass X-ray Binaries and Millisecond Pulsar

    Burderi, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    The detection, in 1998, of the first Accreting Millisecond Pulsar, started an exciting season of continuing discoveries in the fashinating field of compact binary systems harbouring a neutron star. Indeed, in these last three lustres, thanks to the extraordinary performances of astronomical detectors, on ground as well as on board of satellites, mainly in the Radio, Optical, X-ray, and Gamma-ray bands, astrophysicists had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the so-called Recycling Scenario: the evolutionary path leading to the formation of a Millisecond Radio Pulsar. The most intriguing phase is certainly the spin-up stage during which, because of the accretion of matter and angular momentum, the neutron star accumulates an extraordinary amount of mechanical rotational energy, up to one percent of its whole rest-mass energy. These millisecond spinning neutron stars are truly extreme physical objects: General and Special Relativity are fully in action, since their surfaces, attaining speeds close to one ...

  18. Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

    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 Meszaros 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

  19. Glitches in Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    Dib, Rim; Gavriil, Fotis P

    2007-01-01

    (Abridged). We report on 8.7 and 7.6yr of RXTE observations of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) RXS J170849.0-400910 and 1E 1841-045, respectively. These observations, part of a larger RXTE AXP monitoring program, have allowed us to study the long-term timing, pulsed flux, and pulse profile evolution of these objects. We report on four new glitches, one from RXS J170849.0-400910 and three from 1E 1841-045. One of the glitches from 1E 1841-045 is among the largest ever seen in a neutron star, having fractional frequency jump (delta nu)/nu=1.6E-5. With nearly all known persistent AXPs now seen to glitch, such behavior is clearly generic to this source class. We compare AXP glitches with those in radio pulsars. We show that in terms of fractional frequency change, AXPs are among the most actively glitching neutron stars, with glitch amplitudes in general larger than in radio pulsars. However, in terms of absolute glitch amplitude, AXP glitches are unremarkable. We show that the largest observed AXP glitches sh...

  20. Period clustering of the anomalous X-ray pulsars

    Bisnovatyi-Kogan, G S

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we address the question of why the observed periods of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) and Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters (SGRs) are clustered in the range 2-12s. We explore a possibility to answer this question assuming that AXPs and SGRs are the descendants of High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs) which have been disintegrated in the core-collapse supernova explosion. The spin period of neutron stars in HMXBs evolves towards the equilibrium period, P_eq. For a wide range of relevant accretion parameters, its value falls in the interval of observed periods of AXPs and SGRs. After the explosion of its massive companion, the neutron star turns out to be embedded into a dense gaseous envelope, the accretion from which leads to the formation of a residual magnetically levitating (ML) disk. We show that the expected mass of a disk in this case is 10^-7 - 10^-8 M_sun which is sufficient to maintain the process of accretion at the rate 10^14 - 10^15 g/s over a time span of a few thousand years. During this pe...

  1. A Two-Temperature Supernova Fallback Disk Model for Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    2002-01-01

    We present a case study of the relevance of the radially pulsational instability of a two-temperature accretion disk around a neutron star to anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). Our estimates are based on the approximation that such a neutron star disk with mass in the range of 10-6 - 10-5 M⊙ is formed by supernova fallback. We derive several peculiar properties of the accretion disk instability: a narrow interval of X-ray pulse periods; lower X-ray luminosities; a period derivative and an evolution time scale. All these results are in good agreement with the observations of the AXPs.

  2. X-Ray Pulsar Based Navigation and Time Determination Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Microcosm will build on the Phase I X-ray pulsar-based navigation and timing (XNAV) feasibility assessment to develop a detailed XNAV simulation capability to...

  3. X-Ray Emission from Rotation-Powered Pulsars

    LIN Gui-Fang; ZHANG Li

    2005-01-01

    @@ We study the properties of pulsed component of hard (2-10keV) x-ray emission from pulsars based on the new version of outer gap model we proposed previously [Astrophys.J.604 (2004) 317].On the frame of this outer gap model, we derive an expression of non-thermal pulsed x-ray luminosity of rotation-powered pulsars, and then apply it to the pulsars whose pulsed x-rays are detected by ASCA.Using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test,we determine the model parameter.The present results indicate LX ∝ L1.15sd for these x-ray pulsars, which is consistent with the observed data.

  4. A Search for Pulsars in Quiescent Soft X-Ray Transients. I

    Burgay, M; Possenti, A; D'Amico, N; Manchester, R N; Lyne, A G; Camilo, F

    2003-01-01

    We have carried out a deep search at 1.4 GHz for radio pulsed emission from six soft X-ray transient sources observed during their X-ray quiescent phase. The commonly accepted model for the formation of the millisecond radio pulsars predicts the presence of a rapidly rotating, weakly magnetized neutron star in the core of these systems. The sudden drop in accretion rate associated with the end of an X-ray outburst causes the Alfv\\`en surface to move outside the light cylinder, allowing the pulsar emission process to operate. No pulsed signal was detected from the sources in our sample. We discuss several mechanisms that could hamper the detection and suggest that free-free absorption from material ejected from the system by the pulsar radiation pressure could explain our null result.

  5. Understanding the X-ray spectrum of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma-ray repeaters

    Hard X-rays above 10 keV are detected from several anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), and different models have been proposed to explain the physical origin within the frame of either a magnetar model or a fallback disk system. Using data from Suzaku and INTEGRAL, we study the soft and hard X-ray spectra of four AXPs/SGRs: 1RXS J170849−400910, 1E 1547.0−5408, SGR 1806−20 and SGR 0501+4516. It is found that the spectra could be well reproduced by the bulk-motion Comptonization (BMC) process as was first suggested by Trümper et al., showing that the accretion scenario could be compatible with X-ray emission from AXPs/SGRs. Simulated results from the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope using the BMC model show that the spectra would have discrepancies from the power-law, especially the cutoff at ∼200 keV. Thus future observations will allow researchers to distinguish different models of the hard X-ray emission and will help us understand the nature of AXPs/SGRs. (paper)

  6. X-Ray Observations of Black Widow Pulsars

    Gentile, P; McLaughlin, M; Camilo, F; Hessels, J; Kerr, M; Ransom, S; Ray, P; Stairs, I

    2013-01-01

    We describe the first X-ray observations of five short orbital period ($P_B < 1$ day), $\\gamma$-ray emitting, binary millisecond pulsars. Four of these, PSRs J0023+0923, J1124$-$3653, J1810+1744, and J2256$-$1024 are `black-widow' pulsars, with degenerate companions of mass $\\ll0.1 M_{\\odot}$, three of which exhibit radio eclipses. The fifth source, PSR J2215+5135, is an eclipsing `redback' with a near Roche-lobe filling $\\sim$0.2 solar mass non-degenerate companion. Data were taken using the \\textit{Chandra X-Ray Observatory} and covered a full binary orbit for each pulsar. Two pulsars, PSRs J2215+5135 and J2256$-$1024, show significant orbital variability while PSR J1124$-$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 demonstra...

  7. On the X-ray Spectra of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars and Soft Gamma Repeaters

    Kaspi, Victoria M.; Boydstun, Kristen

    2010-01-01

    We revisit the apparent correlation between soft X-ray band photon index and spin-down rate ύ previously reported for Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) and Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs) by Marsden & White. Our analysis, improved thanks to new source discoveries, better spectral parameter measurements in previously known sources, and the requirement of source quiescence for parameter inclusion, shows evidence for the previously noted trend, although with greater scatter. This trend supp...

  8. A Search for X-ray Counterparts of Radio Pulsars

    Prinz, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    We describe a systematic search for X-ray counterparts of radio pulsars. The search was accomplished by cross-correlating the radio timing positions of all radio pulsars from the ATNF pulsar database (version 1.54) with archival XMM-Newton and Chandra observations publicly released by August 1st 2015. In total, 171 of the archival XMM-Newton observations and 215 of the archival Chandra datasets where found to have a radio pulsar serendipitously in the field of view. From the 283 radio pulsars covered by these datasets we identified 19 previously undetected X-ray counterparts. For 6 of them the statistics was sufficient to model the energy spectrum with one- or two-component models. For the remaining new detections and for those pulsars for which we determined an upper limit to their counting rate we computed the energy flux by assuming a Crab-like spectrum. Additionally, we derived upper limits on the neutron stars' surface temperature and on the non-thermal X-ray efficiency for those pulsars for which the sp...

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Polarized X-rays from accreting neutron stars

    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.

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

    Schwenzer, Kai; Güver, Tolga; Vurgun, Eda

    2016-01-01

    r-mode astroseismology 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 astroseismology 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 $\\alpha\\lesssim10^{-8}$ and discuss the impact on scenarios for their internal composition.

  12. BOOK REVIEW: Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

    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

  13. Investigation of the emission radii of kHz QPOs for the accreting millisecond X-Ray pulsars, Atoll and Z sources

    Wang, D H; Zhang, C M; Lei, Y J; Qu, J L; Song, L M

    2015-01-01

    We infer the emission positions of twin kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs) in neutron star low mass X-ray binaries (NS-LMXBs) based on the Alfven wave oscillation model (AWOM). For most sources, the emission radii of kHz QPOs cluster around a region of 16-19 km with the assumed NS radii of 15 km. Cir X-1 has the larger emission radii of 23-38 km than those of the other sources, which may be ascribed to its large magnetosphere-disk radius or strong NS surface magnetic field. SAX J1808.4-3658 is also a particular source with the relative large emission radii of kHz QPOs of 20 - 23 km, which may be due to its large inferred NS radius of 18 - 19 km. The emission radii of kHz QPOs for all the sources are larger than the NS radii, and the possible explanations of which are presented. The similarity of the emission radii of kHz QPOs (16-19 km) for both the low/high luminosity Atoll/Z sources is found, which indicates that both sources share the similar magnetosphere- disk radii.

  14. High-Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Bursting Pulsar GRO J1744-28

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

    2014-01-01

    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/HETG 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 degrees 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)E10 G. Furthermore, we identify an absorption feature nea...

  15. The X-ray Pulsar M82 X-2 on its Propeller Line

    Christodoulou, D M; Laycock, S G T

    2016-01-01

    {\\it NuSTAR} has detected pulsations from the ultraluminous X-ray source X-2 in M82 and archival {\\it Chandra} observations have given us a good idea of its duty cycle. The newly discovered pulsar exhibited at least 4 super-Eddington outbursts in the past 15 years but, in its lowest-power state, it radiates just below the Eddington limit and its properties appear to be typical of high-mass X-ray binaries. M82 X-2 has been described as a common neutron star with a 1~TG magnetic field that occasionally accretes above the Eddington rate and as a magnetar-like pulsar with a 10-100~TG magnetic field that reaches above the quantum limit. We argue in favor of the former interpretation. Using standard accretion theory and the available observations, we calculate the stellar magnetic field of this pulsar in two independent ways and we show that it cannot exceed 3~TG in either case. We discuss the implications of our results for other ultraluminous X-ray sources that occasionally exhibit similar powerful outbursts.

  16. Long-Term Monitoring of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    Gavriil, F P; Chakraborty, D; Gavriil, Fotis P.; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2001-01-01

    We report on long-term monitoring of anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. Using phase-coherent timing, we find a wide variety of behaviors among the sources, ranging from high stability (in 1E 2259.1+586 and 4U 0142+61), to instabilities so severe that phase-coherent timing is not possible (in 1E 1048.1-5937). We note a correlation in which timing stability in AXPs decreases with increasing spin-down rate. The timing stability of soft gamma repeaters in quiescence is consistent with this trend, which is similar to one seen in radio pulsars. We consider high signal-to-noise ratio average pulse profiles as a function of energy for each AXP, and find a variety of behaviors. We find no large variability in pulse morphology nor in pulsed flux as a function of time.

  17. A new look at spherical accretion in High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Ikhsanov, N R; Beskrovnaya, N G; 10.1063/1.3701365

    2012-01-01

    Currently used model of spherical accretion onto a magnetized rotating neutron star encounters major difficulties in explaining the entry rate of accreting material into the stellar field and spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars. These difficulties can be, however, avoided if the magnetic field of the material captured by the neutron star is incorporated into the model. The magnetic field of the flow itself under certain conditions controls the accretion process and significantly affects the parameters of the accreting material. The mode by which the accretion flow enters the stellar magnetosphere in that case can be associated with Bohm (or turbulent) diffusion and the torque applied to the neutron star appears to be substantially higher than that evaluated in the non-magnetized accretion scenario.

