Volume 629, September 2019
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||10 September 2019|
Letter to the Editor
Probing X-ray emission in different modes of PSR J1023+0038 with a radio pulsar scenario
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate, LC, Italy
2 Università dell’Insubria, Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia, Via Valleggio 11, 22100 Como, Italy
3 Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), Campus UAB, Carrer de Can Magrans, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
4 Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), Gran Capità 2-4, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
5 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain
6 New York University of Abu Dhabi, PO Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, UAE
7 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Roma, Italy
Accepted: 13 August 2019
Transitional pulsars provide us with a unique laboratory to study the physics of accretion onto a magnetic neutron star. PSR J1023+0038 (J1023) is the best studied of this class. We investigate the X-ray spectral properties of J1023 in the framework of a working radio pulsar during the active state. We modelled the X-ray spectra in three modes (low, high, and flare) as well as in quiescence, to constrain the emission mechanism and source parameters. The emission model, formed by an assumed pulsar emission (thermal and magnetospheric) plus a shock component, can account for the data only adding a hot dense absorber covering ∼30% of the emitting source in high mode. The covering fraction is similar in flaring mode, thus excluding total enshrouding, and decreases in the low mode despite large uncertainties. This provides support to the recently advanced idea of a mini-pulsar wind nebula (PWN), where X-ray and optical pulsations arise via synchrotron shock emission in a very close (∼100 km, comparable to a light cylinder), PWN-like region that is associated with this hot absorber. In low mode, this region may expand, pulsations become undetectable, and the covering fraction decreases.
Key words: stars: individual: PSR J1023+0038 / stars: neutron / X-rays: binaries
© ESO 2019
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