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Sample records for pulsar system j0737-3039

  1. Fermi LAT Pulsed Detection of PSR J0737-3039A in the Double Pulsar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guillemot, L.; Kramer, M.; Johnson, T. J.; Craig, H. A.; Romani, R. W.; Venter, C.; Harding, A. K.; Ferdman, R. D.; Stairs, I. H.; Kerr, M.

    2013-01-01

    We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope discovery of gamma-ray pulsations from the 22.7 ms pulsar A in the double pulsar system J0737-3039A/B. This is the first mildly recycled millisecond pulsar (MSP) detected in the GeV domain. The 2.7 s companion object PSR J0737-3039B is not detected in gamma rays. PSR J0737-3039A is a faint gamma-ray emitter, so that its spectral properties are only weakly constrained; however, its measured efficiency is typical of other MSPs. The two peaks of the gamma-ray light curve are separated by roughly half a rotation and are well offset from the radio and X-ray emission, suggesting that the GeV radiation originates in a distinct part of the magnetosphere from the other types of emission. From the modeling of the radio and the gamma-ray emission profiles and the analysis of radio polarization data, we constrain the magnetic inclination alpha and the viewing angle zeta to be close to 90 deg., which is consistent with independent studies of the radio emission from PSR J0737-3039A. A small misalignment angle between the pulsar's spin axis and the system's orbital axis is therefore favored, supporting the hypothesis that pulsar B was formed in a nearly symmetric supernova explosion as has been discussed in the literature already.

  2. FERMI LAT PULSED DETECTION OF PSR J0737-3039A IN THE DOUBLE PULSAR SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Guillemot, L.; Kramer, M.; Johnson, T. J.; Craig, H. A.; Romani, R. W.; Kerr, M.; Venter, C.; Harding, A. K.; Ferdman, R. D.; Stairs, I. H.

    2013-05-10

    We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope discovery of {gamma}-ray pulsations from the 22.7 ms pulsar A in the double pulsar system J0737-3039A/B. This is the first mildly recycled millisecond pulsar (MSP) detected in the GeV domain. The 2.7 s companion object PSR J0737-3039B is not detected in {gamma} rays. PSR J0737-3039A is a faint {gamma}-ray emitter, so that its spectral properties are only weakly constrained; however, its measured efficiency is typical of other MSPs. The two peaks of the {gamma}-ray light curve are separated by roughly half a rotation and are well offset from the radio and X-ray emission, suggesting that the GeV radiation originates in a distinct part of the magnetosphere from the other types of emission. From the modeling of the radio and the {gamma}-ray emission profiles and the analysis of radio polarization data, we constrain the magnetic inclination {alpha} and the viewing angle {zeta} to be close to 90 Degree-Sign , which is consistent with independent studies of the radio emission from PSR J0737-3039A. A small misalignment angle between the pulsar's spin axis and the system's orbital axis is therefore favored, supporting the hypothesis that pulsar B was formed in a nearly symmetric supernova explosion as has been discussed in the literature already.

  3. Detection of Hidden Pulsar J0737-3039B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard, Tessa

    2016-01-01

    The double pulsar system, PSR J0737-3039, contains companions PSR J0737-3039A & PSR J0737-3039B, which rotate at 23 ms and 2.8 respectively. As of March 2008 pulsar B's radio signal disappeared, with previous decreases in flux density by 0.177 mJy yr-1 and evolving pulse profile seperation of 2fdg6 yr-1 from a single peak to a double peak. Models using the system's relativistic spin precession have predicted the reappearance of PSR J0737-3039B in approximately 2014 or 2035. Using data from the Green Bank telescope we attempt to redetect pulsar B and explain the mechanics of its disappearance.

  4. Testing the rotating lighthouse model with the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Zhu-Xing; Liang, Yi; Weisberg, Joel M.

    2014-04-01

    Each of the two pulsars in the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B system exhibits not only the pulses emanating from it, but also displays modulations near the pulse period of the other. Freire et al. (2009, MNRAS, 396, 1764) have put forward a technique using the modulation of B by A to determine the sense of rotation of pulsar A relative to its orbital motion, among other quantities. In this paper, we present another technique with the same purpose. While the Freire et al. approach analyses pulse arrival times, ours instead uses periods or frequencies (their inverses), which can be experimentally determined via power spectral analysis similar to that used in pulsar searches. Our technique is based on the apparent change in spin period of a body when it is measured from an orbiting platform (the other pulsar), and is shown to be entirely analogous to the difference between the sidereal and solar spin period of the Earth (i.e. the sidereal and solar day). Two benefits of this approach are its conceptual and computational simplicity. The direct detection of spin with this technique will observationally validate the rotating lighthouse model of pulsar emission, while the detection of the relative directions of spin and orbital angular momenta has important evolutionary implications. Our technique can be used on other binary systems exhibiting mutually induced phenomena.

  5. Constraining Models of Modified Gravity with the Double Pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, Lorenzo; Ruggiero, Matteo Luca

    In this paper we use ΔP = -1.772341 ± 13.153788 s between the phenomenologically determined orbital period Pb of the PSR J0737-3039A/B double pulsar system and the purely Keplerian period P(0)=2π √ {a3/G(m A+m B)} calculated with the system's parameters, determined independently of the third Kepler law itself, in order to put constraints on some models of modified gravity (f(R), Yukawa-like fifth force, MOND). The major source of error affecting ΔP is not the one in the phenomenologically measured period (δPb = 4×10-6 s), but the systematic uncertainty δP(0) in the computed Keplerian one due to the relative semimajor axis a mainly caused, in turn, by the errors in the ratio { R} of the pulsars' masses and in sin i. We get |κ| ≤ 0.8 × 10-26 m-2 for the parameter that in the f(R) framework is a measure of the nonlinearity of the theory, |α| ≤ 5.5 × 10-4 for the fifth-force strength parameter (for λ ≈ a = 0.006 AU). The effects predicted by the strong-acceleration regime of MOND are far too small to be constrained with some effectiveness today and in the future as well. In view of the continuous timing of such an important system, it might happen that in the near future it will be possible to obtain somewhat tighter constraints.

  6. Prospects for measuring the moment of inertia of pulsar J0737-3039A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2009-01-01

    Here we consider the possibility-envisaged by many authors as feasible in the near future-of measuring at 10% or better the moment of inertia I of the pulsar J0737-3039A via the gravitomagnetic spin-orbit periastron precession (analogous to the Lense-Thirring pericentre precession in the case of a test-particle orbiting a central spinning mass). Such a gravitomagnetic effect is expected to be of the order of 10-4deg yr and the present-day precision in measuring the periastron precession of J0737-3039A via pulsar timing is 6.8×10-4deg yr. However the systematic uncertainty in the much larger first-order post-Newtonian (1PN) gravitoelectric precession (analogous to the Einstein Mercury's perihelion precession in the weak-field and slow-motion approximation), which should be subtracted from the measured one in order to pick up the gravitomagnetic rate, is of primary importance. Indeed, by determining the sum of the masses by means of the third Kepler law, such a bias amounts to 0.03165 deg yr -1, according to the current level of accuracy in knowing the parameters of the J0737-3039 system. The major sources of uncertainty are the Keplerian projected semimajor axis x of the component B and the post-Keplerian parameter s, identified with sini; their knowledge should be improved by three orders of magnitude at least; the bias due to the Keplerian projected semimajor axis x of the component A amounts to ≈10% today. The present-day level of accuracy in the eccentricity e would affect the investigated measurement at a percent level, while the impact of the orbital period P is completely negligible. If, instead, the sum of the masses is measured by means of the post-Keplerian parameters r and s, it turns out that r should be measured five orders of magnitude better than now: according to the present-day level of accuracy, the total uncertainty in the 1PN periastron rate is, in this case, 2.11819 deg yr -1. In conclusion, the prospect of measuring the moment of inertia of

  7. PSR J0737-3039B: A PROBE OF RADIO PULSAR EMISSION HEIGHTS

    SciTech Connect

    Perera, B. B. P.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lomiashvili, D.; Gourgouliatos, K. N.; Lyutikov, M.

    2012-05-10

    In the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B, the strong wind produced by pulsar A distorts the magnetosphere of pulsar B. The influence of these distortions on the orbital-dependent emission properties of pulsar B can be used to determine the location of the coherent radio emission generation region in the pulsar magnetosphere. Using a model of the wind-distorted magnetosphere of pulsar B and the well-defined geometrical parameters of the system, we determine the minimum emission height to be {approx}20R{sub NS} in the two bright orbital longitude regions. We can determine the maximum emission height by accounting for the amount of deflection of the polar field line with respect to the magnetic axis using the analytical magnetic reconnection model of Dungey and the semi-empirical numerical model of Tsyganenko. Both of these models estimate the maximum emission height to be {approx}2500R{sub NS}. The minimum and maximum emission heights we calculate are consistent with those estimated for normal isolated pulsars.

  8. Constraining the cosmological constant and the DGP gravity with the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2009-02-01

    We consider the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B binary system as a laboratory to locally test the orbital effects induced by an uniform cosmological constant Λ in the framework of the known general relativistic laws of gravity, and the DGP braneworld model of gravity independently of the cosmological acceleration itself for which they were introduced. We, first, construct the ratio R=Δω˙/ΔP of the discrepancies between the phenomenologically determined periastron rate ω˙ and orbital period P and their predicted values from the 1PN ω approximation and the third Kepler law P. Then, we compare its value |R|=(0.3±4)×10-11s, compatible with zero within the errors, to the ratios RΛ and R of the effects induced on the apsidal rate and the orbital period by Λ and the DGP gravity; we find them neatly incompatible with R being RΛ=(3.4±0.3)×10-8s and R=(1.4±0.1)×10-7s, respectively. Such a result, which for the case of Λ is valid also for any other Hooke-like exotic force proportional to r, is in agreement with other negative local tests recently performed in the Solar System with the ratios of the non-Newtonian/Einsteinian perihelion precessions for several pairs of planets.

  9. Constraining the gravitational binding energy of PSR J0737-3039B using terrestrial nuclear data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, W. G.; Li, Bao-An

    2009-12-01

    We show that the gravitational binding energy of a neutron star of a given mass is correlated with the slope of the nuclear symmetry energy at 1-2 times nuclear saturation density for equations of state without significant softening (i.e., those that predict maximum masses Mmax>1.44M⊙ in line with the largest accurately measured neutron star mass). Applying recent laboratory constraints on the slope of the symmetry energy to this correlation we extract a constraint on the baryon mass of the lower mass member of the double pulsar binary system, PSR J0737-3039B. We compare with independent constraints derived from modeling the progenitor star of J0737-3039B up to and through its collapse under the assumption that it formed in an electron capture supernova. The two sets of constraints are consistent only if L≲ 70 MeV.

