Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 378, L44-L48 (2007/June-2)
Exciting the magnetosphere of the magnetar CXOU J164710.2-455216 in Westerlund 1.
MUNO M.P., GAENSLER B.M., CLARK J.S., DE GRIJS R., POOLEY D., STEVENS I.R. and PORTEGIES ZWART S.F.
Abstract (from CDS):
We describe XMM-Newton observations taken 4.3 d prior to and 1.5 d subsequent to two remarkable events that were detected with Swift on 2006 September 21 from the candidate magnetar CXOU J164710.2-455216: (i) a 20-ms burst with an energy of 1037 erg (15-150 keV), and (ii) a rapid spin-down (glitch) with Δ P/P ∼ -10–4. We find that the luminosity of the pulsar increased by a factor of 100 in the interval between observations, from 1x1033 to 1x1035 erg s–1 (0.5-8.0 keV), and that its spectrum hardened. The pulsed count rate increased by a factor of 10 (0.5-8.0 keV), but the fractional rms amplitude of the pulses decreased from 65 to 11 per cent, and their profile changed from being single-peaked to exhibiting three distinct peaks. Similar changes have been observed from other magnetars in response to outbursts, such as that of 1E 2259+586 in 2002 June. We suggest that a plastic deformation of the neutron star crust induced a very slight twist in the external magnetic field, which in turn generated currents in the magnetosphere that were the direct cause of the X-ray outburst.
2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 RAS
stars: magnetic fields - stars: neutron - pulsars: individual: CXOU J164710.2-455216 - X-rays: bursts
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