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Title: A NEW ACCRETION DISK AROUND THE MISSING LINK BINARY SYSTEM PSR J1023+0038

PSR J1023+0038 is an exceptional system for understanding how slowly rotating neutron stars are spun up to millisecond rotational periods through accretion from a companion star. Observed as a radio pulsar from 2007-2013, optical data showed that the system had an accretion disk in 2000/2001. Starting at the end of 2013 June, the radio pulsar has become undetectable, suggesting a return to the previous accretion-disk state, where the system more closely resembles an X-ray binary. In this Letter we report the first targeted X-ray observations ever performed of the active phase and complement them with UV/optical and radio observations collected in 2013 October. We find strong evidence that indeed an accretion disk has recently formed in the system and we report the detection of fast X-ray changes spanning about two orders of magnitude in luminosity. No radio pulsations are seen during low flux states in the X-ray light curve or at any other times.
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
  2. ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo (Netherlands)
  3. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  4. Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)
  5. McGill University, 3600 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8 (Canada)
  6. Space Radiation Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364036
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 781; 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; ACCRETION DISKS; DETECTION; DIAGRAMS; EV RANGE; LUMINOSITY; NEUTRON STARS; PULSARS; PULSATIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION; X RADIATION