XMM-Newton and SRG/eROSITA observations of the isolated neutron star candidate 4XMM J022141.5-735632
A. M. Pires (1), C. Motch (2), J. Kurpas (1), A. D. Schwope (1), F. Valdes (3), F. Haberl (4), I. Traulsen (1), D. Tubin (1), W. Becker (4), J. Comparat (4), C. Maitra (4), A. Meisner (3), J. Moustakas (5), and M. Salvato (4)
(1) Leibniz-Institut fuer Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Germany; (2) CNRS, Universite de Strasbourg, Observatoire Astronomique, France; (3) NSF' National Optical/Infrared Research Laboratory (NOIRLab), USA; (4) Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), Germany; (5) Department of Physics & Astronomy, Siena College, USA
We report the results of follow-up investigations of a possible new thermally emitting isolated neutron star (INS), 4XMM J022141.5-735632, using observations from XMM-Newton and Spectrum Roentgen Gamma (SRG) eROSITA. The analysis is complemented by Legacy Survey imaging in the optical and near-infrared wavelengths. The X-ray source, the first to be targeted by XMM-Newton in an effort to identify new INS candidates from the fourth generation of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue Data Release 9 (4XMM-DR9), shows a remarkably soft energy distribution and a lack of catalogued counterparts; the very high X-ray-to-optical flux ratio virtually excludes any other identification than an INS. Within current observational limits, no significant flux variation or change of spectral state is registered over nearly ten years. Future dedicated observations, particularly to search for pulsations, are crucial to shed further light on the nature of the X-ray source and relations to other Galactic neutron stars.