  10. Realistic modeling of the pulse profile of PSR J0737-3039A

    SciTech Connect

    Perera, B. B. P.; Kim, C.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Ferdman, R. D.; Kramer, M.; Freire, P. C. C.; Stairs, I. H.; Possenti, A.

    2014-05-20

    The Double Pulsar, PSR J0737-3039A/B, is a unique system in which both neutron stars have been detected as radio pulsars. As shown in Ferdman et al., there is no evidence for pulse profile evolution of the A pulsar, and the geometry of the pulsar was fit well with a double-pole circular radio beam model. Assuming a more realistic polar cap model with a vacuum retarded dipole magnetosphere configuration including special relativistic effects, we create synthesized pulse profiles for A given the best-fit geometry from the simple circular beam model. By fitting synthesized pulse profiles to those observed from pulsar A, we constrain the geometry of the radio beam, namely the half-opening angle and the emission altitude, to be ∼30° and ∼10 neutron star radii, respectively. Combining the observational constraints of PSR J0737-3039A/B, we are able to construct the full three-dimensional orbital geometry of the Double Pulsar. The relative angle between the spin axes of the two pulsars (Δ{sub S}) is estimated to be ∼(138° ± 5°) at the current epoch and will likely remain constant until tidal interactions become important in ∼85 Myr, at merger.

  11. Implications of PSR J0737-3039B for the Galactic NS-NS binary merger rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chunglee; Perera, Benetge Bhakthi Pranama; McLaughlin, Maura A.

    2015-03-01

    The Double Pulsar (PSR J0737-3039) is the only neutron star-neutron star (NS-NS) binary in which both NSs have been detectable as radio pulsars. The Double Pulsar has been assumed to dominate the Galactic NS-NS binary merger rate R_g among all known systems, solely based on the properties of the first-born, recycled pulsar (PSR J0737-3039A, or A) with an assumption for the beaming correction factor of 6. In this work, we carefully correct observational biases for the second-born, non-recycled pulsar (PSR J0737-0737B, or B) and estimate the contribution from the Double Pulsar on R_g using constraints available from both A and B. Observational constraints from the B pulsar favour a small beaming correction factor for A (˜2), which is consistent with a bipolar model. Considering known NS-NS binaries with the best observational constraints, including both A and B, we obtain R_g=21_{-14}^{+28} Myr-1 at 95 per cent confidence from our reference model. We expect the detection rate of gravitational waves from NS-NS inspirals for the advanced ground-based gravitational-wave detectors is to be 8^{+10}_{-5} yr-1 at 95 per cent confidence. Within several years, gravitational-wave detections relevant to NS-NS inspirals will provide us useful information to improve pulsar population models.

  12. THE EVOLUTION OF PSR J0737-3039B AND A MODEL FOR RELATIVISTIC SPIN PRECESSION

    SciTech Connect

    Perera, B. B. P.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; Stairs, I. H.; Ferdman, R. D.; Freire, P. C. C.; Possenti, A.; Burgay, M.; Breton, R. P.; Manchester, R. N.; Camilo, F.

    2010-10-01

    We present the evolution of the radio emission from the 2.8 s pulsar of the double pulsar system PSR J0737- 3039A/B. We provide an update on the Burgay et al. analysis by describing the changes in the pulse profile and flux density over five years of observations, culminating in the B pulsar's radio disappearance in 2008 March. Over this time, the flux density decreases by 0.177 mJy yr{sup -1} at the brightest orbital phases and the pulse profile evolves from a single to a double peak, with a separation rate of 2.{sup 0}6 yr{sup -1}. The pulse profile changes are most likely caused by relativistic spin precession but cannot be easily explained with a circular hollow-cone beam as in the model of Clifton and Weisberg. Relativistic spin precession, coupled with an elliptical beam, can model the pulse profile evolution well and the reappearance is expected to happen in {approx}2035 with the same part of the beam or in {approx}2014 if we assume a symmetric beam shape. This particular beam shape predicts geometrical parameters for the two bright orbital phases which are consistent with and similar to those derived by Breton et al. However, the observed decrease in flux over time and B's eventual disappearance cannot be easily explained by the model and may be due to the changing influence of A on B.

  13. SPIN TILTS IN THE DOUBLE PULSAR REVEAL SUPERNOVA SPIN ANGULAR-MOMENTUM PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Farr, Will M.; Kremer, Kyle; Kalogera, Vassiliki; Lyutikov, Maxim E-mail: kylekremer2012@u.northwestern.edu E-mail: lyutikov@purdue.edu

    2011-12-01

    The system PSR J0737-3039 is the only binary pulsar known to consist of two radio pulsars (PSR J0737-3039 A and PSR J0737-3039 B). This unique configuration allows measurements of spin orientation for both pulsars: pulsar A's spin is tilted from the orbital angular momentum by no more than 14 deg at 95% confidence; pulsar B's by 130 {+-} 1 deg at 99.7% confidence. This spin-spin misalignment requires that the origin of most of B's present-day spin is connected to the supernova that formed pulsar B. Under the simplified assumption of a single, instantaneous kick during the supernova, the spin could be thought of as originating from the off-center nature of the kick, causing pulsar B to tumble to its misaligned state. With this assumption, and using current constraints on the kick magnitude, we find that pulsar B's instantaneous kick must have been displaced from the center of mass of the exploding star by at least 1 km and probably 5-10 km. Regardless of the details of the kick mechanism and the process that produced pulsar B's current spin, the measured spin-spin misalignment in the double pulsar system provides an empirical, direct constraint on the angular momentum production in this supernova. This constraint can be used to guide core-collapse simulations and the quest for understanding the spins and kicks of compact objects.

  14. Strong-field tests of f(R)-gravity in binary pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyadina, Polina I.; Alexeyev, Stanislav O.; Capozziello, Salvatore; de Laurentis, Mariafelicia; Rannu, Kristina A.

    2016-03-01

    We develop the parameterized post-Keplerian approach for class of analytic f(R)-gravity models. Using the double binary pulsar system PSR J0737-3039 data we obtain restrictions on the parameters of this class of f(R)-models and show that f(R)-gravity is not ruled out by the observations in strong field regime. The additional and more strong corresponding restriction is extracted from solar system data.

  15. CHANGES IN POLARIZATION POSITION ANGLE ACROSS THE ECLIPSE IN THE DOUBLE PULSAR SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Yuen, R.; Manchester, R. N.; Burgay, M.; Camilo, F.; Kramer, M.; Melrose, D. B.; Stairs, I. H.

    2012-06-20

    We investigate the changes in polarization position angle in radiation from pulsar A around the eclipse in the Double Pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B at the 20 cm and 50 cm wavelengths using the Parkes 64 m telescope. The changes are {approx}2{sigma} during and shortly after the eclipse at 20 cm but less significant at 50 cm. We show that the changes in position angle during the eclipse can be modeled by differential synchrotron absorption in the eclipse regions. Position angle changes after the eclipse are interpreted as Faraday rotation in the magnetotail of pulsar B. Implied charge densities are consistent with the Goldreich-Julian density, suggesting that the particle energies in the magnetotail are mildly relativistic.

  16. THE DOUBLE PULSAR: EVIDENCE FOR NEUTRON STAR FORMATION WITHOUT AN IRON CORE-COLLAPSE SUPERNOVA

    SciTech Connect

    Ferdman, R. D.; Kramer, M.; Stappers, B. W.; Lyne, A. G.; Stairs, I. H.; Breton, R. P.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Freire, P. C. C.; Possenti, A.; Kaspi, V. M.; Manchester, R. N.

    2013-04-10

    The double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B is a double neutron star binary, with a 2.4 hr orbital period, which has allowed measurement of relativistic orbital perturbations to high precision. The low mass of the second-formed neutron star, as well as the low system eccentricity and proper motion, point to a different evolutionary scenario compared to most other known double neutron star systems. We describe analysis of the pulse profile shape over 6 years of observations and present the resulting constraints on the system geometry. We find the recycled pulsar in this system, PSR J0737-3039A, to be a near-orthogonal rotator with an average separation between its spin and magnetic axes of 90 Degree-Sign {+-} 11 Degree-Sign {+-} 5 Degree-Sign . Furthermore, we find a mean 95% upper limit on the misalignment between its spin and orbital angular momentum axes of 3. Degree-Sign 2, assuming that the observed emission comes from both magnetic poles. This tight constraint lends credence to the idea that the supernova that formed the second pulsar was relatively symmetric, possibly involving electron capture onto an O-Ne-Mg core.

  17. Multi-epoch Multi-frequency Observations of Double Pulsar using GMRT at lower radio frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Bhal Chandra

    The double pulsar system, J0737-3039, (Burgay et al. 2003; Lyne et al. 2004) with two radio pulsars in a tight edge-on mildly eccentric orbit with a significant advance of angle of periastron (orbital period Pb = 2.4 hr, orbital inclination angle i = 87.7 deg, eccentricity 0.09, ω = ˙ 17 deg) continues to display interesting and changing phenomenology. The timing observations and this phenomenology has been very useful to test theories of gravity (Kramer and Stairs 2009). We report on last seven years of monitoring of these pulsars at 325 and 235 MHz using GMRT and compare the variation in the phenomenology of the pulsars as a function of observation epoch with that at higher frequencies.

