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The multicomponent nature of the Vela pulsar nonthermal X-ray spectrum

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 13:49 authored by Harding, AK, Strickman, MS, Gwinn, C, Dodson, R, Moffett, DA, Peter McCulloch
We report on our analysis of a 274 ks observation of the Vela pulsar with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The double-peaked, pulsed emission at 2-30 keV, which we had previously detected during a 93 ks observation, is confirmed with much-improved statistics. There is now clear evidence, in both the spectrum and the light curve, that the emission in the RXTE band is a blend of two separate nonthermal components. The spectrum of the harder component connects smoothly with the OSSE, COMPTEL, and EGRET spectra, and the peaks in the light curve are in phase coincidence with those of the high-energy light curve. The spectrum of the softer component is consistent with an extrapolation to the pulsed optical flux, and the second RXTE pulse is in phase coincidence with the second optical peak. In addition, we see a peak in the 2-8 keV RXTE pulse profile at the radio phase.


Publication title

The Astrophysical Journal








School of Natural Sciences


University of Chicago Press

Place of publication

Chicago, USA

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences

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