Sidebands due to Quasi-periodic Oscillations in 4U 1626−67
The low-mass X-ray binary pulsar 4U 1626-67 shows 0.048 Hz quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) and red noise variability as well as coherent pulsations at the 0.130 Hz neutron star spin frequency. Power density spectra of observations made with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer show significant sidebands separated from the pulsar spin frequency (and its harmonics) by the QPO frequency. These show that the instantaneous amplitude of the coherent pulsations is modulated by the amplitude of the QPOs.
... This phenomenon is expected in models such as the magnetospheric beat frequency model where the QPOs originate near the polar caps of the neutron star. In the 4--8 keV energy range, however, the lower-frequency sidebands are significantly stronger than their higher-frequency complements; this is inconsistent with the magnetospheric beat frequency model. We suggest that the 0.048 Hz QPOs are instead produced by a structure orbiting the neutron star at the QPO frequency. This structure crosses the line of sight once per orbit and attenuates the pulsar beam, producing the symmetric (amplitude modulation) sidebands. It also reprocesses the pulsar beam at the beat frequencies between the neutron star spin frequency and the QPOs, producing the excess variability observed in the lower-frequency sidebands. Quite independently, we find no evidence that the red noise variability modulates the amplitude of the coherent pulsations. This is also in contrast to the expectations of the magnetospheric beat frequency model and differs from the behavior in some high-mass X-ray binary pulsars.