Volume 638, June 2020
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||29 June 2020|
Recurrent low-level luminosity behaviour after a giant outburst in the Be/X-ray transient 4U 0115+63
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
3 Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC) Campus UAB, Carrer de Can Magrans, s/n, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
4 ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7900 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
Accepted: 29 April 2020
In 2017, the Be/X-ray transient 4U 0115+63 exhibited a new type II outburst that was two times fainter than its 2015 giant outburst (in the Swift/BAT count rates). Despite this difference between the two bright events, the source displayed similar X-ray behaviour after these periods. Once the outbursts ceased, the source did not transit towards quiescence directly, but was detected about a factor of 10 above its known quiescent level. It eventually decayed back to quiescence over timescales of months. In this paper, we present the results of our Swift monitoring campaign, and an XMM-Newton observation of 4U 0115+63 during the decay of the 2017 type II outburst and its subsequent low-luminosity behaviour. We discuss the possible origin of the decaying source emission at this low-level luminosity, which has now been shown as a recurrent phenomenon, in the framework of the two proposed scenarios to explain this faint state: cooling from an accretion-heated neutron star crust or continuous low-level accretion. In addition, we compare the outcome of our study with the results we obtained from the 2015/2016 monitoring campaign on this source.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / accretion, accretion disks / stars: neutron / pulsars: individual: 4U 0115+63
© ESO 2020
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