Journal Article

<i>XMM-Newton</i> and <i>INTEGRAL</i> study of the SFXT IGR J18483-0311 in quiescence: hint of a cyclotron emission feature?

V. Sguera, L. Ducci, L. Sidoli, A. Bazzano and L. Bassani

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 1, pages L49-L53
Published in print February 2010 |
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1745-3933 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3933.2009.00798.x

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Abstract

We report the results from archival XMM–Newton and INTEGRAL observations of the Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient (SFXT) IGR J18483−0311 in quiescence. The 18–60 keV hard X-ray behaviour of the source is presented here for the first time; it is characterized by a spectral shape (Γ∼ 2.5) similar to that during outburst activity, and the lowest measured luminosity level is ∼1034 erg s−1. The 0.5–10 keV luminosity state, measured by XMM–Newton during the apastron passage, is about one order of magnitude lower and it is reasonably fitted by an absorbed blackbody model yielding parameters consistent with previous measurements. In addition, we find evidence (∼3.5σ significance) of an emission-like feature at ∼3.3 keV in the quiescent 0.5–10 keV source spectrum. The absence of any known or found systematic effects, which could artificially introduce the observed feature, gives us confidence about its non-instrumental nature. We show that its physical explanation in terms of atomic emission line appears unlikely, and conversely we attempt to ascribe it to an electron cyclotron emission line which would imply a neutron star magnetic field of the order of ∼3 × 1011 G. Importantly, such direct estimation is in very good agreement with that independently inferred by us in the framework of accretion from a spherically symmetric stellar wind. If firmly confirmed by future longer X-ray observations, this would be the first detection ever of a cyclotron feature in the X-ray spectrum of an SFXT, with important implications on theoretical models.

Keywords: X-rays: binaries; X-rays: individual: IGR J18483−0311

Journal Article.  3969 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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