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An atmospheric model for the ion cyclotron line of Geminga
A. Jacchia 1,
F. De Luca 1,2,
E. Lazzaro 1,
P.A. Caraveo 3,4,
R.P. Mignani 5 and
G.F. Bignami 6,7
Received 29 October 1998 / Accepted 29 April 1999
Recent optical/UV data of Geminga (Mignani et al. 1998) have strengthen the significance of the emission feature present over the thermal continuum best fitting the EUV/soft X-ray data. Here we present a phenomenological model interpreting the data in terms of an ion cyclotron feature, arising from a thin outer layer of hot plasma covering Geminga's polar caps. The width of the feature favours for Geminga the strongly oblique rotator configuration, as already deduced from the soft X-ray data (Halpern & Ruderman 1993). Our interpretation implies a magnetic field of , consistent with the value deduced from the dynamical parameters of the pulsar. This would represent the first case of an independent measurement of the surface magnetic field of an isolated neutron star.
The expected time modulation of Geminga's feature is also discussed.
Key words: radiation mechanisms: thermal stars: pulsars: individual: Geminga = 1E 0630+1
Send offprint requests to: A. Jacchia
Online publication: June 30, 1999