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Title: Multiwavelength monitoring and X-ray brightening of Be X-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 on its approach to periastron

Abstract

The radio and gamma-ray pulsar PSR J2032+4127 was recently found to be in a decades-long orbit with the Be star MT91 213, with the pulsar moving rapidly towards periastron. This binary shares many similar characteristics with the previously unique binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883. Here in this paper, we describe radio, X-ray, and optical monitoring of PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213. Our extended orbital phase coverage in radio, supplemented with Fermi LAT gamma-ray data, allows us to update and refine the orbital period to 45–50 yr and time of periastron passage to 2017 November. We analyse archival and recent Chandra and Swift observations and show that PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 is now brighter in X-rays by a factor of ~70 since 2002 and ~20 since 2010. While the pulsar is still far from periastron, this increase in X-rays is possibly due to collisions between pulsar and Be star winds. Optical observations of the Hα emission line of the Be star suggest that the size of its circumstellar disc may be varying by ~2 over time-scales as short as 1–2 months. In conclusion, multiwavelength monitoring of PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 will continue through periastron passage, and the system should present an interesting test case andmore » comparison to PSR B1259-63/LS 2883.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]
  1. University of Southampton (United Kingdom). Mathematical Sciences and STAG Research Centre and Physics and Astronomy and STAG Research Centre
  2. University of Hong Kong (China). Department of Physics
  3. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom). Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy
  4. University of Southampton (United Kingdom). Physics and Astronomy and STAG Research Centre
  5. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States). Columbia Astrophysics Lab.
  6. George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA (United States). College of Science
  7. Liverpool John Moores University (United Kingdom). Astrophysics Research Institute
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1355747
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 464; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Royal Astronomical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; stars; emission line; Be; individual; MT91 213; neutron; pulsars; PSR B1259−63; PSR J2032+4127; X-rays; binaries

Citation Formats

Ho, Wynn C. G., Ng, C. -Y., Lyne, Andrew G., Stappers, Ben W., Coe, Malcolm J., Halpern, Jules P., Johnson, Tyrel J., and Steele, Iain A. Multiwavelength monitoring and X-ray brightening of Be X-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 on its approach to periastron. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2420.
Ho, Wynn C. G., Ng, C. -Y., Lyne, Andrew G., Stappers, Ben W., Coe, Malcolm J., Halpern, Jules P., Johnson, Tyrel J., & Steele, Iain A. Multiwavelength monitoring and X-ray brightening of Be X-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 on its approach to periastron. United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2420.
Ho, Wynn C. G., Ng, C. -Y., Lyne, Andrew G., Stappers, Ben W., Coe, Malcolm J., Halpern, Jules P., Johnson, Tyrel J., and Steele, Iain A. 2016. "Multiwavelength monitoring and X-ray brightening of Be X-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 on its approach to periastron". United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2420. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1355747.
@article{osti_1355747,
title = {Multiwavelength monitoring and X-ray brightening of Be X-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 on its approach to periastron},
author = {Ho, Wynn C. G. and Ng, C. -Y. and Lyne, Andrew G. and Stappers, Ben W. and Coe, Malcolm J. and Halpern, Jules P. and Johnson, Tyrel J. and Steele, Iain A.},
abstractNote = {The radio and gamma-ray pulsar PSR J2032+4127 was recently found to be in a decades-long orbit with the Be star MT91 213, with the pulsar moving rapidly towards periastron. This binary shares many similar characteristics with the previously unique binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883. Here in this paper, we describe radio, X-ray, and optical monitoring of PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213. Our extended orbital phase coverage in radio, supplemented with Fermi LAT gamma-ray data, allows us to update and refine the orbital period to 45–50 yr and time of periastron passage to 2017 November. We analyse archival and recent Chandra and Swift observations and show that PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 is now brighter in X-rays by a factor of ~70 since 2002 and ~20 since 2010. While the pulsar is still far from periastron, this increase in X-rays is possibly due to collisions between pulsar and Be star winds. Optical observations of the Hα emission line of the Be star suggest that the size of its circumstellar disc may be varying by ~2 over time-scales as short as 1–2 months. In conclusion, multiwavelength monitoring of PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 will continue through periastron passage, and the system should present an interesting test case and comparison to PSR B1259-63/LS 2883.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/stw2420},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 1,
volume = 464,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

