AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 83 Neutron Stars and Pulsars
Oral, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, California

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[83.02] Long-Term Monitoring of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars

F. P. Gavriil (McGill University)

The leading model for anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) is that they are "magnetars" -- young, isolated neutron stars powered by the decay of their enormous magnetic fields. The identification of AXPs as magnetars is motivated by the similarity of AXPs to another enigmatic class of sources, the Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs). We report on long-term monitoring of AXPs using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). We monitor AXPs with RXTE to study their rotational stability, to search for variations in their pulsed flux and pulsed morphology as well as to search for bursts. In this talk I will report on the discovery of two extended, slow rising flares from AXP 1E 1048.1-5937, a phenomenon not previously reported for this class of object. We also report large changes to the pulsar's spin-down rate on time scales of weeks to months, shorter than has been reported previously. In 2001 we discovered 2 SGR-like X-ray bursts from this source. Recently, we discovered another SGR-like X-ray burst from the direction of this source. These results imply a close relationship between AXPs and SGRs, with both being magnetars and have posed significant challenges to competing models.

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

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.