Evolution of Spin, Orbital, and Superorbital Modulations of 4U 0114+650

Chin Ping Hu, Yi Chou, C. Y. Ng, Lupin Chun Che Lin, David Chien Chang Yen

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We report a systematic analysis of the spin, orbital, and superorbital modulations of 4U 0114+650, a high-mass X-ray binary that consists of one of the slowest spinning neutron stars. Using the dynamic power spectrum, we found that the spin period varied dramatically and is anticorrelated with the long-term X-ray flux variation that can be observed using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer ASM, Swift BAT, and the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image. The spin-up rate over the entire data set is consistent with previously reported values; however, the local spin-up rate is considerably higher. The corresponding local spin-up timescale is comparable to the local spin-up rate of OAO 1657-415, indicating that 4U 0114+650 could also have a transient disk. Moreover, the spin period evolution shows two ∼1000-day spin-down/random-walk epochs that appeared together with depressions of the superorbital modulation amplitude. This implies that the superorbital modulation was closely related to the presence of the accretion disk, which is not favored in the spin-down/random-walk epochs because the accretion is dominated by the direct wind accretion. The orbital period is stable during the entire time span; however, the orbital profile significantly changes with time. We found that the depth of the dip near the inferior conjunction of the companion is highly variable, which disfavors the eclipsing scenario. Moreover, the dip was less obvious during the spin-down/random-walk epochs, indicating its correlation with the accretion disk. Further monitoring in both X-ray and optical bands could reveal the establishment of the accretion disk in this system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2017


  • X-rays: binaries
  • accretion, accretion disks
  • pulsars: individual (4U 0114+650)
  • stars: neutron


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