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Upper limits on gravitational waves emission in association with the Dec 27 2004 giant flare of SGR1806-20  [PDF]
L. Baggio,M. Bignotto,M. Bonaldi,M. Cerdonio,L. Conti,M. De Rosa,P. Falferi,P. Fortini,M. Inguscio,N. Liguori,F. Marin,R. Mezzena,A. Mion,A. Ortolan,G. A. Prodi,S. Poggi,F. Salemi,G. Soranzo,L. Taffarello,G. Vedovato,A. Vinante,S. Vitale,J. P. Zendri
Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.95.081103
Abstract: At the time when the giant flare of SGR1806-20 occurred, the AURIGA "bar" gw detector was on the air with a noise performance close to stationary gaussian. This allows to set relevant upper limits, at a number of frequencies in the vicinities of 900 Hz, on the amplitude of the damped gw wave trains, which, according to current models, could have been emitted, due to the excitation of normal modes of the star associated with the peak in X-rays luminosity.
SGR 1806-20 distance and dust properties in molecular clouds by analysis of a flare x-ray echoes  [PDF]
Gilad Svirski,Ehud Nakar,Eran O. Ofek
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18872.x
Abstract: The soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20 is most famous for its giant flare from 2004, which yielded the highest gamma-ray flux ever observed on Earth. The flare emphasized the importance of determining the distance to the SGR, thus revealing the flare's energy output, with implications on SGRs energy budget and giant flare rates. We analyze x-ray scattering echoes observed by Swift/XRT following the 2006 August 6 intermediate burst of SGR 1806-20. Assuming positions and opacities of the molecular clouds along the line-of-sight from previous works, we derive direct constrains on the distance to SGR 1806-20, setting a lower limit of 9.4 kpc and an upper limit of 18.6 kpc (90% confidence), compared with a 6-15 kpc distance range by previous works. This distance range matches an energy output of ~10^46 erg/s for the 2004 giant flare. We further use, for the first time, the x-ray echoes in order to study the dust properties in molecular clouds. Analyzing the temporal evolution of the observed flux using a dust scattering model, which assumes a power-law size distribution of the dust grains, we find a power-law index of -3.3_{-0.7}^{+0.6} (1 sigma) and a lower limit of 0.1 micron (2 sigma) on the dust maximal grain size, both conforming to measured dust properties in the diffused interstellar medium (ISM). We advocate future burst follow-up observations with Swift, Chandra and the planned NuSTAR telescopes, as means of obtaining much superior results from such an analysis.
Low frequency observations of the radio nebula produced by the giant flare from SGR 1806-20  [PDF]
H. Spreeuw,B. Scheers,R. A. M. J. Wijers
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: The 2004 December 27 giant flare from SGR 1806-20 produced a radio nebula that was detectable for weeks. It was observed at a wide range of radio frequencies. We made a total of 19 WSRT observations. Most of these were performed quasi simultaneously at either two or three frequencies, starting 2005 January 4 and ending 2005 January 29. We reobserved the field in 2005 April/May, which facilitated an accurate subtraction of background sources. At 350 MHz, we find that the total intensity of the source is lower than expected from the GMRT 240 MHz and 610 MHz measurements and inconsistent with spectral indices published previously. Our 850 MHz flux densities, however, are consistent with earlier results. There is no compelling evidence for significant depolarization at any frequency. We do, however, find that polarization angles differ substantially from those at higher frequencies. Low frequency polarimetry and total intensity measurements provide a number of clues with regard to substructure in the radio nebula associated with SGR 1806-20. In general, for a more complete understanding of similar events, low frequency observations can provide new insights into the physics of the radio source.
Bayesian timing analysis of giant flare of SGR 1806-20 by RXTE PCA  [PDF]
V. Hambaryan,R. Neuhaeuser,K. D. Kokkotas
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015273
Abstract: By detecting high frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) and estimating frequencies of them during the decaying tail of giant flares from Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters (SGRs) useful constraints for the equation of state (EoS) of superdense matter may be obtained via comparison with theoretical predictions of eigenfrequencies. We used the data collected by the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE/XTE) Proportional Counter Array (PCA) of a giant flare of SGR 1806-20 on 2004 Dec 27 and applied a Bayesian periodicity detection method (Gregory & Loredo, 1992) for the search of oscillations of transient nature. In addition to the already detected frequencies, we found a few new frequencies (f_{QPOs} ~ 16.9, 21.4, 36.4, 59.0, 116.3 Hz) of oscillations predicted by Colaiuda et al. (2009) based on the APR_{14} EoS (Akmal et al., 1998) for SGR 1806-20.
XMM-Newton observations of SGR 1806-20 over seven years following the 2004 Giant Flare  [PDF]
G. Younes,C. Kouveliotou,V. M. Kaspi
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/809/2/165
Abstract: We report on the study of 14 XMM-Newton observations of the magnetar SGR 1806-20 spread over a period of 8 years, starting in 2003 and extending to 2011. We find that in mid 2005, a year and a half after a giant flare (GF), the torques on the star increased to the largest value yet seen, with a long term average rate between 2005 and 2011 of $\lvert\dot{\nu}\rvert\approx1.35\times10^{-11}$ Hz s$^{-1}$, an order of magnitude larger than its historical level measured in 1995. The pulse morphology of the source is complex in the observations following the GF, while its pulsed-fraction remained constant at about $7\%$ in all observations. Spectrally, the combination of a black-body (BB) and power-law (PL) components is an excellent fit to all observations. The BB and PL fluxes increased by a factor of 2.5 and 4, respectively, while the spectra hardened, in concordance with the 2004 major outburst that preceded the GF. The fluxes decayed exponentially back to quiescence with a characteristic time-scale of $\tau\sim1.5$ yrs, although they did not reach a constant value until at least 3.5 years later (2009). The long-term timing and spectral behavior of the source point to a decoupling between the mechanisms responsible for their respective behavior. We argue that low level seismic activity causing small twists in the open field lines can explain the long lasting large torques on the star, while the spectral behavior is due to a twist imparted onto closed field lines after the 2004 large outburst.
