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Tue Dec 06, 2016

The last outburst of a millisecond pulsar?

The 599 Hz millisecond pulsar IGR J00291+5934 is a source I've been studying for more than a decade, having been involved in the discovery as well as observation of every transient outburst since. Although the first few outbursts displayed a remarkable predictability, the most recent, in 2015, was almost 3 years "late". In a detailed study of the INTEGRAL and Swift observations of the outburst, ISSI PhD student Vittorio De Falco examined the broad-band X-ray spectrum and the pulse properties, as well as data covering the first thermonuclear burst ever detected from the source. Remarkably, the estimated time-averaged accretion rate is decreasing on a timescale of only a few years, suggesting that we are unlikely to see another bright outburst in the next decade, if ever. Vittorio's paper was just accepted by A&A.

Read the paper arXiv:1611.08218

Labels: 2016, /pulsars