Vol 18, No 12 (2018) / Chang

The GeV emission of PSR B1259–63 during its last three periastron passages observed by Fermi-LAT

Zhi Chang, Shu Zhang, Yu-Peng Chen, Long Ji, Ling-Da Kong, Cong-Zhan Liu

Abstract

PSR B1259–63 is a γ-ray emitting high mass X-ray binary system, in which the compact object is a millisecond pulsar. The system has an orbital period of 1236.7 d and shows peculiar γ-ray flares when the neutron star moves out of the stellar disk of the companion star. The γ-ray flare events were firstly discovered by using Fermi-LAT around the 2010 periastron passage, which was repeated for the 2014 and 2017 periastron passages. We analyze the Fermi-LAT data for all the three periastron passages and found that in each flare the energy spectrum can be represented well by a simple power law. The γ-ray light curves show that in 2010 and 2014 after each periastron there are two main flares, but in 2017 there are four flares including one precursor about 10 d after the periastron passage. The first main flares in 2010 and 2014 are located at around 35 d after the periastron passage, and the main flare in 2014 is delayed by roughly 1.7 d with respect to that in 2010. In the 2017 flare, the source shows a precursor about 10 d after the periastron passage, but the following two flares become weaker and lag behind those in 2010 by roughly 5 d. The strongest flares in 2017 occurred 58 d and 70 d after the periastron passage. These results challenge the previous models.

Keywords


binaries: general — pulsars: general — gamma rays: general

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1674–4527/18/12/152

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