- Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We present the discovery of IGR J18245-2452, the first millisecond pulsar observed to swing between a rotation-powered, radio pulsar state, and an accretion-powered X-ray pulsar state . This transitional source represents the most convincing proof of the evolutionary link shared by accreting neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries, and radio millisecond pulsars. It demonstrates that swings between these two states take place on the same time-scales of luminosity variations of X-ray transients, and are therefore most easily interpreted in terms of changes in the rate of mass in-flow.
While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245-2452 varies dramatically on time-scales
ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed
fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a
magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of
the newly established class of transitional pulsars are also briefly discussed.
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- Proceedings title: Physics at the Magnetospheric Boundary: Geneva, Switzerland, June 25-28, 2013
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Place of publication: Les Ulis, France
Editors: E. Bozzo, P. Kretschmar, M. Audard, M. Falanga, C. Ferrigno
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