Neutron star metamorphosis: from sub-luminous accretion to rotation-powered quiescence

Mar 25, 2014, 6:15 PM


Manuel Linares (I)


The X-ray transient IGR J18245-2452 contains the first neutron star (NS) seen to switch between rotation-powered and accretion-powered pulsations. We present Swift and Chandra observations that reveal a spectral transition when the X-ray luminosity was as low as 0.01% of the Eddington limit. We also find a striking variability pattern in the 2008 quiescent Chandra light curves: rapid switches between a high-luminosity `active' state and a low-luminosity `passive' state, with no detectable spectral change. We discuss these results in the context of slowly accreting compact objects and millisecond radio pulsars, and propose a scenario where the observed mode switches in quiescence are caused by fast transitions between the magnetospheric accretion and pulsar wind shock emission regimes.

Primary author


Alessandro Patruno (U. of Leiden) Arash Bahramian (U. of Alberta) Craig Heinke (U. of Alberta) David Pooley (SHSU) Diego Altamirano (U. of Southampton) Jeroen Homan (MIT) Rudy Wijnands (U. of Amsterdam) Slavko Bogdanov (CAL)

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