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SGR 0501+4516: Spin Down Rate and Inferred Dipole Magnetic Field

ATEL # 1691; Peter M. Woods (Dynetics), Ersin Gogus (Sabanci University), Chryssa Kouveliotou (NASA/MSFC), report on behalf of a larger collaboration:
on 2 Sep 2008; 16:35 UT
Password Certification: Ersin Gogus (

Subjects: X-ray, Neutron Stars, Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters
Referred to by ATEL #: 1692

We continued monitoring the new Soft Gamma Repeater SGR 0501+4516 (Barthelmy et al. 2008, GCN # 8113, Palmer et al. 2008, ATel # 1678) using our SGR ToO Program with RXTE. We acquired a total exposure of 40 ks in 13 RXTE pointings performed over a time span of ~7.5 days. The time spacing between each pointing ranged between 0.1 - 0.9 d. We detect numerous (between 1 to 50) short bursts in observations before 2008 August 28. We clearly detect the 5.76 s pulsations reported by Gogus et al. 2008 (ATel # 1677) in the 2-10 keV PCA data. We employed a quadratic spline fit to phase residuals and measured the spin period, P = 5.762067(2) s and the spin-down rate, Pdot = 1.5(5) x 10^-11 s/s. Note that our spin period measurement is consistent with that reported by Mangano et al. (2008, ATel # 1682). Assuming that the neutron star slows down via magnetic dipole radiation, we infer a dipole magnetic field of B = 3 x 10^14 G, confirming the new SGR as a new magnetar candidate.

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R. E. Rutledge , Editor
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