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The enigmatic spin evolution of PSR J0537-6910: r-modes, gravitational waves and the case for continued timing

The enigmatic spin evolution of PSR J0537-6910: r-modes, gravitational waves and the case for continued timing
The enigmatic spin evolution of PSR J0537-6910: r-modes, gravitational waves and the case for continued timing
We discuss the unique spin evolution of the young X-ray pulsar PSR J0537-6910, a system in which the regular spin down is interrupted by glitches every few months. Drawing on the complete timing data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE, from 1999-2011), we argue that a trend in the inter-glitch behaviour points to an effective braking index close to $n=7$, much larger than expected. This value is interesting because it would accord with the neutron star spinning down due to gravitational waves from an unstable r-mode. We discuss to what extent this, admittedly speculative, scenario may be consistent and if the associated gravitational-wave signal would be within reach of ground based detectors. Our estimates suggest that one may, indeed, be able to use future observations to test the idea. Further precision timing would help enhance the achievable sensitivity and we advocate a joint observing campaign between the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) and the LIGO-Virgo network.
1538-4357
1-8
Andersson, N.
2dd6d1ee-cefd-478a-b1ac-e6feedafe304
Antonopoulou, D.
4b3a5e01-d67e-4193-9e33-be494a8a2f3c
Espinoza, C.M.
505d9674-e6db-4fa6-bcb3-5365b2d8121c
Haskell, B.
a3c09067-6932-45cc-902d-3b7117ec848d
Ho, W.C.G.
d78d4c52-8f92-4846-876f-e04a8f803a45
Andersson, N.
2dd6d1ee-cefd-478a-b1ac-e6feedafe304
Antonopoulou, D.
4b3a5e01-d67e-4193-9e33-be494a8a2f3c
Espinoza, C.M.
505d9674-e6db-4fa6-bcb3-5365b2d8121c
Haskell, B.
a3c09067-6932-45cc-902d-3b7117ec848d
Ho, W.C.G.
d78d4c52-8f92-4846-876f-e04a8f803a45

Andersson, N., Antonopoulou, D., Espinoza, C.M., Haskell, B. and Ho, W.C.G. (2018) The enigmatic spin evolution of PSR J0537-6910: r-modes, gravitational waves and the case for continued timing. The Astrophysical Journal, 864 (2), 1-8. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aad6eb).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We discuss the unique spin evolution of the young X-ray pulsar PSR J0537-6910, a system in which the regular spin down is interrupted by glitches every few months. Drawing on the complete timing data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE, from 1999-2011), we argue that a trend in the inter-glitch behaviour points to an effective braking index close to $n=7$, much larger than expected. This value is interesting because it would accord with the neutron star spinning down due to gravitational waves from an unstable r-mode. We discuss to what extent this, admittedly speculative, scenario may be consistent and if the associated gravitational-wave signal would be within reach of ground based detectors. Our estimates suggest that one may, indeed, be able to use future observations to test the idea. Further precision timing would help enhance the achievable sensitivity and we advocate a joint observing campaign between the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) and the LIGO-Virgo network.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416266
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416266
ISSN: 1538-4357
PURE UUID: 0d773d27-1695-4139-bb58-83d9e9da5ce3
ORCID for W.C.G. Ho: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6089-6836

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Date deposited: 11 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:38

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Contributors

Author: N. Andersson
Author: D. Antonopoulou
Author: C.M. Espinoza
Author: B. Haskell
Author: W.C.G. Ho ORCID iD

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