Discovery of high-energy gamma-ray emission from the binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 around periastron with Fermi

A. A. Abdo*, M. Ackermann, M. Ajello, A. Allafort, J. Ballet, G. Barbiellini, D. Bastieri, K. Bechtol, R. Bellazzini, B. Berenji, R. D. Blandford, E. Bonamente, A. W. Borgland, J. Bregeon, M. Brigida, P. Bruel, R. Buehler, S. Buson, G. A. Caliandro, R. A. CameronF. Camilo, P. A. Caraveo, C. Cecchi, E. Charles, S. Chaty, A. Chekhtman, M. Chernyakova, C. C. Cheung, J. Chiang, S. Ciprini, R. Claus, J. Cohen-Tanugi, L. R. Cominsky, S. Corbel, S. Cutini, F. D'Ammando, A. De Angelis, P. R. Den Hartog, F. De Palma, C. D. Dermer, S. W. Digel, E. Do Couto E Silva, M. Dormody, P. S. Drell, A. Drlica-Wagner, R. Dubois, G. Dubus, D. Dumora, T. Enoto, C. M. Espinoza, C. Favuzzi, S. J. Fegan, E. C. Ferrara, W. B. Focke, P. Fortin, Y. Fukazawa, S. Funk, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, D. Gasparrini, N. Gehrels, S. Germani, N. Giglietto, P. Giommi, F. Giordano, M. Giroletti, T. Glanzman, G. Godfrey, I. A. Grenier, M. H. Grondin, J. E. Grove, E. Grundstrom, S. Guiriec, C. Gwon, D. Hadasch, A. K. Harding, M. Hayashida, E. Hays, G. Jóhannesson, A. S. Johnson, T. J. Johnson, S. Johnston, T. Kamae, H. Katagiri, J. Kataoka, M. Keith, M. Kerr, J. Knödlseder, M. Kramer, M. Kuss, J. Lande, S. H. Lee, M. Lemoine-Goumard, F. Longo, F. Loparco, M. N. Lovellette, P. Lubrano, R. N. Manchester, M. Marelli, M. N. Mazziotta, P. F. Michelson, W. Mitthumsiri, T. Mizuno, A. A. Moiseev, C. Monte, M. E. Monzani, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, S. Murgia, T. Nakamori, M. Naumann-Godo, A. Neronov, P. L. Nolan, J. P. Norris, A. Noutsos, E. Nuss, T. Ohsugi, A. Okumura, N. Omodei, E. Orlando, D. Paneque, D. Parent, M. Pesce-Rollins, M. Pierbattista, F. Piron, T. A. Porter, A. Possenti, S. Rainò, R. Rando, P. S. Ray, M. Razzano, S. Razzaque, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, T. Reposeur, S. Ritz, H. F.W. Sadrozinski, J. D. Scargle, C. Sgrò, R. Shannon, E. J. Siskind, P. D. Smith, G. Spandre, P. Spinelli, M. S. Strickman, D. J. Suson, H. Takahashi, T. Tanaka, J. G. Thayer, J. B. Thayer, D. J. Thompson, S. E. Thorsett, L. Tibaldo, O. Tibolla, D. F. Torres, G. Tosti, E. Troja, Y. Uchiyama, T. L. Usher, J. Vandenbroucke, V. Vasileiou, G. Vianello, V. Vitale, A. P. Waite, P. Wang, B. L. Winer, M. T. Wolff, D. L. Wood, K. S. Wood, Z. Yang, M. Ziegler, S. Zimmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on the discovery of ≥100MeV γ-rays from the binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 using the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board Fermi. The system comprises a radio pulsar in orbit around a Be star. We report on LAT observations from near apastron to ∼128 days after the time of periastron, ∼tp , on 2010 December 15. No γ-ray emission was detected from this source when it was far from periastron. Faint γ-ray emission appeared as the pulsar approached periastron. At ∼tp + 30 days, the ≥100MeV γ-ray flux increased over a period of a few days to a peak flux 20-30 times that seen during the pre-periastron period, but with a softer spectrum. For the following month, it was seen to be variable on daily timescales, but remained at ∼(1-4) × 10-6 cm-2 s-1 before starting to fade at ∼tp + 57 days. The total γ-ray luminosity observed during this period is comparable to the spin-down power of the pulsar. Simultaneous radio and X-ray observations of the source showed no corresponding dramatic changes in radio and X-ray flux between the pre-periastron and post-periastron flares. We discuss possible explanations for the observed γ-ray-only flaring of the source.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL11
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume736
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul 20

Keywords

  • X-rays: binaries
  • binaries: eclipsing
  • gamma rays: stars
  • pulsars: individual (PSR B1259-63)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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