8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 8 Pulsars and Magnetars
Poster, Wednesday, September 8, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[8.20] Discovery of a Correlation between Post-Outburst Near-Infrared and X-ray Emission from the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar 1E 2259+586

C. R. Tam, V. M. Kaspi (McGill University), M. H. van Kerkwijk, M. Durant (University of Toronto)

On June 18 2002, the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar AXP 1E 2259+586 underwent a major X-ray outburst that lasted several hours and consequently linked AXP's to another class of high-energy bursting objects, called Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters (SGR). This was predicted uniquely by the "magnetar" model, in which these two classes are ultrahigh magnetic field, isolated young neutron stars. A few days after this outburst, Target of Opportunity observations were obtained with the Gemini North Near-InfraRed Imager (NIRI), followed by a longer term monitoring program of the IR variability that spanned nearly one and a half years. It was observed that shortly after the burst, the pulsar's Ks band flux dramatically increased relative to its pre-burst flux level, prompting the question "does the IR luminosity of 1E 2259+586 constantly undergo fluctuations, or can this brightening be undeniably associated with the X-ray outburst?" We present the results of our IR analysis, and relate them to the results of previous X-ray studies. There was clear evidence of a correlation between the IR flux decay and that of the long-term X-ray afterglow, implying that the IR enhancement was definitely linked to the outburst. We use this correlation to apply constraints on current AXP theoretical models.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.