Discovery of an accreting millisecond pulsar in the eclipsing binary system SWIFT J1749.4-2807

D. Altamirano, Y. Cavecchi, A. Patruno, A. Watts, M. Linares, N. Degenaar, M. Kalamkar, M. Van Der Klis, N. Rea, P. Casella, M. Armas Padilla, R. Kaur, Y. J. Yang, P. Soleri, R. Wijnands

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    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We report on the discovery and the timing analysis of the first eclipsing accretion-powered millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP): SWIFT J1749.4-2807. The neutron star rotates at a frequency of ∼517.9 Hz and is in a binary system with an orbital period of 8.8 hr and a projected semimajor axis of ∼1.90 lt-s. Assuming a neutron star between 0.8 and 2.2 M⊙ and using the mass function of the system and the eclipse half-angle, we constrain the mass of the companion and the inclination of the system to be in the ∼0.46-0.81 M⊙ and ∼ 74.°4-77.°3 range, respectively. To date, this is the tightest constraint on the orbital inclination of any AMXP. As in other AMXPs, the pulse profile shows harmonic content up to the third overtone. However, this is the first AMXP to show a first overtone with rms amplitudes between ∼6% and ∼23%, which is the strongest ever seen and which can be more than two times stronger than the fundamental. The fact that SWIFT J 1749.4-2807 is an eclipsing system that shows uncommonly strong harmonic content suggests that it might be the best source to date to set constraints on neutron star properties including compactness and geometry. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Volume727
    Issue number1 PART II
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2011

    Keywords

    • Pulsars: general
    • Pulsars: individual (SWIFT J1749.4-2807)
    • Stars: neutron

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