Timing of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17591−2342: evidence of spin-down during accretion

A. Sanna*, L. Burderi, K. C. Gendreau, T. Di Salvo, P. S. Ray, A. Riggio, A. F. Gambino, R. Iaria, L. Piga, C. Malacaria, G. K. Jaisawal

*Corresponding author for this work

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    We report on the phase-coherent timing analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934, using Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) data taken during the outburst of the source between 2018 August 15 and 2018 October 17. We obtain an updated orbital solution of the binary system. We investigate the evolution of the neutron star spin frequency during the outburst, reporting a refined estimate of the spin frequency and the first estimate of the spin frequency derivative (⁠ν˙∼−7×10−14 Hz s−1), confirmed independently from the modelling of the fundamental frequency and its first harmonic. We further investigate the evolution of the X-ray pulse phases adopting a physical model that accounts for the accretion material torque as well as the magnetic threading of the accretion disc in regions where the Keplerian velocity is slower than the magnetosphere velocity. From this analysis we estimate the neutron star magnetic field Beq = 2.8(3) × 108 G. Finally, we investigate the pulse profile dependence on energy finding that the observed behaviour of the pulse fractional amplitude and lags as a function of energy are compatible with the down-scattering of hard X-ray photons in the disk or the neutron star surface.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Pages (from-to)1641–1649
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • X-rays: binaries
    • Stars:neutron
    • Accretion
    • Accretion disc
    • IGR J17591-2342


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