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HXMT identification of a non-thermal X-ray burst from SGR J1935+2154 and with FRB 200428

Abstract

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short pulses observed in the radio band from cosmological distances1. One class of models invokes soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), or magnetars, as the sources of FRBs2. Some radio pulses have been observed from some magnetars3, but no FRB-like events have been detected in association with any magnetar burst, including one giant flare4. Recently, a pair of FRB-like bursts (termed FRB 200428) separated by 29 milliseconds were detected from the general direction of the Galactic magnetar SGR J1935+2154 (refs. 5,6). Here, we report the detection of a non-thermal X-ray burst in the 1–250 keV energy band with the Insight-HXMT satellite7, which we identify as having been emitted from SGR J1935+2154. The burst showed two hard peaks with a separation of 34 milliseconds, broadly consistent with that of the two bursts in FRB 200428. The delay time between the double radio peak and the X-ray peaks is about 8.62 s, fully consistent with the dispersion delay of FRB 200428. We thus identify the non-thermal X-ray burst to be associated with FRB 200428, whose high-energy counterpart is the two hard X-ray peaks. Our results suggest that the non-thermal X-ray burst and FRB 200428 share the same physical origin in an explosive event from SGR J1935+2154.

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Fig. 1: Localization of the burst using Insight-HXMT HE, ME and LE data.
Fig. 2: The lightcurves and the spectrum evolution during the burst of SGR J1935+2145 observed with Insight-HXMT.
Fig. 3: The spectrum observed with Insight-HXMT covers the 1–250 keV energy band.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the Insight-HXMT website (http://www.hxmt.cn/ or http://www.hxmt.org/).

Code availability

The Insight-HXMT data reduction was performed using software available from the Insight-HXMT website (http://www.hxmt.cn/ or http://www.hxmt.org/). The model fitting of spectra was completed with XSPEC, which is available from the HEASARC website (https://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

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Acknowledgements

This work made use of the data from the Insight-HXMT mission, a project funded by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The Insight-HXMT team gratefully acknowledges support from the National Program on Key Research and Development Project (grant number 2016YFA0400800) from the Minister of Science and Technology of China (MOST) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant number XDB23040400). We acknowledge support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grants U1838105, U1838111, U1838113, U1838202, 11473027, 11733009, U1838201, 1173309, U1838115, U1938109, Y829113, 11673023, U1838104 and 11703002.

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Authors and Affiliations

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Contributions

T.P.L. was the initial proposer and Principal Investigator of Insight-HXMT. S.N.Z. has been the current Principal Investigator of Insight-HXMT since 2016, and organized the observations, data analysis and presentation of the results, writing and editing of the paper. L.L. proposed the target-of-opportunity observation, wrote much of the paper and participated in discussions. S.L.X. participated in organizing the observations, data analysis, discussion and paper writing. F.J.L. is a leader in building Insight-HXMT and participated in organizing the data analysis, discussions and paper writing. C.K.L. is the main contributor to the data analysis and participated in paper writing. B.Z. is responsible for theoretical interpretation, and participated in organizing the observations, discussions and paper writing. M.Y.G., Y.L.T., X.B.L., Y.N., S.X., Y.C., L.M.S., Y.T., X.F.Z., C.Z.L., S.M.J., J.Y.L. and B.L. participated in the data analysis and discussion. All other authors contributed to developing, building and operating the Insight-HXMT payloads and science data centre.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to T. P. Li, F. J. Lu or S. N. Zhang.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–6 and Tables 1–6.

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Li, C.K., Lin, L., Xiong, S.L. et al. HXMT identification of a non-thermal X-ray burst from SGR J1935+2154 and with FRB 200428. Nat Astron 5, 378–384 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-021-01302-6

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