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  • PSR J2032+4127 is a γ-ray and radio-emitting pulsar which has been regarded as a young luminous isolated neutron star. However, its recent spin-down rate has extraordinarily increased by a factor of 2. Here we present evidence that this is due to its motion as a member of a highly-eccentric binary system with an ~15–M⊙ Be star, MT91 213. Timing observations show that, not only are the positions of the two stars coincident within 0.4 arcsec, but timing models of binary motion of the pulsar fit the data much better than a model of a young isolated pulsar. MT91 213, andmore » hence the pulsar, lie in the Cyg OB2 stellar association, which is at a distance of only 1.4–1.7 kpc. The pulsar is currently on the near side of, and accelerating towards, the Be star, with an orbital period of 20–30 yr. Finally, the next periastron is well constrained to occur in early 2018, providing an opportunity to observe enhanced high-energy emission as seen in other Be-star binary systems.« less
  • Here, we report on broad multiwavelength observations of the 2010–2011 periastron passage of the γ-ray loud binary system PSR B1259-63. High-resolution interferometric radio observations establish extended radio emission trailing the position of the pulsar. Observations with the FermiGamma-ray Space Telescope reveal GeV γ-ray flaring activity of the system, reaching the spin-down luminosity of the pulsar, around 30 d after periastron. Furthermore, there are no clear signatures of variability at radio, X-ray and TeV energies at the time of the GeV flare. Variability around periastron in the Hα emission line, can be interpreted as the gravitational interaction between the pulsar andmore » the circumstellar disc. The equivalent width of the Hα grows from a few days before periastron until a few days later, and decreases again between 18 and 46 d after periastron. In near-infrared we observe the similar decrease of the equivalent width of Brγ line between the 40th and 117th day after the periastron. For the idealized disc, the variability of the Hα line represents the variability of the mass and size of the disc. Finally, we discuss possible physical relations between the state of the disc and GeV emission under assumption that GeV flare is directly related to the decrease of the disc size.« less
  • We present that sixteen pulsars have been discovered so far in blind searches of photons collected with the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. We here report the discovery of radio pulsations from two of them. PSR J1741-2054, with period P = 413 ms, was detected in archival Parkes telescope data and subsequently has been detected at the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Its received flux varies greatly due to interstellar scintillation and it has a very small dispersion measure of DM = 4.7 pc cm –3, implying a distance of ≈0.4 kpc and possibly the smallest luminosity of any known radio pulsar. At this distance, for isotropic emission, its gamma-ray luminosity above 0.1 GeV corresponds to 28% of the spin-down luminosity ofmore » $$\dot{E} = 9.4\times 10^{33}$$ erg s–1. The gamma-ray profile occupies 1/3 of pulse phase and has three closely spaced peaks with the first peak lagging the radio pulse by δ = 0.29 P. We have also identified a soft Swift source that is the likely X-ray counterpart. In many respects PSR J1741-2054 resembles the Geminga pulsar. The second source, PSR J2032+4127, was detected at the GBT. It has P = 143 ms, and its DM = 115 pc cm –3 suggests a distance of ≈3.6 kpc, but we consider it likely that it is located within the Cyg OB2 stellar association at half that distance. The radio emission is nearly 100% linearly polarized, and the main radio peak precedes by δ = 0.15 P the first of two narrow gamma-ray peaks that are separated by Δ = 0.50 P. The second peak has a harder spectrum than the first one, following a trend observed in young gamma-ray pulsars. Faint, diffuse X-ray emission in a Chandra image is possibly its pulsar wind nebula. Finally, the wind of PSR J2032+4127 is responsible for the formerly unidentified HEGRA source TeV J2032+4130. PSR J2032+4127 is coincident in projection with MT91 213, a Be star in Cyg OB2, although apparently not a binary companion of it.« less
  • Sixteen pulsars have been discovered so far in blind searches of photons collected with the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. We here report the discovery of radio pulsations from two of them. PSR J1741-2054, with period P = 413 ms, was detected in archival Parkes telescope data and subsequently has been detected at the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Its received flux varies greatly due to interstellar scintillation and it has a very small dispersion measure of DM = 4.7 pc cm{sup -3}, implying a distance of approx0.4 kpc and possibly the smallest luminosity of any knownmore » radio pulsar. At this distance, for isotropic emission, its gamma-ray luminosity above 0.1 GeV corresponds to 28% of the spin-down luminosity of E-dot=9.4x10{sup 33} erg s{sup -1}. The gamma-ray profile occupies 1/3 of pulse phase and has three closely spaced peaks with the first peak lagging the radio pulse by delta = 0.29 P. We have also identified a soft Swift source that is the likely X-ray counterpart. In many respects PSR J1741-2054 resembles the Geminga pulsar. The second source, PSR J2032+4127, was detected at the GBT. It has P = 143 ms, and its DM = 115 pc cm{sup -3} suggests a distance of approx3.6 kpc, but we consider it likely that it is located within the Cyg OB2 stellar association at half that distance. The radio emission is nearly 100% linearly polarized, and the main radio peak precedes by delta = 0.15 P the first of two narrow gamma-ray peaks that are separated by DELTA = 0.50 P. The second peak has a harder spectrum than the first one, following a trend observed in young gamma-ray pulsars. Faint, diffuse X-ray emission in a Chandra image is possibly its pulsar wind nebula. The wind of PSR J2032+4127 is responsible for the formerly unidentified HEGRA source TeV J2032+4130. PSR J2032+4127 is coincident in projection with MT91 213, a Be star in Cyg OB2, although apparently not a binary companion of it.« less
  • Here, we report on the discovery of ≥ 100 MeV rays from the binary system PSR B12596–3/LS 2883 using the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board Fermi. The system comprises a radio pulsar in orbit around a Be star. We report on LAT observations from near apastron to ~60 days after the time of periastron, t p, on 2010 December 15. No γ-ray emission was detected from this source when it was far from periastron.