Identification of the high-energy gamma-ray source 3FGL J1544.6-1125 as a transitional millisecond pulsar binary in an accreting state.
BOGDANOV S. and HALPERN J.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical observations of 1RXS J154439.4-112820, the most probable counterpart of the unassociated Fermi-LAT source 3FGL J1544.6-1125. The optical data reveal rapid variability, which is a feature of accreting systems. The X-rays exhibit large-amplitude variations in the form of fast switching (within ∼10 s) between two distinct flux levels that differ by a factor of ≈10. The detailed optical and X-ray behavior is virtually identical to that seen in the accretion-disk-dominated states of the transitional millisecond pulsar (MSP) binaries PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859, which are also associated with γ-ray sources. Based on the available observational evidence, we conclude that 1RXS J154439.4-112820 and 3FGL J1544.6-1125 are the same object, with the X-rays arising from intermittent low-luminosity accretion onto an MSP and the γ-rays originating from an accretion-driven outflow. 1RXS J154439.4-112820 is only the fourth γ-ray-emitting low-mass X-ray binary system to be identified and is likely to sporadically undergo transformations to a non-accreting rotation-powered pulsar system.