Discovery of a keV-X-ray Excess in RX J1856.5--3754

RX J1856.5$-$3754 is the brightest and nearest ($\sim 120$ pc) source among thermally emitting isolated neutron stars. Its spectra observed with {\sl XMM-Newton} and {\sl Chandra} satellites are well-fitted with the two-temperature ($kT^\infty \sim$ 32 and 63 eV) blackbody model. Fitting ten sets of the data from {\sl Suzaku} XIS0, XIS1, XIS3 and {\sl XMM-Newton} EPIC-pn with the two-temperature blackbody model, we discover an excess emission, 16--26\% in 0.8--1.2\,keV. We examine possible causes of this keV-X-ray excess; uncertainty in the background, pile up of the low energy photons and confusion of other sources. None of them succeeds in explaining the keV-X-ray excess observed with different instruments. We thus consider this keV-X-ray excess is most likely originated in RX J1856.5$-$3754. However, it is difficult to constrain the spectral shape of the keV-X-ray excess. The third blackbody component with $kT^\infty = 137^{+18}_{-14}$ eV, additional power-law component with a photon index $\Gamma = 3.4^{+0.5}_{-0.6}$, or Comptonization of blackbody seed photons into power-law with a photon index $\Gamma_c = 4.3^{+0.8}_{-0.8}$ can reproduce the keV-X-ray excess. We also search for the periodicity of 0.8--1.2\,keV data, since 7.055 s pulsation is discovered from 0.15--1.2\,keV band in the XMM Newton EPIC-pn data ($\sim$1.5\%). We only obtain the upper limit of pulsed fraction $<$ 3\% in the keV-X-ray excess. We shortly discuss the possible origin of the keV-X-ray excess, such as synchrotron radiation and Comptonization of blackbody photons.

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