Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1306.5936 (J. A. Rueda et al.)

A white dwarf merger as progenitor of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61?    [PDF]

J. A. Rueda, K. Boshkayev, L. Izzo, R. Ruffini, P. Loren Aguilar, B. Kulebi, G. Aznar Siguan, E. Garcia Berro
It has been recently proposed that massive fast-rotating highly-magnetized white dwarfs could describe the observational properties of some of Soft Gamma-Ray Repeaters (SGRs) and Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars (AXPs). Moreover, it has also been shown that high-field magnetic (HFMWDs) can be the outcome of white dwarf binary mergers. The products of these mergers consist of a hot central white dwarf surrounded by a rapidly rotating disk. Here we show that the merger of a double degenerate system can explain the characteristics of the peculiar AXP 4U 0142+61. This scenario accounts for the observed infrared excess. We also show that the observed properties of 4U 0142+6 are consistent with an approximately $1.2 M_{\sun}$ white dwarf, remnant of the coalescence of an original system made of two white dwarfs of masses $0.6\, M_{\sun}$ and $1.0\, M_{\sun}$. Finally, we infer a post-merging age $\tau_{\rm WD}\approx 64$ kyr, and a magnetic field $B\approx 2\times 10^8$ G. Evidence for such a magnetic field may come from the possible detection of the electron cyclotron absorption feature observed between the $B$ and $V$ bands at $\approx 10^{15}$ Hz in the spectrum of 4U 0142+61.
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