ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, vol.761, no.2, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
We present here a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission of the persistent source and the low-fluence bursts of SGR J0501+4516 observed during a deep XMM-Newton observation near the peak of its 2008 outburst. For the persistent emission, we employ a physically motivated continuum emission model and spectroscopically determine important source properties such as the surface magnetic field strength and the magnetospheric scattering optical depth. We find that the magnetar surface temperature near the peak of its activity is 0.38 keV, corresponding to an emission area of 131 km2 at a distance of 2 kpc. The surface magnetic field strength determined spectroscopically, B = 2.2 × 1014 G, is consistent with the dipole field strength inferred from the source spin and spin-down rate. We fit the stacked spectra of 129 very faint bursts with a modified blackbody model and find a temperature of 1.16 keV, corresponding to an emission area of 93 km2. We also find evidence for cooling during the burst decay phase.