5,997 research outputs found

    A Deep Infrared Search for AXP 1E 1841-045

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    Multi-colour (JHKs) imaging and photometry of the field of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar AXP 1E 1841-045 is analysed in the light of new, accurate coordinates from Chandra (Wachter et al, 2004). From excellentquality images, we find multiple sources in and around the position error circle. Of these, none can be confidently identified as the infrared counterpart. The limiting magnitudes reached were J=22.1, H=20.7 and Ks=19.9$ (95% confidence).Comment: 8 pages LaTeX, 2 eps figures; ApJ accepte

    The Distance and Age of the SNR Kes 73 and AXP 1E 1841-045

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    We provide a new distance estimate to the supernova remnant (SNR) Kes 73 and its associated anomalous X-ray pulsar (AXP) 1E 1841-045. 21 cm HI images and HI absorption/ emission spectra from new VLA observations, and 13CO emission spectra of Kes 73 and two adjacent compact HII regions (G27.276+0.148 and G27.491+0.189) are analyzed. The HI images show prominent absorption features associated with Kes 73 and the HII regions. The absorption appears up to the tangent point velocity giving a lower distance limit to Kes 73 of 7.5 kpc, which has previously been given as the upper limit. Also, G27.276+0.148 and G27.491+0.189 are at the far kinematic distances of their radio recombination line velocities. There is prominent HI emission in the range 80--90 km/s for all three objects. The two HII regions show HI absorption at ~ 84 km/s, but there is no absorption in the Kes 73 absorption spectrum. This implies an upper distance limit of ~ 9.8 kpc to Kes 73. This corrected larger distance to Kes 73/ AXP 1E 1841-045 system leads to a refined age of the SNR of 500 to 1000 yr, and a ~ 50% larger AXP X-ray luminosity.Comment: 10 pages, 2 figures, ApJ, dol:10.1086/"529120

    Probing the stellar wind environment of Vela X-1 with MAXI

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    Vela X-1 is among the best studied and most luminous accreting X-ray pulsars. The supergiant optical companion produces a strong radiatively-driven stellar wind, which is accreted onto the neutron star producing highly variable X-ray emission. A complex phenomenology, due to both gravitational and radiative effects, needs to be taken into account in order to reproduce orbital spectral variations. We have investigated the spectral and light curve properties of the X-ray emission from Vela X-1 along the binary orbit. These studies allow to constrain the stellar wind properties and its perturbations induced by the compact object. We took advantage of the All Sky Monitor MAXI/GSC data to analyze Vela X-1 spectra and light curves. By studying the orbital profiles in the 4104-10 and 102010-20 keV energy bands, we extracted a sample of orbital light curves (15{\sim}15% of the total) showing a dip around the inferior conjunction, i.e., a double-peaked shape. We analyzed orbital phase-averaged and phase-resolved spectra of both the double-peaked and the standard sample. The dip in the double-peaked sample needs NH2×1024N_H\sim2\times10^{24}\,cm2^{-2} to be explained by absorption solely, which is not observed in our analysis. We show how Thomson scattering from an extended and ionized accretion wake can contribute to the observed dip. Fitted by a cutoff power-law model, the two analyzed samples show orbital modulation of the photon index, hardening by 0.3{\sim}0.3 around the inferior conjunction, compared to earlier and later phases, hinting a likely inadequacy of this model. On the contrary, including a partial covering component at certain orbital phase bins allows a constant photon index along the orbital phases, indicating a highly inhomogeneous environment. We discuss our results in the framework of possible scenarios.Comment: 10 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Phenomenology of the Flavor-Asymmetry in the Light-Quark Sea of the Nucleon