  18. On time transfer in X-ray pulsar navigation

    2009-01-01

    X-ray pulsar navigation(XPNAV) is a new approach for spacecraft autonomous navigation.The system gets position information utilizing accurate timing methods.Among the timing models,the high-order relativistic effects on the propagated signal must be incorporated to attain precise timing.The time transfer model is provided in detail here in two parts:the time frame transformation and the relativistic effects.

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

    Ikhsanov, N R

    2015-01-01

    We explore the possibility to explain the properties of the Be/X-ray pulsars observed in the Small Magellanic Cloud within the magnetic levitation accretion scenario. This implies that their X-ray emission is powered by a wind-fed accretion onto 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 (ML-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 ~ 10^11- 10^13 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 r...

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

    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.

  1. Angular Momentum Transfer in the Binary X-ray Pulsar GX 1+4

    Greenhill, J; Murray, J R

    1999-01-01

    We describe three presentations relating to the X-ray pulsar GX 1+4 at a workshop on magnetic fields and accretion at the Astrophysical Theory Centre, Australian National University on 1998, November 12-13. Optical and X-ray spectroscopy indicate that GX 1+4 is seen through a cloud of gravitationaly bound matter. We discuss an unstable negative feedback mechanism (originally proposed by Kotani et al, 1999), based on X-ray heating of this matter which controls the accretion rate when the source is in a low X-ray luminosity state. A deep minimum lasting ~6 hours occurred during observations with the RXTE satellite over 1996, July 19-21. The shape of the X-ray pulses changed remarkably from before to after the minimum. These changes may be related to the transition from neutron star spin-down to spin-up which occurred at about the same time. Smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations of the effect of adding matter with opposite angular momentum to an existing disc, show that it is possible for a number of concen...

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. X-ray reflection in oxygen-rich accretion discs of ultracompact X-ray binaries

    Madej, O. K.; Garcia, Jeronimo; Jonker, P. G.;

    2014-01-01

    donor star in these sources is a carbon-oxygen or oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf. Hence, the accretion disc is enriched with oxygen which makes the O viii Ly alpha line particularly strong. Modelling the X-ray reflection off a carbon- and oxygen-enriched, hydrogen- and helium-poor disc with models...... assuming solar composition likely biases several of the best-fitting parameters. In order to describe the X-ray reflection spectra self-consistently, we modify the currently available xillver reflection model. We present initial grids that can be used to model X-ray reflection spectra in UCXBs with carbon-oxygen......-rich (and hydrogen- and helium-poor) accretion disc. We find that the new reflection model provides a better overall description of the reflection spectra of 4U 0614+091 and 4U 1543-624 than the reflection models that assume solar abundances....

  4. The slowest spinning X-ray pulsar in an extragalactic globular cluster

    Zolotukhin, Ivan; Sartore, Nicola; Chilingarian, Igor; Webb, Natalie A

    2016-01-01

    Neutron stars are thought to be born rapidly rotating and then exhibit a phase of a 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 $P_{\\rm spin} = 1.20$ 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), high spin-up rate 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 Hz. The neutron star in this unique wide binary with an orbital period $P_{\\rm orb} = 30.5$ h in a 12 Gyr old, meta...

  5. Relativistic reflection X-ray spectra of accretion disks

    Khee-Gan Lee; Kinwah Wu; Steven V. Fuerst; Graziella Branduardi-Raymont; Oliver Crowley

    2009-01-01

    We have calculated the relativistic reflection component of the X-ray spectra of accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Our calculations have shown that the spectra can be significantly modified by the motion of the accretion flow, and the gravity and rotation of the central black hole. The absorption edges in the spectra suffer severe en- ergy shifts and smearing, and the degree of distortion depends on the system parameters, in particular, the inner radius of the accretion disk and the disk viewing inclination angles. The effects are significant. Fluorescent X-ray emission lines from the inner accretion disk could be a powerful diagnostic of space-time distortion and dynamical relativistic effects near the event horizons of accreting black holes. However, improper treatment of the re- flection component in fitting the X-ray continuum could give rise to spurious line-like features. These features mimic the true fluorescent emission lines and may mask their relativistic signatures. Fully relativistic models for reflection continua together with the emission lines are needed in order to extract black-hole parameters from the AGN X-ray spectra.

  6. X-ray pulsar signal detection using photon interarrival time

    Qiang Xie; Luping Xu; Hua Zhang

    2013-01-01

    The distribution probability of the photon interarrival time (PIT) without signal initial phases is derived based on the Poisson model of X-ray pulsar signals, and a pulsar signal detec-tion algorithm employing the PIT sequence is put forward. The joint probability of the PIT sequence is regarded as a function of the distribution probability and used to compare a constant radiation intensity model with the nonhomogeneous Poisson model for the signal detection. The relationship between the number of detected photons and the probabilities of false negative and positive is stu-died, and the success rate and mean detection time are estimated based on the number of the given photons. For the spacecraft ve-locity data detection, the changes of time of photon arrival (TOPA) and PIT caused by spacecraft motion are presented first, then the influences on detection are analyzed respectively. By using the analytical pulse profile of PSR B0531+21, the simulation of the X-ray pulsar signal detection is implemented. The simulation results verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, and the contrast tests show that the proposed method is suitable for the spacecraft velocity data detection.

  7. Spin period evolution of the X-ray pulsar GX 1+4

    González-Galán, A; Kretschmar, P; Larsson, S; Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Finger, M H

    2012-01-01

    We report on the long-term evolution of the spin period of the symbiotic X-ray pulsar GX 1+4 and a possible interpretation within a model of quasi-spherical accretion. New period measurements from BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL and Fermi observations have been combined with previously published data from four decades of observations. During the 1970s GX 1+4 was spinning up with the fastest rate among the known X-ray pulsars at the time. In the mid 1980s it underwent a change during a period of low X-ray ux and started to spin down with a rate similar in magnitude to the previous spin up rate. The spin period has changed from ~110 s to ~160 s within the last three decades. Our results demonstrate that the overall spin down trend continues and is stronger than ever. We compare the observations with predictions from a model assuming quasi-spherical accretion from the slow wind of the M giant companion.

  8. On the origin of cyclotron lines in the spectra of X-ray pulsars

    Mushtukov A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyclotron resonance scattering features are observed in the spectra of some X-ray pulsars and show significant changes in the line energy with the pulsar luminosity. In a case of bright sources, the line centroid energy is anti-correlated with the luminosity. Such a behaviour is often associated with the onset and growth of the accretion column, which is believed to be the origin of the observed emission and the cyclotron lines. However, this scenario inevitably implies large gradient of the magnetic field strength within the line-forming region, and it 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 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. The idea is based on the facts that a substantial part of column luminosity is intercepted by the neutron star surface and the reflected radiation should contain absorption features. The reflection model is developed and applied 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.

  9. Accretion disk dynamics in X-ray binaries

    Peris, Charith Srian

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

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

    Brickhouse, Nancy S.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. On the X-ray Spectra of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars and Soft Gamma Repeaters

    Kaspi, Victoria M

    2010-01-01

    We revisit the apparent correlation between soft X-ray band photon index and spin-down rate nudot previously reported for Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) and Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs) by Marsden & White (2001). Our analysis, improved thanks to new source discoveries, better spectral parameter measurements in previously known sources, and the requirement of source quiescence for parameter inclusion, shows evidence for the previously noted trend, although with greater scatter. This trend supports the twisted magnetosphere model of magnetars although the scatter suggests that factors other than nudot are also important. We also note possible correlations involving the spectra of AXPs and SGRs in the hard X-ray band. Specifically, the hard-band photon index shows a possible correlation with inferred nudot and B, as does the degree of spectral turnover. If the former trend is correct, then the hard-band photon index for AXP 1E 1048.1-5937 should be ~0--1. This may be testable with long integrations by INTEGRA...

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

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

    2012-05-01

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

  13. X-ray reverberation around accreting black holes

    Uttley, P; Fabian, A C; Kara, E; Wilkins, D R

    2014-01-01

    Luminous accreting stellar mass and supermassive black holes produce power-law continuum X-ray emission from a compact central corona. Reverberation time lags occur due to light travel time-delays between changes in the direct coronal emission and corresponding variations in its reflection from the accretion flow. Reverberation is detectable using light curves made in different X-ray energy bands, since the direct and reflected components have different spectral shapes. Larger, lower frequency, lags are also seen and are identified with propagation of fluctuations through the accretion flow and associated corona. We review the evidence for X-ray reverberation in active galactic nuclei and black hole X-ray binaries, showing how it can be best measured and how it may be modelled. The timescales and energy-dependence of the high frequency reverberation lags show that much of the signal is originating from very close to the black hole in some objects, within a few gravitational radii of the event horizon. We cons...

  14. Timing and spectral properties of the accreting millisecond pulsar SWIFT J1756.9-2508

    M. Linares; R. Wijnands; M. van der Klis; H. Krimm; C.B. Markwardt; D. Chakrabarty

    2008-01-01

    SWIFT J1756.9-2508 is one of the few accreting millisecond pulsars (AMPs) discovered to date. We report here the results of our analysis of its aperiodic X-ray variability, as measured with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer during the 2007 outburst of the source. We detect strong (~35%) flat-topped br

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

    Dupree, A K; 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

    2012-01-01

    The nearest accreting T Tauri star, TW Hya was observed with spectroscopic and photometric measurements simultaneous with a long se gmented exposure using the CHANDRA satellite. Contemporaneous optical photometry from WASP-S indicates a 4.74 day period was present during this time. Absence of a similar periodicity in the H-alpha flux and the total X-ray flux 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 (5876A) broadening. Optical veiling increases with a delay of about 2 hours after the X-ray accretion event. The response of the stellar coronal emission to an increase in the veiling follow...

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

    Benli, Onur

    2016-01-01

    We have investigated the long-term evolution of individual anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) with relatively well constrained X-ray luminosity and rotational properties. In the frame of the fallback disc model, we have obtained the ranges of disc mass and dipole field strength that can produce the observed source properties. We have compared our results with those obtained earlier for dim isolated neutron stars (XDINs). Our results show that (1) the X-ray luminosity, period and period derivative of the individual AXP/SGR sources can be produced self-consistently in the fallback disc model with very similar basic disc parameters to those used earlier in the same model to explain the long-term evolution of XDINs, (2) except two sources, AXP/SGRs are evolving in the accretion phase; these two exceptional sources, like XDINs, completed their accretion phase in the past and are now evolving in the final propeller phase and still slowing down with the disc torques, (3) the dipole field ...

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

    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) × 10–4 (4.9 × 10–4 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 τscat = 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-blanketing envelope. The observations allow the pulsar

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

    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

  19. Modification of gravitational redshift of x-ray burst produced by pulsar surface magnetoplasma

    Zhu Jun; Ji Pei-Yong

    2008-01-01

    In this paper,the propagation of x-ray bursts in the magnetoplasma of pulsar magnetosphere is discussed.The electromagnetic interaction between x-ray bursts and magnetoplasma is described as some geometry.The electromagnetic effects of surface superstrong magnetic field and dynamic effects of outflowing magnetoplasma of pulsars are treated as an optical metric.The Gordon metric is introduced to represent the gravitational metric and optical metric.So the propagation of x-ray bursts in magnetoplasma of pulsars can be described as x-ray bursts transmitting in an effective space characterized by Gordon metric.The modification of gravitational redshift,attributed to the flowing magnetoplasma of pulsars,is obtained and it is shown that the modification is of redshift and can reach the same magnitude as the gravitational redshift for ordinary pulsars.

  20. Bimodality of Wind-fed Accretion in High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Karino, S.

    2014-01-01

    We study an influence of X-ray photo-ionization from an accreting neutron star in a high mass X-ray binary. Our aim is to unveil a new principle governing X-ray luminosities of X-ray binaries, with a simple analysis of fluid equations simulating line-driven wind flow under influence of X-ray irradiation. In this study, we solve equation of motion of the accretion flow taking into account the line-driven acceleration and X-ray photo-ionization. Under the influence of X-ray irradiation, we find...

  1. The Rapid Burster and its X-ray bursts: extremes of accretion and thermonuclear burning

    Klis, van der, M.; Zand, in 't, J.J.M.; Watts, A.; Bagnoli, T.