  18. An increased estimate of the merger rate of double neutron stars from observations of a highly relativistic system.

    PubMed

    Burgay, M; D'Amico, N; Possenti, A; Manchester, R N; Lyne, A G; Joshi, B C; McLaughlin, M A; Kramer, M; Sarkissian, J M; Camilo, F; Kalogera, V; Kim, C; Lorimer, D R

    2003-12-01

    The merger of close binary systems containing two neutron stars should produce a burst of gravitational waves, as predicted by the theory of general relativity. A reliable estimate of the double-neutron-star merger rate in the Galaxy is crucial in order to predict whether current gravity wave detectors will be successful in detecting such bursts. Present estimates of this rate are rather low, because we know of only a few double-neutron-star binaries with merger times less than the age of the Universe. Here we report the discovery of a 22-ms pulsar, PSR J0737-3039, which is a member of a highly relativistic double-neutron-star binary with an orbital period of 2.4 hours. This system will merge in about 85 Myr, a time much shorter than for any other known neutron-star binary. Together with the relatively low radio luminosity of PSR J0737-3039, this timescale implies an order-of-magnitude increase in the predicted merger rate for double-neutron-star systems in our Galaxy (and in the rest of the Universe). PMID:14654834

  19. Tests of general relativity from timing the double pulsar.

    PubMed

    Kramer, M; Stairs, I H; Manchester, R N; McLaughlin, M A; Lyne, A G; Ferdman, R D; Burgay, M; Lorimer, D R; Possenti, A; D'Amico, N; Sarkissian, J M; Hobbs, G B; Reynolds, J E; Freire, P C C; Camilo, F

    2006-10-01

    The double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B is unique in that both neutron stars are detectable as radio pulsars. They are also known to have much higher mean orbital velocities and accelerations than those of other binary pulsars. The system is therefore a good candidate for testing Einstein's theory of general relativity and alternative theories of gravity in the strong-field regime. We report on precision timing observations taken over the 2.5 years since its discovery and present four independent strong-field tests of general relativity. These tests use the theory-independent mass ratio of the two stars. By measuring relativistic corrections to the Keplerian description of the orbital motion, we find that the "post-Keplerian" parameter s agrees with the value predicted by general relativity within an uncertainty of 0.05%, the most precise test yet obtained. We also show that the transverse velocity of the system's center of mass is extremely small. Combined with the system's location near the Sun, this result suggests that future tests of gravitational theories with the double pulsar will supersede the best current solar system tests. It also implies that the second-born pulsar may not have formed through the core collapse of a helium star, as is usually assumed. PMID:16973838

  20. Probing double neutron star evolution with pulsar observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdman, Robert

    2016-07-01

    Pulsars in double neutron star (DNS) binary systems represent a distinct population among pulsar binaries. Within this class of system, the formation channel through which the second neutron star (NS) is formed can differ in ways that can leave distinct observable signatures. In particular, measured DNS properties provide clues about prior interactions and the progenitor supernova event that has left behind the second-formed NS. In this talk I will present results from long-term timing analysis and profile studies of several pulsars in DNS systems, including highly relativistic binaries such as PSR J0737-3039A from the double pulsar system and the recently discovered PSR J1913+1102. I will place them in the larger context of the DNS population, and demonstrate our attempt to distinguishing the different evolutionary channels that are possible for these systems. Doing so will also provide crucial complimentary information to current and future observations by ground-based gravitational-wave detectors such as Advanced LIGO and VIRGO, which are particularly sensitive to merging DNS systems.

  1. Preliminary limits of a logarithmic correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential in binary pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Chang; Li, Zi-Wei; Yuan, Sheng-Feng; Wan, Zhen; Qin, Song-He; Zhu, Kai; Xie, Yi

    2014-10-01

    We obtain preliminary limits on a logarithmic correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential by using five binary pulsars: PSR J0737-3039, PSR B1534+12, PSR J1756-2251, PSR B1913+16 and PSR B2127+11C. This kind of correction may originate from fundamental frameworks, like string theories, effective models of gravity due to quantum effects and the non-local gravity scheme. We estimate the upper limit of the Tohline-Kuhn-Kruglyak parameter λ and the lower limit of the Fabris-Campos parameter α, which parameterize the correction and are connected to each other by αλ = -1. By analyzing the advances of periastron of these binary pulsars, we find that the preliminary upper limit of α is 0.19 ± 0.14 kpc-1 and the preliminary lower limit of λ is -5.2 ± 3.8 kpc. They are compatible with the bounds based on dynamics of spiral galaxies but quite different from those given by solar system dynamics. These results indicate that this logarithmic correction might be more observable in current timings of binary pulsars than in motions of the solar system.

  2. High-Precision Timing of Several Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdman, R. D.; Stairs, I. H.; Backer, D. C.; Ramachandran, R.; Demorest, P.; Nice, D. J.; Lyne, A. G.; Kramer, M.; Lorimer, D.; McLaughlin, M.; Manchester, D.; Camilo, F.; D'Amico, N.; Possenti, A.; Burgay, M.; Joshi, B. C.; Freire, P. C.

    2004-12-01

    The highest precision pulsar timing is achieved by reproducing as accurately as possible the pulse profile as emitted by the pulsar, in high signal-to-noise observations. The best profile reconstruction can be accomplished with several-bit voltage sampling and coherent removal of the dispersion suffered by pulsar signals as they traverse the interstellar medium. The Arecibo Signal Processor (ASP) and its counterpart the Green Bank Astronomical Signal Processor (GASP) are flexible, state-of-the-art wide-bandwidth observing systems, built primarily for high-precision long-term timing of millisecond and binary pulsars. ASP and GASP are in use at the 300-m Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico and the 100-m Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, respectively, taking advantage of the enormous sensitivities of these telescopes. These instruments result in high-precision science through 4 and 8-bit sampling and perform coherent dedispersion on the incoming data stream in real or near-real time. This is done using a network of personal computers, over an observing bandwidth of 64 to 128 MHz, in each of two polarizations. We present preliminary results of timing and polarimetric observations with ASP/GASP for several pulsars, including the recently-discovered relativistic double-pulsar binary J0737-3039. These data are compared to simultaneous observations with other pulsar instruments, such as the new "spigot card" spectrometer on the GBT and the Princeton Mark IV instrument at Arecibo, the precursor timing system to ASP. We also briefly discuss several upcoming observations with ASP/GASP.

  3. The pulsar magnetic field oscillation model and the verification method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Z. X.; Liang, Y.

    The characteristics of pulsar have been most commonly explained using lighthouse model However our research has demonstrated that the characteristics of pulsar can be better described using a magnetic oscillating model hereafter MO model built by analogising the reversing phenomenon of the solar magnetic field to pulsar Although the mechanism why the magnetic field can oscillate has not been known yet no observed oppositions to it MO model have been found either After comparing with the lighthouse model the MO model has the following advantages 1 The prediction of the MO model differs significantly from the prediction of the lighthouse model The MO model predicts that the geodetic precession of the spin axis in binary pulsar system may result in some slight changes of the amplitude and shape of profile but it is impossible that they disappear from our line of sight The observed results of PSR B1913 16 PSR J0737-3039 and other binary pulsar system have shown obviously such tendency 2 The lighthouse model can be ruled out by the result from calculating the micropulse of PSR B1133 16 The wheel-axis structure of the image of Crab Nebula taken by Chandra X-ray Observatory correlates precisely with the prediction of the MO model 3 The MO model is more appropriate to explain the polarization characteristics glitch the interpulse and the generation rate of the pulsar than the lighthouse model The MO model also gives satisfactory results to explain the other characteristics eg the spin-down the pulse nulling the beat and pulse

  4. Relativistic spin precession in the double pulsar.

    PubMed

    Breton, Rene P; Kaspi, Victoria M; Kramer, Michael; McLaughlin, Maura A; Lyutikov, Maxim; Ransom, Scott M; Stairs, Ingrid H; Ferdman, Robert D; Camilo, Fernando; Possenti, Andrea

    2008-07-01

    The double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B consists of two neutron stars in a highly relativistic orbit that displays a roughly 30-second eclipse when pulsar A passes behind pulsar B. Describing this eclipse of pulsar A as due to absorption occurring in the magnetosphere of pulsar B, we successfully used a simple geometric model to characterize the observed changing eclipse morphology and to measure the relativistic precession of pulsar B's spin axis around the total orbital angular momentum. This provides a test of general relativity and alternative theories of gravity in the strong-field regime. Our measured relativistic spin precession rate of 4.77 degrees (-0 degrees .65)(+0 degrees .66) per year (68% confidence level) is consistent with that predicted by general relativity within an uncertainty of 13%. PMID:18599782

  5. PULSAR BINARY BIRTHRATES WITH SPIN-OPENING ANGLE CORRELATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    O'Shaughnessy, Richard; Kim, Chunglee E-mail: ckim@astro.lu.s

    2010-05-20

    One ingredient in an empirical birthrate estimate for pulsar binaries is the fraction of sky subtended by the pulsar beam: the pulsar beaming fraction. This fraction depends on both the pulsar's opening angle and the misalignment angle between its spin and magnetic axes. The current estimates for pulsar binary birthrates are based on an average value of beaming fractions for only two pulsars, i.e., PSRs B1913+16 and B1534+12. In this paper, we revisit the observed pulsar binaries to examine the sensitivity of birthrate predictions to different assumptions regarding opening angle and alignment. Based on empirical estimates for the relative likelihood of different beam half-opening angles and misalignment angles between the pulsar rotation and magnetic axes, we calculate an effective beaming correction factor, f{sub b,eff}, whose reciprocal is equivalent to the average fraction of all randomly selected pulsars that point toward us. For those pulsars without any direct beam geometry constraints, we find that f{sub b,eff} is likely to be smaller than 6, a canonically adopted value when calculating birthrates of Galactic pulsar binaries. We calculate f{sub b,eff} for PSRs J0737-3039A and J1141-6545, applying the currently available constraints for their beam geometry. As in previous estimates of the posterior probability density function P(R) for pulsar binary birthrates R, PSRs J0737-3039A and J1141-6545 still significantly contribute to, if not dominate, the Galactic birthrate of tight pulsar-neutron star (NS) and pulsar-white dwarf (WD) binaries, respectively. Our median posterior present-day birthrate predictions for tight PSR-NS binaries, wide PSR-NS binaries, and tight PSR-WD binaries given a preferred pulsar population model and beaming geometry are 89 Myr{sup -1}, 0.5 Myr{sup -1}, and 34 Myr{sup -1}, respectively. For long-lived PSR-NS binaries, these estimates include a weak (x1.6) correction for slowly decaying star formation in the galactic disk. For pulsars

  6. Observing quantum vacuum lensing in a neutron star binary system.

    PubMed

    Dupays, Arnaud; Robilliard, Cécile; Rizzo, Carlo; Bignami, Giovanni F

    2005-04-29

    In this Letter we study the propagation of light in the neighborhood of magnetized neutron stars. Because of the optical properties of quantum vacuum in the presence of a magnetic field, the light emitted by background astronomical objects is deviated, giving rise to a phenomenon of the same kind as the gravitational one. We give a quantitative estimation of this effect, and we discuss the possibility of its observation. We show that this effect could be detected by monitoring the evolution of the recently discovered double neutron star system J0737-3039. PMID:15904205

  7. Non-thermal emission in astrophysical environments: From pulsars to supernova remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomiashvili, David

    The study of electromagnetic radiation from distant astrophysical objects provides essential data in understanding physics of these sources. In particular, non-thermal radiation provides great insight into the properties of local environments, particle populations, and emission mechanisms, knowledge which otherwise would remain untapped. Throughout the projects conducted for this dissertation, we modeled certain aspects of observed non-thermal emission from three classes of sources: radio pulsars, pulsar wind nebulae, and supernova remnants. Orbital variation in the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B can be used to probe the details of the magnetospheric structure of pulsar B. Strongly magnetized wind from pulsar A distorts the magnetosphere of pulsar B in a way similar to the solar wind's distortion of the Earth's magnetosphere. Using the two complimentary models of pulsar B's magnetosphere, adapted from the Earth's magnetosphere models by Dungey and Tsyganenko, we determine the precise location of the coherent radio emission generation region in pulsar B's magnetosphere. This analysis is complemented by modeling the observed evolution of the pulse profiles of B due to geodetic precession. The emission region is located at about 3750 stellar radii and has a horseshoe-like shape centered on the polar magnetic field lines. The best fit angular parameters of the emission region indicate that radio emission is generated on the field lines which, according to the theoretical models, originate close to the poles and carry the maximum current. When considered together, not only do the results of the two models converge, they can explain why the modulation of B's radio emission at A's period is observed only within a certain orbital phase region. We discuss the implications of these results for pulsar magnetospheric models and mechanisms of coherent radio emission generation. We also developed a spatially-resolved, analytic model for the high-energy non

