Alive but Barely Kicking: News from 3+ yr of Swift and XMM-Newton X-Ray Monitoring of Quasiperiodic Eruptions from eRO-QPE1

D. R. Pasham, E. R. Coughlin, M. Zajaček, Itai Linial, Petra Suková, C. J. Nixon, Agnieszka Janiuk, M. Sniegowska, Vojtěch Witzany, V. Karas, M. Krumpe, D. Altamirano, T. Wevers, Riccardo Arcodia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quasiperiodic eruptions (QPEs) represent a novel class of extragalactic X-ray transients that are known to repeat at roughly regular intervals of a few hours to days. Their underlying physical mechanism is a topic of heated debate, with most models proposing that they originate either from instabilities within the inner accretion flow or from orbiting objects. At present, our knowledge of how QPEs evolve over an extended timescale of multiple years is limited, except for the unique QPE source GSN 069. In this study, we present results from strategically designed Swift observing programs spanning the past 3 yr, aimed at tracking eruptions from eRO-QPE1. Our main results are as follows: (1) the recurrence time of eruptions can vary from flare to flare and is in the range of 0.6-1.2 days; (2) there is no detectable secular trend in evolution of the recurrence times; (3) consistent with prior studies, their eruption profiles can have complex shapes; and (4) the peak flux of the eruptions has been declining over the past 3 yr, with the eruptions barely detected in the most recent Swift data set taken in 2023 June. This trend of weakening eruptions has been reported recently in GSN 069. However, because the background luminosity of eRO-QPE1 is below our detection limit, we cannot verify whether the weakening is correlated with the background luminosity (as is claimed to be the case for GSN 069). We discuss these findings within the context of various proposed QPE models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL47
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume963
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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