NICER detects pulsations from a new outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17379-3747 (01 Oct 2020)
01 октября 2020 года
NICER detects pulsations from a new outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17379-3747 (01 Oct 2020)
Текст новости:
New NICER observations of the re-activated accreting pulsar IGR J17379-3747 recovered the 468 Hz spin period of the pulsar and made a new measurement of the change in the orbital period.
Связанные объекты: #NICER (найти в новостях), #Hz (найти в новостях).

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Credential Certification: Peter Bult (
Subjects: X-ray, Neutron Star, Transient, Pulsarid="subjects">
On 2020 September 29, the all-sky monitor ART-XC detected a brightening in the direction of IGR J17379-3747, suggesting that this known 468 Hz accreting millisecond pulsar is undergoing a new X-ray outburst (ATel #14051). Following this report we began observing IGR J17379-3747 with NICER. Between 2020-09-29 23:09 UTC and 2020-09-30 08:40 UTC we collected 4.6 ks of good time exposure. The source is clearly detected in these data, showing a
steady drop in count-rate from 8 ct/s to 6 ct/s in the 1-10 keV energy band. The estimated background contribution in this same energy band is 1 ct/s.
The 0.5-10 keV energy spectrum is well described as an absorbed blackbody with a thermally comptonized continuum. We model the spectrum in XSPEC as tbabs (bbodyrad + nthcomp), keeping the blackbody temperature linked between the two model components and holding the electron temperature fixed at 30 keV. Our best fit solution has a chi-square of 472 for 442 degrees of freedom. The measured absorption column is (9.5 +/- 0.9) x10
21 cm
-2, while the blackbody temperature and power law index are measured at kT = 0.10 +/- 0.01 keV and Gamma= 2.1 +/- 0.1, respectively. Neither emission lines nor reflection components are required to improve the spectral model. The unabsorbed 1-10 keV flux is found to be Fx = (3.4 +/- 0.2) x10
-11 erg cm
-2 s
-1. These results are consistent with previous observations of IGR J17379-3747 (Sanna et al. 2018, A&A, 616, L17; Bult et al. 2019, ApJ, 877, 70).
After barycenter-correcting the photon event times, we computed a power density spectrum of the 1-10 keV data. We find a clear pulsed signal at the known 468 Hz spin frequency, confirming definitively that IGR J17379-3747 is indeed the active source. We then removed the Doppler modulation imposed by the binary orbit based on the best-known ephemeris (Sanna et al., 2018; Bult et al., 2019) and computed a pulse profile for each continuous NICER pointing (~900 seconds exposure each). By fitting the phase residuals for the pulse frequency and time of ascending node only, we measure the local time of ascending node at Tasc = 59120.945847(3) TDB; which is earlier than predicted by the long-term binary orbit solution of Sanna et al. (2018). Fitting the long-term evolution in the residual Tasc values with a quadratic model (see, e.g., Hartman et al. 2008, ApJ, 675, 2), we find significant evidence for a binary period derivative of Pdot = (-2.9 +/- 0.5) x 10
-12 s s
-1. Finally, we computed the average pulse profile, which yielded a fundamental pulse amplitude of 20% fractional sinusoidal amplitude, and a second harmonic at 7.5% fractional amplitude.
Because IGR J17379-3747 is currently subject to visibility constraints, we will resume NICER monitoring of this source after October 7. Multi-wavelength observations of the source are strongly encouraged.
NICER is a 0.2-12 keV X-ray telescope operating on the International Space Station. The NICER mission and portions of the NICER science team activities are funded by NASA.
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