Broadband X-ray burst spectroscopy of the fast-radio-burst-emitting Galactic magnetar

G. Younes*, M. G. Baring*, C. Kouveliotou*, Z. Arzoumanian, T. Enoto, J. Doty, K. C. Gendreau, E. Göğüş, S. Guillot, T. Güver, A. K. Harding, W. C. G. Ho, A. J. van der Horst, G. K. Jaisawal, Y. Kaneko, B. J. LaMarr, L. Lin, W. Majid, T. Okajima, J. PopeP. S. Ray, O. J. Roberts, M. Saylor, J. F. Steiner, Z. Wadiasingh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Magnetars are young, magnetically-powered neutron stars possessing the strongest magnetic fields in the Universe. Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are extremely intense millisecond-long radio pulses of primarily extra galactic origin, and a leading attribution for their genesis focuses on magnetars. A hallmark signature of magnetars is their emission of bright, hard X-ray bursts of sub-second duration. On April 27th 2020, the Galactic magnetar SGRJ1935+2154 emitted hundreds of X-ray bursts in a few hours. One of these temporally coincided with an FRB, the first detection of an FRB from the MilkyWay. Here we present spectral and temporal analyses of 24 X-ray bursts emitted13 hours prior to the FRB and seen simultaneously with the NASA NICER and Fermi/GBM missions in their combined energy range, 0.2 keV-30 MeV. These broadband spectra permit direct comparison with the spectrum of the FRB-associated X-ray burst (FRB-X). We demonstrate that all 24 NICER/GBM bursts are very similar temporally, albeit strikingly different spectrally, from FRB-X. The singularity of the FRB-X burst is perhaps indicative of an uncommon locale for its origin. We suggest that this event originated in quasi-polaropen or closed magnetic field lines that extend to high altitudes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Astronomy
Pages (from-to)408-413
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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