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An Emission Line in the Hard X-Ray Spectrum of Hercules X-1: Quantized Cyclotron Emission from the Neutron Star

  • W. Pietsch (a1), C. Reppin (a1), R. Staubert (a1), J. Truemper (a1), W. Voges (a1) and E. Kendziorra (a1)...

Extract

A four hour balloon observation of HERC X-l during the 'On-state' in the 35 day cycle was performed on May 3rd, 1976. The 1.24 second pulsations show a pulsed fraction of 58 ± 8% in the 18-31 KeV interval. A pulsed flux (1.24 sec) was discovered in the 31-88 KeV interval with a pulsed fraction of 51 ± 14%. The spectrum of the pulsed flux can be represented up to 50 KeV by an exponential distribution with KT approximately 8 KeV. At approximately 58 KeV a strong and narrow line feature occurs which we interpret as electron cyclotron emission (ΔN = 1 Landau transition) from the polar cap plasma of the rotating neutron star. The corresponding magnetic field strength is approximately 5 x 1012 Gauss, neglecting gravitational red shift. There is evidence for a second harmonic at approximately 110 KeV (ΔN = 2 ).

The astrophysical application of this discovery will be discussed in some detail.

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An Emission Line in the Hard X-Ray Spectrum of Hercules X-1: Quantized Cyclotron Emission from the Neutron Star

  • W. Pietsch (a1), C. Reppin (a1), R. Staubert (a1), J. Truemper (a1), W. Voges (a1) and E. Kendziorra (a1)...

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