RXTE Finds Cluster of Pulsars in the SMC RXTE

SMC Sources

Credit: Maggie Masetti

In late November of 1997 an RXTE slew which passed over the location of SMC X-3 detected a source in outburst. This and subsequent observations by a team headed by James Lochner, spanning from November 1997 to March 1998, have uncovered the surprising result that, while SMC X-3 was not detected in outburst, no fewer than five new transient pulsing sources were! With periods ranging from 46 to 169 seconds, each pulsar is within a degree of the position of SMC X-3.