  8. Solar System and stellar tests of a quantum-corrected gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shan-Shan; Xie, Yi

    2015-09-01

    The renormalization group running of the gravitational constant has a universal form and represents a possible extension of general relativity. These renormalization group effects on general relativity will cause the running of the gravitational constant, and there exists a scale of renormalization α ν , which depends on the mass of an astronomical system and needs to be determined by observations. We test renormalization group effects on general relativity and obtain the upper bounds of α ν in the low-mass scales: the Solar System and five systems of binary pulsars. Using the supplementary advances of the perihelia provided by INPOP10a (IMCCE, France) and EPM2011 (IAA RAS, Russia) ephemerides, we obtain new upper bounds on α ν in the Solar System when the Lense-Thirring effect due to the Sun's angular momentum and the uncertainty of the Sun's quadrupole moment are properly taken into account. These two factors were absent in the previous work. We find that INPOP10a yields the upper bound as α ν =(0.3 ±2.8 )×10-20 while EPM2011 gives α ν =(-2.5 ±8.3 )×10-21. Both of them are tighter than the previous result by 4 orders of magnitude. Furthermore, based on the observational data sets of five systems of binary pulsars: PSR J 0737 -3039 , PSR B 1534 +12 , PSR J 1756 -2251 , PSR B 1913 +16 , and PSR B 2127 +11 C , the upper bound is found as α ν =(-2.6 ±5.1 )×10-17. From the bounds of this work at a low-mass scale and the ones at the mass scale of galaxies, we might catch an updated glimpse of the mass dependence of α ν , and it is found that our improvement of the upper bounds in the Solar System can significantly change the possible pattern of the relation between log |α ν | and log m from a linear one to a power law, where m is the mass of an astronomical system. This suggests that |α ν | needs to be suppressed more rapidly with the decrease of the mass of low-mass systems. It also predicts that |α ν | might have an upper limit in high

  9. THE DOUBLE PULSAR ECLIPSES. I. PHENOMENOLOGY AND MULTI-FREQUENCY ANALYSIS

    SciTech Connect

    Breton, R. P.; Kaspi, V. M.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lyutikov, M.; Kramer, M.; Stairs, I. H.; Ransom, S. M.; Ferdman, R. D.; Camilo, F.; Possenti, A.

    2012-03-10

    The double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B displays short, 30 s eclipses that arise around conjunction when the radio waves emitted by pulsar A are absorbed as they propagate through the magnetosphere of its companion pulsar B. These eclipses offer a unique opportunity to directly probe the magnetospheric structure and the plasma properties of pulsar B. We have performed a comprehensive analysis of the eclipse phenomenology using multi-frequency radio observations obtained with the Green Bank Telescope. We have characterized the periodic flux modulations previously discovered at 820 MHz by McLaughlin et al. and investigated the radio frequency dependence of the duration and depth of the eclipses. Based on their weak radio frequency evolution, we conclude that the plasma in pulsar B's magnetosphere requires a large multiplicity factor ({approx}10{sup 5}). We also found that, as expected, flux modulations are present at all radio frequencies in which eclipses can be detected. Their complex behavior is consistent with the confinement of the absorbing plasma in the dipolar magnetic field of pulsar B as suggested by Lyutikov and Thompson and such a geometric connection explains that the observed periodicity is harmonically related to pulsar B's spin frequency. We observe that the eclipses require a sharp transition region beyond which the plasma density drops off abruptly. Such a region defines a plasmasphere that would be well inside the magnetospheric boundary of an undisturbed pulsar. It is also two times smaller than the expected standoff radius calculated using the balance of the wind pressure from pulsar A and the nominally estimated magnetic pressure of pulsar B.

  10. CONSTRAINTS ON NATAL KICKS IN GALACTIC DOUBLE NEUTRON STAR SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Tsing-Wai; Willems, Bart; Kalogera, Vassiliki E-mail: b-willems@northwestern.ed

    2010-10-01

    Since the discovery of the first double neutron star (DNS) system in 1975 by Hulse and Taylor, there are currently eight confirmed DNS in our galaxy. For every system, the masses of both neutron stars, the orbital semimajor axis, and eccentricity are measured, and proper motion is known for half of the systems. Using the orbital parameters and kinematic information, if available, as constraints for all systems, we investigate the immediate progenitor mass of the second-born neutron star (NS2) and the magnitude of the supernova kick it received at birth, with the primary goal to understand the core-collapse mechanism leading to neutron star formation. Compared to earlier studies, we use a novel method to address the uncertainty related to the unknown radial velocity of the observed systems. For PSR B1534+12 and PSR B1913+16, the kick magnitudes are 150-270 km s{sup -1} and 190-450 km s{sup -1} (with 95% confidence), respectively, and the progenitor masses of the NS2 are 1.3-3.4 M{sub sun} and 1.4-5.0 M{sub sun} (95%), respectively. These suggest that the NS2 was formed by an iron core-collapse supernova in both systems. For PSR J0737 - 3039, on the other hand, the kick magnitude is only 5-120 km s{sup -1} (95%), and the progenitor mass of the NS2 is 1.3-1.9 M{sub sun} (95%). Because of the relatively low progenitor mass and kick magnitude, the formation of the NS2 in PSR J0737 - 3039 is potentially connected to an electron capture supernova of a massive O-Ne-Mg white dwarf. For the remaining five Galactic DNS, the kick magnitude ranges from several tens to several hundreds of km s{sup -1}, and the progenitor mass of the NS2 can be as low as {approx}1.5 M{sub sun} or as high as {approx}8 M{sub sun}. Therefore, in these systems it is not clear which type of supernova is more likely to form the NS2.

  11. Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stappers, Benjamin W.

    2012-04-01

    Pulsars can be considered as the ultimate time-variable source. They show variations on time-scales ranging from nanoseconds to as long as years, and they emit over almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The dominant modulation is associated with the rotation period, which can vary from slighty more than a millisecond to upwards of ten seconds (if we include the magnetars). Variations on time-scales shorter than the pulse period are mostly associated with emission processes and are manifested as giant pulses, microstructure and sub-pulses (to name a few). On time-scales of a rotation to a few hundred rotations are other phenomena also associated with the emission, such as nulling, moding, drifting and intermittency. By probing these and slightly longer time-scales we find that pulsars exhibit ``glitches'', which are rapid variations in spin rates. They are believed to be related to the interaction between the superfluid interior of the neutron star and the outer crust. Detailed studies of glitches can reveal much about the properties of the constituents of neutron stars-the only way to probe the physics of material at such extreme densities. Time-scales of about an hour or longer reveal that some pulsars are in binary systems, in particular the most rapidly rotating systems. Discovering and studying those binary systems provides vital clues to the evolution of massive stars, while some of the systems are also the best probes of strong-field gravity theories; the elusive pulsar-black hole binary would be the ultimate system. Pulsars are tools that allow us to probe a range of phenomena and time-scales. It is possible to measure the time of arrival of pulses from some pulsars to better than a few tens of nanoseconds over years, making them some of the most accurate clocks known. Concerning their rotation, deviations from sphericity may cause pulsars to emit gravitational waves which might then be detected by next-generation gravitational-wave detectors. Pulsars

  12. Unique Stellar System Gives Einstein a Thumbs-Up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-07-01

    Taking advantage of a unique cosmic coincidence, astronomers have measured an effect predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity in the extremely strong gravity of a pair of superdense neutron stars. The new data indicate that the famed physicist's 93-year-old theory has passed yet another test. Double Pulsar Graphic Artist's Conception of Double Pulsar System PSR J0737-3039A/B CREDIT: Daniel Cantin, DarwinDimensions, McGill University Click on image for more graphics. The scientists used the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to make a four-year study of a double-star system unlike any other known in the Universe. The system is a pair of neutron stars, both of which are seen as pulsars that emit lighthouse-like beams of radio waves. "Of about 1700 known pulsars, this is the only case where two pulsars are in orbit around each other," said Rene Breton, a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In addition, the stars' orbital plane is aligned nearly perfectly with their line of sight to the Earth, so that one passes behind a doughnut-shaped region of ionized gas surrounding the other, eclipsing the signal from the pulsar in back. "Those eclipses are the key to making a measurement that could never be done before," Breton said. Einstein's 1915 theory predicted that, in a close system of two very massive objects, such as neutron stars, one object's gravitational tug, along with an effect of its spinning around its axis, should cause the spin axis of the other to wobble, or precess. Studies of other pulsars in binary systems had indicated that such wobbling occurred, but could not produce precise measurements of the amount of wobbling. "Measuring the amount of wobbling is what tests the details of Einstein's theory and gives a benchmark that any alternative gravitational theories must meet," said Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The eclipses allowed the astronomers to pin

  13. Acceleration by pulsar winds in binary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Gaisser, T. K.

    1990-01-01

    In the absence of accretion torques, a pulsar in a binary system will spin down due to electromagnetic dipole radiation and the spin-down power will drive a wind of relativistic electron-positron pairs. Winds from pulsars with short periods will prevent any subsequent accretion but may be confined by the companion star atmosphere, wind, or magnetosphere to form a standing shock. The authors investigate the possibility of particle acceleration at such a pulsar wind shock and the production of very high energy (VHE) and ultra high energy (UHE) gamma rays from interactions of accelerated protons in the companion star's wind or atmosphere. They find that in close binaries containing active pulsars, protons will be shock accelerated to a maximum energy dependent on the pulsar spin-down luminosity. If a significant fraction of the spin-down power goes into particle acceleration, these systems should be sources of VHE and possibly UHE gamma rays. The authors discuss the application of the pulsar wind model to binary sources such as Cygnus X-3, as well as the possibility of observing VHE gamma-rays from known binary radio pulsar systems.

  14. Acceleration by pulsar winds in binary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Gaisser, T. K.

    1990-01-01

    In the absence of accretion torques, a pulsar in a binary system will spin down due to electromagnetic dipole radiation, and the spin-down power will drive a wind of relativistic electron-position pairs. Winds from pulsars with short periods will prevent any subsequent accretion but may be confined by the companion star atmosphere, wind, or magnetosphere to form a standing shock. This paper investigates the possibility of particle acceleration at such a pulsar wind shock and the production of VHE and UHE gamma-rays from interactions of accelerated protons in the companion star's wind or atmosphere. It is found that, in close binaries containing active pulsars, protons will be shock accelerated to a maximum energy dependent on the pulsar spin-down luminosity. If a significant fraction of the spin-down power goes into particle acceleration, these systems should be sources of VHE and possibly UHE gamma-rays. The application of the pulsar wind model to binary sources such as Cygnus X-3 is discussed, as well as the possibility of observing VHE gamma-rays from known binary radio pulsar systems.

