Luminosity-dependent spectral and timing properties of the accreting pulsar GX 304−1 measured with INTEGRAL⋆
Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik,
Received: 27 April 2015
Accepted: 1 July 2015
Context. Be/X-ray binaries show outbursts with peak luminosities up to a few times 1037 erg/s, during which they can be observed and studied in detail. Most (if not all) Be/X-ray binaries harbor accreting pulsars, whose X-ray spectra in many cases contain cyclotron resonant scattering features related to the magnetic field of the sources. Spectral variations as a function of luminosity and of the rotational phase of the neutron star are observed in many accreting pulsars.
Aims. We explore X-ray spectral and timing properties of the Be/X-ray binary GX 304-1 during an outburst episode. Specifically, we investigate the behavior of the cyclotron resonant scattering feature, the continuum spectral parameters, the pulse period, and the energy- and luminosity-resolved pulse profiles.
Methods. We analyze the INTEGRAL data from the two JEM-X modules, ISGRI and SPI, covering the 2012 January−February outburst, divided into six observations. We obtain pulse profiles in two energy bands, phase-averaged and phase-resolved spectra for each observation. We combine the luminosity-resolved spectral and timing analysis to probe the accretion geometry and the beaming patterns of the rotating neutron star.
Results. We confirm the positive luminosity dependence of the cyclotron line energy in GX 304-1 and report a dependence of the photon index on luminosity. Using a pulse-phase connection technique, we find a pulse period solution valid for the entire outburst. Our pulse-phase resolved analysis shows that the centroid energy of the cyclotron line varies only slightly with pulse phase, while other spectral parameters show more pronounced variations. Our results are consistent with a scenario in which, as the pulsar rotates, we are exploring only a small portion of its beam pattern.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / stars: neutron / accretion, accretion disks / pulsars: individual: GX 304-1
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015