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Title:
The discovery of weak coherent pulsations in the ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 1313 X-2
Authors:
Sathyaprakash, R.; Roberts, T. P.; Walton, D. J.; Fuerst, F.; Bachetti, M.; Pinto, C.; Alston, W. N.; Earnshaw, H. P.; Fabian, A. C.; Middleton, M. J.; Soria, R.
Affiliation:
AA(Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, Department of Physics, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK), AB(Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, Department of Physics, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK), AC(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK), AD(European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Science Operations Department, 28692, Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain), AE(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK 0000-0002-4576-9337), AF(ESTEC/ESA, Keplerlaan 1, 2201AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands 0000-0003-2532-7379), AG(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK 0000-0003-2658-6559), AH(Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA 0000-0001-5857-5622), AI(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK 0000-0002-9378-4072), AJ(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK), AK(College of Astronomy and Space Sciences, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics A28, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Advance Access (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
07/2019
Origin:
OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
X-rays: binaries, neutron star: pulsations, accretion, accretion discs
Abstract Copyright:
2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnrasl/slz086
Bibliographic Code:
2019MNRAS.tmpL.104S

Abstract

We report the detection of weak pulsations from the archetypal ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) NGC 1313 X-2. Acceleration searches reveal sinusoidal pulsations in segments of two out of six new deep observations of this object, with a period of ˜1.5 s and a pulsed fraction of ˜5%. We use Monte Carlo simulations to demonstrate that the individual detections are unlikely to originate in false Poisson noise detections given their very close frequencies; their strong similarity to other pulsations detected from ULXs also argues they are real. The presence of a large bubble nebula surrounding NGC 1313 X-2 implies an age of order 1 Myr for the accreting phase of the ULX, which implies that the neutron star's magnetic field has not been suppressed over time by accreted material, nor has the neutron star collapsed into a black hole, despite an average energy output into the nebula two orders of magnitude above Eddington. This argues that most of the accreted material has been expelled over the lifetime of the ULX, favouring physical models including strong winds and/or jets for neutron star ULXs.
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