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RXTE PCA observations show the Rapid Burster undergoing continuous Type II bursting

ATEL # 1946; Jean Swank (GSFC), Craig Markwardt (U. Maryland/NASA/GSFC), Divya Pereira (GSFC/Wyle IS), Alan M. Levine (MIT), and Ronald A. Remillard (MIT) for the RXTE team at GSFC and MIT
on 27 Feb 2009; 22:22 UT
Password Certification: Alan M. Levine (

Subjects: X-ray, Binaries, Neutron Stars

Levine and Remillard (ATel. No. 1939) recently reported that the Rapid Burster (MXB1730-335) has been near 50 mcrab in the RXTE ASM daily average intensities for more than two weeks following the expected time of an outburst. A 1000 s long follow-up observation with the RXTE PCA was performed early on Feb. 24, 2009. The source was found to be in a bursting state like some of those seen from the Rapid Burster previously. The bursts occur roughly every 25 seconds and have a fast rise, slower decay (seconds) shape. Most of the bursts rise to a peak intensity of about 500 cts/s/PCU (about 200 mcrab); two of them rise to a peak of about 1000 cts/s/PCU. Observations on Feb. 26 and 27 continue to show similar bursting behavior, with the time between bursts increasing irregularly (with a maximum of 3.6 minutes). The average fluxes for these observations were 72, 39, 113, and 103 cts/s/PCU, with the peak fluxes increasing as the time between bursts increases. Additional observations with the PCA are planned and the ASM will continue its routine monitoring of the source.

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R. E. Rutledge , Editor
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