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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

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Preprint F/01

Discovery of a Cyclotron Resonance Scattering Feature in the X-Ray Spectrum of XTE J1946+274

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

(1) Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Code 0424, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424
(2) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

2001, The Astrophysical Journal 563, L35-L39

Abstract. Observations made with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer during the course of the 1998 September-November outburst of the transient accreting pulsar XTE J1946+274 reveal a cyclotron resonance scattering feature (or "cyclotron line") in the hard X-ray spectrum near 35 keV. We determine a centroid energy of 36.2+0.5-0.7 keV, which implies a magnetic field strength of 3.1(1+z)×1012 G, where z is the gravitational redshift of the scattering region. The optical depth, tau=0.33+0.07-0.06, and width, sigma=3.37+0.92-0.75 keV, are typical of known cyclotron lines in other pulsars. This discovery makes XTE J1946+274 one of 13 pulsars with securely detected cyclotron lines resulting in direct magnetic field measurements.

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