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A NICER thermonuclear burst from the millisecond X-Ray pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

A NICER thermonuclear burst from the millisecond X-Ray pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658
A NICER thermonuclear burst from the millisecond X-Ray pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658
The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) has extensively monitored the 2019 August outburst of the 401 Hz millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658. In this Letter, we report on the detection of a bright helium-fueled Type I X-ray burst. With a bolometric peak flux of (2.3 ± 0.1) × 10−7 erg s−1 cm−2, this was the brightest X-ray burst among all bursting sources observed with NICER to date. The burst shows a remarkable two-stage evolution in flux, emission lines at 1.0 and 6.7 keV, and burst oscillations at the known pulsar spin frequency, with ≈4% fractional sinusoidal amplitude. We interpret the burst flux evolution as the detection of the local Eddington limits associated with the hydrogen and helium layers of the neutron star envelope. The emission lines are likely associated with Fe, due to reprocessing of the burst emission in the accretion disk.
2041-8205
Bult, Peter
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Jaisawal, Gaurava K.
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Guver, Tolga
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Strohmayer, Tod E.
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Altamirano, Diego
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Arzoumanian, Zaven
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Ballantyne, David R.
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Chakrabarty, Deepto
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Chenevez, Jérôme
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Gendreau, Keith C.
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Guillot, Sebastien
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Ludlam, Renee M.
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Bult, Peter
73bd0a3d-c566-4046-86c9-31f6e6cdac07
Jaisawal, Gaurava K.
73d1fabe-7543-4658-af93-3bb2e9557c7d
Guver, Tolga
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Strohmayer, Tod E.
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Altamirano, Diego
d5ccdb09-0b71-4303-9538-05b467be075b
Arzoumanian, Zaven
5befbba6-f6a1-47c8-ae9e-021c5d854a64
Ballantyne, David R.
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Chakrabarty, Deepto
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Chenevez, Jérôme
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Gendreau, Keith C.
cad26609-b22d-4c1d-ada3-4af51e2cd780
Guillot, Sebastien
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Ludlam, Renee M.
b27b6ff8-9743-49f2-833a-115803efa43a

Bult, Peter, Jaisawal, Gaurava K., Guver, Tolga, Strohmayer, Tod E., Altamirano, Diego, Arzoumanian, Zaven, Ballantyne, David R., Chakrabarty, Deepto, Chenevez, Jérôme, Gendreau, Keith C., Guillot, Sebastien and Ludlam, Renee M. (2019) A NICER thermonuclear burst from the millisecond X-Ray pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 855 (1), [L1]. (doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab4ae1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) has extensively monitored the 2019 August outburst of the 401 Hz millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658. In this Letter, we report on the detection of a bright helium-fueled Type I X-ray burst. With a bolometric peak flux of (2.3 ± 0.1) × 10−7 erg s−1 cm−2, this was the brightest X-ray burst among all bursting sources observed with NICER to date. The burst shows a remarkable two-stage evolution in flux, emission lines at 1.0 and 6.7 keV, and burst oscillations at the known pulsar spin frequency, with ≈4% fractional sinusoidal amplitude. We interpret the burst flux evolution as the detection of the local Eddington limits associated with the hydrogen and helium layers of the neutron star envelope. The emission lines are likely associated with Fe, due to reprocessing of the burst emission in the accretion disk.

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A NICER Thermonuclear Burst from the Millisecond X-Ray Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 4 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 October 2019
Additional Information: arxiv is am

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437002
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437002
ISSN: 2041-8205
PURE UUID: 46e23720-e7b4-423f-9567-be21136d8120
ORCID for Diego Altamirano: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3422-0074

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jan 2020 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:02

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Contributors

Author: Peter Bult
Author: Gaurava K. Jaisawal
Author: Tolga Guver
Author: Tod E. Strohmayer
Author: Zaven Arzoumanian
Author: David R. Ballantyne
Author: Deepto Chakrabarty
Author: Jérôme Chenevez
Author: Keith C. Gendreau
Author: Sebastien Guillot
Author: Renee M. Ludlam

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