X-ray and infrared properties of Be/X-ray binary pulsars

Sachindra Naik*
Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangapura, Ahmedabad 380009, Gujarat, India

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During normal Type I outbursts, the pulse profiles of Be/X-ray binary pulsars are found to be complex in soft X-ray energy ranges. The profiles in soft X-ray energy ranges are characterized by the presence of narrow absorption dips or dip-like features at several pulse phases. However, in hard X-ray energy ranges, the pulse profiles are rather smooth and single-peaked. Pulse phase-averaged spectroscopy of the these pulsars had been carried out during Type I outbursts. The broad-band spectrumof these pulsars were well described by partial covering high energy cutoff powerlaw modelwith interstellar absorption and Iron K emission line at 6.4 keV. Phase-resolved spectroscopy revealed that the presence of additionalmatter at certain pulse phases that partially obscured the emitted radiation giving rise to dips in the pulse profiles. The additional absorption is understood to be taking place by matter in the accretion streams that are phase locked with the neutron star. Optical/infrared observations of the companion Be star during these Type I outbursts showed that the increase in the X-ray intensity of the pulsar is coupled with the decrease in the optical/infrared flux of the companion star. There are also several changes in the IR/optical emission line profiles during these X-ray outbursts. The X-ray properties of these pulsars during Type I outbursts and corresponding changes in optical /infrared wavebands are briefly discussed in this paper.

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Keywords : X-rays: binaries – pulsars: general – techniques: spectroscopic