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NICER discovers the ultracompact orbit of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17062-6143

NICER discovers the ultracompact orbit of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17062-6143
NICER discovers the ultracompact orbit of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17062-6143
We present results of recent Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) IGR J17062−6143 that show that it resides in a circular, ultracompact binary with a 38-minute orbital period. NICER observed the source for ≈26 ks over a 5.3-day span in 2017 August, and again for 14 and 11 ks in 2017 October and November, respectively. A power spectral analysis of the August exposure confirms the previous detection of pulsations at 163.656 Hz in Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) data, and reveals phase modulation due to orbital motion of the neutron star. A coherent search for the orbital solution using the Z^2 method finds a best-fitting circular orbit with a period of 2278.21 s (37.97 minutes), a projected semimajor axis of 0.00390 lt-s, and a barycentric pulsar frequency of 163.6561105 Hz. This is currently the shortest known orbital period for an AMXP. The mass function is 9.12x10^−8 Msun, presently the smallest known for a stellar binary. The minimum donor mass ranges from ~0.005 to 0.007 Msun for a neutron star mass from 1.2 to 2 Msun. Assuming mass transfer is driven by gravitational radiation, we find donor mass and binary inclination bounds of 0.0175–0.0155 Msun and 19 deg < i < 27.5 deg, where the lower and upper bounds correspond to 1.4 and 2 Msun neutron stars, respectively. Folding the data accounting for the orbital modulation reveals a sinusoidal profile with fractional amplitude 2.04+/-0.11% (0.3-3.2 keV).
2041-8205
1-7
Strohmayer, Tod E.
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Arzoumanian, Zaven
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Bogdanov, Slavko
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Bult, Peter M.
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Chakrabarty, Deepto
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Enoto, Teruaki
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Gendreau, Keith C.
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Guillot, Sebastien
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Harding, Alice K.
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Ho, Wynn C.G.
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Homan, Jeroen
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Jaisawal, Gaurava K.
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Keek, Laurens
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Kerr, Matthew
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Mahmoodifar, Simin
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Markwardt, Craig B.
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Ransom, Scott M.
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Ray, Paul S.
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Remillard, Ron
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Wolff, Michael T.
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Strohmayer, Tod E.
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Arzoumanian, Zaven
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Bogdanov, Slavko
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Bult, Peter M.
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Chakrabarty, Deepto
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Enoto, Teruaki
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Gendreau, Keith C.
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Guillot, Sebastien
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Harding, Alice K.
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Ho, Wynn C.G.
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Homan, Jeroen
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Jaisawal, Gaurava K.
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Keek, Laurens
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Kerr, Matthew
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Mahmoodifar, Simin
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Markwardt, Craig B.
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Ransom, Scott M.
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Ray, Paul S.
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Remillard, Ron
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Wolff, Michael T.
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Strohmayer, Tod E., Arzoumanian, Zaven, Bogdanov, Slavko, Bult, Peter M., Chakrabarty, Deepto, Enoto, Teruaki, Gendreau, Keith C., Guillot, Sebastien, Harding, Alice K., Ho, Wynn C.G., Homan, Jeroen, Jaisawal, Gaurava K., Keek, Laurens, Kerr, Matthew, Mahmoodifar, Simin, Markwardt, Craig B., Ransom, Scott M., Ray, Paul S., Remillard, Ron and Wolff, Michael T. (2018) NICER discovers the ultracompact orbit of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17062-6143. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 858 (2), 1-7, [L13]. (doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aabf44).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present results of recent Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) IGR J17062−6143 that show that it resides in a circular, ultracompact binary with a 38-minute orbital period. NICER observed the source for ≈26 ks over a 5.3-day span in 2017 August, and again for 14 and 11 ks in 2017 October and November, respectively. A power spectral analysis of the August exposure confirms the previous detection of pulsations at 163.656 Hz in Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) data, and reveals phase modulation due to orbital motion of the neutron star. A coherent search for the orbital solution using the Z^2 method finds a best-fitting circular orbit with a period of 2278.21 s (37.97 minutes), a projected semimajor axis of 0.00390 lt-s, and a barycentric pulsar frequency of 163.6561105 Hz. This is currently the shortest known orbital period for an AMXP. The mass function is 9.12x10^−8 Msun, presently the smallest known for a stellar binary. The minimum donor mass ranges from ~0.005 to 0.007 Msun for a neutron star mass from 1.2 to 2 Msun. Assuming mass transfer is driven by gravitational radiation, we find donor mass and binary inclination bounds of 0.0175–0.0155 Msun and 19 deg < i < 27.5 deg, where the lower and upper bounds correspond to 1.4 and 2 Msun neutron stars, respectively. Folding the data accounting for the orbital modulation reveals a sinusoidal profile with fractional amplitude 2.04+/-0.11% (0.3-3.2 keV).

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421524
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421524
ISSN: 2041-8205
PURE UUID: 2af2755f-9c1d-45cc-a28e-854d82ffcc76
ORCID for Wynn C.G. Ho: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6089-6836

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Date deposited: 14 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:23

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Contributors

Author: Tod E. Strohmayer
Author: Zaven Arzoumanian
Author: Slavko Bogdanov
Author: Peter M. Bult
Author: Deepto Chakrabarty
Author: Teruaki Enoto
Author: Keith C. Gendreau
Author: Sebastien Guillot
Author: Alice K. Harding
Author: Wynn C.G. Ho ORCID iD
Author: Jeroen Homan
Author: Gaurava K. Jaisawal
Author: Laurens Keek
Author: Matthew Kerr
Author: Simin Mahmoodifar
Author: Craig B. Markwardt
Author: Scott M. Ransom
Author: Paul S. Ray
Author: Ron Remillard
Author: Michael T. Wolff

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