We report on the XMM-Newton observations of the young 102 ms pulsar PSR B1706-44. We have found that both a blackbody plus power law and a magnetized atmospheric model plus power law provide an excellent fit to the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) spectra. The two scenarios are therefore indistinguishable on a statistical basis, although we are inclined to prefer the latter on physical grounds. In this case, assuming a source distance of ∼ 2.3 kpc, the size of the region responsible for the thermal emission is R & 13 km, compatible with the surface of a neutron star. A comparison of the surface temperature of PSR B1706-44 obtained from this fit with cooling curves favors a medium-mass neutron star with M ∼ 1.45 or ∼ 1.59 M⊙, depending on two different models of proton superfluidity in the interior. The large collecting area of XMM-Newton allows us to resolve a substructure in the broad soft X-ray modulation detected by Chandra, revealing the presence of two separate peaks with pulsed fractions of 7% ± 4% and 15% ± 3%, respectively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science