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Title: The first observation of optical pulsations from a soft gamma repeater: SGR0501+4516
Authors: Littlefair, S. P.
Kerry, P.
Savoury, C. D. J.
Marsh, T. R.
Copperwheat, C. M.
Hickman, R. D .G.
Levan, A. J.
Rea, N.
Tanvir, N. R.
Wiersema, K.
Turolla, R.
First Published: 1-Sep-2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 2011, 416 (1)
Abstract: We present high-speed optical photometry of the soft gamma repeater SGR 0501+4516, obtained with ULTRACAM on two consecutive nights approximately 4 months after the source was discovered via its gamma-ray bursts. We detect SGR 0501+4516 at a magnitude of i′= 24.4 ± 0.1. We present the first measurement of optical pulsations from a SGR, deriving a period of 5.7622 ± 0.0003 s, in excellent agreement with the X-ray spin period of the neutron star. We compare the morphologies of the optical pulse profile with the X-ray and infrared pulse profiles; we find that the optical, infrared and harder X-rays share similar double-peaked morphologies, but the softer X-rays exhibit only a single-peaked morphology, indicative of a different origin. The optical pulsations appear to be in phase with the X-ray pulsations and exhibit a root-mean-square pulsed fraction of 52 ± 7 per cent, approximately a factor of 2 greater than in the X-rays. Our results find a natural explanation within the context of the magnetar model for SGRs.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2011.01088.x
ISSN: 1745-3933
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2011 the authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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