Modelling of the surface emission of the low magnetic field magnetar SGR 0418+5729

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Title: Modelling of the surface emission of the low magnetic field magnetar SGR 0418+5729
Authors: Guillot, Sebastien | Perna, Rosalba | Rea, Nanda | Viganò, Daniele | Pons, José A.
Research Group/s: Astrofísica Relativista
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Física Aplicada
Keywords: Stars: magnetars | Pulsars: general | X-rays: individual: SGR 0418+5729
Knowledge Area: Astronomía y Astrofísica
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2015
Publisher: Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015, 452(4): 3357-3368. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv1535
Abstract: We perform a detailed modelling of the post-outburst surface emission of the low magnetic field magnetar SGR 0418+5729. The dipolar magnetic field of this source, B=6×1012G estimated from its spin-down rate, is in the observed range of magnetic fields for normal pulsars. The source is further characterized by a high pulse fraction and a single-peak profile. Using synthetic temperature distribution profiles, and fully accounting for the general-relativistic effects of light deflection and gravitational redshift, we generate synthetic X-ray spectra and pulse profiles that we fit to the observations. We find that asymmetric and symmetric surface temperature distributions can reproduce equally well the observed pulse profiles and spectra of SGR 0418. None the less, the modelling allows us to place constraints on the system geometry (i.e. the angles ψ and ξ that the rotation axis makes with the line of sight and the dipolar axis, respectively), as well as on the spot size and temperature contrast on the neutron star surface. After performing an analysis iterating between the pulse profile and spectra, as done in similar previous works, we further employed, for the first time in this context, a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo approach to extract constraints on the model parameters from the pulse profiles and spectra, simultaneously. We find that, to reproduce the observed spectrum and flux modulation: (a) the angles must be restricted to 65° ≲ ψ + ξ ≲ 125° or 235° ≲ ψ + ξ ≲ 295°; (b) the temperature contrast between the poles and the equator must be at least a factor of ∼6, and (c) the size of the hottest region ranges between 0.2 and 0.7 km (including uncertainties on the source distance). Lastly, we interpret our findings within the context of internal and external heating models.
Sponsor: SG is funded by the FONDECYT postdoctoral grant 3150428. During the preparation of this work, SG was partially funded at McGill University by NSERC via the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program, and by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Nature et Technologies. RP acknowledges support by NSF grant No. AST 1414246 and Chandra-Smithsonian Awards No. GO3-14060A and No. AR5-16005X. NR acknowledges support via an NWO Vidi Award. NR and DV are supported by grants AYA2012-39303 and SGR2009-811. Partial support comes from NewCompStar, COST Action MP1304. JP is supported by the grant AYA2013-42184-P.
ISSN: 0035-8711 (Print) | 1365-2966 (Online)
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1535
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - Astrofísica Relativista - Artículos de Revistas

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