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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 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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    Abdo, A. A., Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Allafort, A., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Bechtol, K., Bellazzini, R., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Bonamente, E., Borgland, A. W., Bregeon, J., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Buehler, R., Buson, S., Caliandro, G. A., ... Zimmer, S. (2011). Discovery of high-energy gamma-ray emission from the binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 around periastron with Fermi. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 736(1), [L11]. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/736/1/L11