Discovery of a transient magnetar

XTE J1810-197

Alaa I. Ibrahim, Craig B. Markwardt, Jean H. Swank, Scott Ransom, Mallory Roberts, Victoria Kaspi, Peter M. Woods, Samar Safi-Harb, Solen Balman, William C. Parke, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Kevin Hurley, Thomas Cline

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We report the discovery of a new X-ray pulsar, XTE J1810-197, that was serendipitously discovered on 2003 July 15 by the Rossi X- Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) while observing the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20. The pulsar has a 5.54 s spin period, a soft X-ray spectrum (with a photon index of ≈4), and is detectable in earlier RXTE observations back to 2003 January but not before. These show that a transient outburst began between 2002 November 17 and 2003 January 23 and that the source's persistent X-ray flux has been declining since then. The pulsar exhibits a high spin-down rate ̇P ≈ 10-11 s s-1 with no evidence of Doppler shifts due to a binary companion. The rapid spin-down rate and slow spin period imply a supercritical characteristic magnetic field B ≃ 3 × 1014 G and a young age ≳T ̃ 7600 yr. Follow-up Chandra observations provided an accurate position of the source. Within its error radius, the 1.5 m Russian-Turkish Optical Telescope found a limiting magnitude RC = 21.5, All such properties are strikingly similar to those of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma repeaters, providing strong evidence that the source is a new magnetar. However, archival ASCA and ROSAT observations found the source nearly 2 orders of magnitude fainter. This transient behavior and the observed long-term flux variability of the source in absence of an observed SGR-like burst activity make it the first confirmed transient magnetar and suggest that other neutron stars that share the properties of XTE J1810 - 197 during its inactive phase may be unidentified transient magnetars awaiting detection via a similar activity. This implies a larger population of magnetars than previously surmised and a possible evolutionary connection between magnetars and other neutron star families.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume609
    Issue number1 II
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2004

    Fingerprint

    magnetars
    pulsars
    soft gamma repeaters
    X Ray Timing Explorer
    neutron stars
    x rays
    bursts
    outburst
    telescopes
    radii
    magnetic field
    shift
    photons
    magnetic fields

    Keywords

    • Pulsars: general
    • Pulsars: individual (XTE J1810-197)
    • Stars: magnetic fields
    • Stars: neutron
    • X-rays: stars

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    Ibrahim, A. I., Markwardt, C. B., Swank, J. H., Ransom, S., Roberts, M., Kaspi, V., ... Cline, T. (2004). Discovery of a transient magnetar: XTE J1810-197. Astrophysical Journal, 609(1 II). https://doi.org/10.1086/422636

    Discovery of a transient magnetar : XTE J1810-197. / Ibrahim, Alaa I.; Markwardt, Craig B.; Swank, Jean H.; Ransom, Scott; Roberts, Mallory; Kaspi, Victoria; Woods, Peter M.; Safi-Harb, Samar; Balman, Solen; Parke, William C.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Hurley, Kevin; Cline, Thomas.

    In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 609, No. 1 II, 01.07.2004.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ibrahim, AI, Markwardt, CB, Swank, JH, Ransom, S, Roberts, M, Kaspi, V, Woods, PM, Safi-Harb, S, Balman, S, Parke, WC, Kouveliotou, C, Hurley, K & Cline, T 2004, 'Discovery of a transient magnetar: XTE J1810-197', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 609, no. 1 II. https://doi.org/10.1086/422636
    Ibrahim AI, Markwardt CB, Swank JH, Ransom S, Roberts M, Kaspi V et al. Discovery of a transient magnetar: XTE J1810-197. Astrophysical Journal. 2004 Jul 1;609(1 II). https://doi.org/10.1086/422636
    Ibrahim, Alaa I. ; Markwardt, Craig B. ; Swank, Jean H. ; Ransom, Scott ; Roberts, Mallory ; Kaspi, Victoria ; Woods, Peter M. ; Safi-Harb, Samar ; Balman, Solen ; Parke, William C. ; Kouveliotou, Chryssa ; Hurley, Kevin ; Cline, Thomas. / Discovery of a transient magnetar : XTE J1810-197. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2004 ; Vol. 609, No. 1 II.
    @article{d8da38c9e9914a28978f001bbeba4858,
    title = "Discovery of a transient magnetar: XTE J1810-197",
    abstract = "We report the discovery of a new X-ray pulsar, XTE J1810-197, that was serendipitously discovered on 2003 July 15 by the Rossi X- Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) while observing the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20. The pulsar has a 5.54 s spin period, a soft X-ray spectrum (with a photon index of ≈4), and is detectable in earlier RXTE observations back to 2003 January but not before. These show that a transient outburst began between 2002 November 17 and 2003 January 23 and that the source's persistent X-ray flux has been declining since then. The pulsar exhibits a high spin-down rate ̇P ≈ 10-11 s s-1 with no evidence of Doppler shifts due to a binary companion. The rapid spin-down rate and slow spin period imply a supercritical characteristic magnetic field B ≃ 3 × 1014 G and a young age ≳T ̃ 7600 yr. Follow-up Chandra observations provided an accurate position of the source. Within its error radius, the 1.5 m Russian-Turkish Optical Telescope found a limiting magnitude RC = 21.5, All such properties are strikingly similar to those of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma repeaters, providing strong evidence that the source is a new magnetar. However, archival ASCA and ROSAT observations found the source nearly 2 orders of magnitude fainter. This transient behavior and the observed long-term flux variability of the source in absence of an observed SGR-like burst activity make it the first confirmed transient magnetar and suggest that other neutron stars that share the properties of XTE J1810 - 197 during its inactive phase may be unidentified transient magnetars awaiting detection via a similar activity. This implies a larger population of magnetars than previously surmised and a possible evolutionary connection between magnetars and other neutron star families.",
    keywords = "Pulsars: general, Pulsars: individual (XTE J1810-197), Stars: magnetic fields, Stars: neutron, X-rays: stars",
    author = "Ibrahim, {Alaa I.} and Markwardt, {Craig B.} and Swank, {Jean H.} and Scott Ransom and Mallory Roberts and Victoria Kaspi and Woods, {Peter M.} and Samar Safi-Harb and Solen Balman and Parke, {William C.} and Chryssa Kouveliotou and Kevin Hurley and Thomas Cline",
    year = "2004",
    month = "7",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1086/422636",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "609",
    journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
    issn = "0004-637X",
    publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
    number = "1 II",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Discovery of a transient magnetar

