M. van der Klis
- Large Torque Variations in Two Soft Gamma Repeaters
- Astrophysical Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 576 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We have monitored the pulse frequencies of the two soft gamma repeaters SGR 1806-20 and SGR 1900+14 through the beginning of year 2001 using primarily Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array observations. In both sources, we observe large changes in the spin-down torque up to a factor of ~4, which persist for several months. Using long-baseline phase-connected timing solutions as well as the overall frequency histories, we construct torque noise power spectra for each SGR. The power spectrum of each source is very red (power-law slope ~-3.5). The torque noise power levels are consistent with some accreting systems on timescales of ~1 yr, yet the full power spectrum is much steeper in frequency than any known accreting source. To the best of our knowledge, torque noise power spectra with a comparably steep frequency dependence have been seen only in young, glitching radio pulsars (e.g., Vela). The observed changes in spin-down rate do not correlate with burst activity; therefore, the physical mechanisms behind each phenomenon are also likely unrelated. Within the context of the magnetar model, seismic activity cannot account for both the bursts and the long-term torque changes unless the seismically active regions are decoupled from one another.
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