HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 10. QPOs and Magnetars
Oral, Monday, April 12, 1999, 11:20am-12:44pm, Colonial Room

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[10.03] Discovery of kHz QPO in Centaurus X-3: The Existence of Photon Bubble Oscillations and Turbulence in a High Mass X-ray Binary Pulsar

J.Garrett Jernigan (SSL,UCB), Richard I. Klein (Dept. of Astronomy,UCB; LLNL), Jonathan Arons (Dept. of Astronomy,UCB)

We report the discovery of kHz QPO and a broadband continuum in the X-ray binary pulsar Centaurus X-3 and identify this emission with Photon Bubble Oscillations (PBO) and photon bubble turbulence based upon detailed, self-consistent, multi-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamical calculations constrained by the observed parameters of Cen X-3. These observations of Cen X-3 were carried out with RXTE reaching to ~2500 Hz and are the fastest known variability of X-ray emission from an accreting compact object. Prior to the launch of RXTE we predicted the presence of PBO in X-ray pulsars that are neutron stars with sufficient magnetic field (B ~1012 G) and high local super Eddington accretion rates. In particular, we selected Cen X-3 as the most likely candidate for PCA observations to show the presence of PBO because of it's high intrinsic luminosity and strong pulse indicating two spatially restricted polar cap regions. We present strong observational evidence for the existence of PB phenomena including both kHz PBO and broadband PB turbulence above 100 Hz.


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