Thanks to the high counting statistics provided by a recent XMM-Newton observation of RX J1856.5-3754, we have discovered that this isolated neutron star pulsates at a period of 7.055 s. This confirms that RX J1856.5-3754 is similar in nature to the other six thermally emitting, nearby neutron stars discovered in soft X-rays with ROSAT. The pulsations are detected at consistent periods in several XMM-Newton observations spanning from 2002 April to 2006 October, yielding an upper limit of Pdot < 1.9e-12 s/s (90% c.l.) on the period derivative. This implies a surface magnetic field smaller than 1.2e14 G, under the usual assumption of vacuum dipole magnetic braking. The pulse profile is nearly sinusoidal with a pulsed fraction in the 0.15–1.2 keV range of only ∼1.2%, the smallest ever seen in an isolated X-ray pulsar.

XMM-Newton Discovery of 7 s Pulsations in the Isolated Neutron Star RX J1856.5-3754

TIENGO A;
2007

Abstract

Thanks to the high counting statistics provided by a recent XMM-Newton observation of RX J1856.5-3754, we have discovered that this isolated neutron star pulsates at a period of 7.055 s. This confirms that RX J1856.5-3754 is similar in nature to the other six thermally emitting, nearby neutron stars discovered in soft X-rays with ROSAT. The pulsations are detected at consistent periods in several XMM-Newton observations spanning from 2002 April to 2006 October, yielding an upper limit of Pdot < 1.9e-12 s/s (90% c.l.) on the period derivative. This implies a surface magnetic field smaller than 1.2e14 G, under the usual assumption of vacuum dipole magnetic braking. The pulse profile is nearly sinusoidal with a pulsed fraction in the 0.15–1.2 keV range of only ∼1.2%, the smallest ever seen in an isolated X-ray pulsar.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/324
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