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Title: A non-radial oscillation mode in an accreting millisecond pulsar?

We present results of targeted searches for signatures of non-radial oscillation modes (such as r- and g-modes) in neutron stars using RXTE data from several accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (AMXPs). We search for potentially coherent signals in the neutron star rest frame by first removing the phase delays associated with the star's binary motion and computing fast Fourier transform power spectra of continuous light curves with up to 2{sup 30} time bins. We search a range of frequencies in which both r- and g-modes are theoretically expected to reside. Using data from the discovery outburst of the 435 Hz pulsar XTE J1751–305 we find a single candidate, coherent oscillation with a frequency of 0.5727597 × ν{sub spin} = 249.332609 Hz, and a fractional Fourier amplitude of 7.46 × 10{sup –4}. We estimate the significance of this feature at the 1.6 × 10{sup –3} level, slightly better than a 3σ detection. Based on the observed frequency we argue that possible mode identifications include rotationally modified g-modes associated with either a helium-rich surface layer or a density discontinuity due to electron captures on hydrogen in the accreted ocean. In the latter case the presence of sufficient hydrogen in this ultracompact system withmore » a likely helium-rich donor would present an interesting puzzle. Alternatively, the frequency could be identified with that of an inertial mode or a core r-mode modified by the presence of a solid crust; however, the r-mode amplitude required to account for the observed modulation amplitude would induce a large spin-down rate inconsistent with the observed pulse timing measurements. For the AMXPs XTE J1814–338 and NGC 6440 X–2 we do not find any candidate oscillation signals, and we place upper limits on the fractional Fourier amplitude of any coherent oscillations in our frequency search range of 7.8 × 10{sup –4} and 5.6 × 10{sup –3}, respectively. We briefly discuss the prospects and sensitivity for similar searches with future, larger X-ray collecting area missions.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astrophysics Science Division and Joint Space-Science Institute, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351479
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 784; 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; AMPLITUDES; DATA ANALYSIS; DENSITY; DETECTION; ELECTRON CAPTURE; FOURIER TRANSFORMATION; HYDROGEN; LAYERS; MODULATION; NEUTRON STARS; NEUTRONS; OSCILLATION MODES; OSCILLATIONS; PULSARS; ROTATION; SENSITIVITY; SPECTRA; SPIN; X RADIATION