DISTORTED CYCLOTRON LINE PROFILE IN CEP X-4 AS OBSERVED BY NuSTAR

F. Fürst, K. Pottschmidt, H. Miyasaka, V. Bhalerao, M. Bachetti, S. E. Boggs, F. E. Christensen, W. W. Craig, V. Grinberg, C. J. Hailey, F. A. Harrison, J. A. Kennea, F. Rahoui, D. Stern, S. P. Tendulkar, J. A. Tomsick, D. J. Walton, J. Wilms, W. W. Zhang

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present spectral analysis of Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array and Swift observations of Cep X-4 during its outburst in 2014. We observed the source once during the peak of the outburst and once during the decay, finding good agreement in the spectral shape between the observations. We describe the continuum using a power law with a Fermi-Dirac cutoff at high energies. Cep X-4 has a very strong cyclotron resonant scattering feature (CRSF) around 30 keV. A simple absorption-like line with a Gaussian optical depth or a pseudo-Lorentzian profile both fail to describe the shape of the CRSF accurately, leaving significant deviations at the red side of the line. We characterize this asymmetry with a second absorption feature around 19 keV. The line energy of the CRSF, which is not influenced by the addition of this feature, shows a small but significant positive luminosity dependence. With luminosities between (1-6) × 1036 erg s-1, Cep X-4 is below the theoretical limit where such a correlation is expected. This behavior is similar to Vela X-1 and we discuss parallels between the two systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume806
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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