J. van Paradijs
- Statistical properties of SGR 1900+14 bursts
- Astrophysical Journal Letters
- Volume | Issue number
- 526 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We study the statistics of soft gamma repeater (SGR) bursts using a database of 187 events detected with BATSE and 837 events detected with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array; all events are from SGR 1900+14 during its 1998-1999 active phase. We find that the fluence or energy distribution of bursts is consistent with a power law of index 1.66, over 4 orders of magnitude. This scale-free distribution resembles the Gutenberg-Richter law for earthquakes and gives evidence for self-organized criticality in SGRs. The distribution of time intervals between successive bursts from SGR 1900+14 is consistent with a lognormal distribution. There is no correlation between burst intensity and the waiting times till the next burst, but there is some evidence for a correlation between burst intensity and the time elapsed since the previous burst. We also find a correlation between the duration and the energy of the bursts, but with significant scatter. In all these statistical properties, SGR bursts resemble earthquakes and solar flares more closely than they resemble any known accretion-powered or nuclear-powered phenomena. Thus, our analysis lends support to the hypothesis that the energy source for SGR bursts is internal to the neutron star and plausibly magnetic.
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