Astrophys. J., 933, L3-L3 (2022/July-1)
Insight-HXMT Discovery of the Highest-energy CRSF from the First Galactic Ultraluminous X-Ray Pulsar Swift J0243.6+6124.
KONG L.-D., ZHANG S., ZHANG S.-N., JI L., DOROSHENKO V., SANTANGELO A., CHEN Y.-P., LU F.-J., GE M.-Y., WANG P.-J., TAO L., QU J.-L., LI T.-P., LIU C.-Z., LIAO J.-Y., CHANG Z., PENG J.-Q. and SHUI Q.-C.
Abstract (from CDS):
The detection of cyclotron resonance scattering features (CRSFs) is the only way to directly and reliably measure the magnetic field near the surface of a neutron star (NS). The broad energy coverage and large collection area of Insight-HXMT in the hard X-ray band allowed us to detect the CRSF with the highest energy known to date, reaching about 146 keV during the 2017 outburst of the first galactic pulsing ultraluminous X-ray source (pULX) Swift J0243.6+6124. During this outburst, the CRSF was only prominent close to the peak luminosity of ∼2 x 1039 erg s–1, the highest to date in any of the Galactic pulsars. The CRSF is most significant in the spin-phase region corresponding to the main pulse of the pulse profile, and its centroid energy evolves with phase from 120 to 146 keV. We identify this feature as the fundamental CRSF because no spectral feature exists at 60-70 keV. This is the first unambiguous detection of an electron CRSF from an ULX. We also estimate a surface magnetic field of ∼1.6 x 1013 G for Swift J0243.6+6124. Considering that the dipole magnetic field strengths, inferred from several independent estimates of magnetosphere radius, are at least an order of magnitude lower than our measurement, we argue that the detection of the highest-energy CRSF reported here unambiguously proves the presence of multipole field components close to the surface of the neutron star. Such a scenario has previously been suggested for several pulsating ULXs, including Swift J0243.6+6124, and our result represents the first direct confirmation of this scenario.
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.
Binary pulsars - High mass x-ray binary stars - Accretion - Ultraluminous x-ray sources - Magnetic fields - Neutron stars
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