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          Institute: MPI für extraterrestrische Physik     Collection: High Energy Astrophysics at MPE     Display Documents

ID: 13379.0, MPI für extraterrestrische Physik / High Energy Astrophysics at MPE
Magnetic fields of accreting X-ray pulsars with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer
Authors:Coburn, W.; Heindl, W. A.; Rothschild, R. E.; Gruber, D. E.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Wilms, J.; Kretschmar, P.; Staubert, R.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2002-11-20
Title of Journal:The Astrophysical Journal
Journal Abbrev.:Astrophys. J.
Issue / Number:1
Start Page:394
End Page:412
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:Using a consistent set of models, we parameterized the X-ray spectra of all accreting pulsars in the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) database that exhibit cyclotron resonance scattering features (CRSFs, or cyclotron lines). These sources in our sample are Her X-1, 4U 0115+63, Cen X-3, 4U 1626-67, XTE J1946-274, Vela X-1, 4U 1907+09, 4U 1538-52, GX 301-2, and 4U 0352+309 (X Per). We searched for correlations among the spectral parameters, concentrating on how the cyclotron line energy relates to the continuum and therefore how the neutron star B-field influences the X-ray emission. As expected, we found a correlation between the CRSF energy and the spectral cutoff energy. However, with our consistent set of fits we found that the relationship is more complex than what has been reported previously. Also, we found not only that the width of the cyclotron line correlates with the energy (as suggested by theory), but also that the width scaled by the energy correlates with the depth of the feature. We discuss the implications of these results, including the possibility that accretion directly affects the relative alignment of the neutron star spin and dipole axes. Finally, we comment on the current state of fitting phenomenological models to spectra in the RXTE/BeppoSAX era and the need for better theoretical models of the X-ray continua of accreting pulsars.
Free Keywords:binaries : close; pulsars : general; stars : magnetic fields; stars : neutron; X-rays : binaries; X-rays : stars
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für extraterrestrische Physik
External Affiliations:Univ Calif Berkeley, Space Sci Lab, Berkeley, CA 94702 USA; Univ Calif Berkeley, Space Sci Lab, Berkeley, CA 94702 USA; Univ Calif San Diego, Ctr Astrophys & Space Sci, La Jolla, CA 92093 USA; Univ Tubingen, Inst Astron & Astrophys, D-72076 Tubingen, Germany; INTEGRAL Sci Data Ctr, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland; Max Planck Inst Extraterr Phys, D-85740 Garching, Germany
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