X-ray emission from the double neutron star binary B1534+12: Powered by the pulsar wind?

O. Kargaltsev, G. G. Pavlov, G. P. Garmire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We report the detection of the double neutron star binary (DNSB) B1534+12 (=J1537+1155) with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This DNSB (Porb = 10.1 hr) consists of the millisecond (recycled) pulsar J1537+1155A (P A = 37.9 ms) and a neutron star not detected in the radio. After the remarkable double pulsar binary J0737-3039, it is the only other DNSB detected in X-rays. We measured the flux of (2.2 ±0.6) × 1015 ergs s-1 cm-2 in the 0.36 keV band. The small number of collected counts allows only crude estimates of spectral parameters. The power-law fit yields the photon index Γ = 3.2 ±0.5 and the unabsorbed 0.2-10 keV luminosity Lx ≈ 6 × 1029 ergs s-1 ≈ 3 × 10-4ĖA, where ĖA is the spin-down power of J1537+1155A. Alternatively, the spectrum can be fitted by a blackbody model with T ≈ 2.2 MK and the projected emitting area of ∼5 × 103 m2. The distribution of photon arrival times over binary orbital phase shows a deficit of X-ray emission around apastron, which suggests that the emission is caused by interaction of the relativistic wind from J1537+1155A with its neutron star companion. We also reanalyzed the Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of J0737-3039 and found that its X-ray spectrum is similar to the spectrum of B1534+12, and its X-ray luminosity is about the same fraction of ĖA, which suggests similar X-ray emission mechanisms. However, the X-ray emission from J0737-3039 does not show orbital phase dependence. This difference can be explained by the smaller eccentricity of J0737-3039 or a smaller misalignment between the equatorial plane of the millisecond pulsar and the orbital plane of the binary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1148
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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