High-speed ejecta from the gamma-ray binary PSR B1259–63/LS 2883


Observing the famous high-mass, eccentric X-ray and \(\gamma\)-ray binary PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 with Chandra, we detected X-ray emitting clumps moving from the binary with speeds of \(\sim 0.1\,c\), possibly with acceleration. The clumps are being ejected at least once per binary period, 3.4 years, presumably around binary periastrons. The power-law spectra of the clumps can be interpreted as synchrotron emission of relativistic electrons. Here we report the results of 8 observations of the clumps in 2011–2017 (two binary cycles) and discuss possible interpretations of this unique phenomenon.

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    The second such binary, PSR J2023+4127/MT91 213, was identified by Lyne et al. (2015). Its binary period of \(\sim 50\) years is, however, too long to study the orbital dependence in our lifetime.


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Support for this work was provided by NASA through Chandra Awards GO5-16065, GO7-18056 and DD7-18088 issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060.

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Correspondence to George G. Pavlov.

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This paper is the peer-reviewed version of a contribution selected among those presented at the Conference on Gamma-Ray Astrophysics with the AGILE Satellite held at Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Rome on December 11–13, 2017.

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Pavlov, G.G., Hare, J. & Kargaltsev, O. High-speed ejecta from the gamma-ray binary PSR B1259–63/LS 2883. Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei 30, 125–129 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-019-00765-0

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  • Pulsars: individual (B1259–63)
  • X-rays: binaries