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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[8.17] XMM-Newton Observation of the High Magnetic Field Radio Pulsar PSR B0154+61

M. E. Gonzalez, V. M. Kaspi (McGill University), A. G. Lyne (University of Manchester), M. J. Pivovaroff (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

We present results from a deep X-ray observation of the radio pulsar B0154+61 performed with the \textit{XMM-Newton} satellite. The pulsar has a characteristic age of 197 kyr, a rotation period of 2.3 seconds and an inferred dipole surface magnetic field strength of 2.1\times1013 G, some of the highest values in the radio pulsar population. Our analysis shows that no X-ray emission is detected from the position of B0154+61 with \textit{XMM-Newton}. Using a blackbody model, the derived upper limits on the pulsar's temperature and luminosity are <73 eV and <1.4\times1032 ergs s-1, respectively (assuming a distance of 1.7~kpc and a column density NH<3\times1021 cm-2). When compared to the values predicted by neutron star cooling models, the above limits are found to favor those requiring rapid cooling, especially when corrections for the presence of a light-element atmosphere and relatively high magnetic field on the neutron star are made. However, the uncertainties in distance, column density and atmospheric composition prevent a definite conclusion. In addition, the limits on the temperature and luminosity of B0154+61 are found to be much lower than those exhibited by the "anomalous X-ray pulsars" (AXPs), although their spin characteristics are comparable, thus leaving unanswered the question of a radio pulsar/AXP connection.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gonzalez@physics.mcgill.ca

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