The variable cyclotron line in GX 301-2 release_kbbxks4drrbktamymuivx4n4mi

by Ingo Kreykenbohm, Joern Wilms, Wayne Coburn, Markus Kuster, Richard E. Rothschild, William A. Heindl, Peter Kretschmar, Ruediger Staubert

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We present pulse phase resolved spectra of the hypergiant high mass X-ray binary GX 301-2. We observed the source in 2001 October with RXTE continuously for a total on-source time of almost 200ksec. We model the continuum with both, a heavily absorbed partial covering model and a reflection model. In either case we find that the well known cyclotron resonant scattering feature (CRSF) at 35keV is - although present at all pulse phases - strongly variable over the pulse: the line position varies by 25% from 30keV in the fall of the secondary pulse to 38keV in the fall of the main pulse where it is deepest. The line variability implies that we are seeing regions of magnetic field strength varying between 3.4 10^12G and 4.2 10^12G.
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