The low-energy (<10 keV) X-ray emission of the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20 has been studied by means of four XMM-Newton observations carried out in the last two years, the latest performed in response to a strong sequence of hard X-ray bursts observed on 2004 October 5. The source was caught in different states of activity; over the 2003-2004 period, the 2-10 keV flux doubled with respect to the historical level observed previously. The long-term rise in luminosity was accompanied by a gradual hardening of the spectrum, with the power-law photon index decreasing from 2.2 to 1.5, and by a growth of the bursting activity. The pulse period measurements obtained in the four observations are consistent with an average spin-down rate of 5.5×10-10 s s-1, higher than the values observed in the previous years. The long-term behavior of SGR 1806-20 exhibits the correlation between spectral hardness and spin-down rate previously found only by comparing the properties of different sources (both SGRs and anomalous X-ray pulsars [AXPs]). The best-quality spectrum (obtained on 2004 September 6) cannot be fitted by a single power law but requires an additional blackbody component [kTBB=0.79 keV, RBB=1.9 (d/15 kpc)2 km], similar to the spectra observed in other SGRs and AXPs. No spectral lines were found in the persistent emission, with equivalent width upper limits in the range 30-110 eV. Marginal evidence for an absorption feature at 4.2 keV is present in the cumulative spectrum of 69 bursts detected in 2004 September-October.

An XMM-Newton View of the Soft Gamma Repeater SGR 1806-20: Long-Term Variability in the Pre-Giant Flare Epoch

Tiengo A;Esposito P.;
2005

Abstract

The low-energy (<10 keV) X-ray emission of the soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20 has been studied by means of four XMM-Newton observations carried out in the last two years, the latest performed in response to a strong sequence of hard X-ray bursts observed on 2004 October 5. The source was caught in different states of activity; over the 2003-2004 period, the 2-10 keV flux doubled with respect to the historical level observed previously. The long-term rise in luminosity was accompanied by a gradual hardening of the spectrum, with the power-law photon index decreasing from 2.2 to 1.5, and by a growth of the bursting activity. The pulse period measurements obtained in the four observations are consistent with an average spin-down rate of 5.5×10-10 s s-1, higher than the values observed in the previous years. The long-term behavior of SGR 1806-20 exhibits the correlation between spectral hardness and spin-down rate previously found only by comparing the properties of different sources (both SGRs and anomalous X-ray pulsars [AXPs]). The best-quality spectrum (obtained on 2004 September 6) cannot be fitted by a single power law but requires an additional blackbody component [kTBB=0.79 keV, RBB=1.9 (d/15 kpc)2 km], similar to the spectra observed in other SGRs and AXPs. No spectral lines were found in the persistent emission, with equivalent width upper limits in the range 30-110 eV. Marginal evidence for an absorption feature at 4.2 keV is present in the cumulative spectrum of 69 bursts detected in 2004 September-October.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/511
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