NICER Detection of Thermal X-Ray Pulsations from the Massive Millisecond Pulsars PSR J0740+6620 and PSR J1614–2230 - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Astrophys.J.Lett. Year : 2021

NICER Detection of Thermal X-Ray Pulsations from the Massive Millisecond Pulsars PSR J0740+6620 and PSR J1614–2230

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Abstract

We report the detection of X-ray pulsations from the rotation-powered millisecond-period pulsars PSR J0740+6620 and PSR J1614−2230, two of the most massive neutron stars known, using observations with the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER). We also analyze X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) data for both pulsars to obtain their time-averaged fluxes and study their respective X-ray fields. PSR J0740+6620 exhibits a broad double-peaked profile with a separation of ∼0.4 in phase. PSR J1614−2230, on the other hand, has a broad single-peak profile. We show the NICER detections of X-ray pulsations for both pulsars and also discuss the phase relationship to their radio pulsations. The XMM-Newton X-ray spectra of both pulsars shows they are thermally dominated but in the case of PSR J1614−2230 a weak nonthermal high energy tail appears to be present in the spectrum. The thermally dominated spectra along with broad modulations for both pulsars are indicative of thermal radiation from one or more small regions of the stellar surface. For PSR J0740+6620, this paper documents the data reduction performed to obtain the pulsation detection and prepare for pulse light curve modeling analysis.
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Dates and versions

hal-03243446 , version 1 (07-12-2021)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Michael T. Wolff, Sebastien Guillot, Slavko Bogdanov, Paul S. Ray, Matthew Kerr, et al.. NICER Detection of Thermal X-Ray Pulsations from the Massive Millisecond Pulsars PSR J0740+6620 and PSR J1614–2230. Astrophys.J.Lett., 2021, 918 (2), pp.L26. ⟨10.3847/2041-8213/ac158e⟩. ⟨hal-03243446⟩
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