    2015-01-01

    X-ray bursts originate from accreting neutron stars (NSs) in X-ray binaries (XRBs). They come in two flavours: thermonuclear bursts are due to the sudden runaway burning of the material accreted on the surface; accretion bursts signal a sudden change in the mass accretion rate, leading to enhanced emission in the innermost regions of the accretion flow. While thermonuclear bursts have been observed from 105 NSs as of writing, accretion bursts remain enigmatically confined to only two sources....

  2. X-ray observations and the search for Fermi-LAT gamma-ray pulsars

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

    2013-01-01

    The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on Fermi has detected ~150 gamma-ray pulsars, about a third of which were discovered in blind searches of the $\\gamma$-ray data. Because the angular resolution of the LAT is relatively poor and blind searches for pulsars (especially millisecond pulsars, MSPs) are very sensitive to an error in the position, one must typically scan large numbers of locations. Identifying plausible X-ray counterparts of a putative pulsar drastically reduces the number of trials, th...

  3. Detectability of rotation-powered pulsars in future hard X-ray surveys

    Wei Wang

    2009-01-01

    Recent INTEGRAL/IBIS hard X-ray surveys have detected about 10 young pulsars.We show hard X-ray properties of these 10 young pulsars,which have a luminosity of 10~(33)-10~(37) erg s~(-1) and a photon index of 1.6-2.1 in the energy range of 20-100 keV.The correlation between X-ray luminosity and spin-down power of L_X∝ L_(sd)~(1.31) suggests that the hard X-ray emission in rotation-powered pulsars is dominated by the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) component.Assuming spectral properties are similar in 20-100keV and 2-10 keV for both the pulsar and PWN components,the hard X-ray luminosity and flux of 39 known young X-ray pulsars and 8 millisecond pulsars are obtained,and a correlation of L_X ∝ L_(sd)~(1.5) is derived.About 20 known young X-ray pulsars and 1 millisecond pulsars could be detected with future INTEGRAL and HXMT surveys.We also carry out Monte Carlo simulations of hard X-ray pulsars in the Galaxy and the Gould Belt,assuming values for the pulsar birth rate,initial position,proper motion velocity,period,and magnetic field distribution and evolution based on observational statistics and the L_X - L_(sd) relations: L_X∝ L_(sd)~(1.31) and L_X∝ L_(sd)~(1.5).More than 40 young pulsars (mostly in the Galactic plane) could be detected after ten years of INTEGRAL surveys and the launch of HXMT.So,the young pulsars would be a significant part of the hard X-ray source population in the sky,and will contribute to unidentified hard X-ray sources in present and future hard X-ray surveys by INTEGRAL and HXMT.

  4. Central compact objects, superslow X-ray pulsars, gamma-ray bursts: do they have anything to do with magnetars?

    Tong, H

    2014-01-01

    Magnetars and many of the magnetar-related objects are summarized together and discussed. It is shown that there is an abuse of language in the use of "magnetar". Anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma-ray repeaters are well-known magnetar candidates. The current so called anti-magnetar (for central compact objects), accreting magnetar (for superslow X-ray pulsars in high mass X-ray binaries), and millisecond magnetar (for the central engine of some gamma-ray bursts), they may not be real magnetars in present understandings. Their observational behaviors are not caused by the magnetic energy. Many of them are just neutron stars with strong surface dipole field. A neutron star plus strong dipole field is not a magnetar. The characteristic parameters of the neutron stars for the central engine of some gamma-ray bursts are atypical from the neutron stars in the Galaxy. Possible signature of magnetic activities in accreting systems are discussed, including repeated bursts and a hard X-ray tail. China's future har...

  5. X-ray observations of the Crab Pulsar and Nebula with JEM-X on INTEGRAL

    Brandt, Søren Kristian; Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl; Lund, Niels; Rasmussen, Ib Lundgaard; Laursen, Steen; Chenevez, Jérôme; Westergaard, Niels Jørgen Stenfeldt; Juchnikowski, G.; Walter, Rasmus; Schmidt, M. N.; Much, R.

    2003-01-01

    The Crab pulsar is the best studied rotation powered pulsar. We report the results obtained in the 3-35 keV energy band with the X-ray monitor, JEM-X, on ESAs recently launched gamma-ray mission, INTEGRAL.......The Crab pulsar is the best studied rotation powered pulsar. We report the results obtained in the 3-35 keV energy band with the X-ray monitor, JEM-X, on ESAs recently launched gamma-ray mission, INTEGRAL....

  6. Accretion in supergiant High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Manousakis, A; Blondin, J

    2013-01-01

    Supergiant High Mass X-ray Binary systems (sgHMXBs) consist of a massive, late type, star and a neutron star. The massive stars exhibits strong, radiatively driven, stellar winds. Wind accretion onto compact object triggers X-ray emission, which alters the stellar wind significantly. Hydrodynamic simulation has been used to study the neutron star - stellar wind interaction it two sgHMXBs: i) A heavily obscured sgHMXB (IGR J17252-3616) discovered by INTEGRAL. To account for observable quantities (i.e., absorbing column density) we have to assume a very slow wind terminal velocity of about 500 km/s and a rather massive neutron star. If confirmed in other obscured systems, this could provide a completely new stellar wind diagnostics. ii) A classical sgHMXB (Vela X-1) has been studied in depth to understand the origin of the off-states observed in this system. Among many models used to account for this observed behavior (clumpy wind, gating mechanism) we propose that self-organized criticality of the accretion st...

  7. Accretion in supergiant High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Manousakis Antonios

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Supergiant High Mass X-ray Binary systems (sgHMXBs consist of a massive, late type, star and a neutron star. The massive stars exhibits strong, radiatively driven, stellar winds. Wind accretion onto compact object triggers X-ray emission, which alters the stellar wind significantly. Hydrodynamic simulation has been used to study the neutron star - stellar wind interaction it two sgHMXBs: i A heavily obscured sgHMXB (IGR J17252–3616 discovered by INTEGRAL. To account for observable quantities (i.e., absorbing column density we have to assume a very slow wind terminal velocity of about 500 km/s and a rather massive neutron star. If confirmed in other obscured systems, this could provide a completely new stellar wind diagnostics. ii A classical sgHMXB (Vela X-1 has been studied in depth to understand the origin of the off-states observed in this system. Among many models used to account for this observed behavior (clumpy wind, gating mechanism we propose that self-organized criticality of the accretion stream is the likely reason for the observed behavior. In conclusion, the neutron star, in these two examples, acts very effciently as a probe to study stellar winds.

  8. Variable Quasi Periodic Oscillations during an Outburst of the Transient X-ray Pulsar XTE J1858 + 034

    U. Mukherjee; S. Bapna; H. Raichur; B. Paul; S. N. A. Jaaffrey

    2006-03-01

    We have investigated the Quasi Periodic Oscillation (QPO) properties of the transient accreting X-ray pulsar XTE J1858 + 034 during the second outburst of this source in April–May 2004. We have used observations made with the Proportional Counter Array (PCA) of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) during May 14–18, 2004, in the declining phase of the outburst. We detected the presence of low frequency QPOs in the frequency range of 140–185 mHz in all the RXTE-PCA observations. We report evolution of the QPO parameters with the time, X-ray flux, and X-ray photon energy. Though a correlation between the QPO centroid frequency and the instantaneous X-ray flux is not very clear from the data, we point out that the QPO frequency and the one day averaged X-ray flux decreased with time during these observations. We have obtained a clear energy dependence of the RMS variation in the QPOs, increasing from about 3% at 3 keV to 6% at 25 keV. The X-ray pulse profile is a single peaked sinusoidal, with pulse fraction increasing from 20% at 3 keV to 45% at 30 keV. We found that, similar to the previous outburst, the energy spectrum is well fitted with amodel consisting of a cut-off power law along with an iron emission line.

  9. Wind accretion in symbiotic X-ray binaries

    Postnov, K; González-Galán, A; Kuulkers, E; Kretschmar, P; Larsson, S; Finger, M H; Kochetkova, A; Lü, G; Yungelson, L

    2011-01-01

    The properties of wind accretion in symbiotic X-ray binaries (SyXBs) consisting of red-giant and magnetized neutron star (NS) are discussed. The spin-up/spin-down torques applied to NS are derived based on a hydrodynamic theory of quasi-spherical accretion onto magnetized NSs. In this model, a settling subsonic accretion proceeds through a hot shell formed around the NS magnetosphere. The accretion rate onto the NS is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere.Due to large Reynolds numbers in the shell, the interaction of the rotating magnetosphere with plasma initiates a subsonic turbulence. The convective motions are capable of carrying the angular momentum through the shell. We carry out a population synthesis of SyXBs in the Galaxy with account for the spin evolution of magnetized NS. The Galactic number of SyXBs with bright (M_v<1) low-mass red-giant companion is found to be from \\sim 40 to 120, and their birthrate is \\sim 5\\times 10^{-5}-10^{-4} per year. According to our mode...

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

    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. Pulsar B2224+65 and Jets: A Two Epoch X-ray Analysis

    Johnson, S P

    2010-01-01

    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 more luminous in the second epoch than the first. Furthermore, the sharp leading edge is found to have a proper motion consistent with that of the pulsar (~180 mas/yr). The combined data set also provides evidence for the presence of a counter feature, albeit substantially fainter and shorter than the main one. These results are consistent with a simple model of relativistic jet outflow originating from the pulsar and ram-pressure confined by the unusually rapid motion of the pulsar.

  12. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto, A; Bozzo, E; Rea, N

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of IGR J18245-2452, the first millisecond pulsar observed to swing between a rotation-powered, radio pulsar state, and an accretion-powered X-ray pulsar state (Papitto et al. 2013, Nature, 501, 517). This transitional source represents the most convincing proof of the evolutionary link shared by accreting neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries, and radio millisecond pulsars. It demonstrates that swings between these two states take place on the same time-scales of luminosity variations of X-ray transients, and are therefore most easily interpreted in terms of changes in the rate of mass in-flow. While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245-2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of th...

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

    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

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

    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 recycledpulsars 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 x 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.

  15. On the disruption of pulsar and X-ray binaries in globular clusters

    Verbunt, Frank

    2013-01-01

    The stellar encounter rate Gamma has been shown to be strongly correlated with the number of X-ray binaries in clusters and also to the number of radio pulsars. However, the pulsar populations in different clusters show remarkably different characteristics: in some GCs the population is dominated by binary systems, in others by single pulsars and exotic systems that result from exchange encounters. In this paper, we describe a second dynamical parameter for globular clusters, the encounter rate for a single binary, gamma. We find that this parameter provides a good characterization of the differences between the pulsar populations of different globular clusters. The higher gamma is for any particular globular cluster the more isolated pulsars and products of exchange interactions are observed. Furthermore, we also find that slow and "young" pulsars are found almost exclusively in clusters with a high gamma; this suggests that these kinds of objects are formed by the disruption of X-ray binaries, thus halting ...

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

    Middleton, M.J.; Walton, D.J.; Fabian, A.; Roberts, T. P.; Heil, L.; Pinto, C.; Anderson, G; Sutton, A.

    2015-01-01

    The lack of unambiguous detections of atomic features in the X-ray spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) has proven a hindrance in diagnosing the nature of the accretion flow. The possible association of spectral residuals at soft energies with atomic features seen in absorption and/or emission and potentially broadened by velocity dispersion could therefore hold the key to understanding much about these enigmatic sources. Here we show for the first time that such residuals are seen i...

  17. Nature vs. Nurture: The Origin of Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters and Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    Marsden, D.; Lingenfelter, R. E.; Rothschild, R.E.; Higdon, J. C.

    1999-01-01

    Soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous x-ray pulsars (AXPs) are young and radio-quiet x-ray pulsars which have been rapidly spun-down to slow spin periods clustered in the range 5-12 s. Most of these unusual pulsars also appear to be associated with supernova shell remnants (SNRs) with typical ages

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

    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.

