High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of the bursting pulsar GRO J1744-28

N. Degenaar, J. M. Miller, F. A. Harrison, J. A. Kennea, C. Kouveliotou, G. Younes

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Abstract

The bursting pulsar GRO J1744-28 is a Galactic low-mass X-ray binary that distinguishes itself by displaying type-II X-ray bursts: brief, bright flashes of X-ray emission that likely arise from spasmodic accretion. Combined with its coherent 2.1 Hz X-ray pulsations and relatively high estimated magnetic field, it is a particularly interesting source to study the physics of accretion flows around neutron stars. Here we report on Chandra/High Energy Transmission Grating observations obtained near the peak of its bright 2014 accretion outburst. Spectral analysis suggests the presence of a broad iron emission line centered at El ≃ 6.7 keV. Fits with a disk reflection model yield an inclination angle of i ≃ 52° and an inner disk radius of Rin ≃ 85 GM/c2, which is much further out than typically found for neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries. Assuming that the disk is truncated at the magnetospheric radius of the neutron star, we estimate a magnetic field strength of B ≃ (2-6) × 1010 G. Furthermore, we identify an absorption feature near ≃ 6.85 keV that could correspond to blue-shifted Fe XXV and point to a fast disk wind with an outflow velocity of vout ≃ (7.5-8.2) × 103 km s-1 (≃ 0.025c-0.027c). If the covering fraction and filling factor are large, this wind could be energetically important and perhaps account for the fact that the companion star lost significant mass while the magnetic field of the neutron star remained strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume796
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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