Long-term X-ray monitoring of the young pulsar PSR B1509-58.
LIVINGSTONE M.A. and KASPI V.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
It has long been thought that the pulsed X-ray properties of rotation-powered pulsars are stable on long timescales. However, long-term, systematic studies of individual sources have been lacking. Furthermore, dramatic X-ray variability has now been observed from two pulsars having inferred sub-critical dipole magnetic fields. Here we present an analysis of the long-term pulsed X-ray properties of the young, energetic pulsar PSR B1509-58 using data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We measured the 2-50 keV pulsed flux for 14.7 yr of X-ray observations and found that it is consistent with being constant on all relevant timescales, and place a 3σ upper limit on day-to-week variability of <28%. In addition, we searched for magnetar-like X-ray bursts in all observations and found none, which we use to constrain the measurable burst rate to less than one per 750 ks of observations. We also searched for variability in the pulse profile and found that it is consistent with being stable on timescales of days to decades. This supports the hypothesis that X-ray properties of rotation-powered X-ray pulsars can be stable on decade-long timescales. In addition, we extend the existing timing solution by 7.1 yr to a total of 28.4 yr and report updated values of the braking index, n = 2.832±0.003, and the second braking index, m = 17.6±1.9.