    T2 - XTE J1810-197

    AU - Ibrahim, Alaa I.

    AU - Markwardt, Craig B.

    AU - Swank, Jean H.

    AU - Ransom, Scott

    AU - Roberts, Mallory

    AU - Kaspi, Victoria

    AU - Woods, Peter M.

    AU - Safi-Harb, Samar

    AU - Balman, Solen

    AU - Parke, William C.

    AU - Kouveliotou, Chryssa

    AU - Hurley, Kevin

    AU - Cline, Thomas

    PY - 2004/7/1

    Y1 - 2004/7/1

    N2 - We report the discovery of a new X-ray pulsar, XTE J1810-197, that was serendipitously discovered on 2003 July 15 by the Rossi X- Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) while observing the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20. The pulsar has a 5.54 s spin period, a soft X-ray spectrum (with a photon index of ≈4), and is detectable in earlier RXTE observations back to 2003 January but not before. These show that a transient outburst began between 2002 November 17 and 2003 January 23 and that the source's persistent X-ray flux has been declining since then. The pulsar exhibits a high spin-down rate ̇P ≈ 10-11 s s-1 with no evidence of Doppler shifts due to a binary companion. The rapid spin-down rate and slow spin period imply a supercritical characteristic magnetic field B ≃ 3 × 1014 G and a young age ≳T ̃ 7600 yr. Follow-up Chandra observations provided an accurate position of the source. Within its error radius, the 1.5 m Russian-Turkish Optical Telescope found a limiting magnitude RC = 21.5, All such properties are strikingly similar to those of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma repeaters, providing strong evidence that the source is a new magnetar. However, archival ASCA and ROSAT observations found the source nearly 2 orders of magnitude fainter. This transient behavior and the observed long-term flux variability of the source in absence of an observed SGR-like burst activity make it the first confirmed transient magnetar and suggest that other neutron stars that share the properties of XTE J1810 - 197 during its inactive phase may be unidentified transient magnetars awaiting detection via a similar activity. This implies a larger population of magnetars than previously surmised and a possible evolutionary connection between magnetars and other neutron star families.

    AB - We report the discovery of a new X-ray pulsar, XTE J1810-197, that was serendipitously discovered on 2003 July 15 by the Rossi X- Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) while observing the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20. The pulsar has a 5.54 s spin period, a soft X-ray spectrum (with a photon index of ≈4), and is detectable in earlier RXTE observations back to 2003 January but not before. These show that a transient outburst began between 2002 November 17 and 2003 January 23 and that the source's persistent X-ray flux has been declining since then. The pulsar exhibits a high spin-down rate ̇P ≈ 10-11 s s-1 with no evidence of Doppler shifts due to a binary companion. The rapid spin-down rate and slow spin period imply a supercritical characteristic magnetic field B ≃ 3 × 1014 G and a young age ≳T ̃ 7600 yr. Follow-up Chandra observations provided an accurate position of the source. Within its error radius, the 1.5 m Russian-Turkish Optical Telescope found a limiting magnitude RC = 21.5, All such properties are strikingly similar to those of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft gamma repeaters, providing strong evidence that the source is a new magnetar. However, archival ASCA and ROSAT observations found the source nearly 2 orders of magnitude fainter. This transient behavior and the observed long-term flux variability of the source in absence of an observed SGR-like burst activity make it the first confirmed transient magnetar and suggest that other neutron stars that share the properties of XTE J1810 - 197 during its inactive phase may be unidentified transient magnetars awaiting detection via a similar activity. This implies a larger population of magnetars than previously surmised and a possible evolutionary connection between magnetars and other neutron star families.

    KW - Pulsars: general

    KW - Pulsars: individual (XTE J1810-197)

    KW - Stars: magnetic fields

    KW - Stars: neutron

    KW - X-rays: stars

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=3843053482&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=3843053482&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1086/422636

    DO - 10.1086/422636

    M3 - Article

    VL - 609

    JO - Astrophysical Journal

    JF - Astrophysical Journal

    SN - 0004-637X

    IS - 1 II

    ER -