Drop in the Hard Pulsed Fraction and a Candidate Cyclotron Line in IGR J16320-4751 Seen by NuSTAR

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Astrophysical Journal


We report on a timing and spectral analysis of a 50 ks NuSTAR observation of IGR J16320−4751 (= AX J1631.9−4752), a high-mass X-ray binary hosting a slowly rotating neutron star. In this observation from 2015, the spin period was 1308.8 ± 0.4 s giving a period derivative P ̇ ∼ 2 × 10 − 8 s s−1 when compared with the period measured in 2004. In addition, the pulsed fraction decreased as a function of energy, as opposed to the constant trend that was seen previously. This suggests a change in the accretion geometry of the system during the intervening 11 yr. The phase-averaged spectra were fit with the typical model for accreting pulsars: a power law with an exponential cutoff. This left positive residuals at 6.4 keV attributable to the known iron Kα line, as well as negative residuals around 14 keV from a candidate cyclotron line detected at a significance of 5σ. We found no significant differences in the spectral parameters across the spin period, other than the expected changes in flux and component normalizations. A flare lasting around 5 ks was captured during the first half of the observation, where the X-ray emission hardened and the local column density decreased. Finally, the binary orbital period was refined to 8.9912 ± 0.0078 days thanks to Swift/BAT monitoring data from 2005-2022.


Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy

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