Observations of a GX 301−2 Apastron Flare with the X-Calibur Hard X-Ray Polarimeter Supported by NICER, the Swift XRT and BAT, and Fermi GBM
Links to Fileshttps://arxiv.org/pdf/2001.03581.pdf
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Type of Work20 pages
journal articles preprints
Citation of Original PublicationAbarr Q, Baring M, Beheshtipour B, Beilicke M, de Geronimo G, Dowkontt P, Errando M, Guarino V, Iyer N, Kislat F, Kiss M, Kitaguchi T, Krawczynski H, Lanzi J, Li S, Lisalda L, Okajima T, Pearce M, Press L, Rauch B, Stuchlik D, Takahashi H, Tang J, Uchida N, West A, Jenke P, Krimm H, Lien A, Malacaria C, Miller J.M, Wilson-Hodge C, Jan 13 2020, Observations of a GX 301−2 Apastron Flare with the X-Calibur Hard X-Ray Polarimeter Supported by NICER, the Swift XRT and BAT, and Fermi GBM,https://arxiv.org/pdf/2001.03581.pdf
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The accretion-powered X-ray pulsar GX301−2 was observed with the balloon-borne X-Calibur hard X-ray polarimeter during late December 2018, with contiguous observations by the NICER X-ray telescope, the Swift X-ray Telescope and Burst Alert Telescope, and the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor spanning several months. The observations detected the pulsar in a rare apastron ﬂaring state coinciding with a signiﬁcant spin-up of the pulsar discovered with the Fermi GBM. The XCalibur, NICER, and Swift observations reveal a pulse proﬁle strongly dominated by one main peak, and the NICER and Swift data show strong variation of the proﬁle from pulse to pulse. The X-Calibur observations constrain for the ﬁrst time the linear polarization of the 15-35keV emission from a highly magnetized accreting neutron star, indicating a polarization degree of (27⁺³⁸₋₂₇ )% (90% conﬁdence limit) averaged over all pulse phases. We discuss the spin-up and the X-ray spectral and polarimetric results in the context of theoretical predictions. We conclude with a discussion of the scientiﬁc potential of future observations of highly magnetized neutron stars with the more sensitive follow-up mission XL-Calibur.
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