NuSTAR J095551+6940.8: a highly magnetised neutron star with super-Eddington mass accretion [HEAP]

The identification of the Ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) X-2 in M82 as an accreting pulsar has shed new light on the nature of a subset of ULXs, while rising new questions on the nature of the super-Eddington accretion. Here, by numerically solving the torque equation of the accreting pulsar within the framework of the magnetically threaded-disk scenario, we show that three classes of solutions, corresponding to different values of the magnetic field for the same accretion rate, are mathematically allowed. We argue that the highest magnetic field one, corresponding to B $\sim 10^{13}$ G, is favoured based on physical considerations and the observed properties of the source. In particular, that is the only solution which can account for the observed variations in $\dot{P}$ (over four time intervals) without requiring major changes in $\dot{M}$, which would be at odds with the approximately constant X-ray emission of the source during the same time. For this solution, we find that the source can only accomodate a moderate amount of beaming, 0.5 $\lesssim b < 1$. Last, we show that the upper limit on the luminosity, L$_X < 2.5 \times 10^{38}$ erg s$^{-1}$ from archival observations, is consistent with a highly-magnetized neutron star being in the propeller phase at that time.

Read this paper on arXiv…

S. DallOsso, R. Perna and L. Stella
Mon, 8 Dec 14

Comments: 7 pages, 3 figures, submitted to MNRAS