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How rapidly do neutron stars spin at birth? Constaints from archival X-ray observations of extragalactic supernovae

Perna, R; SORIA, R; Pooley, D; Stella, L; (2008) How rapidly do neutron stars spin at birth? Constaints from archival X-ray observations of extragalactic supernovae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , 384 (4) 1638 - 1648. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12821.x. Green open access

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Abstract

Traditionally, studies aimed at inferring the distribution of birth periods of neutron stars are based on radio surveys. Here we propose an independent method to constrain the pulsar spin periods at birth based on their X-ray luminosities. In particular, the observed luminosity distribution of supernovae (SNe) poses a constraint on the initial rotational energy of the embedded pulsars, via the correlation found for radio pulsars, and under the assumption that this relation continues to hold beyond the observed range. We have extracted X-ray luminosities (or limits) for a large sample of historical SNe observed with Chandra, XMM and Swift, which have been firmly classified as core-collapse SNe. We have then compared these observational limits with the results of Monte Carlo simulations of the pulsar X-ray luminosity distribution for a range of values of the birth parameters. We find that a pulsar population dominated by millisecond periods at birth is ruled out by the data.

Type:Article
Title:How rapidly do neutron stars spin at birth? Constaints from archival X-ray observations of extragalactic supernovae
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12821.x
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12821.x
Language:English
Additional information:© 2008 RAS Definitive versions of articles pre-2013 are available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2966, now published by http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Space and Climate Physics

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