X-ray spectral and timing studies of the high mass x-ray binary pulsar 4u 1907+09

Şahiner, Şeyda
In this thesis, X-ray spectral and pulse timing analysis of the high mass X-ray binary pulsar 4U 1907+09, based on the observations with Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL), are presented. INTEGRAL (October 2005 - November 2007) and RXTE (June 2007 - December 2008) observations confirm that the luminosity of the source is highly variable such that, flaring and dipping activities are observed. The results of time-averaged energy spectra of RXTE and INTEGRAL observations are consistent with the previous studies. Orbital phase resolved spectroscopy with RXTE data, reveals that the Hydrogen column density varies through the orbit reaching to its maximum value just after periastron. This variation approves that the location of the absorbing material is the accretion flow. A slight spectral softening with increasing luminosity is aslo observed. 4U 1907+09 had been steadily spinning down for more than ~15 years with a rate of -3.54x10-14 Hz s-1. RXTE observations of the source in 2001 showed a ~60% decrease in the spin-down rate and INTEGRAL observations in 2003 showed a reversal to spin-up. The timing analysis presented in this thesis reveals a new spin-down episode with a rate of -3.59x10-14 Hz s-1, which is close to the previous steady spin-down rate. This result implies that a recent torque reversal before June 2007 has taken place. The reversal is a rare event for 4U 1907+09 and it indicates the variations in the mass accretion rate and/or geometry. Using RXTE observations, 24 new pulse periods are measured to demonstrate the period evolution. Energy resolved pulse profiles confirm that the profile has a double peak sinusoidal shape at energies below 20 keV, whereas the leading peak significantly loses its intensity above 20 keV. This energy dependence indicates that the physical circumstances of the two polar caps are different.
Citation Formats
Ş. Şahiner, “X-ray spectral and timing studies of the high mass x-ray binary pulsar 4u 1907+09,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.