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publication

Discovery of a Prominent Cyclotron Absorption Feature from the Transient X-ray Pulsar X0331+53

K. Makishima, T. Mihara, M. Ishida, T. Ohashi, T. Sakao, M. Tashiro, T. Tsuru, T. Kii, F. Makino, T. Murakami, F. Nagase, Y. Tanaka, H. Kunieda, Y. Tawara, S. Kitamoto, S. Miyamoto, A. Yoshida, and M.J.L. Turner

Abstract

A remarkable absorption feature at 28.5 keV, attributable to electron cyclotron resonance, has been discovered in the 1.9-60-keV X-ray spectrum of the recurrent transient X-ray pulsar X0331 + 53. The observed resonance energy implies a neutron star surface magnetic field of 2.5(1 + z) x 10 to the 12th G, where z is the gravitational redshift. The detection was made with the Ginga observatory in October 1989, during an outburst of this transient with a flux level of about 0.3 Crab. The feature is very deep and has been resolved with excellent statistics. This is the fourth unambiguous detection of cyclotron resonant scattering features from X-ray pulsars, suggesting that these features are a common phenomenon among these objects. An empirical relation found between the cyclotron resonance energy and the spectral cutoff energy suggests that the magnetic field strengths of the known X-ray pulsars are clustered in a range (1-4) x 10 to the 12th G.

 
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