X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197

Peter M. Woods, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Fotis P. Gavriil, Victoria M. Kaspi, Mallory Roberts, Alaa Ibrahim, Craig B. Markwardt, Jean H. Swank, Mark H. Finger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We have discovered four X-ray bursts, recorded with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array between 2003 September and 2004 April, that we show to originate from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J1810-197. The burst morphologies consist of a short spike or multiple spikes lasting ∼ 1 s each, followed by extended tails of emission where the pulsed flux from XTE J1810-197 is significantly higher. The burst spikes are likely correlated with the pulse maxima, having a chance probability of a random phase distribution of 0.4%. The burst spectra are best fitted to a blackbody with temperatures 4-8 keV, considerably harder than the persistent X-ray emission. During the X-ray tails following these bursts, the temperature rapidly cools as the flux declines, maintaining a constant emitting radius after the initial burst peak. During the brightest X-ray tail, we detect a narrow emission line at 12.6 keV, with an equivalent width of 1.4 keV and a probability of chance occurrence of less than 4 × 10-6. The temporal and spectral characteristics of these bursts closely resemble the bursts seen from 1E 1048.1-5937 and a subset of the bursts detected from 1E 2259+586, thus establishing XTE J1810-197 as a magnetar candidate. The bursts detected from these three objects are sufficiently similar to one another, yet significantly different from those seen from soft gamma repeaters, that they likely represent a new class of bursts from magnetar candidates exclusive (thus far) to the anomalous X-ray pulsar-like sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-997
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume629
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 2005

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magnetars
bursts
x rays
spikes
soft gamma repeaters
temperature
X Ray Timing Explorer
proportional counters
pulsars
set theory
occurrences

Keywords

  • Pulsars: general
  • Stars: individual (XTE j1810-197)
  • X-rays: bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Woods, P. M., Kouveliotou, C., Gavriil, F. P., Kaspi, V. M., Roberts, M., Ibrahim, A., ... Finger, M. H. (2005). X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197. Astrophysical Journal, 629(2 I), 985-997. https://doi.org/10.1086/431476

X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197. / Woods, Peter M.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Gavriil, Fotis P.; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Roberts, Mallory; Ibrahim, Alaa; Markwardt, Craig B.; Swank, Jean H.; Finger, Mark H.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 629, No. 2 I, 20.08.2005, p. 985-997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Woods, PM, Kouveliotou, C, Gavriil, FP, Kaspi, VM, Roberts, M, Ibrahim, A, Markwardt, CB, Swank, JH & Finger, MH 2005, 'X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 629, no. 2 I, pp. 985-997. https://doi.org/10.1086/431476
Woods PM, Kouveliotou C, Gavriil FP, Kaspi VM, Roberts M, Ibrahim A et al. X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197. Astrophysical Journal. 2005 Aug 20;629(2 I):985-997. https://doi.org/10.1086/431476
Woods, Peter M. ; Kouveliotou, Chryssa ; Gavriil, Fotis P. ; Kaspi, Victoria M. ; Roberts, Mallory ; Ibrahim, Alaa ; Markwardt, Craig B. ; Swank, Jean H. ; Finger, Mark H. / X-ray bursts from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J810-197. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 629, No. 2 I. pp. 985-997.
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AU - Kouveliotou, Chryssa

AU - Gavriil, Fotis P.

AU - Kaspi, Victoria M.

AU - Roberts, Mallory

AU - Ibrahim, Alaa

AU - Markwardt, Craig B.

AU - Swank, Jean H.

AU - Finger, Mark H.

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N2 - We have discovered four X-ray bursts, recorded with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array between 2003 September and 2004 April, that we show to originate from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J1810-197. The burst morphologies consist of a short spike or multiple spikes lasting ∼ 1 s each, followed by extended tails of emission where the pulsed flux from XTE J1810-197 is significantly higher. The burst spikes are likely correlated with the pulse maxima, having a chance probability of a random phase distribution of 0.4%. The burst spectra are best fitted to a blackbody with temperatures 4-8 keV, considerably harder than the persistent X-ray emission. During the X-ray tails following these bursts, the temperature rapidly cools as the flux declines, maintaining a constant emitting radius after the initial burst peak. During the brightest X-ray tail, we detect a narrow emission line at 12.6 keV, with an equivalent width of 1.4 keV and a probability of chance occurrence of less than 4 × 10-6. The temporal and spectral characteristics of these bursts closely resemble the bursts seen from 1E 1048.1-5937 and a subset of the bursts detected from 1E 2259+586, thus establishing XTE J1810-197 as a magnetar candidate. The bursts detected from these three objects are sufficiently similar to one another, yet significantly different from those seen from soft gamma repeaters, that they likely represent a new class of bursts from magnetar candidates exclusive (thus far) to the anomalous X-ray pulsar-like sources.

AB - We have discovered four X-ray bursts, recorded with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array between 2003 September and 2004 April, that we show to originate from the transient magnetar candidate XTE J1810-197. The burst morphologies consist of a short spike or multiple spikes lasting ∼ 1 s each, followed by extended tails of emission where the pulsed flux from XTE J1810-197 is significantly higher. The burst spikes are likely correlated with the pulse maxima, having a chance probability of a random phase distribution of 0.4%. The burst spectra are best fitted to a blackbody with temperatures 4-8 keV, considerably harder than the persistent X-ray emission. During the X-ray tails following these bursts, the temperature rapidly cools as the flux declines, maintaining a constant emitting radius after the initial burst peak. During the brightest X-ray tail, we detect a narrow emission line at 12.6 keV, with an equivalent width of 1.4 keV and a probability of chance occurrence of less than 4 × 10-6. The temporal and spectral characteristics of these bursts closely resemble the bursts seen from 1E 1048.1-5937 and a subset of the bursts detected from 1E 2259+586, thus establishing XTE J1810-197 as a magnetar candidate. The bursts detected from these three objects are sufficiently similar to one another, yet significantly different from those seen from soft gamma repeaters, that they likely represent a new class of bursts from magnetar candidates exclusive (thus far) to the anomalous X-ray pulsar-like sources.

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