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

    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

  20. Discovery of a 0.02 Hz QPO feature in the Transient X-ray Pulsar KS 1947+300

    James, Marykutty; Devasia, Jincy; Indulekha, Kavila

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of Quasi Periodic Oscillations (QPO) at 0.02 Hz in a transient high mass X-ray binary pulsar KS 1947+300 using {\\em RXTE}-PCA. The QPOs were detected during May-June 2001, at the end of a long outburst. This is the 9th transient accretion powered high magnetic field X-ray pulsar in which QPOs have been detected and the QPO frequency of this source is lowest in this class of sources. The unusual feature of this source is that though the outburst lasted for more than 100 days, the QPOs were detected only during the last few days of the outburst when the X-ray intensity had decayed to 1.6% of the peak intensity. The rms value of the QPO is large, $\\sim15.4\\pm1.0%$ with a slight positive correlation with energy. The detection of QPOs and strong pulsations at a low luminosity level suggests that the magnetic field strength of the neutron star is not as high as was predicted earlier on the basis of a correlation between the spin-up torque and the X-ray luminosity.

  1. Detection of X-ray Emission from the Very Old Pulsar J0108-1431

    Pavlov, G G; Wong, J A; Garmire, G P

    2008-01-01

    PSR J0108-1431 is a nearby, 170 Myr old, very faint radio pulsar near the ``pulsar death line'' in the P-Pdot diagram. We observed the pulsar with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and detected 53 counts in a 30 ks exposure, which corresponds to the source flux of 7\\times 10^{-15} ergs cm^{-2} s^{-1} in the 0.3-6 keV band. The pulsar spectrum can be described by a power-law model with photon index Gamma \\approx 2.2 and luminosity L_{0.3-8 keV} \\sim 2\\times 10^{28} d_{130}^2 ergs s^{-1}, or by a blackbody model with the temperature kT\\approx 0.28 keV and bolometric luminosity L_{bol} \\sim 1.3\\times 10^{28} d_{130}^2 ergs s^{-1}, for a plausible hydrogen column density NH = 7.3\\times 10^{19} cm^{-2} (d_{130}=d/130 pc). The pulsar converts \\sim 0.4% of its spin-down power into the 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_\\p...

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

    Ducci, L; Doroshenko, V; Santangelo, A; Mereghetti, S; Ferrigno, C

    2015-01-01

    Several glitches have been observed in young, isolated radio pulsars, while a clear detection in accretion-powered X-ray pulsars is still lacking. We use the "snowplow" model for pulsar glitches of Pizzochero (2011) and starquake models to determine for the first time the expected properties of glitches in accreting pulsars and their observability. Since some accreting pulsars show accretion-induced long-term spin-up, we also investigate the possibility that anti-glitches occur in these stars. We find that glitches caused by quakes in a slow accreting neutron star are very rare and their detection extremely unlikely. On the contrary, glitches and anti-glitches caused by a transfer of angular momentum between the superfluid neutron vortices and the non-superfluid component may take place in accreting pulsars more often. We calculate the maximum jump in angular velocity of an anti-glitch and we find that it is expected to be about 1E-5 - 1E-4 rad/s. We also note that since accreting pulsars usually have rotatio...

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

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

  5. X-ray pulsar radiation from polar cap heated by back-flow bombardment

    Gil, J; Zhang, B

    2006-01-01

    We consider the problem of the thermal X-ray radiation from the hot polar cap of radio pulsars showing evidence of \\EB subpulse drift in radio band. In our resent Paper I, within the partially screened gap (PSG) model of inner acceleration region we derived a simple relationship between the drift rate of subpulses observed in a radio-band and the thermal X-ray luminosity from polar caps heated by the back-flow particle bombardment. This relationship can be tested for pulsars in which the so-called carousel rotation time $P_4$, reflecting the \\EB plasma drift, and the thermal X-ray luminosity $L_x$ from the hot polar cap are known. To test the model we used two only available pulsars: PSRs B0943+10 and B1133+16. They both satisfied the model prediction, although due to low photon statistics the thermal component could not be firmly identified from the X-ray data. Nevertheless, these pulsars were at least consistent with PSG pulsar model. In the present paper we consider two more pulsars: PSRs B0656+14 and B062...

  6. Suzaku view of Be/X-ray binary pulsar GX 304-1 during Type I X-ray outbursts

    Jaisawal, Gaurava K; Epili, Prahlad

    2016-01-01

    We report the timing and spectral properties of Be/X-ray binary pulsar GX 304-1 by using two Suzaku observations during its 2010 August and 2012 January X-ray outbursts. Pulsations at ~275 s were clearly detected in the light curves from both the observations. Pulse profiles were found to be strongly energy-dependent. During 2010 observation, prominent dips seen in soft X-ray ($\\leq$10 keV) pulse profiles were found to be absent at higher energies. However, during 2012 observation, the pulse profiles were complex due to the presence of several dips. Significant changes in the shape of the pulse profiles were detected at high energies ($>$35 keV). A phase shift of $\\sim$0.3 was detected while comparing the phase of main dip in pulse profiles below and above $\\sim$35 keV. Broad-band energy spectrum of pulsar was well described by a partially absorbed Negative and Positive power-law with Exponential cutoff (NPEX) model with 6.4 keV iron line and a cyclotron absorption feature. Energy of cyclotron absorption line...

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

    Díaz Trigo, M.; Boirin, L.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Trigo, M Díaz

    2015-01-01

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

  9. X-ray spectra of hot accretion flows

    Niedzwiecki, Andrzej; Stepnik, Agnieszka

    2014-01-01

    We study radiative properties of hot accretion flows in a general relativistic model with an exact treatment of global Comptonization, developed in our recent works. We note a strong dependence of electron temperature on the strength of magnetic field and we clarify that the underlying mechanism involves the change of the flow structure, with more strongly magnetised flows approaching the slab geometry more closely. We find that the model with thermal synchrotron radiation being the main source of seed photons agrees with the spectral index vs Eddington ratio relation observed in black hole transients below 1 per cent of the Eddington luminosity, LEdd, and models with a weak direct heating of electrons (small delta) are more consistent with observations. Models with large delta predict slightly too soft spectra, furthermore, they strongly overpredict electron temperatures at ~0.01 LEdd. The low-luminosity spectra, at <0.001 LEdd, deviate from a power-law shape in the soft X-ray range and we note that the f...

  10. Orbit determination using incremental phase and TDOA of X-ray pulsar

    Rong JIAO; Lu-ping XU‡; Hua ZHANG; Cong LI

    2016-01-01

    X-ray pulsars offer stable, periodic X-ray pulse sequences that can be used in spacecraft positioning systems. A method using X-ray pulsars to determine the initial orbit of a satellite is presented in this paper. This method suggests only one detector to be equipped on the satellite and assumes that the detector observes three pulsars in turn. To improve the performance, the use of incremental phase in one observation duration is proposed, and the incremental phase is combined with the time dif-ference of arrival (TDOA). Then, a weighted least squares (WLS) algorithm is formulated to calculate the initial orbit. Numerical simulations are performed to assess the proposed orbit determination method.

  11. Gravitational Radiation from Accreting Millisecond Pulsars

    Vigelius, Matthias; Melatos, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    It is widely assumed that the observed reduction of the magnetic field of millisecond pulsars can be connected to the accretion phase during which the pulsar is spun up by mass accretion from a companion. A wide variety of reduction mechanisms have been proposed, including the burial of the field by a magnetic mountain, formed when the accreted matter is confined to the poles by the tension of the stellar magnetic field. A magnetic mountain effectively screens the magnetic dipole moment. On the other hand, observational data suggests that accreting neutron stars are sources of gravitational waves, and magnetic mountains are a natural source of a time-dependent quadrupole moment. We show that the emission is sufficiently strong to be detectable by current and next generation long-baseline interferometers. Preliminary results from fully three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations are presented. We find that the initial axisymmetric state relaxes into a nearly axisymmetric configuration via toroidal ...

  12. X-ray pulsar radiation from polar caps heated by back-flow bombardment

    Gil, J.; Melikidze, G.; Zhang, B.

    2007-03-01

    We consider the problem of the thermal X-ray radiation from the hot polar caps of radio pulsars that show evidence of E × B subpulse drift in radio band. In our recent Paper I, using the partially screened gap (PSG) model of inner acceleration region we derived a simple relationship between the drift rate of subpulses observed in a radio-band and the thermal X-ray luminosity from polar caps heated by the back-flow particle bombardment. This relationship can be tested for pulsars in which the so-called carousel rotation time P4, reflecting the E × B plasma drift, and the thermal X-ray luminosity Lx from the hot polar cap are known. To test the model we used only two available pulsars: PSRs B0943+10 and B1133+16. They both satisfied the model prediction, although due to low photon statistics the thermal component could not be firmly identified from the X-ray data. Nevertheless, these pulsars were at least consistent with PSG pulsar model. In this Letter we consider two more pulsars: PSRs B0656+14 and B0628-28, the data for which have recently become available. In PSR B0656+14 the thermal radiation from the hot polar cap was clearly detected, and PSR B0628-28 also seems to have such a component. In all cases for which both P4 and Lx are presently known, the PSG pulsar model seems to be fully confirmed. Other available models of inner acceleration region fail to explain the observed relationship between radio and X-ray data. The pure vacuum gap model predicts too high Lx and too low P4, while the space charge limited model predicts too low Lx and the origin of the subpulse drift has no natural explanation.

  13. Long-Term RXTE Monitoring of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

    Gavriil, F P; Gavriil, Fotis P.; Kaspi, Victoria M.

    2001-01-01

    We report on the long-term monitoring of three anomalous X-ray pulsars using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). We present a phase-coherent timing ephemeris for 4U 0142+61, and show that it has rotated with high stability over 4.4 yr, with RMS phase deviations of 7% of the pulse period from a simple fit including only $\

  14. X-ray observations and the search for Fermi-LAT gamma-ray pulsars

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

    2013-01-01

    The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on Fermi has detected ~150 gamma-ray pulsars, about a third of which were discovered in blind searches of the $\\gamma$-ray data. Because the angular resolution of the LAT is relatively poor and blind searches for pulsars (especially millisecond pulsars, MSPs) are very sensitive to an error in the position, one must typically scan large numbers of locations. Identifying plausible X-ray counterparts of a putative pulsar drastically reduces the number of trials, thus improving the sensitivity of pulsar blind searches with the LAT. I discuss our ongoing program of Swift, XMM-Newton, and Chandra observations of LAT unassociated sources in the context of our blind searches for gamma-ray pulsars.

  15. X-ray Observations of Disrupted Recycled Pulsars: No Refuge for Orphaned Central Compact Objects

    Gotthelf, E V; Allen, B; Knispel, B

    2013-01-01

    We present a Chandra X-ray survey of the disrupted recycled pulsars (DRPs), isolated radio pulsars with P > 20 ms and B_s 1E4 - 1E5 yr, roughly 10 times the ages of the approximately 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_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 fall-back of supernova ejecta, but quickly regrow to join the normal pulsar population.

  16. Long-Term X-ray Monitoring of the Young Pulsar PSR B1509-58

    Livingstone, Margaret A

    2011-01-01

    It has long been thought that the pulsed X-ray properties of rotation-powered pulsars are stable on long time scales. 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 time scales, 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 time scales o...

  17. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto A.

    2014-01-01

    While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245–2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of the newly established class of transitional pulsars are also briefly discussed.

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

    Benli, Onur; Ertan, Unal

    2016-01-01

    We have investigated the long-term evolution of individual anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) with relatively well constrained X-ray luminosity and rotational properties. In the frame of the fallback disc model, we have obtained the ranges of disc mass and dipole field strength that can produce the observed source properties. We have compared our results with those obtained earlier for dim isolated neutron stars (XDINs). Our results show that (1) the X-ray luminosi...

  19. Dynamic effects on cyclotron scattering in pulsar accretion columns

    Brainerd, J. J.; Meszaros, P.

    1991-01-01

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

  20. X-ray deficiency on strong accreting T Tauri stars - Comparing Orion with Taurus

    Bustamante, Ignacio; Bouy, Hervé; Manara, Carlo; Ribas, Álvaro; Riviere-Marichalar, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    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. 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, we studied the relation between the accretion processes and the X-ray emissions of a coherent sample of T Tauri sources in the region. We performed regression and correlation analyses of our sample of T Tauri stars between the X-ray parameters, stellar properties, and the accretion measurements. 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. We provide a catalog with X-ray lumin...

