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08 Dec 20:12

On the Polarization Properties of Magnetar Giant Flare Pulsating Tails

by Yuan-Pei Yang and Bing Zhang
Three giant flares have been detected so far from soft gamma-ray repeaters, each characterized by an initial short hard spike and a pulsating tail. The observed pulsating tails are characterized by a duration of ∼100 s, an isotropic energy of ∼10 44 erg, and a pulse period of a few seconds. The pulsating tail emission likely originates from the residual energy after the intense energy release during the initial spike, which forms a trapped fireball composed of a photon-pair plasma in a closed-field-line region of the magnetars. Observationally the spectra of pulsating tails can be fitted by the superposition of a thermal component and a power-law component, with the thermal component dominating the emission in the early and late stages of the pulsating-tail observations. In this paper, assuming that the trapped fireball is from a closed-field-line region in the magnetosphere, we calculate the atmospheric structure of the optically thick trapped fireball and the polariza...