Optical pulsations from the anomalous x-ray pulsar 1e 1048.1-5937
Dhillon, V. S.
Marsh, T. R.
Littlefair, S. P.
Copperwheat, C. M.
Kaspi, V. M.
Mignani, R. P.
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Dhillon, V. S. Marsh, T. R.; Littlefair, S. P.; Copperwheat, C. M.; Kerry, P.; Dib, R.; Durant, M.; Kaspi, V. M.; Mignani, R. P.; Shearer, A. (2009). Optical pulsations from the anomalous x-ray pulsar 1e 1048.1-5937. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 394 (1), L112-L116
We present high-speed optical photometry of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E 1048.1-5937 obtained with ULTRACAM on the 8.2-m Very Large Telescope in 2007 June. We detect 1E 1048.1-5937 at a magnitude of i' = 25.3 +/- 0.2, consistent with the values found by Wang et al. and hence confirming their conclusion that the source was approximately 1 mag brighter than in 2003-06 due to an on-going X-ray flare that started in 2007 March. The increased source brightness enabled us to detect optical pulsations with an identical period (6.458 s) to the X-ray pulsations. The root-mean-square (rms) pulsed fraction in our data is 21 +/- 7 per cent, approximately the same as the 2-10 keV X-ray rms pulsed fraction. The optical and X-ray pulse profiles show similar morphologies and appear to be approximately in phase with each other, the latter lagging the former by only 0.06 +/- 0.02 cycles. The optical pulsations in 1E 1048.1-5937 are very similar in nature to those observed in 4U 0142+61. The implications of our observations for models of anomalous X-ray pulsars are discussed.