ON THE BRAKING INDEX OF THE UNUSUAL HIGH-B ROTATION-POWERED PULSAR PSR J1846-0258

R. F. Archibald, V. M. Kaspi, A. P. Beardmore, N. Gehrels, J. A. Kennea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

PSR J1846-0258 is an object that straddles the boundary between magnetars and rotation powered pulsars. Though behaving for many years as a rotation-powered pulsar, in 2006, it exhibited distinctly magnetar-like behavior - emitting several short hard X-ray bursts, and a flux increase. Here we report on 7 years of post-outburst timing observations of PSR J1846-0258 using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the Swift X-ray Telescope. We measure the braking index over the post-magnetar outburst period to be n = 2.19 ± 0.03. This represents a change of Δn = -0.46 ± 0.03 or a 14.5σ difference from the pre-outburst braking index of n = 2.65 ± 0.01, which itself was measured over a span of 6.5 years. A change to a pulsar braking index so large and long-lived is unprecedented and poses a significant challenge to models of pulsar spin-down.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume810
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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