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    A phenomenological ansatz for the flavor-asymmetry of the light sea distributions of the nucleon, based on the Pauli exclusion principle, is proposed. This ansatz is compatible with the measured flavor-asymmetry of the unpolarized sea distributions, dˉ>uˉ\bar{d}>\bar{u}, of the nucleon. A prediction for the corresponding polarized flavor-asymmetry is presented and shown to agree with predictions of (chiral quark--soliton) models which successfully reproduced the flavor-asymmetry of the unpolarized sea.Comment: 5 pages, LaTeX, 2 figures, uses epsfi

    A Burst and Simultaneous Short-Term Pulsed Flux Enhancement from the Magnetar Candidate 1E 1048.1-5937

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    We report on the 2004 June 29 burst detected from the direction of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar (AXP) 1E 1048.1-5937 using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). We find a simultaneous increase of ~3.5 times the quiescent value in the 2-10 keV pulsed flux of 1E 1048.1-5937 during the tail of the burst which identifies the AXP as the burst's origin. The burst was overall very similar to the two others reported from the direction of this source in 2001. The unambiguous identification of 1E 1048.1-5937 as the burster here confirms it was the origin of the 2001 bursts as well. The epoch of the burst peak was very close to the arrival time of 1E 1048.1-5937's pulse peak. The burst exhibited significant spectral evolution with the trend going from hard to soft. During the 11 days following the burst, the AXP was observed further with RXTE, XMM-Newton and Chandra. Pre- and post-burst observations revealed no change in the total flux or spectrum of the quiescent emission. Comparing all three bursts detected thus far from this source we find that this event was the most fluent (>3.3x10^-8 erg/cm^2 in the 2-20 keV band), had the highest peak flux (59+/-9x10^-10 erg/s/cm^2 in the 2-20 keV band), and the longest duration (>699 s). The long duration of the burst differentiates it from Soft Gamma Repeater (SGR) bursts which have typical durations of ~0.1 s. Bursts that occur preferentially at pulse maximum, have fast-rises and long X-tails containing the majority of the total burst energy have been seen uniquely from AXPs. The marked differences between AXP and SGRs bursts may provide new clues to help understand the physical differences between these objects.Comment: 24 pages, 4 figures, submitted to the Astrophysical Journa

    Atmospheres and Spectra of Strongly Magnetized Neutron Stars -- III. Partially Ionized Hydrogen Models

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    We construct partially ionized hydrogen atmosphere models for magnetized neutron stars in radiative equilibrium with surface fields B=10^12-5 \times 10^14 G and effective temperatures T_eff \sim a few \times 10^5-10^6 K. These models are based on the latest equation of state and opacity results for magnetized, partially ionized hydrogen plasmas that take into account various magnetic and dense medium effects. The atmospheres directly determine the characteristics of thermal emission from isolated neutron stars. For the models with B=10^12-10^13 G, the spectral features due to neutral atoms lie at extreme UV and very soft X-ray energy bands and therefore are difficult to observe. However, the continuum flux is also different from the fully ionized case, especially at lower energies. For the superstrong field models (B\ga 10^14 G), we show that the vacuum polarization effect not only suppresses the proton cyclotron line as shown previously, but also suppresses spectral features due to bound species; therefore spectral lines or features in thermal radiation are more difficult to observe when the neutron star magnetic field is \ga 10^14 G.Comment: 12 pages, 10 figures; ApJ, accepted (v599: Dec 20, 2003

    Frost damage of bricks composing a railway tunnel monument in Central Japan: field monitoring and laboratory simulation

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    International audienceBricks of tunnels and bridges of Usui Pass railway (Japan) exposed to north are subject to frost damage. Average depth of erosion due to detachment of angular blocks is around 1-1.5 cm. In order to assess this weathering and to understand its mechanism, an experimental study was carried out in the field and laboratory. Field monitoring showed the combination of seasonal and diurnal freezing with a maximum of heave when the freezing front reached 5 cm depth. Bricks taken from the site were submitted to unidirectional freezing at capillary and vacuum saturation in the laboratory. Results showed that frost damage of bricks was favoured by high saturation level and repetition of freeze-thaw cycles