X-Ray and Radio Observations of the Magnetar SGR J1935+2154 during Its 2014, 2015, and 2016 Outbursts

George Younes, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Amruta Jaodand, Matthew G. Baring, Alexander J. Van Der Horst, Alice K. Harding, Jason W.T. Hessels, Neil Gehrels, Ramandeep Gill, Daniela Huppenkothen, Jonathan Granot, Ersin Göǧüş, Lin Lin

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We analyzed broadband X-ray and radio data of the magnetar SGR J1935+2154 taken in the aftermath of its 2014, 2015, and 2016 outbursts. The source soft X-ray spectrum <10 keV is well described with a blackbody+power-law (BB+PL) or 2BB model during all three outbursts. Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observations revealed a hard X-ray tail, with a PL photon index Γ = 0.9, extending up to 50 keV, with flux comparable to the one detected <10 keV. Imaging analysis of Chandra data did not reveal small-scale extended emission around the source. Following the outbursts, the total 0.5-10 keV flux from SGR J1935+2154 increased in concordance to its bursting activity, with the flux at activation onset increasing by a factor of ∼7 following its strongest 2016 June outburst. A Swift/X-Ray Telescope observation taken 1.5 days prior to the onset of this outburst showed a flux level consistent with quiescence. We show that the flux increase is due to the PL or hot BB component, which increased by a factor of 25 compared to quiescence, while the cold BB component kT = 0.47 keV remained more or less constant. The 2014 and 2015 outbursts decayed quasi-exponentially with timescales of ∼40 days, while the stronger 2016 May and June outbursts showed a quick short-term decay with timescales of about four days. Our Arecibo radio observations set the deepest limits on the radio emission from a magnetar, with a maximum flux density limit of 14 μJy for the 4.6 GHz observations and 7 μJy for the 1.4 GHz observations. We discuss these results in the framework of the current magnetar theoretical models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
and C.K. acknowledge support by NASA through grant NNH07ZDA001-GLAST. A.J. and J.W.T.H. acknowledge funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007–2013) ERC grant agreement no. 337062 (DRAGNET). The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968) and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana and the Universities Space Research Association. We would like to thank Arecibo observatory scheduler Hector Hernandez for the support during our observations. A.J. thanks Daniele Michilli for helping with the single-pulse search analysis. We thank the anonymous referee for their careful reading and insightful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


  • X-rays: stars
  • radio continuum: stars
  • stars: individual (SGR J1935+2154)
  • stars: magnetars
  • stars: neutron


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