DISCOVERY of A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR CANDIDATE: 3FGL J0212.1+5320

Kwan Lok Li, Albert K.H. Kong, Xian Hou, Jirong Mao, Jay Strader, Laura Chomiuk, Evangelia Tremou

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20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a multiwavelength study of the unidentified Fermi object, 3FGL J0212.1+5320. Within the 95% error ellipse, Chandra detects a bright X-ray source (i.e., F0.5-7keV = 1.4 × 10-12erg cm-2 s-1) that has a low-mass optical counterpart (M ≲ 0.4 M and T ∼ 6000 K). A clear ellipsoidal modulation is shown in optical/infrared at 20.87 hr. The gamma-ray properties of 3FGL J0212.1+5320 are all consistent with that of a millisecond pulsar (MSP), suggesting that it is a γ-ray redback (RB) MSP binary with a low-mass companion filling 64% of the Roche lobe. If confirmed, it will be an RB binary with one of the longest orbital periods known. Spectroscopic data taken in 2015 from the Lijiang observatory show no evidence of strong emission lines, revealing that the accretion is currently inactive (the rotation-powered pulsar state). This is consistent with the low X-ray luminosities (Lx ≈ 1032 erg s-1) and the possible X-ray modulation seen by Chandra and Swift. Considering that the X-ray luminosity and the high X-ray-to-γ-ray flux ratio (8%) are both comparable to those of the two known γ-ray transitional MSPs, we suspect that 3FGL J0212.1+5320 could be a potential target to search for future transition to the accretion active state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume833
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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