- A Chandra X-Ray observation of the binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038
- Astrophysical Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 742 | 2
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We present a Chandra X-Ray Observatory ACIS-S variability, spectroscopy, and imaging study of the peculiar binary containing the millisecond pulsar J1023+0038. The X-ray emission from the system exhibits highly significant (12.5σ) large-amplitude (factor of two to three) orbital variability over the five consecutive orbits covered by the observation, with a pronounced decline in the flux at all energies at superior conjunction. This can be naturally explained by a partial geometric occultation by the secondary star of an X-ray-emitting intrabinary shock, produced by the interaction of outflows from the two stars. The depth and duration of the eclipse imply that the intrabinary shock is localized near or at the surface of the companion star and close to the inner Lagrangian point. The energetics of the shock favor a magnetically dominated pulsar wind that is focused into the orbital plane, requiring close alignment of the pulsar spin and orbital angular momentum axes. The X-ray spectrum consists of a dominant non-thermal component and at least one thermal component, likely originating from the heated pulsar polar caps, although a portion of this emission may be from an optically thin "corona." We find no evidence for extended emission due to a pulsar wind nebula or bow shock down to a limiting luminosity of L X 3.6 × 1029 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), 7 × 10-6 of the pulsar spin-down luminosity, for a distance of 1.3 kpc and an assumed power-law spectrum with photon index Γ = 1.5.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.