Revival of the magnetar PSR J1622–4950 : observations with MeerKAT, Parkes, XMM-Newton, Swift, Chandra, and NuSTAR
CITATION: Camilo, F., et al. 2018. Revival of the magnetar PSR J1622–4950 : observations with MeerKAT, Parkes, XMM-Newton, Swift, Chandra, and NuSTAR. Astrophysical Journal, 856(2):1-11, doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aab35a.
The original publication is available at https://iopscience.iop.org
New radio (MeerKAT and Parkes) and X-ray (XMM-Newton, Swift, Chandra, and NuSTAR) observations of PSR J1622–4950 indicate that the magnetar, in a quiescent state since at least early 2015, reactivated between 2017 March 19 and April 5. The radio flux density, while variable, is approximately 100× larger than during its dormant state. The X-ray flux one month after reactivation was at least 800× larger than during quiescence, and has been decaying exponentially on a 111 ± 19 day timescale. This high-flux state, together with a radio-derived rotational ephemeris, enabled for the first time the detection of X-ray pulsations for this magnetar. At 5%, the 0.3–6 keV pulsed fraction is comparable to the smallest observed for magnetars. The overall pulsar geometry inferred from polarized radio emission appears to be broadly consistent with that determined 6–8 years earlier. However, rotating vector model fits suggest that we are now seeing radio emission from a different location in the magnetosphere than previously. This indicates a novel way in which radio emission from magnetars can differ from that of ordinary pulsars. The torque on the neutron star is varying rapidly and unsteadily, as is common for magnetars following outburst, having changed by a factor of 7 within six months of reactivation.