Volume 561, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||13 January 2014|
XMM-Newton observations of 1A 0535+262 in quiescence
1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
2 AIM-CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, Paris, France
3 Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
4 Astronomy Division, Department of Physics, PO Box 3000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
5 Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya Str. 84/32, 117997 Moscow, Russia
6 University of California, San Diego, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, 9500 Dr. Gilman, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA
Received: 12 August 2013
Accepted: 7 November 2013
Accretion onto magnetized neutron stars is expected to be centrifugally inhibited at low accretion rates. Several sources, however, are known to pulsate in quiescence at luminosities below the theoretical limit predicted for the onset of the centrifugal barrier. The source 1A 0535+262 is one of them. Here we present the results of an analysis of a ~50 ks long XMM-Newton observation of 1A 0535+262 in quiescence. At the time of the observation, the neutron star was close to apastron, and the source had remained quiet for two orbital cycles. In spite of this, we detected a pulsed X-ray flux of ~3 × 10-11 erg cm-2 s-1. Several observed properties, including the power spectrum, remained similar to those observed in the outbursts. Particularly, we have found that the frequency of the break detected in the quiescent noise power spectrum follows the same correlation with flux observed when the source is in outburst. This correlation has been associated with the truncation of the accretion disk at the magnetosphere boundary. We argue that our result, along with other arguments previously reported in the literature, suggests that the accretion in quiescence also proceeds from an accretion disk around the neutron star. The proposed scenario consistently explains the energy of the cyclotron line observed in 1A 0535+262, and the timing properties of the source including the spin frequency evolution within and between the outbursts, and the frequency of the break in power spectrum.
Key words: pulsars: individual: 1A 0535+262 / stars: neutron / binaries: general
© ESO, 2014
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