Quasi-periodic oscillations in short recurring bursts of magnetars SGR 1806-20 and SGR 1900+14 observed with RXTE

Huppenkothen, D. and Heil, L. M. and Watts, A. L. and Göğüş, Ersin (2014) Quasi-periodic oscillations in short recurring bursts of magnetars SGR 1806-20 and SGR 1900+14 observed with RXTE. Astrophysical Journal, 795 (2). ISSN 0004-637X (Print) 1538-4357 (Online)

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Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) observed in the giant flares of magnetars are of particular interest due to their potential to open up a window into the neutron star interior via neutron star asteroseismology. However, only three giant flares have been observed. We therefore make use of the much larger data set of shorter, less energetic recurrent bursts. Here, we report on a search for QPOs in a large data set of bursts from the two most burst-active magnetars, SGR 1806-20 and SGR 1900+14, observed with Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We find a single detection in an averaged periodogram comprising 30 bursts from SGR 1806-20, with a frequency of 57 Hz and a width of 5 Hz, remarkably similar to a giant flare QPO observed from SGR 1900+14. This QPO fits naturally within the framework of global magneto-elastic torsional oscillations employed to explain giant flare QPOs. Additionally, we uncover a limit on the applicability of Fourier analysis for light curves with low background count rates and strong variability on short timescales. In this regime, standard Fourier methodology and more sophisticated Fourier analyses fail in equal parts by yielding an unacceptably large number of false-positive detections. This problem is not straightforward to solve in the Fourier domain. Instead, we show how simulations of light curves can offer a viable solution for QPO searches in these light curves.
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article Number: 114
Uncontrolled Keywords: methods: statistical; pulsars: individual (SGR 1806-20, SGR 1900+14); stars: magnetic field; stars: neutron; X-rays: bursts
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460-466 Astrophysics
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences > Basic Sciences > Physics
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Depositing User: Ersin Göğüş
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2014 11:41
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2019 12:21
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/25343

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