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Title: Spin-down Evolution and Radio Disappearance of the Magnetar PSR J1622–4950

Abstract

We report on 2.4 yr of radio timing measurements of the magnetar PSR J1622−4950 using the Parkes Observatory, between 2011 November and 2014 March. During this period the torque on the neutron star (inferred from the rotational frequency derivative) varied greatly, though much less erratically than during the 2 yr following its discovery in 2009. During the last year of our measurements the frequency derivative decreased in magnitude monotonically by 20%, to a value of −1.3 × 10{sup −13} s{sup −2}, a factor of 8 smaller than when it was discovered. The flux density continued to vary greatly during our monitoring through 2014 March, reaching a relatively steady low level after late 2012. The pulse profile varied secularly on a similar timescale as the flux density and torque. A relatively rapid transition in all three properties was evident in early 2013. After PSR J1622−4950 was detected in all of our 87 observations up to 2014 March, we did not detect the magnetar in our resumed monitoring starting in 2015 January and have not detected it in any of the 30 observations conducted through 2016 September.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]; ;  [4]; ;  [5];  [6]; ;  [7]
  1. National Research Council of Canada, Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, P. O. Box 248, Penticton, BC V2A 6J9 (Canada)
  2. SKA South Africa, Pinelands, 7405 (South Africa)
  3. CSIRO Parkes Observatory, Parkes, NSW 2870 (Australia)
  4. CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia Telescope National Facility, Epping, NSW 1710 (Australia)
  5. Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)
  6. Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Mail H30, P. O. Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122 (Australia)
  7. INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Via della Scienza 5, I-09047 Selargius (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663538
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 841; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; EVOLUTION; FLUX DENSITY; NEUTRON STARS; PULSARS; PULSES; RECREATIONAL AREAS; SPIN; TORQUE

