Identification of the infrared counterpart of SGR 1935+2154 with the Hubble Space Telescope.
LEVAN A., KOUVELIOTOU C. and FRUCHTER A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present deep Hubble Space Telescope observations of a new magnetar source, the soft gamma-repeater SGR 1935+2154, discovered by Swift. We obtained three epochs of observations: while the source was active in 2015 March, during a quiescent period in 2015 August, and during a further active phase in 2016 May. Close to the center of the X-ray error region identified by Chandra, we find a faint (F140W(AB) = 25.3) source, which fades by a factor of ∼2 over the course of 5 months between the first two epochs of observations, before rebrightening during the second active period. If this source is indeed the counterpart to SGR 1935+2154, then it is among the faintest yet located for a magnetar. Our observations are spaced over 1.3 years and enable us to place limits on the source velocity of µ = (60 ± 40) km s–1 kpc–1; observations on timescales of a decade can hence probe proper motion limits smaller than the velocities observed for the majority of pulsars. The comparison of the optical/IR and X-ray light curves of the source suggests that emission in the two regimes is associated but not directly correlated, offering support for a magnetospheric versus a fallback disk origin.