Astrophys. J., 925, 18-18 (2022/January-3)
Evolution of the Spin, Spectrum and Superorbital Period of the Ultraluminous X-Ray Pulsar M51 ULX7.
BRIGHTMAN M., BACHETTI M., EARNSHAW H., FURST F., HEIDA M., ISRAEL G.L., PIKE S., STERN D. and WALTON D.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
M51 ULX7 is among a small group of known ultraluminous X-ray pulsars (ULXPs). The neutron star powering the source has a spin period of 2.8 s, orbits its companion star with a period of 2 days, and a superorbital period of 38 days is evident in its X-ray lightcurve. Here we present NuSTAR and XMM-Newton data on the source from 2019 obtained when the source was near its peak brightness. We detect the pulsations, having spun up at a rate of 3 ± 0.5 x 10–10 s s–1 since they were previously detected in 2018. The data also provide the first high-quality broadband spectrum of the source. We find it to be very similar to that of other ULXPs, with two disk-like components, and a high-energy tail. When combined with XMM-Newton data obtained in 2018, we explore the evolution of the spectral components with superorbital phase, finding that the luminosity of the hotter component drives the superorbital flux modulation. The inclination the disk components appear to change with phase, which may support the idea that these superorbital periods are caused by disk precession. We also reexamine the superorbital period with 3 yr of Swift/XRT monitoring, finding that the period is variable, increasing from 38.2 ± 0.5 days in 2018-2019 to 44.2 ± 0.9 days in 2020-2021, which rules out alternative explanations for the superorbital period.
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.
High mass x-ray binary stars - Ultraluminous x-ray sources - Pulsars - Neutron stars - Accretion
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