Discovery of an unidentified Fermi object as a black widow-like millisecond pulsar

A. K H Kong, R. H H Huang, K. S. Cheng, J. Takata, Y. Yatsu, C. C. Cheung, D. Donato, L. C C Lin, Jun Kataoka, Y. Takahashi, Keiichi Maeda, C. Y. Hui, P. H T Tam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Fermi γ-ray Space Telescope has revolutionized our knowledge of the γ-ray pulsar population, leading to the discovery of almost 100 γ-ray pulsars and dozens of γ-ray millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Although the outer-gap model predicts different sites of emission for the radio and γ-ray pulsars, until now all of the known γ-ray MSPs have been visible in the radio. Here we report the discovery of a "radio-quiet" γ-ray-emitting MSP candidate by using Fermi, Chandra, Swift, and optical observations. The X-ray and γ-ray properties of the source are consistent with known γ-ray pulsars. We also found a 4.63 hr orbital period in optical and X-ray data. We suggest that the source is a black widow-like MSP with a 0.1 M late-type companion star. Based on the profile of the optical and X-ray light curves, the companion star is believed to be heated by the pulsar while the X-ray emissions originate from pulsar magnetosphere and/or from intrabinary shock. No radio detection of the source has been reported yet, and although no γ-ray/radio pulsation has been found we estimate that the spin period of the MSP is 3-5 ms based on the inferred γ-ray luminosity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL3
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Volume747
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1

    Fingerprint

    pulsars
    rays
    radio
    companion stars
    magnetosphere
    x rays
    pulsar magnetospheres
    light curve
    shock
    luminosity
    telescopes
    orbitals
    estimates

    Keywords

    • binaries: close
    • gamma rays: stars
    • pulsars: general
    • stars: individual (1FGL J2339.7-0531, SDSS J233938.74-053305.2)
    • X-rays: stars

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Cite this

    Kong, A. K. H., Huang, R. H. H., Cheng, K. S., Takata, J., Yatsu, Y., Cheung, C. C., ... Tam, P. H. T. (2012). Discovery of an unidentified Fermi object as a black widow-like millisecond pulsar. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 747(1), [L3]. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/747/1/L3

    Discovery of an unidentified Fermi object as a black widow-like millisecond pulsar. / Kong, A. K H; Huang, R. H H; Cheng, K. S.; Takata, J.; Yatsu, Y.; Cheung, C. C.; Donato, D.; Lin, L. C C; Kataoka, Jun; Takahashi, Y.; Maeda, Keiichi; Hui, C. Y.; Tam, P. H T.

    In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 747, No. 1, L3, 01.03.2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Kong, AKH, Huang, RHH, Cheng, KS, Takata, J, Yatsu, Y, Cheung, CC, Donato, D, Lin, LCC, Kataoka, J, Takahashi, Y, Maeda, K, Hui, CY & Tam, PHT 2012, 'Discovery of an unidentified Fermi object as a black widow-like millisecond pulsar', Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 747, no. 1, L3. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/747/1/L3
    Kong, A. K H ; Huang, R. H H ; Cheng, K. S. ; Takata, J. ; Yatsu, Y. ; Cheung, C. C. ; Donato, D. ; Lin, L. C C ; Kataoka, Jun ; Takahashi, Y. ; Maeda, Keiichi ; Hui, C. Y. ; Tam, P. H T. / Discovery of an unidentified Fermi object as a black widow-like millisecond pulsar. In: Astrophysical Journal Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 747, No. 1.
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