  1. Temporal variations and spectral properties of the Be/X-ray pulsar GRO J1008—57 studied by INTEGRAL

    The spin period variations and hard X-ray spectral properties of the Be/X-ray pulsar GRO J1008—57 are studied with INTEGRAL observations during two outbursts in 2004 June and 2009 March. The pulsation periods of ∼ 93.66 s in 2004 and ∼ 93.73 s in 2009 are determined. Pulse profiles of GRO J1008—57 during outbursts are strongly energy dependent with a double-peaked profile from 3–7 keV and a single-peaked profile in hard X-rays above 7 keV. Combined with previous measurements, we find that GRO J1008—57 has undergone a spin-down trend from 1993–2009 with a rate of ∼ 4.1 × 10−5 s d−1, and could have changed into a spin-up trend after 2009. We find a relatively soft spectrum in the early phase of the 2009 outburst with cutoff energy ∼ 13 keV. Above a hard X-ray flux of ∼ 10−9 erg cm−2 s−1, the spectra of GRO J1008—57 during outbursts need an enhanced hydrogen absorption with column density ∼ 6 × 1022 cm−2. The observed dip-like pulse profile of GRO J1008—57 in soft X-ray bands could be caused by this intrinsic absorption. Around the outburst peaks, a possible cyclotron resonance scattering feature at ∼ 74 keV is detected in the spectra of GRO J1008—57 which is consistent with the feature that was reported in MAXI/GSC observations, making the source a neutron star with the highest known magnetic field (∼ 6.6 × 1012 G) among accreting X-ray pulsars. This marginal feature is supported by the present detections in GRO J1008—57 following the correlation between the fundamental line energies and cutoff energies in accreting X-ray pulsars. Finally we discovered two modulation periods at ∼ 124.38 d and ∼ 248.78 d using RXTE/ASM light curves of GRO J1008—57. Two flare peaks appearing in the folded light curve had different spectral properties. The normal outburst lasting 0.1 of an orbital phase had a hard spectrum and could not be significantly detected below 3 keV. The second flare lasting ten days showed a very soft

  2. Bumpy Spin-Down of Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars The Link with Magnetars

    Melatos, A

    1999-01-01

    The two anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) with well-sampled timing histories, 1E 1048.1-5937 and 1E 2259+586, are known to spin down irregularly, with `bumps' superimposed on an overall linear trend. Here we show that if AXPs are non-accreting magnetars, i.e. isolated neutron stars with surface magnetic fields B_0 > 10^{10} T, then they spin down electromagnetically in exactly the manner observed, due to an effect called `radiative precession'. Internal hydromagnetic stresses deform the star, creating a fractional difference epsilon=(I_3-I_1)/I_1 ~ 10^{-8} between the principal moments of inertia I_1 and I_3; the resulting Eulerian precession couples to an oscillating component of the electromagnetic torque associated with the near-zone radiation fields, and the star executes an anharmonic wobble with period tau_pr ~ 2 pi / epsilon Omega(t) ~ 10 yr, where Omega(t) is the rotation frequency as a function of time t. We solve Euler's equations for a biaxial magnet rotating in vacuo; show that the computed Omega(t) ...

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

    We present a Chandra X-ray survey of the disrupted recycled pulsars (DRPs), isolated radio pulsars with P > 20 ms and Bs 10 G. These observations were motivated as a search for the immediate descendants of the ≈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 Lx [erg s–1] = 31.8-32.8, which implies cooling ages >104-105 yr, roughly 10 times the ages of the ≈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, Bs ) 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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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

  7. 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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  11. Jet-dominated advective systems: radio and X-ray luminosity dependence on the accretion rate

    Koerding, Elmar; Fender, Rob; Migliari, Simone

    2006-01-01

    We present a novel method to measure the accretion rate of radio emitting X-ray binaries (XRBs) and active galactic nuclei (AGN) independently of the X-ray luminosity. The radio emission of the jet is used as a tracer for the accretion rate and is normalised using sources of known accretion rates: island state neutron stars and efficiently radiating black holes close to a state transition. We show that the radio power in black holes and neutron stars is comparable for a given mass accretion r...

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

    Kargaltsev, Oleg; Volkov, Igor; Hare, Jeremy [George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052 (United States); Pavlov, George G. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801 (United States); Durant, Martin, E-mail: kargaltsev@gwu.edu [Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 2J7 (Canada)

    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.

  13. Study of luminosity and spin-up relation in X-ray binary pulsars with long-term monitoring by MAXI/GSC and Fermi/GBM

    Sugizaki, Mutsumi; Nakajima, Motoki; Yamaoka, Kazutaka

    2015-01-01

    We study the relation between luminosity and spin-period change in X-ray binary pulsars using long-term light curve obtained by the MAXI/GSC all-sky survey and pulse period data from the Fermi/GBM pulsar project. X-ray binaries, consisting of a highly magnetized neutron star and a stellar companion, originate X-ray emission according to the energy of the accretion matter onto the neutron star. The accretion matter also transfers the angular momentum at the Alfven radius, and then spin up the neutron star. Therefore, the X-ray luminosity and the spin-up rate are supposed to be well correlated. We analyzed the luminosity and period-change relation using the data taken by continuous monitoring of MAXI/GSC and Fermi/GBM for Be/X-ray binaries, GX 304$-$1, A 0535$+$26, GRO J1008$-$57, KS 1947$+$300, and 2S 1417$-$624, which occurred large outbursts in the last four years. We discuss the results comparing the obtained observed relation with that of the theoretical model by Ghosh \\& Lamb (1979).

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

    Steiner, James F.; McClintock, Jeffrey E. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Orosz, Jerome A. [Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1221 (United States); Buxton, Michelle M.; Bailyn, Charles D. [Astronomy Department, Yale University, P.O. Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520-8101 (United States); Remillard, Ronald A. [MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Kara, Erin, E-mail: jsteiner@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cambridge University, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  17. The X-ray Softening of Accreting Black Holes Toward Quiescence

    Plotkin, Richard; Gallo, E.; Jonker, P. G.

    2013-04-01

    There is strong motivation to better understand accretion of matter onto black holes. Black hole accretion is at the heart of phenomena like stellar mass black hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs), Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and black hole feedback. In addition, studying black hole accretion can provide broad insight into many other classes of objects where similar physics is at play (e.g., young stars, white dwarfs, neutrons stars, gamma-ray bursts). Unfortunately, we know surprisingly little about black hole accretion at extremely low accretion rates, even though the most common type of black hole accretes very weakly. For example, most transient BHXBs spend the bulk of their time in a quiescent state with mass accretion rates 10^-9 -- 10^-6 L/L_Edd, and many supermassive black holes in the local Universe accrete just as weakly. Here, we present Chandra X-ray spectroscopy for nine quiescent BHXB systems, including multiple observations for several systems as they fade back into quiescence following an outburst. Our systems show softer X-ray spectra in quiescence compared to the canonical "low-hard state". With our dataset, we are in a unique position to track how BHXB X-ray spectra evolve as they return to quiescence following an outburst, both for individual sources and also for the ensemble average. We thus place new constraints on how quickly BHXB X-ray spectra soften as they fade, and we propose a physically meaningful definition for quiescence. Finally, we will discuss implications for the X-ray emission mechanism(s) and accretion flow (and outflow) geometries in quiescence, and we will make comparisons to AGN and neutron star X-ray binaries.

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Identification of the Periodic Hard X-Ray Transient GRO J1849-03 with the X-Ray Pulsar GS 1843-02 = X1845-024 - a New Be/X-Ray Binary

    Soffitta, P.; Tomsick, J. A.; Harmon, B.A.; Costa, E.; Ford, E. C.; M. Tavani(IASF of Rome/INAF); Zhang, S.N.; Kaaret, P.

    1997-01-01

    We identify the periodic transient hard X-ray source GRO J1849-03 with the transient x-ray pulsar GS 1843-02 = X1845-024 based on the detection of x-ray outbursts from X1845-024 coincident with hard x-ray outbursts of GRO J1849--03. Based on its spin period of 94.8 s and its orbital period of 241 days, we classify the system as a Be/X-ray binary.

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

    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.

  1. Suzaku Observation of Be/X-ray Binary Pulsar EXO 2030+375

    Naik, Sachindra

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we study the timing and spectral properties of Be/X-ray binary pulsar EXO 2030+375 using a $Suzaku$ observation on 2012 May 23, during a less intense Type I outburst. Pulsations were clearly detected in the X-ray light curves at a barycentric period of 41.2852 s which suggests that the pulsar is spinning-up. The pulse profiles were found to be peculiar e.g. unlike that obtained from the earlier Suzaku observation on 2007 May 14. A single-peaked narrow profile at soft X-rays (0.5-10 keV range) changed to a double-peaked broad profile in 12-55 keV energy range and again reverted back to a smooth single-peaked profile at hard X-rays (55-70 keV range). The 1.0-100.0 keV broad-band spectrum of the pulsar was found to be well described by three continuum models such as (i) a partial covering high energy cut-off power-law model, (ii) a partially absorbed power-law with high-energy exponential rolloff and (iii) a partial covering Negative and Positive power law with EXponential (NPEX) continuum model. U...

  2. Thermal X-ray Emission from Hot Polar Cap in Radio Pulsars with Drifting Subpulses

    Gil, Janusz; Melikidze, George; Zhang, Bing

    2008-02-01

    We consider the problem of thermal X-ray radiation from the hot polar cap heated by the spark-associated back-flow electron bombardment, in radio pulsars showing the subpulse drift. Using the partially screened gap (PSG) model of the inner acceleration region we examine a simple relationship between the drift rate of subpulses observed in a radio-band (measured as the polar cap carousel circulation time P4, that is the time interval after which sparks complete one full revolution around the polar cap) and the heating rate (measured as thermal X-ray luminosity Lx from hot polar cap). This relationship reflects the fact that both the drift rate and the heating rate are determined by about the same value of the non-corotational component of gap electric field. The theoretical formula can be tested for pulsars in which the carousel rotation time P4, and the thermal X-ray bolometric luminosity Lx from the hot polar cap are known. There are currently four pulsars in which both these quantities and are measured or at least estimated: PSRs B0943+10, B1133+16, B0656+14 and B0628-28. They all seem to confirm the predictions of the PSG model. This model requires a very strong surface magnetic field in pulsars, exceeding 1014 G irrespective of the dipolar component determined from the spin-down data.

  3. Dependences of the X-ray luminosity and pulsar wind nebula on different parameters of pulsars and the evolutionary effects

    Guseinov, O H; Tagieva, S O; Taskin, M O

    2004-01-01

    Dependences of the X-ray luminosity (L$_x$) of single pulsars, due to ejection of relativistic particles, on electric field intensity, rate of rotational energy loss (\\.{E}), magnetic field, period, and the energy spectra of the ejected particles are discussed. Influence of the magnetic field and effects of some other parameters of neutron stars on the L$_x$-\\.{E} and the L$_x$-$\\tau$ (characteristic time) dependences are considered. Evolutionary factors also play an important role in our considerations. We find that only the pulsars with L$_{2-10keV}

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

    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

  5. Thermal X-rays from Millisecond Pulsars: Constraining the Fundamental Properties of Neutron Stars

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Rybicki, George B

    2008-01-01

    (Abridged) We model the X-ray properties of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) by considering hot spot emission from a weakly magnetized rotating neutron star (NS) covered by an optically-thick hydrogen atmosphere. We investigate the limitations of using the thermal X-ray pulse profiles of MSPs to constrain the mass-to-radius ($M/R$) ratio of the underlying NS. The accuracy is strongly dependent on the viewing angle and magnetic inclination. For certain systems, the accuracy is ultimately limited only by photon statistics implying that future X-ray observatories could, in principle, achieve constraints on $M/R$ and hence the NS equation of state to better than $\\sim$5%. We demonstrate that valuable information regarding the basic properties of the NS can be extracted even from X-ray data of fairly limited photon statistics through modeling of archival spectroscopic and timing observations of the nearby isolated PSRs J0030+0451 and J2124--3358. The X-ray emission from these pulsars is consistent with the presence of a...

  6. X-ray Spectroscopy of the High Mass X-ray Binary Pulsar Centaurus X-3 over its Binary Orbit

    Naik, Sachindra; Ali, Zulfikar

    2011-01-01

    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 ~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 cut-off 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 significant increase in the line...

  7. Superorbital Period Variations in the X-ray Pulsar LMC X-4

    B. Paul; S. Kitamoto

    2002-03-01

    We report the discovery of a decay in the superorbital period of the binary X-ray pulsar LMC X-4. Combining archival data and published long term X-ray light curves, we have found a decay in the third period in this system ( ∼ 30.3 day, $\\dot{P}$ ∼ -2 × 10-5 s s-1). Along with this result, a comparison of the superorbital intensity variations in LMC X-4, Her X-1 and SMC X-1 is also presented.

