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Preprint D/02

Magnetic Fields of Accreting X-Ray Pulsars with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer

W. Coburn (1,2), W. A. Heindl (2), R. E. Rothschild (2), D. E. Gruber (2), I. Kreykenbohm (3), J. Wilms (3), P. Kretschmar (4,5), R. Staubert (3)

(1) Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94702-7450, USA
(2) Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0424, USA
(3) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, University of Tübingen, Sand 1, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany
(4) INTEGRAL Science Data Center, 6 ch. d'Écogia, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland
(5) Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, D-85740 Garching, Germany

To appear in: ApJ

Abstract. Using a consistent set of models, we parameterized the X-ray spectra of all accreting pulsars in the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer database which exhibit Cyclotron Resonance Scattering Features (CRSFs, or cyclotron lines). These sources in our sample are Her X-1, 4U 0115+63, Cen X-3, 4U 1626-67, XTE J1946-274, Vela X-1, 4U 1907+09, 4U 1538-52, GX 301-2, and 4U 0352+309 (X Per). We searched for correlations among the spectral parameters, concentrating on how the cyclotron line energy relates to the continuum and therefore how the neutron star B-field influences the X-Ray emission. As expected, we found a correlation between the CRSF energy and the spectral cutoff energy. However, with our consistent set of fits we found that the relationship is more complex than what has been reported previously. Also, we found that not only does the width of the cyclotron line correlate with the energy (as suggested by theory), but that the width scaled by the energy correlates with the depth of the feature. We discuss the implications of these results, including the possibility that accretion directly affects the relative alignment of the neutron star spin and dipole axes. Lastly, we comment on the current state of fitting phenomenological models to spectra in the RXTE/BeppoSAX era and the need for better theoretical models of the X-Ray continua of accreting pulsars.

Key words: stars:magnetic fields - stars:neutron - X-rays:stars


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