The MAVERIC Survey: Simultaneous Chandra and VLA observations of the transitional millisecond pulsar candidate NGC 6652B

Alessandro Paduano, Arash Bahramian, James C.A. Miller-Jones, Adela Kawka, Jay Strader, Laura Chomiuk, Craig O. Heinke, Thomas J. MacCarone, Christopher T. Britt, Richard M. Plotkin, Aarran W. Shaw, Laura Shishkovsky, Evangelia Tremou, Vlad Tudor, Gregory R. Sivakoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transitional millisecond pulsars are millisecond pulsars that switch between a rotation-powered millisecond pulsar state and an accretion-powered X-ray binary state, and are thought to be an evolutionary stage between neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries and millisecond pulsars. So far, only three confirmed systems have been identified in addition to a handful of candidates. We present the results of a multiwavelength study of the low-mass X-ray binary NGC 6652B in the globular cluster NGC 6652, including simultaneous radio and X-ray observations taken by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and optical spectroscopy and photometry. This source is the second brightest X-ray source in NGC 6652 (Lx~1.8 × 1034 erg, s-1) and is known to be variable. We observe several X-ray flares over the duration of our X-ray observations, in addition to persistent radio emission and occasional radio flares. Simultaneous radio and X-ray data show no clear evidence of anticorrelated variability. Optical spectra of NGC 6652B indicate variable, broad H α emission that transitions from double-peaked emission to absorption over a time-scale of hours. We consider a variety of possible explanations for the source behaviour, and conclude that based on the radio and X-ray luminosities, short time-scale variability and X-ray flaring, and optical spectra, NGC 6652B is best explained as a transitional millisecond pulsar candidate that displays prolonged X-ray flaring behaviour. However, this could only be confirmed with observations of a change to the rotation-powered millisecond pulsar state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4107-4120
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume506
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Keywords

  • Accretion, accretion discs
  • Globular clusters: individual: NGC 6652
  • Stars: neutron
  • X-rays: binaries

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