  8. Astrophysics of the Soft Gamma Repeaters and Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars

    Thompson, Christopher

    2000-01-01

    I summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the Soft Gamma Repeaters: in particular their spin behavior, persistent emission and hyper-Eddington outbursts. The giant flares on 5 March 1979 and 27 August 1998 provide compelling physical evidence for magnetic fields stronger than 10 B_{QED} = 4.4 x 10^{14} G, consistent with the rapid spindown detected in two of these sources. The persistent X-ray emission and variable spindown of the 6-12 s Anomalous X-ray Pulsars are compared and ...

  9. X-ray Outflows and Super-Eddington Accretion in the Ultraluminous X-ray Source Holmberg IX X-1

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

    2013-01-01

    Studies of X-ray continuum emission and flux variability have not conclusively revealed the nature of ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) at the high-luminosity end of the distribution (those with Lx > 1e40 erg/s). These are of particular interest because the luminosity requires either super-Eddington accretion onto a black hole of mass ~10 Msun, 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 dataset 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 >150 eV lines expected if observed tre...

  10. A broadband x-ray study of the Geminga pulsar with NuSTAR and XMM-Newton

    Mori, Kaya; Gotthelf, Eric V.; Dufour, Francois;

    2014-01-01

    We report on the first hard X-ray detection of the Geminga pulsar above 10 keV using a 150 ks observation with the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observatory. The double-peaked pulse profile of non-thermal emission seen in the soft X-ray band persists at higher energies. Broadband......V. The spectral hardening in non-thermal X-ray emission as well as spectral flattening between the optical and X-ray bands argue against the conjecture that a single power law may account for multi-wavelength non-thermal spectra of middle-aged pulsars....

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

    Cominsky, Lynn R.

    1996-05-01

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

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

    Ikhsanov, N R; Beskrovnaya, N G

    2014-01-01

    A scenario of the formation of isolated X-ray pulsars is discussed with an application to one of the best studied objects of this class 1E 161348-5055. This moderately luminous, 10^33 - 10^35 erg/s, pulsar with a relatively soft spectrum, kT ~ 0.6-0.8 keV, is associated with an isolated neutron star, which is located near the center of the young (~2000 yr) compact supernova remnant RCW 103 and rotates steadily (|d\

  13. X-ray thermal radiation from hot polar cap in pulsars

    Gil, Janusz; Melikidze, George I.

    We discuss the partially screened gap (PSG) model of the pulsar inner accelerator, which implies that the temperature of the polar cap surface is almost equal to the so called critical temperature defined by the strength of the magnetic field at the polar cap surface. Observations of thermal X-ray emission reveal an important correlation between the hot spot area and its surface temperature, both derived from the blackbody fit. The hot spot surface area is generally much smaller than that of the conventional polar cap, implying that geometry and strength of the actual surface magnetic field differ essentially from the pure dipolar field. We believe that major characteristics of the pulsar radiation, including correlation between observed features of X-ray and radio emissions can be naturally explained within the framework of the PSG model.

  14. Discovery and study of the accreting pulsar 2RXP J130159.6-635806

    Chernyakova, M.; Lutovinov, A.; Rodriguez, J.; Revnivtsev, M.

    2005-01-01

    We report on analysis of the poorly studied source 2RXP J130159.6-635806 at different epochs with ASCA, Beppo-SAX, XMM-Newton, and INTEGRAL. The source shows coherent X-ray pulsations at a period ~700s with an average spin up rate of about dnu/dt ~ 2x10^{-13} Hz/s. A broad band (1-60 keV) spectral analysis of 2RXP J130159.6-635806 based on almost simultaneous XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL data demonstrates that the source has a spectrum typical of an accretion powered X-ray pulsar, i.e. an absorbed...

  15. A Quick Method of Phase Ambiguity Resolution with X-Ray Pulsar Navigation

    Xuerui Li

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we proposes a quick resolution method based on space search method which is based on least square method, space search method and ambiguity covariance method. The results of simulation indicate that this method can effectively improve the speed and efficiency of phase ambiguity resolution and has some certain reference value to the researches which is related to X-ray pulsar navigation.

  16. GBM Observations of Be X-Ray Binary Outbursts

    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.

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

    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.

  18. Acceleration of particles in pulsar magnetosphere and the X-ray radiation

    Guseinov, O H; Tagieva, S O; Guseinov, Oktay H.; Ankay, Askin; Tagieva, Sevinc O.

    2004-01-01

    The available data of single X-ray pulsars, their wind nebulae, and the SNRs which are connected to some of these sources are analysed. It is shown that electric field intensity of neutron stars tears off charged particles from the surface of neutron star and triggers the acceleration of particles. The charged particles are accelerated mainly in the field of magnetodipole radiation wave. Power and energy spectra of the charged particles depend on the strength of the magnetodipole radiation. Therefore, the X-ray radiation is strongly dependent on the rate of rotational energy loss and weakly dependent on the electric field intensity. Coulomb interaction between the charged particles is the main factor for the energy loss and the X-ray spectra of the charged particles.

  19. X-ray reflection in oxygen-rich accretion discs of ultra-compact X-ray binaries

    Madej, O K; Jonker, P G; Parker, M L; Ross, R; Fabian, A C; Chenevez, J

    2014-01-01

    We present spectroscopic X-ray data of two candidate ultra-compact X-ray binaries: 4U~0614+091 and 4U~1543$-$624. We confirm the presence of a broad O VIII Ly$\\alpha$ reflection line (at $\\approx18\\ \\AA$) using {\\it XMM-Newton} and {\\it Chandra} observations obtained in 2012 and 2013. The donor star in these sources is carbon-oxygen or oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf. Hence, the accretion disc is enriched with oxygen which makes the O VIII Ly$\\alpha$ line particularly strong. We also confirm the presence of a strong absorption edge at $\\approx14$ \\AA\\ so far interpreted in the literature as due to absorption by neutral neon in the circumstellar and interstellar medium. However, the abundance required to obtain a good fit to this edge is $\\approx3-4$ times solar, posing a problem for this interpretation. Furthermore, modeling the X-ray reflection off a carbon and oxygen enriched, hydrogen and helium poor disc with models assuming solar composition likely biases several of the best-fit parameters. In order to...

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

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

    2011-01-01

    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] = $(5.28 \\pm 0.28)\\times10^{-4}$ ($4.9 \\times10^{-4}$ 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 $\\tau_{\\rm scat} = 0.147 \\pm 0.043$. Analysis of the spectrum as a function of pulse phase also measures the X-ray spectral index even at...

  1. The nature of the X-ray pulsar in M31: an intermediate mass X-ray binary?

    Karino, Shigeyuki

    2016-01-01

    Recently the first finding of a spin period of an accreting neutron star in M31 is 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, the observed properties are quite odd for typical low mass X-ray binaries. In this study, we compare observed binary parameters with theoretical models given by a stellar evolution track and make 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 solar mass, and this suggests that this system is a new member of a rare category, intermediate mass X-ray binary. The magnetic field strength of the neutron star suggested by spin-up/down tendency in this system supports the possibility of intermediate mass donor.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    We propose a novel theoretical model to describe a physical identity of the soft X-ray excess, ubiquitously detected in many Seyfert galaxies, by considering a steady-state, axisymmetric plasma accretion within the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) around a black hole (BH) accretion disk. We extend our earlier theoretical investigations on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) accretion which has implied that the accreting plasma can develop into a standing shock for suitable physical conditions causing the downstream flow to be sufficiently hot due to shock compression. We numerically calculate to examine, for sets of fiducial plasma parameters, a physical nature of fast MHD 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-paramet...

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

    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.

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

    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, langular 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.

  5. Ultraluminous X-ray sources as super-Eddington accretion disks

    Fabrika, Sergei; Atapin, Kirill

    2016-01-01

    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 by hundreds and thousands of 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 a 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 SS 433, the only known supercritical accretor in our Galaxy.

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

    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

  7. Chandra Observations of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar 4U 0142+61

    Patel, Sandeep K.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Woods, Peter M.; Tennant, Allyn F.; Weisskopf, Martin C.; Finger, Mark H.; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen; Gogus, Ersin; VanderKlis, Michiel; Belloni, Tomaso; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We present X-ray imaging, timing, and phase resolved spectroscopy of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61 using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The spectrum is well described by a power law plus blackbody model with Gamma = 3.35(2), kT=0.458(3) keV, and N-H = 0.91(2) x 10(exp 22)/sq cm); we find no significant evidence for spectral features (0.5 - 7.0 keV). Time resolved X-ray spectroscopy shows evidence for evolution in phase in either Gamma, or kT or some combination thereof as a function of pulse phase. We derive a precise X-ray position for the source and determine its spin period, P=8.68866(30) s. We have detected emission beyond 4 arcsec from the central source and extending beyond 100 arcsec, likely due to dust scattering in the interstellar medium.

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

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Reynolds, C. S.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    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.

  11. Chandra and Swift X-ray Observations of the X-ray Pulsar SMC X-2 During the Outburst of 2015

    Li, K L; Lin, L C C; Kong, Albert K H

    2016-01-01

    We report the Chandra/HRC-S and Swift/XRT observations for the 2015 outburst of the high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) 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 (TOAs) 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.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    The hot subdwarf HD 49798 has an X-ray emitting compact companion with a spin-period of 13.2 s and a dynamically measured mass of 1.28+/-0.05 M_sun, consistent with either a neutron star or a white dwarf. Using all the available XMM-Newton and Swift observations of this source, we could perform a phase-connected timing analysis extending back to the ROSAT data obtained in 1992. We found that the pulsar is spinning up at a rate of (2.15+/-0.05)x10^{-15} s/s. This result is best interpreted in terms of a neutron star accreting from the wind of its subdwarf companion, although the remarkably steady period derivative over more than 20 years is unusual in wind-accreting neutron stars. The possibility that the compact object is a massive white dwarf accreting through a disk cannot be excluded, but it requires a larger distance and/or properties of the stellar wind of HD 49798 different from those derived from the modelling of its optical/UV spectra.

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

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. On the observability of T Tauri accretion shocks in the X-ray band

    Sacco, G G; Argiroffi, C; Maggio, A; Peres, G; Reale, F; Curran, R L

    2010-01-01

    Context. High resolution X-ray observations of classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs) show a soft X-ray excess due to high density plasma (n_e=10^11-10^13 cm^-3). This emission has been attributed to shock-heated accreting material impacting onto the stellar surface. Aims. We investigate the observability of the shock-heated accreting material in the X-ray band as a function of the accretion stream properties (velocity, density, and metal abundance) in the case of plasma-beta<<1 in the post-shock zone. Methods. We use a 1-D hydrodynamic model describing the impact of an accretion stream onto the chromosphere, including the effects of radiative cooling, gravity and thermal conduction. We explore the space of relevant parameters and synthesize from the model results the X-ray emission in the [0.5-8.0] keV band and in the resonance lines of O VII (21.60 Ang) and Ne IX (13.45 Ang), taking into account the absorption from the chromosphere. Results. The accretion stream properties influence the temperature and the s...

  15. X-ray optical depth diagnostics of T Tauri accretion shocks

    Argiroffi, C; Peres, G; Drake, J J; Santiago, J Lopez; Sciortino, S; Stelzer, B

    2009-01-01

    In classical T Tauri stars, X-rays are produced by two plasma components: a hot low-density plasma, with frequent flaring activity, and a high-density lower temperature plasma. The former is coronal plasma related to the stellar magnetic activity. The latter component, never observed in non-accreting stars, could be plasma heated by the shock formed by the accretion process. However its nature is still being debated. Our aim is to probe the soft X-ray emission from the high-density plasma component in classical T Tauri stars to check whether this is plasma heated in the accretion shock or whether it is coronal plasma. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy allows us to measure individual line fluxes. We analyze X-ray spectra of the classical T Tauri star MP Muscae and TW Hydrae. Our aim is to evaluate line ratios to search for optical depth effects, which are expected in the accretion-driven scenario. We also derive the plasma emission measure distributions EMD, to investigate whether and how the EMD of accreting...

