A low-magnetic-field soft gamma repeater

N. Rea, P. Esposito, R. Turolla, G. L. Israel, S. Zane, L. Stella, S. Mereghetti, A. Tiengo, D. Götz, E. Göǧü, C. Kouveliotou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    235 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous x-ray pulsars form a rapidly increasing group of x-ray sources exhibiting sporadic emission of short bursts. They are believed to be magnetars, that is, neutron stars powered by extreme magnetic fields, B ∼ 1014 to 1015 gauss. We report on a soft gamma repeater with low magnetic field, SGR 0418+5729, recently detected after it emitted bursts similar to those of magnetars. X-ray observations show that its dipolar magnetic field cannot be greater than 7.5 ′ 10 12 gauss, well in the range of ordinary radio pulsars, implying that a high surface dipolar magnetic field is not necessarily required for magnetar-like activity. The magnetar population may thus include objects with a wider range of B-field strengths, ages, and evolutionary stages than observed so far.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)944-946
    JournalScience
    Volume330
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2010

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