The pulsed hard X-ray spectrum of PSR B1509-58

S. M. Matz*, M. P. Ulmer, D. A. Grabelsky, W. R. Purcell, J. E. Grove, W. N. Johnson, R. L. Kinzer, J. D. Kurfess, M. S. Strickman, G. V. Jung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


OSSE observed the 150 ms X-ray pulsar PSR B1509-58 in the supernova remnant MSH 15-52 for 4 weeks in 1992. The pulsed spectrum from 50 keV to 5 MeV is well represented by a single power-law photon spectrum of the form (3.14 ± 0.16) × 10-6 × (E/118.5 keV)-1.68 ± 0.09 photons cm-2 s-1 keV-1. This is significantly harder than the Crab pulsar spectrum in this energy range. The Ginga soft X-ray spectrum (2-60 keV) reported by Kawai et al. is significantly harder than the observed OSSE spectrum and predicts a flux 2 times higher than we observe in the ∼55-170 keV energy band. This requires a break to a steeper spectrum somewhere in the intermediate energy range (∼20-80 keV). The spectrum must soften again at higher energies or the pulsar would have easily been detected by EGRET, COS B, and SAS 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-291
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 1994


  • Gamma rays: observations
  • Pulsars: individual (PSR B1509-58)
  • X-rays: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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