809 research outputs found

    Discovery of a new pulsating X-ray source with a 1549.1-s period, AX J183220-0840

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    A new pulsating X-ray source, AX J183220-0840, with a 1549.1-s period was discovered at R.A.= 18h32m20s and Dec.=-8d40'30'' (J2000, uncertainty=0.6degree) during an ASCA observation on the Galactic plane. The source was observed two times, in 1997 and in 1999. A phase-averaged X-ray flux of 1.1E-11 ergs cm-2 s-1 and pulsation period of 1549.1+/-0.4 s were consistently obtained from these two observations. The X-ray spectrum was represented by a flat absorbed power-law with a photon-index of =~0.8 and an absorption column density of =~1.3E22 cm-2. Also, a signature of iron K-shell line emission with a centroid of 6.7 keV and an equivalent width of approximately 450 eV was detected. From the pulsation period and the iron-line feature, AX J183220-0840 is likely to be a magnetic white dwarf binary with a complexly absorbed thermal spectrum with a temperature of about 10 keV.Comment: 13 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

    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&

    Footprints in the wind of Vela X-1 traced with MAXI

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    The stellar wind around the compact object in luminous wind-accreting high mass X-ray binaries is expected to be strongly ionized with the X-rays coming from the compact object. The stellar wind of hot stars is mostly driven by light absorption in lines of heavier elements, and X-ray photo-ionization significantly reduces the radiative force within the so-called Stroemgren region leading to wind stagnation around the compact object. In close binaries like Vela X-1 this effect might alter the wind structure throughout the system. Using the spectral data from Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI), we study the observed dependence of the photoelectric absorption as function of orbital phase in Vela X-1, and find that it is inconsistent with expectations for a spherically-symmetric smooth wind. Taking into account previous investigations we develop a simple model for wind structure with a stream-like photoionization wake region of slower and denser wind trailing the neutron star responsible for the observed absorption curve.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted in A&

    Constraints on Thermal Emission Models of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

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    Thermal emission from the surface of an ultramagnetic neutron star is believed to contribute significantly to the soft X-ray flux of the Anomalous X-ray Pulsars. We compare the detailed predictions of models of the surface emission from a magnetar to the observed properties of AXPs. In particular, we focus on the combination of their luminosities and energy-dependent pulsed fractions. We use the results of recent calculations for strongly magnetized atmospheres to obtain the angle- and energy-dependence of the surface emission. We include in our calculations the effects of general relativistic photon transport and interstellar extinction. We find that the combination of the large pulsed fractions and the high luminosities of AXPs cannot be accounted for by surface emission from a magnetar with two antipodal hot regions or a temperature distribution characteristic of a magnetic dipole. This result is robust for reasonable neutron star radii, for the range of magnetic field strengths inferred from the observed spin down rates, and for surface temperatures consistent with the spectral properties of AXPs. Models with a single hot emitting region can reproduce the observations, provided that the distance to one of the sources is ~30% less than the current best estimate, and allowing for systematic uncertainties in the spectral fit of a second source. Finally, the thermal emission models with antipodal emission geometry predict a characteristic strong increase of the pulsed fraction with photon energy, which is apparently inconsistent with the current data. The energy-dependence of the pulsed fraction in the models with one hot region shows a wider range of behavior and can be consistent with the existing data. Upcoming high-resolution observations with Chandra and XMM-Newton will provide a conclusive test.Comment: 25 preprint pages, 7 color figures, ApJ, in pres

    Discovery of luminous pulsed hard X-ray emission from anomalous X-ray pulsars 1RXS J1708-4009, 4U 0142+61 and 1E 2259+586 by INTEGRAL and RXTE

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    We report on the discovery of hard spectral tails for energies above 10 keV in the total and pulsed spectra of anomalous X-ray pulsars 1RXS J1708-4009, 4U 0142+61 and 1E 2259+586 using RXTE PCA (2-60 keV) and HEXTE (15-250 keV) data and INTEGRAL IBIS ISGRI (20-300 keV) data. Improved spectral information on 1E 1841-045 is presented. The pulsed and total spectra measured above 10 keV have power-law shapes and there is so far no significant evidence for spectral breaks or bends up to ~150 keV. The pulsed spectra are exceptionally hard with indices measured for 4 AXPs approximately in the range -1.0 -- 1.0. We also reanalyzed archival CGRO COMPTEL (0.75-30 MeV) data to search for signatures from our set of AXPs. No detections can be claimed, but the obtained upper-limits in the MeV band indicate that for 1RXS J1708-4009, 4U 0142+61 and 1E 1841-045 strong breaks must occur somewhere between 150 and 750 keV.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ; 19 pages; 4 Tables; 15 Figures (6 color

    Elemental Abundances in the Possible Type Ia Supernova Remnant G344.7-0.1

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    Recent studies on the Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) G344.7-0.1 have commonly claimed its origin to be a core-collapse supernova (SN) explosion, based on its highly asymmetric morphology and/or proximity to a star forming region. In this paper, however, we present an X-ray spectroscopic study of this SNR using Suzaku, which is supportive of a Type Ia origin. Strong K-shell emission from lowly ionized Fe has clearly been detected, and its origin is determined, for the first time, to be the Fe-rich SN ejecta. The abundance pattern is highly consistent with that expected for a somewhat-evolved Type Ia SNR. It is suggested, therefore, that the X-ray point-like source CXOU J170357.8-414302 located at the SNR's geometrical center is not associated with the SNR but is likely to be a foreground object. Our result further indicates that G344.7-0.1 is the first possible Type Ia SNR categorized as a member of the so-called "mixed-morphology" class. In addition, we have detected emission from He-like Al at ~1.6 keV, the first clear detection of this element in the spectrum of an extended X-ray source. The possible enhancement of the Al/Mg abundance ratio from the solar value suggests that the ambient interstellar medium has a relatively high metallicity (not less than 10% of the solar value), if this SNR has indeed a Type Ia origin. We also report marginal detection of Cr and Mn, although the measured fluxes have large statistical and systematic uncertainties.Comment: ApJ in pres

    Spectral properties of anomalous X-ray pulsars

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    In this paper, the spectra of the persistent emission from anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and their variation with spin-down rate Ω˙\dot{\Omega} is considered. Firstly, based on an accretion-powered model, the influences of both magnetic field and mass accretion rate on the spectra properties of AXPs are addressed. Subsequently, the relation between the spectral property of AXPs and mass accretion rate M˙\dot{M} is investigated. The result shows that there exists a linear correlation between the photon index and mass accretion rate, and the spectral hardness increases with increasing M˙\dot{M}. A possible emission mechanism for the explanation of spectral properties of AXPs is also discussed.Comment: 11pages, 3 figures, Chin. J. Astron. Astrophys. in pres

    A contribution of stellar flares to the GRXE -- based on MAXI observations --

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    Using unbiased observations of MAXI/GSC the potential contribution of stellar flares and CVs to GRXE luminosity is estimated in the energy range of 2 - 10 keV. Currently, a reasonable luminosity has been obtained extrapolating the number of stellar flares and that of CVs toward the Galactic ridge from those of the observed flares and CVs near the solar system. The ionized emission lines of Si to Fe are also simulated making the composite thermal spectrum which is based on MAXI observations of stellar flares and CVs. The present estimated result strongly supports a picture that the cumulative stellar flares contribute primarily to the GRXE in terms of the composite thermal spectrum with emission lines and secondary contribution is due to the thermal spectrum with high temperature from CVs