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Title: NuSTAR observations of the state transition of millisecond pulsar binary PSR J1023+0038

We report NuSTAR observations of the millisecond pulsar-low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) transition system PSR J1023+0038 from 2013 June and October, before and after the formation of an accretion disk around the neutron star. Between June 10 and 12, a few days to two weeks before the radio disappearance of the pulsar, the 3-79 keV X-ray spectrum was well fit by a simple power law with a photon index of Γ=1.17{sub −0.07}{sup +0.08} (at 90% confidence) with a 3-79 keV luminosity of 7.4 ± 0.4 × 10{sup 32} erg s{sup –1}. Significant orbital modulation was observed with a modulation fraction of 36% ± 10%. During the October 19-21 observation, the spectrum is described by a softer power law (Γ=1.66{sub −0.05}{sup +0.06}) with an average luminosity of 5.8 ± 0.2 × 10{sup 33} erg s{sup –1} and a peak luminosity of ≈1.2 × 10{sup 34} erg s{sup –1} observed during a flare. No significant orbital modulation was detected. The spectral observations are consistent with previous and current multiwavelength observations and show the hard X-ray power law extending to 79 keV without a spectral break. Sharp-edged, flat-bottomed dips are observed with widths between 30 and 1000 s and ingress and egress timescales ofmore » 30-60 s. No change in hardness ratio was observed during the dips. Consecutive dip separations are log-normal in distribution with a typical separation of approximately 400 s. These dips are distinct from dipping activity observed in LMXBs. We compare and contrast these dips to observations of dips and state changes in the similar transition systems PSR J1824–2452I and XSS J1227.0–4859 and discuss possible interpretations based on the transitions in the inner disk.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ; ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ; ; ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] more »; « less
  1. California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 University St, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8 (Canada)
  3. ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo (Netherlands)
  4. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  5. Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)
  6. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
  7. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  8. Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  9. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  10. DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 327, DK-2800 Lyngby (Denmark)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365344
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 791; 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; ACCRETION DISKS; APPROXIMATIONS; BINARY STARS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DISTRIBUTION; HARD X RADIATION; KEV RANGE; LUMINOSITY; MASS; MODULATION; NEUTRON STARS; NEUTRONS; PHOTONS; PULSARS; X-RAY SPECTRA