  15. Gravitomagnetic effects in Kerr-de Sitter space-time

    SciTech Connect

    Iorio, Lorenzo; Ruggiero, Matteo Luca E-mail: matteo.ruggiero@polito.it

    2009-03-15

    We explicitly worked out the orbital effects induced on the trajectory of a test particle by the the weak-field approximation of the Kerr-de Sitter metric. It results that the node, the pericentre and the mean anomaly undergo secular precessions proportional to k. We used such theoretical predictions and the latest observational determinations of the non-standard precessions of the perihelia of the inner planets of the Solar System to put a bound on k getting k {<=} 10{sup -29} m{sup -2}. The node rate of the LAGEOS Earth's satellite yields k {<=} 10{sup -26} m{sup -2}. The periastron precession of the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B allows to obtain k {<=} 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -21} m{sup -2}. Interpreting k as a cosmological constant {Lambda}, it turns out that such constraints are weaker than those obtained from the Schwarzschild-de Sitter metric.

  16. Detecting the errors in solar system ephemeris by pulsar timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Liang; Guo, Li; Wang, Guang-Li

    2016-04-01

    Pulsar timing uses planetary ephemerides to convert the measured pulse arrival time at an observatory to the arrival time at the Solar System barycenter (SSB). Since these planetary ephemerides cannot be perfect, a method of detecting the associated errors based on a pulsar timing array is developed. By using observations made by an array of 18 millisecond pulsars from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, we estimated the vector uncertainty from the Earth to the SSB of JPL DE421, which reflects the offset of the ephemeris origin with respect to the ideal SSB, in different piecewise intervals of pulsar timing data, and found consistent results. To investigate the stability and reliability of our method, we divided all the pulsars into two groups. Both groups yield largely consistent results, and the uncertainty of the Earth-SSB vector is several hundred meters, which is consistent with the accuracy of JPL DE421. As an improvement in the observational accuracy, pulsar timing will be helpful to improve the solar system ephemeris in the future.

  17. A millisecond pulsar in an extremely wide binary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassa, C. G.; Janssen, G. H.; Stappers, B. W.; Tauris, T. M.; Wevers, T.; Jonker, P. G.; Lentati, L.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Desvignes, G.; Graikou, E.; Guillemot, L.; Freire, P. C. C.; Lazarus, P.; Caballero, R. N.; Champion, D. J.; Cognard, I.; Jessner, A.; Jordan, C.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kramer, M.; Lazaridis, K.; Lee, K. J.; Liu, K.; Lyne, A. G.; McKee, J.; Osłowski, S.; Perrodin, D.; Sanidas, S.; Shaifullah, G.; Smits, R.; Theureau, G.; Tiburzi, C.; Zhu, W. W.

    2016-08-01

    We report on 22 yrs of radio timing observations of the millisecond pulsar J1024$-$0719 by the telescopes participating in the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). These observations reveal a significant second derivative of the pulsar spin frequency and confirm the discrepancy between the parallax and Shklovskii distances that has been reported earlier. We also present optical astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy of 2MASS J10243869$-$0719190. We find that it is a low-metallicity main-sequence star (K7V spectral type, $\\mathrm{[M/H]}=-1.0$, $T_\\mathrm{eff}=4050\\pm50$ K) and that its position, proper motion and distance are consistent with those of PSR J1024$-$0719. We conclude that PSR J1024$-$0719 and 2MASS J10243869$-$0719190 form a common proper motion pair and are gravitationally bound. The gravitational interaction between the main-sequence star and the pulsar accounts for the spin frequency derivatives, which in turn resolves the distance discrepancy. Our observations suggest that the pulsar and main-sequence star are in an extremely wide ($P_\\mathrm{b}>200$ yr) orbit. Combining the radial velocity of the companion and proper motion of the pulsar, we find that the binary system has a high spatial velocity of $384\\pm45$ km s$^{-1}$ with respect to the local standard of rest and has a Galactic orbit consistent with halo objects. Since the observed main-sequence companion star cannot have recycled the pulsar to millisecond spin periods, an exotic formation scenario is required. We demonstrate that this extremely wide-orbit binary could have evolved from a triple system that underwent an asymmetric supernova explosion, though find that significant fine-tuning during the explosion is required. Finally, we discuss the implications of the long period orbit on the timing stability of PSR J1024$-$0719 in light of its inclusion in pulsar timing arrays.

  18. A millisecond pulsar in an extremely wide binary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassa, C. G.; Janssen, G. H.; Stappers, B. W.; Tauris, T. M.; Wevers, T.; Jonker, P. G.; Lentati, L.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Desvignes, G.; Graikou, E.; Guillemot, L.; Freire, P. C. C.; Lazarus, P.; Caballero, R. N.; Champion, D. J.; Cognard, I.; Jessner, A.; Jordan, C.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kramer, M.; Lazaridis, K.; Lee, K. J.; Liu, K.; Lyne, A. G.; McKee, J.; Osłowski, S.; Perrodin, D.; Sanidas, S.; Shaifullah, G.; Smits, R.; Theureau, G.; Tiburzi, C.; Zhu, W. W.

    2016-08-01

    We report on 22 yr of radio timing observations of the millisecond pulsar J1024-0719 by the telescopes participating in the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). These observations reveal a significant second derivative of the pulsar spin frequency and confirm the discrepancy between the parallax and Shklovskii distances that has been reported earlier. We also present optical astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy of 2MASS J10243869-0719190. We find that it is a low-metallicity main-sequence star (K7V spectral type, [M/H] = -1.0, Teff = 4050 ± 50 K) and that its position, proper motion and distance are consistent with those of PSR J1024-0719. We conclude that PSR J1024-0719 and 2MASS J10243869-0719190 form a common proper motion pair and are gravitationally bound. The gravitational interaction between the main-sequence star and the pulsar accounts for the spin frequency derivatives, which in turn resolves the distance discrepancy. Our observations suggest that the pulsar and main-sequence star are in an extremely wide (Pb > 200 yr) orbit. Combining the radial velocity of the companion and proper motion of the pulsar, we find that the binary system has a high spatial velocity of 384 ± 45 km s-1 with respect to the local standard of rest and has a Galactic orbit consistent with halo objects. Since the observed main-sequence companion star cannot have recycled the pulsar to millisecond spin periods, an exotic formation scenario is required. We demonstrate that this extremely wide-orbit binary could have evolved from a triple system that underwent an asymmetric supernova explosion, though find that significant fine-tuning during the explosion is required. Finally, we discuss the implications of the long period orbit on the timing stability of PSR J1024-0719 in light of its inclusion in pulsar timing arrays.

  19. Pulsar population synthesis using palfa detections and pulsar search collaboratory discoveries including a wide DNS system and a nearby MSP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swiggum, Joseph Karl

    Using the ensemble of detections from pulsar surveys, we can learn about the sizes and characteristics of underlying populations. In this thesis, I analyze results from the Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) precursor and Green Bank Telescope 350 MHz Drift Scan surveys; I examine survey sensitivity to see how detections can inform pulsar population models, I look at new ways of including young scientists -- high school students -- in the discovery process and I present timing solutions for students' discoveries (including a nearby millisecond pulsar and a pulsar in a wide-orbit double neutron star system). The PALFA survey is on-going and uses the ALFA 7-beam receiver at 1400 MHz to search both inner and outer Galactic sectors visible from Arecibo (32° ?£? 77° and 168° ?£? 214°) close to the Galactic plane (|b| ? 5°) for pulsars. The PALFA precursor survey observed a subset of this region, (|b| ? 1°) and detected 45 pulsars, including one known millisecond pulsar (MSP) and 11 previously unknown, long-period (normal) pulsars. I assess the sensitivity of the PALFA precursor survey and use the number of normal pulsar and MSP detections to infer the size of each underlying Galactic population. Based on 44 normal pulsar detections and one MSP, we constrain each population size to 107,000+36,000-25,000 and 15,000 +85,000-6,000 respectively with 95% confidence. Based on these constraints, we predict yields for the full PALFA survey and find a deficiency in normal pulsar detections, possibly due to radio frequency interference and/or scintillation, neither of which are currently accounted for in population simulations. The GBT 350 MHz Drift Scan survey collected data in the summer of 2007 while the GBT was stationary, undergoing track replacement. Results discussed here come from ~20% of the survey data, which were processed and donated to the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC). The PSC is a joint outreach program between WVU and NRAO, involving high school

  20. Understanding the Evolution of Close Binary Systems with Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuto, O. G.; De Vito, M. A.; Horvath, J. E.

    2014-05-01

    We calculate the evolution of close binary systems (CBSs) formed by a neutron star (behaving as a radio pulsar) and a normal donor star, which evolve either to a helium white dwarf (HeWD) or to ultra-short orbital period systems. We consider X-ray irradiation feedback and evaporation due to radio pulsar irradiation. We show that irradiation feedback leads to cyclic mass transfer episodes, allowing CBSs to be observed in between episodes as binary radio pulsars under conditions in which standard, non-irradiated models predict the occurrence of a low-mass X-ray binary. This behavior accounts for the existence of a family of eclipsing binary systems known as redbacks. We predict that redback companions should almost fill their Roche lobe, as observed in PSR J1723-2837. This state is also possible for systems evolving with larger orbital periods. Therefore, binary radio pulsars with companion star masses usually interpreted as larger than expected to produce HeWDs may also result in such quasi-Roche lobe overflow states, rather than hosting a carbon-oxygen WD. We found that CBSs with initial orbital periods of Pi < 1 day evolve into redbacks. Some of them produce low-mass HeWDs, and a subgroup with shorter Pi becomes black widows (BWs). Thus, BWs descend from redbacks, although not all redbacks evolve into BWs. There is mounting observational evidence favoring BW pulsars to be very massive (gsim 2 M ⊙). As they should be redback descendants, redback pulsars should also be very massive, since most of the mass is transferred before this stage.

  1. UNDERSTANDING THE EVOLUTION OF CLOSE BINARY SYSTEMS WITH RADIO PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Benvenuto, O. G.; De Vito, M. A.