  16. A statistical study of the relation between soft X-ray excess and accretion disk

    2010-01-01

    To study the origin of the soft X-ray excess,we compile a sample of 94 unobscured,radio-quiet QSOs and Seyfert galaxies with available data from GALEX and ROSAT.We find that 50 sources show strong soft X-ray excess and the other 44 show weak/no soft X-ray excess.Systematic analyses of the data indicate that the difference in soft X-rays is mainly but not only resulting from different accretion rates(in units of Eddington rate).The statistical study of the sources with soft X-ray excess shows that the strength of soft X-ray excess weakly and positively correlates with the Eddington ratio and increases with the increase of the strength of UV radiations relative to the X-rays.Provided that the UV emissions are from the thin disk,the correlations imply that the origin of soft X-ray excess is associated with the thin disk,either by means of Comptonization of the disk photons or in some other ways.

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

    Wilkins, Dan

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Broadband x-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the crab nebula and pulsar with NuSTAR

    Madsen, Kristin K.; Reynolds, Stephen; Harrison, Fiona;

    2015-01-01

    We present broadband (3-78 keV) NuSTAR X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the Crab nebula and pulsar. We show that while the phase-averaged and spatially integrated nebula + pulsar spectrum is a power law in this energy band, spatially resolved spectroscopy of the nebula finds a break at ~9 keV in...

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Karino, S

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The 1997 Event in the Crab Pulsar in X-rays

    Vivekanand, M

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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...

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

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

    2016-01-01

    We investigate state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries through different parameters by using two-dimensional axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulation method. For radiative cooling in hot accretion flow, we take into account the bremsstrahlung, synchrotron and synchrotron-self Comptonization self-consistently in the dynamics. Our main result is that the state transitions occur when the accretion rate reaches a critical value $\\dot M \\sim 3\\alpha\\ \\dot M_{\\rm Edd}$, above which cold and de...

  3. Inhomogeneous accretion discs and the soft states of black hole X-ray binaries

    Dexter, Jason; Quataert, Eliot

    2012-01-01

    Observations of black hole binaries (BHBs) have established a rich phenomenology of X-ray states. The soft states range from the low variability, accretion disc dominated thermal state (TD) to the higher variability, non-thermal steep power law state (SPL). The disc component in all states is typically modeled with standard thin disc accretion theory. However, this theory is inconsistent with optical/UV spectral, variability, and gravitational microlensing observations of active galactic nucl...

  4. Nonthermal emission model of isolated X-ray pulsar RX J0420.0-5022

    Chkheidze, Nino

    2013-01-01

    In the present paper an alternative theoretical interpretation to the generally assumed thermal emission models of the observed X-ray spectrum of isolated pulsar RX J0420.0-5022 is presented. It is well known that the distribution function of relativistic particles is one-dimensional at the pulsar surface. However, cyclotron instability causes an appearance of transverse momenta of relativistic electrons, which as a result, start to radiate in the synchrotron regime. On the basis of the Vlasov's kinetic equation we study the process of the quasi-linear diffusion (QLD) developed by means of the cyclotron instability. This mechanism provides generation of optical and X-ray emission on the light cylinder lengthscales. The analysis of the three archival XMM-Newton observations of RX J0420.0-5022 is performed. Considering a different approach of the synchrotron emission theory, the spectral energy distribution is obtained that is in a good agreement with the observational data. A fit to the X-ray spectrum is perfo...

  5. The X-ray Counterpart of the High-B Pulsar PSR J0726-2612

    Speagle, J S; van Kerkwijk, M H

    2011-01-01

    Middle-aged, cooling neutron stars are observed both as relatively rapidly spinning radio pulsars and as more slowly spinning, strongly magnetized isolated neutron stars (INSs), which stand out by their thermal X-ray spectra. The difference between the two classes may be that the INSs initially had much stronger magnetic fields, which decayed. To test this, we used the Chandra X-ray Observatory to observe 1RXS J072559.8-261229, a possible X-ray counterpart to PSR J0726-2612, which, with its 3.44s period and 3e13G inferred magnetic field strength, is the nearest and least extincted among the possible slowly-spinning, strong-field INS progenitors (it likely is in the Gould Belt, at ~1 kpc). We confirm the identification and find that the pulsar has a spectrum consistent with being purely thermal, with blackbody temperature kT=87+/-5 eV and radius R=5.7+2.6-1.3 km at a distance of 1 kpc. We detect sinusoidal pulsations at twice the radio period with a semi-amplitude of 27\\pm5%. The properties of PSR J0726-2612 s...

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

    Sutton, Andrew D; Roberts, Timothy P

    2014-01-01

    Although attempts have been made to constrain the stellar types of optical counterparts to ULXs, the detection of optical variability instead suggests that they may be dominated by reprocessed emission from X-rays which irradiate the outer accretion disc. Here, we report results from a combined X-ray and optical spectral study of a sample of ULXs, which were selected for having broadened disc-like X-ray spectra, and known optical counterparts. We simultaneously fit optical and X-ray data from ULXs with a new spectral model of emission from an irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion disc around a black hole, with a central Comptonising corona. We find that the ULXs require reprocessing fractions of $\\sim 10^{-3}$, which is similar to sub-Eddington thermal dominant state BHBs, but less than has been reported for ULXs with soft ultraluminous X-ray spectra. We suggest that the reprocessing fraction may be due to the opposing effects of self-shielding in a geometrically thick super-critical accretion di...

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

    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.

  8. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-Ray-Emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4-112820

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    I present a 40 kilosecond Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) 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 gamma-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 luminosities. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4-112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and $\\gamma$-ray light curves covering the past $\\sim$decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that ...

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

    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.

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

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

    2015-01-01

    The lack of unambiguous detections of atomic features in the X-ray spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) has proven a hindrance in diagnosing the nature of the accretion flow. The possible association of spectral residuals at soft energies with atomic features seen in absorption and/or emission and potentially broadened by velocity dispersion could therefore hold the key to understanding much about these enigmatic sources. Here we show for the first time that such residuals are seen in several sources and appear extremely similar in shape, implying a common origin. Via simple arguments we assert that emission from extreme colliding winds, absorption in a shell of material associated with the ULX nebula and thermal plasma emission associated with star formation are all highly unlikely to provide an origin. Whilst CCD spectra lack the energy resolution necessary to directly determine the nature of the features (i.e. formed of a complex of narrow lines or intrinsically broad), studying the evolution of t...

  11. Constraints on the mass and radius of neutron stars from X-ray observations

    Li, Zhaosheng

    2015-01-01

    This article gives a very brief introduction about measuring the mass and radius of neutron star from X-ray observations. The masses and radii of neutron stars can be determined from photospheric radius expansion bursts in low-mass X-ray binaries, X-ray pulse profile modeling in accreting X-ray pulsars, gravitational redshift measurement in low-mass X-ray binaries and thermal X-ray spectral fitting in quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries.

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

    Patruno, A

    2012-01-01

    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 2 months and then turned in a non-pulsating source. Understanding why this happened might help to understand why most LMXBs do not pulsate. We present a 7 year long coherent timing analysis of data taken with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We discover new sporadic pulsations that are detected on a baseline of about 2.5 years. We find that the pulse phases anti-correlate with the X-ray flux as previously discovered in other AMXPs. We place stringent upper limits of 0.05% rms on the pulsed fraction when pulsations are not detected and identify an enigmatic pulse phase drift of ~180...

  13. Radio-quiet and radio-loud pulsars: similar in Gamma-rays but different in X-rays

    Marelli, M; De Luca, A; Parkinson, P M Saz; Salvetti, D; Hartog, P R Den; Wolff, M T

    2015-01-01

    We present new Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of a sample of eight radio-quiet Gamma-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 Gamma-ray pulsar timing. For PSR J2030+4415 we found evidence for an about 10 arcsec-long pulsar wind nebula. Our new results consolidate the work from Marelli et al. 2011 and confirm that, on average, the Gamma-ray--to--X-ray flux ratios (Fgamma/Fx) of radio-quiet pulsars are higher than for the radio-loud ones. Furthermore, while the Fgamma/Fx distribution features a single peak for the radio-quiet pulsars, the distribution is more dispersed for the radio-loud ones, possibly showing two peaks. We discuss possible implications of these different distributions based on current models for pulsar X-ray emission.

  14. Propeller effect in the transient X-ray pulsar SMC X-2

    Lutovinov, A; Krivonos, R; Molkov, S; Poutanen, J

    2016-01-01

    We report results of the monitoring campaign of the transient X-ray pulsar SMC X-2 performed with the Swift/XRT telescope in the period of Sept 2015 -- Jan 2016 during the Type II outburst. During this event bolometric luminosity of the source ranged from $\\simeq10^{39}$ down to $<10^{35}$ erg/s. Moreover, we discovered its dramatic drop by a factor of more than 100 below the limiting value of $L_{\\rm lim}\\simeq4\\times10^{36}$ erg/s, that 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 $B\\simeq3\\times10^{12}$ G.

  15. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    Hailang, Dai

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars (MRPs) in this paper. We consider intermediate-mass and low-mss X-ray binaries (I/LMXBs) as the progenitors of MRPs, and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate (SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically. With typical value (~1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime, one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs, but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than observed in the Galaxy. Instead, we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint rather bright LMXBs. The former may have a population of ~ 104 in the Galaxy.

  16. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries(LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars(MRPs) in this paper.We consider intermediate-mass and low-mass X-ray binaries(I/LMXBs) to be the progenitors of MRPs,and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate(SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically.With a typical value(1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime,one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs,but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than that observed in the Galaxy.Instead,we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint to rather than bright LMXBs.The former may have a population of-104 in the Galaxy.

  17. Analysis on RXTE, INTEGRAL and ROTSE IIId observations of the X-ray Pulsar 4U 1907+09

    Sahiner, S.; Inam, S. C.; BAYKAL, A.; Kiziloglu, U.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we present our recent timing and spectral analysis of the X-ray pulsar 4U 1907+09. Our X-ray data consist of an extended set of RXTE & INTEGRAL observations that were analyzed before ({\\c{S}}ahiner et al. 2012). From the X-ray observations we extend the pulse period history of the source and obtain a revised orbital distribution of the X-ray dips. Using ROTSE IIId optical observations, we present the long term optical light curve of the source to have an understanding of long te...

  18. Soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars as highly magnetized white dwarfs

    Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata

    2016-01-01

    We show that the soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) can be explained as recently proposed highly magnetized white dwarfs (B-WDs). The radius and magnetic field of B-WDs are perfectly adequate to explain energies in SGRs/AXPs as the rotationally powered energy. While the highly magnetized neutron stars require an extra, observationally not well established yet, source of energy, the magnetized white dwarfs, yet following Chandrasekhar's theory (C-WDs), exhibit large ultra-violet luminosity which is observationally constrained from a strict upper limit.

  19. Time and Energy Measurement Electronics for Silicon Drift Detector Aimed for X-ray Pulsar Navigation

    Chen, Er-Lei; Feng, Chang-Qing; Ye, Chun-Feng; Liu, Shu-Bin; Jin, Dong-Dong; Lian, Jian; HU, HUI-JUN

    2016-01-01

    A readout electronic with high time and energy resolution performance is designed for the SDD (Silicon Drift Detector) signals readout, which is aimed for X-ray pulsar based navigation (XNAV). For time measurement, the input signal is fed into a fast shaping and Constant Fraction Discrimination (CFD) circuit, and then be digitalized by a Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) implemented in an Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), which is designed with a bin size of 2.5 ns. For energy measurement, ...

  20. Spectral Properties of the X-ray Binary Pulsar LMC X-4 during Different Intensity States

    S. Naik; B. Paul

    2002-03-01

    We present spectral variations of the binary X-ray pulsar LMC X-4 observed with the RXTE/PCA during different phases of its 30.5 day long third period. Only out-of-eclipse data were used for this study. The 3–25 keV spectrum, modeled with high energy cut-off power-law and iron line emission is found to show strong dependence on the intensity state. Correlations between the Fe line emission flux and different parameters of the continuum are presented here.

  1. A supernova remnant coincident with the slow X-ray pulsar AX J1845-0258

    Gaensler, B. M.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Vasisht, G.

    1999-01-01

    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 non-thermal spectral index. We class 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 tha...