Citation Formats

Scholz, P., Camilo, F., Sarkissian, J., Reynolds, J. E., Johnston, S., Levin, L., Kramer, M., Bailes, M., Burgay, M., and Possenti, A., E-mail: paul.scholz@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca. Spin-down Evolution and Radio Disappearance of the Magnetar PSR J1622–4950. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA73DE.
Scholz, P., Camilo, F., Sarkissian, J., Reynolds, J. E., Johnston, S., Levin, L., Kramer, M., Bailes, M., Burgay, M., & Possenti, A., E-mail: paul.scholz@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca. Spin-down Evolution and Radio Disappearance of the Magnetar PSR J1622–4950. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA73DE.
Scholz, P., Camilo, F., Sarkissian, J., Reynolds, J. E., Johnston, S., Levin, L., Kramer, M., Bailes, M., Burgay, M., and Possenti, A., E-mail: paul.scholz@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca. Thu . "Spin-down Evolution and Radio Disappearance of the Magnetar PSR J1622–4950". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA73DE.
@article{osti_22663538,
title = {Spin-down Evolution and Radio Disappearance of the Magnetar PSR J1622–4950},
author = {Scholz, P. and Camilo, F. and Sarkissian, J. and Reynolds, J. E. and Johnston, S. and Levin, L. and Kramer, M. and Bailes, M. and Burgay, M. and Possenti, A., E-mail: paul.scholz@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca},
abstractNote = {We report on 2.4 yr of radio timing measurements of the magnetar PSR J1622−4950 using the Parkes Observatory, between 2011 November and 2014 March. During this period the torque on the neutron star (inferred from the rotational frequency derivative) varied greatly, though much less erratically than during the 2 yr following its discovery in 2009. During the last year of our measurements the frequency derivative decreased in magnitude monotonically by 20%, to a value of −1.3 × 10{sup −13} s{sup −2}, a factor of 8 smaller than when it was discovered. The flux density continued to vary greatly during our monitoring through 2014 March, reaching a relatively steady low level after late 2012. The pulse profile varied secularly on a similar timescale as the flux density and torque. A relatively rapid transition in all three properties was evident in early 2013. After PSR J1622−4950 was detected in all of our 87 observations up to 2014 March, we did not detect the magnetar in our resumed monitoring starting in 2015 January and have not detected it in any of the 30 observations conducted through 2016 September.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA73DE},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 841,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We present multi-wavelength observations of the radio magnetar PSR J1622-4950 and its environment. Observations of PSR J1622-4950 with Chandra (in 2007 and 2009) and XMM (in 2011) show that the X-ray flux of PSR J1622-4950 has decreased by a factor of {approx}50 over 3.7 years, decaying exponentially with a characteristic time of {tau} = 360 {+-} 11 days. This behavior identifies PSR J1622-4950 as a possible addition to the small class of transient magnetars. The X-ray decay likely indicates that PSR J1622-4950 is recovering from an X-ray outburst that occurred earlier in 2007, before the 2007 Chandra observations. Observations withmore » the Australia Telescope Compact Array show strong radio variability, including a possible radio flaring event at least one and a half years after the 2007 X-ray outburst that may be a direct result of this X-ray event. Radio observations with the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope reveal that PSR J1622-4950 is 8' southeast of a diffuse radio arc, G333.9+0.0, which appears non-thermal in nature and which could possibly be a previously undiscovered supernova remnant (SNR). If G333.9+0.0 is an SNR then the estimates of its size and age, combined with the close proximity and reasonable implied velocity of PSR J1622-4950, suggest that these two objects could be physically associated.« less
  • In this paper, we report radio observations of the Galactic Center magnetar PSR J1745–2900 at six epochs between 2014 June and October. These observations were carried out using the new Shanghai Tian Ma Radio Telescope at a frequency of 8.6 GHz. Both the flux density and integrated profile of PSR J1745–2900 show dramatic changes from epoch to epoch, showing that the pulsar was in its “erratic” phase. On MJD 56836, the flux density of this magnetar was about 8.7 mJy, which was 10 times larger than that reported at the time of discovery, enabling a single-pulse analysis. The emission ismore » dominated by narrow “spiky” pulses that follow a log-normal distribution in peak flux density. From 1913 pulses, we detected 53 pulses whose peak flux densities are 10 times greater than that of the integrated profile. They are concentrated in pulse phase at the peaks of the integrated profile. The pulse widths at the 50% level of these bright pulses were between 0.°2 and 0.°9, much narrower than that of the integrated profile (∼12°). The observed pulse widths may be limited by interstellar scattering. No clear correlation was found between the widths and peak flux density of these pulses and no evidence was found for subpulse drifting. Relatively strong spiky pulses are also detected in the other five epochs of observation, showing the same properties as those detected in MJD 56836. These strong spiky pulses cannot be classified as “giant” pulses but are more closely related to normal pulse emission.« less
  • Using XMM-Newton and Chandra, we measure period derivatives for the second and third known pulsars in the class of central compact objects (CCOs) in supernova remnants, proving that these young neutron stars have exceptionally weak dipole magnetic field components. For the 112 ms PSR J0821-4300 in Puppis A, P-dot = (9.28{+-}0.36) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -18}. Its proper motion, {mu} = 61 {+-} 9 mas yr{sup -1}, was also measured using Chandra. This contributes a kinematic term to the period derivative via the Shklovskii effect, which is subtracted from P-dot to derive dipole B{sub s} = 2.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} G, amore » value similar to that of the first measured CCO, PSR J1852+0040 in Kes 79, which has B{sub s} = 3.1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} G. Antipodal surface hot spots with different temperatures and areas are deduced from the X-ray spectrum and pulse profiles. Paradoxically, such nonuniform surface temperature appears to require strong crustal magnetic fields, probably toroidal or quadrupolar components much stronger than the external dipole. A spectral feature, consisting of either an emission line at Almost-Equal-To 0.75 keV or an absorption line at Almost-Equal-To 0.46 keV, is modulated in strength with the rotation. It may be due to a cyclotron process in a magnetic field on the surface that is slightly stronger than the dipole deduced from the spin-down. We also timed anew the 424 ms PSR J1210-5226, resolving previous ambiguities about its spin-down rate. Its P-dot is (2.22 {+-} 0.02) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -17}, corresponding to B{sub s} = 9.8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} G. This is also compatible with a cyclotron resonance interpretation of its prominent absorption line at 0.7 keV and its harmonics. These results deepen the mystery of the origin and evolution of CCOs: Why are their numerous descendants not evident?.« less
  • On 2011 July 14, a new magnetar candidate, Swift J1822.3-1606, was identified via a rate trigger on the Swift/Burst Alert Telescope. Here we present an initial analysis of the X-ray properties of the source, using data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, Swift, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, spanning 2011 July 16-October 8. We measure a precise spin period of P = 8.43771968(6) s and a spin-down rate of P-dot =2.54(22) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -13}, at MJD 55761.0, corresponding to an inferred surface dipole magnetic field of B = 4.7(2) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13} G, the second lowest thus far measured formore » a magnetar, though similar to those of 1E 2259+586 and several high-magnetic field radio pulsars. We show that the flux decay in the 1-10 keV band is best fit by a double exponential with timescales of 9 {+-} 1 and 55 {+-} 9 days. The pulsed count rate decay in the 2-10 keV band, by contrast, is better fit by a single exponential decay with timescale 15.9 {+-} 0.2 days. After increasing from {approx}35% for {approx}20 days after the onset of the outburst, the pulsed fraction in the 2-10 keV band remained constant at {approx}45%. We argue that these properties confirm this source to be a new member of the class of objects known as magnetars. We consider the distribution of magnetar periods and inferred dipole magnetic field strengths, showing that the former appears flat in the 2-12 s range, while the latter appears peaked in the 10{sup 14}-10{sup 15} G range.« less
  • The magnetar Swift J1822.3–1606 entered an outburst phase in 2011 July. Previous X-ray studies of its post-outburst rotational evolution yielded inconsistent measurements of the spin-inferred magnetic field. Here we present the timing behavior and flux relaxation from over two years of Swift, RXTE, and Chandra observations following the outburst. We find that the ambiguity in previous timing solutions was due to enhanced spin down that resembles an exponential recovery following a glitch at the outburst onset. After fitting out the effects of the recovery, we measure a long-term spin-down rate of ν-dot =(−3.0 ± 0.3)×10{sup −16} s{sup –2} which impliesmore » a dipolar magnetic field of 1.35 × 10{sup 13} G, lower than all previous estimates for this source. We also consider the post-outburst flux evolution, and fit it with both empirical and crustal cooling models. We discuss the flux relaxation in the context of both crustal cooling and magnetospheric relaxation models.« less