    2014-05-01

    We calculate the evolution of close binary systems (CBSs) formed by a neutron star (behaving as a radio pulsar) and a normal donor star, which evolve either to a helium white dwarf (HeWD) or to ultra-short orbital period systems. We consider X-ray irradiation feedback and evaporation due to radio pulsar irradiation. We show that irradiation feedback leads to cyclic mass transfer episodes, allowing CBSs to be observed in between episodes as binary radio pulsars under conditions in which standard, non-irradiated models predict the occurrence of a low-mass X-ray binary. This behavior accounts for the existence of a family of eclipsing binary systems known as redbacks. We predict that redback companions should almost fill their Roche lobe, as observed in PSR J1723-2837. This state is also possible for systems evolving with larger orbital periods. Therefore, binary radio pulsars with companion star masses usually interpreted as larger than expected to produce HeWDs may also result in such quasi-Roche lobe overflow states, rather than hosting a carbon-oxygen WD. We found that CBSs with initial orbital periods of P{sub i} < 1 day evolve into redbacks. Some of them produce low-mass HeWDs, and a subgroup with shorter P{sub i} becomes black widows (BWs). Thus, BWs descend from redbacks, although not all redbacks evolve into BWs. There is mounting observational evidence favoring BW pulsars to be very massive (≳ 2 M {sub ☉}). As they should be redback descendants, redback pulsars should also be very massive, since most of the mass is transferred before this stage.

  2. A Wide Bandwidth Digital Recording System for Pulsar Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenet, F. A.; Unwin, S. C.; Prince, T. A.

    1995-12-01

    We have developed a powerful and flexible data acquisition system for pulsar astronomy, based on a 50 Mbyte/s commercial instrumentation tape recorder and a custom analog-digital VLSI digitizer chip. This system converts the problem of pulsar detection from largely hardware-oriented to mostly software-oriented. We are using the 512-node Intel Paragon XPS and Touchstone Delta supercomputers at Caltech for pulsar searching and analysis. The detection of fast pulsars requires (1) rapid time sampling, and (2) the ability to correct for dispersion (frequency-dependent time delay caused by charged particles in the interstellar medium). A conventional hardware approach involves a filterbank or correlator at the telescope, then sampling and recording the detected power. Our telescope hardware is relatively simple, performing only downconversion from RF or IF to baseband, followed by Nyquist sampling and (2-bit) digitizing the voltage signal by the custom VLSI chip, then storage on ANSI D1 videocassette. One D1-L cassette allows continuous recording of two polarizations each with 50 MHz bandwidth for 32 minutes, or 25 MHz for 64 minutes. In software we can de-disperse the pulse signals by synthesizing a filterbank with an arbitrary number of frequency channels. Coherent dedispersion can be performed on the voltage (but not power) data, allowing time resolutions down to the inverse RF bandwidth to be achieved in principle. We present first results from observations in July 1995 at the 64-m telescope at Parkes Observatory, Australia Telescope National Facility. These results on known pulsars, including faint globular cluster millisecond-period pulsars, demonstrate the capabilities of our data recording and analysis system.

  3. MEASURING THE MASS OF SOLAR SYSTEM PLANETS USING PULSAR TIMING

    SciTech Connect

    Champion, D. J.; Hobbs, G. B.; Manchester, R. N.; Edwards, R. T.; Burke-Spolaor, S.; Sarkissian, J. M.; Backer, D. C.; Bailes, M.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Van Straten, W.; Coles, W.; Demorest, P. B.; Ferdman, R. D.; Purver, M. B.; Folkner, W. M.; Hotan, A. W.; Kramer, M.; Lommen, A. N.; Nice, D. J.; Stairs, I. H.

    2010-09-10

    High-precision pulsar timing relies on a solar system ephemeris in order to convert times of arrival (TOAs) of pulses measured at an observatory to the solar system barycenter. Any error in the conversion to the barycentric TOAs leads to a systematic variation in the observed timing residuals; specifically, an incorrect planetary mass leads to a predominantly sinusoidal variation having a period and phase associated with the planet's orbital motion about the Sun. By using an array of pulsars (PSRs J0437-4715, J1744-1134, J1857+0943, J1909-3744), the masses of the planetary systems from Mercury to Saturn have been determined. These masses are consistent with the best-known masses determined by spacecraft observations, with the mass of the Jovian system, 9.547921(2) x10{sup -4} M {sub sun}, being significantly more accurate than the mass determined from the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft, and consistent with but less accurate than the value from the Galileo spacecraft. While spacecraft are likely to produce the most accurate measurements for individual solar system bodies, the pulsar technique is sensitive to planetary system masses and has the potential to provide the most accurate values of these masses for some planets.

  4. A millisecond pulsar in a stellar triple system.

    PubMed

    Ransom, S M; Stairs, I H; Archibald, A M; Hessels, J W T; Kaplan, D L; van Kerkwijk, M H; Boyles, J; Deller, A T; Chatterjee, S; Schechtman-Rook, A; Berndsen, A; Lynch, R S; Lorimer, D R; Karako-Argaman, C; Kaspi, V M; Kondratiev, V I; McLaughlin, M A; van Leeuwen, J; Rosen, R; Roberts, M S E; Stovall, K

    2014-01-23

    Gravitationally bound three-body systems have been studied for hundreds of years and are common in our Galaxy. They show complex orbital interactions, which can constrain the compositions, masses and interior structures of the bodies and test theories of gravity, if sufficiently precise measurements are available. A triple system containing a radio pulsar could provide such measurements, but the only previously known such system, PSR B1620-26 (refs 7, 8; with a millisecond pulsar, a white dwarf, and a planetary-mass object in an orbit of several decades), shows only weak interactions. Here we report precision timing and multiwavelength observations of PSR J0337+1715, a millisecond pulsar in a hierarchical triple system with two other stars. Strong gravitational interactions are apparent and provide the masses of the pulsar M[Symbol: see text](1.4378(13), where M[Symbol: see text]is the solar mass and the parentheses contain the uncertainty in the final decimal places) and the two white dwarf companions (0.19751(15)M[Symbol: see text] and 0.4101(3))M[Symbol: see text], as well as the inclinations of the orbits (both about 39.2°). The unexpectedly coplanar and nearly circular orbits indicate a complex and exotic evolutionary past that differs from those of known stellar systems. The gravitational field of the outer white dwarf strongly accelerates the inner binary containing the neutron star, and the system will thus provide an ideal laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle of general relativity. PMID:24390352

  5. Long-Term Photometric Monitoring of Two Redback Pulsar Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Rodrigo Alberto; Roberts, Mallory; Russell, Dave

    2016-06-01

    Redback systems consist of an eclipsing millisecond pulsar in a short period orbit (< 1 day) around a non-degenerate companion. These systems can potentially transition from their current state where they are ablating their companion to an accreting state. How such a transition can take place is poorly understood. Long-term monitoring of their optical orbital light-curves are important to answer questions about their evolution as well as to catch transitions between states. The orbital light curves can be used to infer the systems’ inclination angle, necessary to measure component masses, the effects of the pulsar heating on the atmosphere of the companion, and long term trends in the light curve may give some clue to the mechanism by which they transition. In this poster we present preliminary photometric light-curves of two binary, redback pulsar systems: PSR J2215+5135 and PSR J1628-3205. These data were taken in 2015 and 2016 with the 1m telescopes of the LCOGT observatory in several standard SDSS filter bands. We will compare the resulting light-curves with previous work on these systems to refine models of the light curves and to look for any long term trends in the optical emission such has been seen in the redback system PSR J2129-0429.

  6. GAMMA-RAY SIGNAL FROM THE PULSAR WIND IN THE BINARY PULSAR SYSTEM PSR B1259-63/LS 2883

    SciTech Connect

    Khangulyan, Dmitry; Bogovalov, Sergey V.; Ribo, Marc E-mail: felix.aharonian@dias.ie E-mail: mribo@am.ub.es

    2011-12-01

    Binary pulsar systems emit potentially detectable components of gamma-ray emission due to Comptonization of the optical radiation of the companion star by relativistic electrons of the pulsar wind, both before and after termination of the wind. The recent optical observations of binary pulsar system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 revealed radiation properties of the companion star which differ significantly from previous measurements. In this paper, we study the implications of these observations for the interaction rate of the unshocked pulsar wind with the stellar photons and the related consequences for fluxes of high energy and very high energy (VHE) gamma rays. We show that the signal should be strong enough to be detected with Fermi close to the periastron passage, unless the pulsar wind is strongly anisotropic or the Lorentz factor of the wind is smaller than 10{sup 3} or larger than 10{sup 5}. The higher luminosity of the optical star also has two important implications: (1) attenuation of gamma rays due to photon-photon pair production and (2) Compton drag of the unshocked wind. While the first effect has an impact on the light curve of VHE gamma rays, the second effect may significantly decrease the energy available for particle acceleration after termination of the wind.

  7. Pulsars in binary systems: probing binary stellar evolution and general relativity.

    PubMed

    Stairs, Ingrid H

    2004-04-23

    Radio pulsars in binary orbits often have short millisecond spin periods as a result of mass transfer from their companion stars. They therefore act as very precise, stable, moving clocks that allow us to investigate a large set of otherwise inaccessible astrophysical problems. The orbital parameters derived from high-precision binary pulsar timing provide constraints on binary evolution, characteristics of the binary pulsar population, and the masses of neutron stars with different mass-transfer histories. These binary systems also test gravitational theories, setting strong limits on deviations from general relativity. Surveys for new pulsars yield new binary systems that increase our understanding of all these fields and may open up whole new areas of physics, as most spectacularly evidenced by the recent discovery of an extremely relativistic double-pulsar system. PMID:15105492

  8. Strange Stars : An interesting member of the compact object family

    SciTech Connect

    Bagchi, Manjari; Ray, Subharthi; Dey, Jishnu; Dey, Mira

    2008-01-10

    We have studied strange star properties both at zero temperature and at finite temperatures and searched signatures of strange stars in gamma-ray, x-ray and radio astronomy. We have a set of Equations of State (EoS) for strange quark matter (SQM) and solving the TOV equations, we get the structure of strange stars. The maximum mass for a strange star decreases with the increase of temperature, because at high temperatures, the EoS become softer. One important aspect of strange star is that, surface tension depends on the size and structure of the star and is significantly larger than the conventional values. Moment of inertia is another important parameter for compact stars as by comparing theoretical values with observed estimate, it is possible to constrain the dense matter Equation of State. We hope that this approach will help us to decide whether the members of the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039 are neutron stars or strange stars.

  9. Ultra-stripped Type Ic Supernovae from Close Binary Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauris, T. M.; Langer, N.; Moriya, T. J.; Podsiadlowski, Ph.; Yoon, S.-C.; Blinnikov, S. I.

