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Title: MEASURING THE COOLING OF THE NEUTRON STAR IN CASSIOPEIA A WITH ALL CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY DETECTORS

The thermal evolution of young neutron stars (NSs) reflects the neutrino emission properties of their cores. Heinke and Ho measured a 3.6% ± 0.6% decay in the surface temperature of the Cassiopeia A (Cas A) NS between 2000 and 2009, using archival data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS-S detector in Graded mode. Page et al. and Shternin et al. attributed this decay to enhanced neutrino emission from a superfluid neutron transition in the core. Here we test this decline, combining analysis of the Cas A NS using all Chandra X-ray detectors and modes (HRC-S, HRC-I, ACIS-I, ACIS-S in Faint mode, and ACIS-S in Graded mode) and adding a 2012 May ACIS-S Graded mode observation, using the most current calibrations (CALDB 4.5.5.1). We measure the temperature changes from each detector separately and test for systematic effects due to the nearby filaments of the supernova remnant. We find a 0.92%-2.0% decay over 10 yr in the effective temperature, inferred from HRC-S data, depending on the choice of source and background extraction regions, with a best-fit decay of 1.0% ± 0.7%. In comparison, the ACIS-S Graded data indicate a temperature decay of 3.1%-5.0% over 10 yr, with a best-fit decay of 3.5%more » ± 0.4%. Shallower observations using the other detectors yield temperature decays of 2.6% ± 1.9% (ACIS-I), 2.1% ± 1.0% (HRC-I), and 2.1% ± 1.9% (ACIS-S Faint mode) over 10 yr. Our best estimate indicates a decline of 2.9% ± 0.5%{sub stat} ± 1.0{sub sys}% over 10 yr. The complexity of the bright and varying supernova remnant background makes a definitive interpretation of archival Cas A Chandra observations difficult. A temperature decline of 1%-3.5% over 10 yr would indicate extraordinarily fast cooling of the NS that can be regulated by superfluidity of nucleons in the stellar core.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ; ;  [4]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Alberta, CCIS 4-181, Edmonton AB T6G 2E1 (Canada)
  2. School of Mathematics, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ (United Kingdom)
  3. Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, Politekhnicheskaya 26, 194021 St Petersburg (Russian Federation)
  4. Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270682
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 777; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; NEUTRON STARS; PULSARS; STAR EVOLUTION; SUPERFLUIDITY; SUPERNOVA REMNANTS; SUPERNOVAE; X-RAY DETECTION