  2. Understanding X-ray reflection as a probe of accreting black holes

    Wilkins, Daniel Richard

    2013-01-01

    The reflection of the X-rays emitted from a corona of energetic particles surrounding an accreting black hole from the accretion disc is investigated in the context of probing the structure of the central regions as well as the physical processes that power some of the brightest objects seen in the Universe. A method is devised to measure the emissivity profile of the accretion disc, that is the reflected flux as a function of radius in the disc. This method exploits the variation in the D...

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

    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.

  4. X-ray reflected spectra from accretion disk models.II. Diagnostic tools for X-ray observations

    Garcia, J; 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 K$\\alpha$ with the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is $\\sim 800$ eV for models with log $\\xi\\sim 1.5$, and decreases monotonically as $\\xi$ increases. For lower values of $\\xi$ the Fe K$\\alpha$ EW decreases to a minimum near log $\\xi\\sim 0.8$. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low ionized, reflection dominated cases, the 2-10 keV...

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

    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.

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

    Tsygankov, S S; Doroshenko, V; Mushtukov, A A; Poutanen, J

    2016-01-01

    We present the results of the monitoring programmes performed with the Swift/XRT telescope and aimed specifically to the detection of an abrupt decrease of the observed flux associated with a transition to the propeller regime in two well known X-ray pulsars 4U 0115+63 and V 0332+53 during their giant outbursts in 2015. Such transitions were detected at the threshold luminosities of $(1.4\\pm0.4)\\times10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$ and $(2.0\\pm0.4)\\times10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$ for 4U 0115+63 and V 0332+53, respectively. Spectra of the sources are shown to be significantly softer during the low state. In both sources, the accretion at rates close to the aforementioned threshold values briefly resumes during the periastron passage following the transition into propeller regime. The strength of the dipole component of the magnetic field required to inhibit the accretion agrees well with estimates based on the position of the cyclotron lines in their spectra, thus excluding presence of a strong multipole component of the mag...

  7. Chandra and Swift X-ray Observations of the X-ray Pulsar SMC X-2 During the Outburst of 2015

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

    2016-01-01

    We report the Chandra/HRC-S and Swift/XRT observations for the 2015 outburst of the high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) 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 arriva...

  8. An optical & X-ray study of the counterpart to the SMC X-ray binary pulsar system SXP327

    Coe, M J; Corbet, R H D; Galache, J; McBride, V A; Townsend, L J; Udalski, A

    2008-01-01

    Optical and X-ray observations are presented here of a newly reported X-ray transient system in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The data reveal many previously unknown X-ray detections of this system and clear evidence for a 49.995d binary period. In addition, the optical photometry show recurring outburst features at the binary period which may well be indicative of the neutron star interacting with a circumstellar disk around a Be star.

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

    Bozzo, E; Feldmeier, A; Falanga, M

    2016-01-01

    The accretion of the stellar wind material by a compact object represents the main mechanism powering the X-ray emission in classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. In this work we present the first attempt to simulate the accretion process of a fast and dense massive star wind onto a neutron star, taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion ("gating") due to the spin and magnetic field of the compact object. We made use of a radiative hydrodynamical code to model the non-stationary radiatively driven wind of an O-B supergiant star and then place a neutron star characterized by a fixed magnetic field and spin period at a certain distance from the massive companion. Our calculations follow, as a function of time (on a total time scale of several hours), the transition of the system through all different accretion regimes that are triggered by the intrinsic variations in the density and velocity of the non-stationary wind. Th...

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

    Illarionov, A F; Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2000-01-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries, the accreting matter is Compton cooled and falls freely onto 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...

  11. X-ray iron line variability constraints on the inner accretion disk

    Reynolds, C S

    2000-01-01

    After reviewing the basic physics of X-ray reflection in AGN, we present three case studies which illustrate the current state of X-ray reflection studies. For the low-luminosity AGN NGC4258, we find that the iron line is much narrower than is typically found in higher luminosity AGN. We argue that this is evidence for either a truncated cold accretion disk (possibly due to a transition to an advection dominate accretion flow at r ~ 100GM/c^2) or a large r ~ 100GM/c^2 X-ray emitting corona surrounding the accretion disk. We also present results for the higher luminosity Seyfert nuclei in NGC5548 and MCG-6-30-15. In both of these sources, RXTE shows that the iron line equivalent width decreases with increasing luminosity. Furthermore, the iron line equivalent width is found to be anticorrelated with the relative strength of the reflection continuum, contrary to all simple reflection models. It is proposed that continuum-flux correlated changes in the ionization of the accretion disk surface can explain this sp...

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

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Wu, Mao-Chun; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Gan, Zhao-Ming

    2016-01-01

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

  14. The infrared/X-ray correlation of GX 339-4: Probing hard X-ray emission in accreting black holes

    Coriat, M; Buxton, M M; Bailyn, C D; Tomsick, J A; Koerding, E; Kalemci, E

    2009-01-01

    GX 339-4 has been one of the key sources for unravelling the accretion ejection coupling in accreting stellar mass black holes. After a long period of quiescence between 1999 and 2002, GX 339-4 underwent a series of 4 outbursts that have been intensively observed by many ground based observatories [radio, infrared(IR), optical] and satellites (X-rays). Here, we present results of these broad-band observational campaigns, focusing on the optical-IR (OIR)/X-ray flux correlations over the four outbursts. We found tight OIR/X-ray correlations over four decades with the presence of a break in the IR/X-ray correlation in the hard state. This correlation is the same for all four outbursts. This can be interpreted in a consistent way by considering a synchrotron self-Compton origin of the X-rays in which the break frequency varies between the optically thick and thin regime of the jet spectrum. We also highlight the similarities and differences between optical/X-ray and IR/X-ray correlations which suggest a jet origi...

  15. The Variable X-ray and Near-IR Behavior of the Particularly Anomaloux X-ray Pulsar 1E 1048.1-5937

    Tam, Cindy R; Dib, Rim; Kaspi, Victoria M; Woods, Peter M; Bassa, Cees

    2007-01-01

    We present the results of X-ray and near-IR observations of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E 1048.1-5937, believed to be a magnetar. This AXP underwent a period of extreme variability during 2001-2004, but subsequently entered an extended and unexpected quiescence in 2004-2006, during which we monitored it with RXTE, CXO, and HST. Its timing properties were stable for >3 years throughout the quiescent period. 1E 1048.1-5937 again went into outburst in March 2007, which saw a factor of >7 total X-ray flux increase which was anti-correlated with a pulsed fraction decrease, and correlated with spectral hardening, among other effects. The near-IR counterpart also brightened following the 2007 event. We discuss our findings in the context of the magnetar and other models.

  16. Accretion, Ablation and Propeller Evolution in Close Millisecond Pulsar Binary Systems

    Kiel, P D

    2013-01-01

    A model for the formation and evolution of binary millisecond radio pulsars in systems with low mass companions (< 0.1 Msun) is investigated using a binary population synthesis technique. Taking into account the non conservative evolution of the system due to mass loss from an accretion disk as a result of propeller action and from the companion via ablation by the pulsar, the transition from the accretion powered to rotation powered phase is investigated. It is shown that the operation of the propeller and ablation mechanisms can be responsible for the formation and evolution of black widow millisecond pulsar systems from the low mass X-ray binary phase at an orbital period of ~0.1 day. For a range of population synthesis input parameters, the results reveal that a population of black widow millisecond pulsars characterized by orbital periods as long as ~0.4 days and companion masses as low as ~0.005 Msun can be produced. The orbital periods and minimum companion mass of this radio millisecond pulsar popu...

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

    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.

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

    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.

  19. Flares from Galactic centre pulsars: a new class of X-ray transients?

    Giannios, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    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 harbor 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 disk around the central black hole. As we demonstrate, these interactions result in observable transient non-thermal X-ray and gamma-ray emission over timescales of months, provided that the spin down luminosity of the neutron star is L_{sd}~10^{35} erg/s. Current limits on the population of normal and millisecond pulsars in the GC regi...

  20. Detection of fundamental and first harmonic cyclotron line in X-ray pulsar Cep X-4

    Jaisawal, Gaurava K.; Naik, Sachindra

    2015-10-01

    We report the broad-band spectral properties of the X-ray pulsar Cep X-4 by using a Suzaku observation in 2014 July. The 0.8-70 keV spectrum was found to be well described by three continuum models - Negative and Positive power-law with Exponential cut-off (NPEX), high-energy cut-off power-law and CompTT models. Additional components such as a cyclotron line at ˜28 keV and two Gaussian components for iron lines at 6.4 and 6.9 keV were required in the spectral fitting. Apart from these, an additional absorption feature at ˜45 keV was clearly detected in residuals obtained from the spectral fitting. This additional feature at ˜45 keV was clearly seen in phase-resolved spectra of the pulsar. We identified this feature as the first harmonic of the fundamental cyclotron line at ˜28 keV. The ratio between the first harmonic and fundamental line energies (1.7) was found to be in disagreement with the conventional factor of 2, indicating that the heights of line-forming regions are different or viewed at larger angles. The phase-resolved spectroscopy of the fundamental and first harmonic cyclotron lines shows significant pulse-phase variation of the line parameters. This can be interpreted as the effect of viewing angle or the role of complicated magnetic field of the pulsar.

  1. Luminosity-dependent spectral and timing properties of the accreting pulsar GX 304-1 measured with INTEGRAL

    Malacaria, Christian; Santangelo, Andrea; Staubert, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    Context: Be/X-ray binaries show outbursts with peak luminosities up to a few times $10^{37}\\,$erg/s, during which they can be observed and studied in detail. Most (if not all) Be/X-ray binaries harbour accreting pulsars, whose X-ray spectra in many cases contain cyclotron resonant scattering features related to the magnetic field of the sources. Spectral variations as a function of luminosity and of the rotational phase of the neutron star are observed in many accreting pulsars. Aims: We explore X-ray spectral and timing properties of the Be/X-ray binary GX 304-1 during an outburst episode. Specifically, we investigate the behavior of the cyclotron resonant scattering feature, the continuum spectral parameters, the pulse period, and the energy- and luminosity-resolved pulse profiles. We combine the luminosity-resolved spectral and timing analysis to probe the accretion geometry and the beaming patterns of the rotating neutron star. Methods: We analyze the INTEGRAL data from the two JEM-X modules, ISGRI and SP...

  2. X-ray accretion signatures in the close CTTS binary V4046 Sgr

    Günther, H; Schmitt, J H M M; Robrade, J; Ness, J U

    2006-01-01

    We present Chandra HETGS observations of the classical T Tauri star (CTTS) V4046 Sgr. The He-like triplets of O VII, Ne 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.

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

    Tombesi, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    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 dir...

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

    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.

  5. X-rays from T Tau: A test case for accreting T Tauri stars

    Güdel, M; Mel'nikov, S Y; Audard, M; Telleschi, A; Briggs, K R

    2006-01-01

    We test models for the generation of X-rays in accreting T Tauri stars (TTS), using X-ray data from the classical TTS T Tau. High-resolution spectroscopy from the Reflection Grating Spectrometers on XMM-Newton is used to infer electron densities, element abundances and the thermal structure of the X-ray source. We also discuss the ultraviolet light curve obtained by the Optical Monitor, and complementary ground-based photometry. A high-resolution image from Chandra constrains contributions from the two companions of T Tau N. The X-ray grating spectrum is rich in emission lines, but shows an unusual mixture of features from very hot (~30 MK) and very cool (1-3 MK) plasma, both emitted by similar amounts of emission measure. The cool plasma confirms the picture of a soft excess in the form of an enhanced OVII/OVIII Lya flux ratio, similar to that previously reported for other accreting TTS. Diagnostics from lines formed by this plasma indicate low electron densities (<~ 1E10 cm-3). The Ne/Fe abundance ratio ...

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

    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).

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

    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.

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

    Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2000-01-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries the accreting matter is Compton cooled and falls freely onto 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...

  9. A Deep Chandra X-ray Spectrum of the Accreting Young Star TW Hydrae

    Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Dupree, A. K.; Luna, G. J. M.; Wolk, S.

    2010-01-01

    We present X-ray spectral analysis of the accreting young star TW Hydrae from a 489 ks observation using the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating. The spectrum provides a rich set of diagnostics for electron temperature T_e, electron density N_e, hydrogen column density N_H, relative elemental abundances and velocities and reveals its source in 3 distinct regions of the stellar atmosphere: the stellar corona, the accretion shock, and a very large extended volume of warm postshock plasma. ...

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

    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