    2013-12-01

    Recent discoveries of weak and fast optical transients raise the question of their origin. We investigate the minimum ejecta mass associated with core-collapse supernovae (SNe) of Type Ic. We show that mass transfer from a helium star to a compact companion can produce an ultra-stripped core which undergoes iron core collapse and leads to an extremely fast and faint SN Ic. In this Letter, a detailed example is presented in which the pre-SN stellar mass is barely above the Chandrasekhar limit, resulting in the ejection of only ~0.05-0.20 M ⊙ of material and the formation of a low-mass neutron star (NS). We compute synthetic light curves of this case and demonstrate that SN 2005ek could be explained by our model. We estimate that the fraction of such ultra-stripped to all SNe could be as high as 10-3-10-2. Finally, we argue that the second explosion in some double NS systems (for example, the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039B) was likely associated with an ultra-stripped SN Ic.

  10. Searching for errors in solar system ephemeris with Parkes Pulsar Timing Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jingbo; Li, Liang; Hobbs, George; Coles, William; Guo, Li

    2015-08-01

    Pulsar timing analyses rely on a Solar System ephemeris to convert times of arrival (ToAs) of pulses measured atan observatory to the solar system barycenter. Error in the Solar System ephemeris will induce a signal with spatial dipolar signature in pulsar timing residuals. Pulsar timingarray (PTA) observations give an independent method of searching for errors in the Solar System ephemeris and estimating the accuracy of the ephemeris. Here we develop a search algorithm for such error in the solar system ephemeris and apply the algorithm to data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory DE421 planetary ephemeris. No significant ephemeris error was detected with our data set.

  11. Recycled pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacoby, Bryan Anthony

    2005-11-01

    In a survey of ~4,150 square degrees, we discovered 26 previously unknown pulsars, including 7 "recycled" millisecond or binary pulsars. The most significant discovery of this survey is PSR J1909-3744, a 2.95 ms pulsar in an extremely circular 1.5 d orbit with a low-mass white dwarf companion. Though this system is a fairly typical low-mass binary pulsar (LMBP) system, it has several exceptional qualities: an extremely narrow pulse profile and stable rotation have enabled the most precise long-term timing ever reported, and a nearly edge-on orbit gives rise to a strong Shapiro delay which has allowed the most precise measurement of the mass of a millisecond pulsar: m p = (1.438 +/- 0.024) [Special characters omitted.] . Our accurate parallax distance measurement, d p = ([Special characters omitted.] ) kpc, combined with the mass of the optically-detected companion, m c = (0.2038 +/- 0.022) [Special characters omitted.] , will provide an important calibration for white dwarf models relevant to other LMBP companions. We have detected optical counterparts for two intermediate mass binary pulsar (IMBP) systems; taken together with optical detections and non-detections of several similar systems, our results indicate that the characteristic age t = c P /2 P consistently overestimates the time since the end of mass accretion in these recycled systems. We have measured orbital decay in the double neutron star system PSR B2127+11C in the globular cluster M15. This has allowed an improved measurement of the mass of the pulsar, m p = (1.3584 +/- 0.0097) [Special characters omitted.] , and companion, m c = (1.3544 +/- 0.0097) [Special characters omitted.] , as well as a test of general relativity at the 3% level. We find that the proper motions of this pulsar as well as PSR B2127+11A and PSR B2127+11B are consistent with each other and with one published measurement of the cluster proper motion. We have discovered three binary millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M62

  12. Measuring emission coordinates in a pulsar-based relativistic positioning system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunandar, Darius; Caveny, Scott A.; Matzner, Richard A.

    2011-11-01

    A relativistic deep space positioning system has been proposed using four or more pulsars with stable repetition rates. (Each pulsar emits pulses at a fixed repetition period in its rest frame.) The positioning system uses the fact that an event in spacetime can be fully described by emission coordinates: the proper emission time of each pulse measured at the event. The proper emission time of each pulse from four different pulsars—interpolated as necessary—provides the four spacetime coordinates of the reception event in the emission coordinate system. If more than four pulsars are available, the redundancy can improve the accuracy of the determination and/or resolve degeneracies resulting from special geometrical arrangements of the sources and the event. We introduce a robust numerical approach to measure the emission coordinates of an event in any arbitrary spacetime geometry. Our approach uses a continuous solution of the eikonal equation describing the backward null cone from the event. The pulsar proper time at the instant the null cone intersects the pulsar world line is one of the four required coordinates. The process is complete (modulo degeneracies) when four pulsar world lines have been crossed by the light cone. The numerical method is applied in two different examples: measuring emission coordinates of an event in Minkowski spacetime, using pulses from four pulsars stationary in the spacetime; and measuring emission coordinates of an event in Schwarzschild spacetime, using pulses from four pulsars freely falling toward a static black hole. These numerical simulations are merely exploratory, but with improved resolution and computational resources the method can be applied to more pertinent problems. For instance one could measure the emission coordinates, and therefore the trajectory, of the Earth.

  13. A flexible real-time pulsar processing system for the VLA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demorest, Paul; Butler, Bryan J.; Cordes, James M.; Chatterjee, Shami; Deller, Adam; Dhawan, Vivek; Lazio, Joseph; Majid, Walid A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Wharton, Robert

    2015-01-01

    With its large collecting area, sensitive octave-bandwidth receivers and wide-band digital correlator, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) has potential to become a useful instrument for radio pulsar science. Most observations of this type are currently performed by large single-dish telescopes (e.g., GBT, Arecibo). In certain cases, an array instrument like the VLA can provide a unique complement to "traditional" single-dish pulsar data. It is also an excellent development platform for planned future large-area, array-based pulsar telescopes.We have developed a new flexible real-time software signal processing system for "phased array" pulsar observing. In this mode, signals from each antenna in the array are coherently summed to form a sensitive single beam on the sky. This is ideal for timing observations in which pulsars with accurately known positions are monitored for years or decades in order to study their binary properties, explore the nature of dense neutron star matter, test general relativity, and possibly directly detect gravitational radiation. Phased array observing can also be used for pulsar searches; the small field-of-view makes it primarily suited for targeted observations of specific areas of interest. Here we describe the system design and current technical capabilities of this system. Phased, summed data from the correlator are sent over ethernet to a computer cluster that performs filterbank, coherent dedispersion, and/or pulse period folding in software. The system utilizes existing VLA computing resources, and no additional hardware costs were required to enable the new capabilites. The software architecture uses code developed for the GUPPI pulsar instrument together with the community-developed DSPSR pulsar signal processing library, both publicly-available open-source software packages. To date, we have demonstrated processing of up to 4 GHz total bandwidth.We also summarize initial observations and results obtained using this

  14. A state change in the missing link binary pulsar system PSR J1023+0038

    SciTech Connect

    Stappers, B. W.; Lyne, A. G.; Archibald, A. M.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Bassa, C. G.; Janssen, G. H.; Bogdanov, S.; Kaspi, V. M.; Patruno, A.; Tendulkar, S.; Hill, A. B.; Glanzman, T.

    2014-07-20

    We present radio and γ-ray observations, which, along with concurrent X-ray observations, reveal that the binary millisecond pulsar (MSP)/low-mass X-ray binary transition system PSR J1023+0038 has undergone a transformation in state. Whereas until recently the system harbored a bright millisecond radio pulsar, the radio pulsations at frequencies between 300 to 5000 MHz have now become undetectable. Concurrent with this radio disappearance, the γ-ray flux of the system has quintupled. We conclude that, though the radio pulsar is currently not detectable, the pulsar mechanism is still active and the pulsar wind, as well as a newly formed accretion disk, are together providing the necessary conditions to create the γ-ray increase. This system is the first example of a compact, low-mass binary which has shown significant state changes accompanied by large changes in γ-ray flux; it will continue to provide an exceptional test bed for better understanding the formation of MSPs as well as accretion onto neutron stars in general.

  15. Impact of the orbital uncertainties on the timing of pulsars in binary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caliandro, G. A.; Torres, D. F.; Rea, N.

    2012-12-01

    The detection of pulsations from an X-ray binary is an unambiguous signature of the presence of a neutron star in the system. When the pulsations are missed in the radio band, their detection at other wavelengths, such as X-ray or gamma-rays, requires orbital demodulation, since the length of the observations is often comparable to, or longer than, the system orbital period. A detailed knowledge of the orbital parameters of binary systems plays a crucial role in the detection of the spin period of pulsars since any uncertainty in their determination translates into a loss in the coherence of a signal during the demodulation process. In this paper, we present an analytical study aimed at unveiling how the uncertainties in the orbital parameters might impact on periodicity searches. We find a correlation between the power of the signal in the demodulated arrival time series and the uncertainty in each of the orbital parameters. This correlation is also a function of the pulsar frequency. We test our analytical results with numerical simulations, finding good agreement between them. Finally, we apply our study to the cases of LS 5039 and LS I +61 303 and consider the current level of uncertainties in the orbital parameters of these systems and their impact on a possible detection of a hosted pulsar. We also discuss the possible appearance of a sideband ambiguity in real data. The latter can occur when, due to the use of uncertain orbital parameters, the power of a putative pulsar is distributed in frequencies lying near the pulsar period. Even if the appearance of a sideband is already a signature of a pulsar component, it may introduce an ambiguity in the determination of its period. We present here a method to solve the sideband issue.

  16. Measurement of Gravitational Spin-Orbit Coupling in a Binary Pulsar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stairs, I. H.; Thorsett. S. E.; Arzoumanian, Z.

    2004-01-01

    In relativistic gravity, a spinning pulsar will precess as it orbits a compact companion star. We have measured the effect of such precession on the average shape and polarization of the radiation from PSR B1534+12. We have also detected, with limited precision, special-relativistic aberration of the revolving pulsar beam due to orbital motion. Our observations fix the system geometry, including the misalignment between the spin and orbital angular momenta, and yield a measurement of the precession timescale consistent with the predictions of General Relativity.

  17. Measurement of gravitational spin-orbit coupling in a binary-pulsar system.

    PubMed

    Stairs, I H; Thorsett, S E; Arzoumanian, Z

    2004-10-01

    In relativistic gravity, a spinning pulsar will precess as it orbits a compact companion star. We have measured the effect of such precession on the average shape and polarization of the radiation from PSR B1534+12. We have also detected, with limited precision, special-relativistic aberration of the revolving pulsar beam due to orbital motion. Our observations fix the system geometry, including the misalignment between the spin and orbital angular momenta, and yield a measurement of the precession time scale consistent with the predictions of general relativity. PMID:15524779

  18. Long-term Timing of the Pulsar Triple System in M4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, Emmanuel; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Thorsett, Stephen E.; Kramer, Michael; Caballero, Nicolas; Stappers, Benjamin; Lyne, Andrew; Archibald, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Radio pulsars often serve as unique and exquisite probes of gravitational interactions and system-formation mechanisms within different types of orbital systems. In this poster, we summarize ongoing observations and analyses of PSR B1620-26, a pulsar in a hierarchical triple system that is composed of a 191-day "inner" orbit with a white dwarf and a ~60 year "outer" orbit with a Jupiter-mass planet; this triple system is embedded within the M4 globular cluster. Our expanding data set spans 26 years since the pulsar's discovery and has used the following facilities for data collection: the 100-m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope; the 100-m Effelsberg Radio Telescope; the 76-m Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory; the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array; and the 140-m and 43-m NRAO radio telescopes at Green Bank, West Virginia.The lack of outer-orbital coverage has so far prevented a full, time-explicit model of the system, but we argue that a robust pulsar-timing solution of both orbits and third-body perturbations will be available in the next few years when the orbit reaches its point of inflection. This new and unique information will help derive inertial and geometric properties of the system, and help shed further light on the nature and evolution of the planetary companion.

