We report on two years of flux and spin evolution monitoring of 1E 1048.1-5937, a 6.5 s X-ray pulsar identified as a magnetar. Using Swift X-Ray Telescope data, we observed an X-ray outburst consisting of an increase in the persistent 1-10 keV flux by a factor of 6.3 ± 0.2, beginning on 2011 December 31 (MJD 55926). Following a delay of 100 days, the magnetar entered a period of large torque variability, with reaching a factor of 4.55 ± 0.05 times the nominal value, before decaying in an oscillatory manner over a timescale of months. We show by comparing to previous outbursts from the source that this pattern of behavior may repeat itself with a quasi-period of 1800 days. We compare this phenomenology to periodic torque variations in radio pulsars, finding some similarities that suggest a magnetospheric origin for the behavior of 1E 1048.1-5937.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science