X-radiation from the millisecond pulsar J0437-4715

V. E. Zavlin, G. G. Pavlov, D. Sanwal, R. N. Manchester, J. Trümper, J. P. Halpern, W. Becker

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We report on spectral and timing observations of the nearest millisecond pulsar, J0437-4715, with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The pulsar spectrum, detected up to 7 keV, cannot be described by a simple one-component model. We suggest that it consists of two components: a nonthermal power-law spectrum generated in the pulsar magnetosphere, with a photon index γ ≈ 2, and a thermal spectrum emitted by heated polar caps, with a temperature decreasing outward from 2 to 0.5 MK. The lack of spectral features in the thermal component suggests that the neutron star surface is covered by a hydrogen (or helium) atmosphere. The timing analysis shows one X-ray pulse per period, with a pulsed fraction of about 40% and the peak at the same pulse phase as the radio peak, No synchrotron pulsar-wind nebula is seen in X-rays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-902
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Apr 20 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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