- Pulse-phase-resolved spectroscopy of continuum and reflection in SAX J1808.4-3658
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 410 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We perform phase-resolved spectroscopy of the accreting millisecond pulsar, SAX J1808.4−3658, during the slow-decay phase of the 2002 outburst. Simple phenomenological fits to Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array data reveal a pulsation in the iron line at the spin frequency of the neutron star. However, fitting more complex spectral models reveals a degeneracy between iron-line pulsations and changes in the underlying hotspot blackbody temperature with phase. By comparing with the variations in reflection continuum, which are much weaker than the iron-line variations, we infer that the iron line is not pulsed. The observed spectral variations can be explained by variations in blackbody temperature associated with rotational Doppler shifts at the neutron star surface. By allowing blackbody temperature to vary in this way, we also find a larger phase shift between the pulsations in the Comptonized and blackbody components than has been seen in previous work. The phase shift between the pulsation in the blackbody temperature and normalization is consistent with a simple model where the Doppler shift is maximized at the limb of the neutron star, ∼90° prior to maximization of the hotspot projected area.
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