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NuSTAR observations of the young, energetic radio pulsar PSR B1509-58

Chen, Ge and An, Hongjun and Kaspi, Victoria M. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Madsen, Kristin and Stern, Daniel (2016) NuSTAR observations of the young, energetic radio pulsar PSR B1509-58. Astrophysical Journal, 817 (2). Art. No. 93. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/817/2/93.

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We report on Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) hard X-ray observations of the young rotation-powered radio pulsar PSR B1509−59 in the supernova remnant MSH 15−52. We confirm the previously reported curvature in the hard X-ray spectrum, showing that a log parabolic model provides a statistically superior fit to the spectrum compared with the standard power law. The log parabolic model describes the NuSTAR data, as well as previously published γ-ray data obtained with COMPTEL and AGILE, all together spanning 3 keV through 500 MeV. Our spectral modeling allows us to constrain the peak of the broadband high energy spectrum to be at 2.6 ± 0.8 MeV, an improvement of nearly an order of magnitude in precision over previous measurements. In addition, we calculate NuSTAR spectra in 26 pulse phase bins and confirm previously reported variations of photon indices with phase. Finally, we measure the pulsed fraction of PSR B1509−58 in the hard X-ray energy band for the first time. Using the energy resolved pulsed fraction results, we estimate that the pulsar's off-pulse emission has a photon index value between 1.26 and 1.96. Our results support a model in which the pulsar's lack of GeV emission is due to viewing geometry, with the X-rays originating from synchrotron emission from secondary pairs in the magnetosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Chen, Ge0000-0003-2867-4544
Kaspi, Victoria M.0000-0001-9345-0307
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Madsen, Kristin0000-0003-1252-4891
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 July 31; accepted 2015 December 3; published 2016 January 25. This work was supported under NASA Contract No. NNG08FD60C, and made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). H.A. acknowledges supports provided by the NASA sponsored Fermi Contract NAS5-00147 and by Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. V.M.K. acknowledges support from an NSERC Discovery Grant and Accelerator Supplement, the FQRNT Centre de Recherche Astrophysique du Quebec, an R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellowship from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Canada Research Chairs Program and the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology.
Group:NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and CosmologyUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Canada Research Chairs ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and CosmologyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:pulsars: individual (PSR B1509–58) – stars: neutron – X-rays: stars
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2016-23
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150814-135512925
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ge Chen et al 2016 ApJ 817 93
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59545
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:14 Aug 2015 21:12
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:22

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