Searching for small-scale diffuse emission around SGR 1806-20  [PDF]
D. Viganò,N. Rea,P. Esposito,S. Mereghetti,G. L. Israel,A. Tiengo,R. Turolla,S. Zane,L. Stella
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: Diffuse radio emission was detected around the soft gamma-ray repeater SGR 1806-20, after its 2004 powerful giant flare. We study the possible extended X-ray emission at small scales around SGR 1806-20, in two observations by the High Resolution Camera Spectrometer (HRC-S) on board of the Chandra X-ray Observatory: in 2005, 115 days after the giant flare, and in 2013, during quiescence. We compare the radial profiles extracted from data images and PSF simulations, carefully considering various issues related with the uncertain calibration of the HRC PSF at sub-arcsecond scales. We do not see statistically significant excesses pointing to an extended emission on scales of arcseconds. As a consequence, SGR 1806-20 is compatible with being point-like in X-rays, months after the giant flare, as well as in quiescence.
Extended Tails from SGR 1806-20 Bursts  [PDF]
Ersin Gogus,Peter Woods,Chryssa Kouveliotou,Mark H. Finger,Valentin Pal'shin,Yuki Kaneko,Sergei Golenetskii,Dmitry Frederiks,Carol Airhart
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/740/2/55
Abstract: In 2004, SGR 1806-20 underwent a period of intense and long-lasting burst activity that included the giant flare of 27 December 2004 -- the most intense extra-solar transient event ever detected at Earth. During this active episode, we routinely monitored the source with Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and occasionally with Chandra. During the course of these observations, we identified two relatively bright bursts observed with Konus-Wind in hard X-rays that were followed by extended X-ray tails or afterglows lasting hundreds to thousands of seconds. Here, we present detailed spectral and temporal analysis of these events observed about 6 and 1.5 months prior to the 27 December 2004 Giant Flare. We find that both X-ray tails are consistent with a cooling blackbody of constant radius. These spectral results are qualitatively similar to those of the burst afterglows recorded from SGR 1900+14 and recently from SGR 1550-5418. However, the latter two sources exhibit significant increase in their pulsed X-ray intensity following the burst, while we did not detect any significant changes in the RMS pulsed amplitude during the SGR 1806-20 events. Moreover, we find that the fraction of energy partitioned to the burst (prompt energy release) and the tail (afterglow) differs by an order of magnitude between SGR 1900+14 and SGR 1806-20. We suggest that such differences can be attributed to differences in the crustal heating mechanism of these neutron stars combined with the geometry of the emitting areas.
Contamination of short GRBs by giant magnetar flares: Significance of downward revision in distance to SGR 1806-20  [PDF]
Paul A Crowther,Joanne L Bibby,James P Furness,J Simon Clark
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2010.01.013
Abstract: We highlight how the downward revision in the distance to the star cluster associated with SGR 1806-20 by Bibby et al. reconciles the apparent low contamination of BATSE short GRBs by intense flares from extragalactic magnetars without recourse to modifying the frequency of one such flare per 30 years per Milky Way galaxy. We also discuss the variety in progenitor initial masses of magnetars based upon cluster ages, ranging from ~50 Msun for SGR 1806-20 and iAXP CXOU J164710.2-455216 Westerlund 1 to ~17 Msun for SGR 1900+14 according to Davies et al. and presumably also 1E 1841-045 if it originated from one of the massive RSG clusters #2 or #3.
SGR 1806-20 and the gravitational wave detectors EXPLORER and NAUTILUS  [PDF]
Giuseppina Modestino,Guido Pizzella
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.83.089901
Abstract: The activity of the soft gamma ray repeater SGR 1806-20 is studied in correlation with the EXPLORER and NAUTILUS data, during the year 2004, for gravitational wave (GW) short signal search. Corresponding to the most significant triggers, the bright outburst on October 5th and the giant flare (GF) on December 27th, the associated GW signature is searched. Two methods are employed for processing the data. With the average-modulus algorithm, the presence of short pulses with energy Egw \geq 1.8 x 10^49 erg is excluded with 90% probability, under the hypothesis of isotropic emission. This value is comparable to the upper limits obtained by LIGO regarding similar sources. Using the cross-correlation method, we find a discrepancy from the null-hypothesis of the order of 1%. This statistical excess is not sufficient to claim a systematic association between the gravitational and the electromagnetic radiations, because the estimated GW upper limits are yet several orders of magnitude far away from the theoretically predicted levels, at least three for the most powerful SGR flare.
Lognormal Properties of SGR 1806-20 and Implications for Other SGR Sources  [PDF]
K. J. Hurley,B. McBreen,M. Delaney,A. Britton
Physics , 1995, DOI: 10.1007/BF00658592
Abstract: The time interval between successive bursts from SGR 1806-20 and the intensity of these bursts are both consistent with lognormal distributions. Monte Carlo simulations of lognormal burst models with a range of distribution parameters have been investigated. The main conclusions are that while most sources like SGR 1806-20 should be detected in a time interval of 25 years, sources with means about 100 times longer have a probability of about 5\% of being detected in the same interval. A new breed of experiments that operate for long periods are required to search for sources with mean recurrence intervals much longer than SGR 1806-20.
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