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Astron. Astrophys. 341, 803-817 (1999)

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The X-ray emission properties of millisecond pulsars

W. Becker and J. Trümper

Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, D-85740 Garching bei München, Germany

Received 6 March 1998 / Accepted 15 June 1998

Abstract

Until now X-radiation from ten millisecond pulsars has been detected. In the present paper we summarize the observations and show the results of a re-analysis of archival ROSAT data. In addition we present the results of recent observations of PSR J0437-4715 with the ROSAT PSPC and HRI detectors. We show that the pulsed fraction is independent of energy in the range 0.1-2.4 keV. The pulse width as measured at X-ray energies is comparable with that observed in the radio domain. An upper limit for the X-ray luminosity of the pulsar's bow-shock visible in [FORMULA] is found to be [FORMULA]. We further report on the discoveries of PSR J1024-0719, J1744-1134 and J2124-3358 with the ROSAT-HRI, making them the first solitary galactic millisecond pulsars detected at X-ray energies. The pulse profile of PSR J2124-3358 shows marginal evidence for a double peak structure. We finally discuss the observed emission properties of the detected millisecond pulsars and conclude that the measured power-law spectra and pulse profiles together with the close correlation between the pulsar's spin-down energy [FORMULA] and the observed X-ray luminosity suggests a non-thermal origin for the bulk of the observed X-rays.

Key words: X-rays: general – galaxy: globular clusters: general – stars: binaries: general – stars: neutron – stars: pulsars: general

Send offprint requests to: W. Becker

Correspondence to: web@mpe.mpg.de

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: December 16, 1998
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