Discovery of a new soft gamma repeater: SGR J0418+5729
Van der Horst, Alexander J. and Connaughton, V. and Kouveliotou, C. and Göğüş, Ersin and Kaneko Göğüş, Yuki and Wachter, S. and Briggs, M. S. and Granot, J. and Ramirez-Ruiz, E. and Woods, P. M. and Aptekar, R. L. and Barthelmy, S. D. and Cummings, J. R. and Finger, M. H. and Frederiks, D. D. and Gehrels, N. and Gelino, C. R. and Gelino, D. M. and Golenetskii, S. and Hurley, K. and Krimm, H. A. and Mazets, E. P. and McEnery, J. E. and Meegan, C. A. and Oleynik, P. P. and Palmer, D. M. and Pal'shin, V. D. and Pe'er, A. and Svinkin, D. and Ulanov, M. V. and Van der Klis, M. and Von Kienlin, A. and Watts, A. L. and Wilson-Hodge, C. A. (2010) Discovery of a new soft gamma repeater: SGR J0418+5729. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 711 (1). L1-L6. ISSN 2041-8205 (Print) 2041-8213 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/711/1/L1
On 2009 June 5, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) onboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope triggered on two short and relatively dim bursts with spectral properties similar to soft gamma repeater (SGR) bursts. Independent localizations of the bursts by triangulation with the Konus-RF and with the Swift satellite confirmed their origin from the same, previously unknown, source. The subsequent discovery of X-ray pulsations with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer confirmed the magnetar nature of the new source, SGR J0418+5729. we describe here the Fermi/GBM observations, the discovery and the localization of this new SGR, and our infrared and Chandra X-ray observations. We also present a detailed temporal and spectral study of the two GBM bursts. SGR J0501+5729 is the second source discovered in the same region of the sky in the last year, the other one being SGR J0501+4516. Both sources lie in the direction of the galactic anti-center and presumably at the nearby distance of similar to 2 kpc (assuming they reside in the Perseus arm of our Galaxy). The near-threshold GBM detection of bursts from SGR J0418+5729 suggests that there may be more such "dim" SGRs throughout our Galaxy, possibly exceeding the population of "bright" SGRs. Finally, using sample statistics, we conclude that the number of observable active magnetars in our Galaxy at any given time is less than or similar to 10, in agreement with our earlier estimates.
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