Quasi-periodic oscillations in short recurring bursts of the soft gamma repeater J1550-5418

D. Huppenkothen, C. D'Angelo, A. L. Watts, L. Heil, M. Van Der Klis, A. J. Van Der Horst, C. Kouveliotou, M. G. Baring, E. Göǧüş, J. Granot, Y. Kaneko, L. Lin, A. Von Kienlin, G. Younes

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The discovery of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in magnetar giant flares has opened up prospects for neutron star asteroseismology. The scarcity of giant flares makes a search for QPOs in the shorter, far more numerous bursts from soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) desirable. In Huppenkothen et al., we developed a Bayesian method for searching for QPOs in short magnetar bursts, taking into account the effects of the complicated burst structure, and have shown its feasibility on a small sample of bursts. Here we apply the same method to a much larger sample from a burst storm of 286 bursts from SGR J1550-5418. We report a candidate signal at 260 Hz in a search of the individual bursts, which is fairly broad. We also find two QPOs at ∼93 Hz, and one at 127 Hz, when averaging periodograms from a number of bursts in individual triggers, at frequencies close to QPOs previously observed in magnetar giant flares. Finally, for the first time, we explore the overall burst variability in the sample and report a weak anti-correlation between the power-law index of the broadband model characterizing aperiodic burst variability and the burst duration: shorter bursts have steeper power-law indices than longer bursts. This indicates that longer bursts vary over a broader range of timescales and are not simply longer versions of the short bursts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • X-rays: bursts
  • methods: data analysis
  • methods: statistical
  • pulsars: individual (SGR J1550-5418)
  • stars: magnetic field
  • stars: neutron


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