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Journal Article

The X-ray outburst of the Galactic Center magnetar over six years of Chandra observations


Ponti,  G.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Rea, N., Zelati, F. C., Viganò, D., Papitto, A., Baganoff, F., Borghese, A., et al. (2020). The X-ray outburst of the Galactic Center magnetar over six years of Chandra observations. The Astrophysical Journal, 894(2): 159. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab8387.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C00C-4
The magnetar SGR J1745−2900, discovered at a distance of parsecs from the Milky Way central black hole, Sagittarius A*, represents the closest pulsar to a supermassive black hole ever detected. Furthermore, its intriguing radio emission has been used to study the environment of the black hole, as well as to derive a precise position and proper motion for this object. The discovery of SGR J1745−2900 has led to interesting debates about the number, age, and nature of pulsars expected in the Galactic center region. In this work, we present extensive X-ray monitoring of the outburst of SGR J1745−2900 using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the only instrument with the spatial resolution to distinguish the magnetar from the supermassive black hole (2.〞4 angular distance). It was monitored from its outburst onset in 2013 April until 2019 August, collecting more than 50 Chandra observations for a total of more than 2.3 Ms of data. Soon after the outburst onset, the magnetar emission settled onto a purely thermal emission state that cooled from a temperature of about 0.9–0.6 keV over 6 yr. The pulsar timing properties showed at least two changes in the period derivative, increasing by a factor of about 4 during the outburst decay. We find that the long-term properties of this outburst challenge current models for the magnetar outbursts.