An outburst of more than 80 individual bursts, similar to those seen from Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs), was detected from the Anomalous X-ray Pulsar (AXP) 1E 2259+586 in 2002 June. Coincident with this burst activity were gross changes in the pulsed flux, persistent flux, energy spectrum, pulse profile and spin down of the underlying X-ray source. We present RXTE and XMM-Newton observations of 1E 2259+586 that show the evolution of the aforementioned source parameters during and following this episode and identify recovery time scales for each. The changes in persistent emission properties of 1E 2259+586 suggest that the star underwent a plastic deformation of the crust that simultaneously impacted the superfluid interior and the magnetosphere. Finally, the changes in persistent emission properties coincident with burst activity in 1E 2259+586 enabled us to infer previous burst active episodes from this and other AXPs. The non-detection of these outbursts by all-sky gamma-ray instruments suggests that the number of active magnetar candidates in our Galaxy is larger than previously thought.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2003