The X-Ray Modulation of PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 during the Periastron Passage in 2017

K. L. Li, J. Takata, C. W. Ng, A. K.H. Kong, P. H.T. Tam, C. Y. Hui, K. S. Cheng

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We present the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (Swift), Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT), and Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) observations of the γ-ray binary PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213, of which the periastron passage recently occurred in 2017 November. In the Swift X-ray light curve, the flux was steadily increasing before 2017 mid-October, however, a sharp X-ray dip on a weekly timescale is seen during the periastron passage, followed by a post-periastron X-ray flare lasting for ∼20 days. We suggest that the X-ray dip is caused by (i) an increase of the magnetization parameter at the shock, and (ii) the suppression due to the Doppler boosting effect. The 20-day post-periastron flare could be a consequence of the Be stellar disk passage by the pulsar. An orbital GeV modulation is also expected in our model; however, no significant variability is seen in the Fermi-LAT light curve. We suspect that the GeV emission from the interaction between the binary's members is hidden behind the bright magnetospheric emission of the pulsar. The pulsar gating technique would be useful to remove the magnetospheric emission and recover the predicted GeV modulation, if an accurate radio timing solution over the periastron passage is provided in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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