High-energy observations of PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 through the 2014 periastron passage: connecting X-rays to the GeV flare [HEAP]


The binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 is well sampled in radio, X-rays, and TeV gamma-rays, and shows orbital phase-dependent variability in these frequencies. The first detection of GeV gamma-rays from the system was made around the 2010 periastron passage. In this Letter, we present an analysis of X-ray and gamma-ray data obtained by the Swift/XRT, NuSTAR/FPM, and Fermi/LAT, through the recent periastron passage which occurred on 2014 May 4. While PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 was not detected by the LAT before and during this passage, we show that the GeV flares occurred at a similar orbital phase as in early 2011, thus establishing the repetitive nature of the post-periastron GeV flares. Multiple flares each lasting for a few days have been observed and short-term variability is seen as well. We also found X-ray flux variation contemporaneous with the GeV flare for the first time. A strong evidence of the keV-to-GeV connection came from the broadband high-energy spectra, which we interpret as synchrotron radiation from the shocked pulsar wind.

Read this paper on arXiv…

P. Tam, K. Li, J. Takata, et. al.
Tue, 9 Dec 14

Comments: 16 pages, 3 figures, 2 tables, ApJ Letters, in press