X-Ray and Radio Observations of the Magnetar SGR J1935+2154 during Its 2014, 2015, and 2016 Outbursts


We analyzed broadband X-ray and radio data of the magnetar SGR J1935+2154 taken in the aftermath of its 2014, 2015, and 2016 outbursts. The source soft X-ray spectrum <10 keV is well described with a blackbody+power-law (BB+PL) or 2BB model during all three outbursts. Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observations revealed a hard X-ray tail, with a PL photon index Γ = 0.9, extending up to 50 keV, with flux comparable to the one detected <10 keV. Imaging analysis of Chandra data did not reveal small-scale extended emission around the source. Following the outbursts, the total 0.5–10 keV flux from SGR J1935+2154 increased in concordance to its bursting activity, with the flux at activation onset increasing by a factor of ~7 following its strongest 2016 June outburst. A Swift/X-Ray Telescope observation taken 1.5 days prior to the onset of this outburst showed a flux level consistent with quiescence. We show that the flux increase is due to the PL or hot BB component, which increased by a factor of 25 compared to quiescence, while the cold BB component kT = 0.47 keV remained more or less constant. The 2014 and 2015 outbursts decayed quasi-exponentially with timescales of ~40 days, while the stronger 2016 May and June outbursts showed a quick short-term decay with timescales of about four days. Our Arecibo radio observations set the deepest limits on the radio emission from a magnetar, with a maximum flux density limit of 14 μJy for the 4.6 GHz observations and 7 μJy for the 1.4 GHz observations. We discuss these results in the framework of the current magnetar theoretical models.

Journal article

Younes, George, Kouveliotou, Chryssa, Jaodand, Amruta, et al.. "X-Ray and Radio Observations of the Magnetar SGR J1935+2154 during Its 2014, 2015, and 2016 Outbursts." The Astrophysical Journal, 847, (2017) The American Astronomical Society: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa899a.

Forms part of
Article is made available in accordance with the publisher's policy and may be subject to US copyright law. Please refer to the publisher's site for terms of use.
Link to license
Citable link to this page