  19. SEARCH FOR VERY HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM PULSAR-PULSAR WIND NEBULA SYSTEMS WITH THE MAGIC TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Anderhub, H.; Biland, A.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Balestra, S.; Barrio, J. A.; Bose, D.; Backes, M.; Becker, J. K.; Baixeras, C.; Bastieri, D.; Bock, R. K.; Gonzalez, J. Becerra; Bednarek, W.; Berger, K.; Bernardini, E.; Bonnoli, G.; Bordas, P.; Bosch-Ramon, V.; Tridon, D. Borla E-mail: miguel@gae.ucm.e

    2010-02-10

    The MAGIC collaboration has searched for high-energy gamma-ray emission of some of the most promising pulsar candidates above an energy threshold of 50 GeV, an energy not reachable up to now by other ground-based instruments. Neither pulsed nor steady gamma-ray emission has been observed at energies of 100 GeV from the classical radio pulsars PSR J0205+6449 and PSR J2229+6114 (and their nebulae 3C58 and Boomerang, respectively) and the millisecond pulsar PSR J0218+4232. Here, we present the flux upper limits for these sources and discuss their implications in the context of current model predictions.

  20. A PARALLAX DISTANCE AND MASS ESTIMATE FOR THE TRANSITIONAL MILLISECOND PULSAR SYSTEM J1023+0038

    SciTech Connect

    Deller, A. T.; Archibald, A. M.; Kaspi, V. M.; Brisken, W. F.; Chatterjee, S.; Janssen, G. H.; Lyne, A. G.; Stappers, B.; Lorimer, D.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Ransom, S.; Stairs, I. H.

    2012-09-10

    The recently discovered transitional millisecond pulsar system J1023+0038 exposes a crucial evolutionary phase of recycled neutron stars for multiwavelength study. The system, comprising the neutron star itself, its stellar companion, and the surrounding medium, is visible across the electromagnetic spectrum from the radio to X-ray/gamma-ray regimes and offers insight into the recycling phase of millisecond pulsar evolution. Here, we report on multiple-epoch astrometric observations with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) which give a system parallax of 0.731 {+-} 0.022 milliarcseconds (mas) and a proper motion of 17.98 {+-} 0.05 mas yr{sup -1}. By combining our results with previous optical observations, we are able to use the parallax distance of 1368{sup +42}{sub -{sub 39}} pc to estimate the mass of the pulsar to be 1.71 {+-} 0.16 M{sub Sun }, and we are also able to measure the three-dimensional space velocity of the system to be 126 {+-} 5 km s{sup -1}. Despite the precise nature of the VLBA measurements, the remaining {approx}3% distance uncertainty dominates the 0.16 M{sub Sun} error on our mass estimate.

  1. SEXTANT X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Demonstration: Flight System and Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke M. B.; Mitchell, Jason W.; Hassouneh, Munther A.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Gendreau, Keith C.

    2016-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper gives an overview of the SEXTANT system architecture and describes progress prior to environmental testing of the NICER flight instrument. It provides descriptions and development status of the SEXTANT flight software and ground system, as well as detailed description and results from the flight software functional and performance testing within the highfidelity Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) software and hardware simulation environment. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation results are presented, using the engineering model of the NICER timing electronics and the GXLT pulsar simulator-the GXLT precisely controls NASA GSFC's unique Modulated X-ray Source to produce X-rays that make the NICER detector electronics appear as if they were aboard the ISS viewing a sequence of millisecond pulsars.

  2. SEXTANT X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Demonstration: Flight System and Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke; Mitchell, Jason W.; Hassouneh, Munther A.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Gendreau, Keith C.

    2016-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper gives an overview of the SEXTANT system architecture and describes progress prior to environmental testing of the NICER flight instrument. It provides descriptions and development status of the SEXTANT flight software and ground system, as well as detailed description and results from the flight software functional and performance testing within the high-fidelity Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) software and hardware simulation environment. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation results are presented, using the engineering model of the NICER timing electronics and the GXLT pulsar simulator-the GXLT precisely controls NASA GSFC's unique Modulated X-ray Source to produce X-rays that make the NICER detector electronics appear as if they were aboard the ISS viewing a sequence of millisecond pulsars

  3. Optical Observations of the Binary Pulsar System PSR B1718-19: Implications for Tidal Circularization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Kerkwijk, M. H.; Kaspi, V. M.; Klemola, A. R.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Lyne, A. G.; Van Buren, D.

    2000-01-01

    We report on Keck and Hubble Space Telescope optical observations of the eclipsing binary pulsar system PSR B1718-19, in the direction of the globular cluster NGC 6342. These reveal a faint star (mF702W=25.21+/-0.07 Vega system) within the pulsar's 0.5" radius positional error circle. This may be the companion. If it is a main-sequence star in the cluster, it has radius RC~=0.3 Rsolar, temperature Teff~=3600 K, and mass MC~=0.3 Msolar. In many formation models, however, the pulsar (spun-up by accretion or newly formed) and its companion are initially in an eccentric orbit. If so, for tidal circularization to have produced the present-day highly circular orbit, a large stellar radius is required, i.e., the star must be bloated. Using constraints on the radius and temperature from the Roche and Hayashi limits, we infer from our observations that RC<~0.44 Rsolar and Teff>~3300 K. Even for the largest radii, the required efficiency of tidal dissipation is larger than expected for some prescriptions.

  4. Heating Before Eating: X-Ray Observations of Redback Millisecond Pulsar Systems in the Ablation State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Mallory; McLaughlin, Maura; Ray, Paul S.; Ransom, Scott M.; Hessels, Jason

    2015-01-01

    Redbacks are eclipsing millisecond radio pulsars in close orbits around companions which are non-degenerate and nearly Roche-lobe filling. Several have been observed to transition between a state where the radio pulsar is visible and there is X-ray emission from a shock between the pulsar wind and the ablated material off of the companion, and a state where there appears to be an accretion disk and the radio pulsations are not visible. Here we present X-Ray studies of two recently discovered systems. A Chandra observation of PSR J1628-3205 over its entire 5 hour orbit with Chandra shows little evidence for X-Ray variability. An XMM-Newton observation of PSR J2129-0429 over its 15.2 hour orbit shows strong orbital variability with an intriguing two peaked light curve. We compare these systems' X-Ray properties to other redbacks and comment on the differences between their properities and those of black widows.

  5. Pulsar Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

    Pulsars are thought to emit relatively narrow radio beams, shown as green in this animation. If these beams don't sweep toward Earth, astronomers cannot detect the radio signals. Pulsar gamma-ray e...

  6. Constraining the electric charges of some astronomical bodies in Reissner-Nordström spacetimes and generic r -2-type power-law potentials from orbital motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, L.

    2012-07-01

    We put independent model dynamical constraints on the net electric charge Q of some astronomical and astrophysical objects by assuming that their exterior spacetimes are described by the Reissner-Nordström, metric, which induces an additional potential {U_RN ∝ Q^2 r^{-2}}. From the current bounds {Δ dot \\varpi} on any anomalies in the secular perihelion rate {dot \\varpi} of Mercury and the Earth-mercury ranging Δ ρ, we have {|Q_{⊙}| ≲ 1-0.4 × 10^{18} C}. Such constraints are 60-200 times tighter than those recently inferred in literature. For the Earth, the perigee precession of the Moon, determined with the Lunar Laser Ranging technique, and the intersatellite ranging Δ ρ for the GRACE mission yield {|Q_{⊕} | ≲ 5-0.4 × 10^{14} C}. The periastron rate of the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A/B system allows to infer {|Q_NS | ≲ 5× 10^{19} C}. According to the perinigricon precession of the main sequence S2 star in Sgr A*, the electric charge carried by the compact object hosted in the Galactic Center may be as large as {|Q_{bullet} | ≲ 4× 10^{27} C}. Our results extend to other hypothetical power-law interactions inducing extra-potentials {U_pert = Ψ r^{-2}} as well. It turns out that the terrestrial GRACE mission yields the tightest constraint on the parameter {Ψ}, assumed as a universal constant, amounting to {|Ψ| ≲ 5× 109 {m^4 s^{-2}}}.

  7. High-Cadence Timing Observations of an Exoplanet-Pulsar System, PSR B1257+12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, Rudy; Wolszczan, Aleksander; Seymour, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The pulsar B1257+12 was regularly observed and timed by Aleksander Wolszczan from its discovery in 1992 up to 2008. It is the first example of an exoplanet-pulsar system, and is modeled to consist of three planets. At the time, long term timing programs lacked the sensitivity to measure effects that low mass, short orbital period bodies would have on the pulse arrival times (TOA's) and its timing residuals. Newer technology, like the PUPPI backend at Arecibo, allows for the exploration of an untouched planet parameter space. The project consisted of conducting precise timing using PUPPI, taking two hour long observations at 327 MHz, 430 MHz, and L-Band Wide (LBW) frequencies for 25 days. The data is processed in order to obtain standard profiles and TOA's that would be introduced into TEMPO2, allowing data point manipulation by fitting them for known pulsar parameters to acquire post fit residuals with expected precisions below 1 μs. The observations yielded residuals ranging between 0.40 μs and 1.89 μs for 430 MHz and 327 MHz, while LBW resulted in values higher than 4.0 μs, which is attributed to the many radio frequency interference (RFI) bands present in the data. Combining the newly and previously acquired data revealed a decrease in the dispersion measure (DM), from 10.16550 pc/cm3 to 10.15325 pc/cm3, since the pulsar was last observed, which allowed a correction for the effects of interstellar scintillation, which are most noticed at 327 MHz.

  8. NANOGrav Millisecond Pulsar Observing Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nice, David J.; Nanograv

    2015-01-01

    Gravitational waves from sources such as supermassive black hole binary systems are expected to perturb times-of-flight of signals traveling from pulsars to the Earth. The NANOGrav consortium aims to measure these perturbations in high precision millisecond pulsar timing measurements and thus to directly detect gravitational waves and characterize gravitational wave sources. By observing pulsars over time spans of many years, we are most sensitive to gravitational waves at nanohertz frequencies.In this presentation we describe the NANOGrav observing program. We presently observe an array of 45 millisecond pulsars, evenly divided between the Arecibo Observatory (for pulsars with declinations between -1 and 39 degrees) and the Green Bank Telescope (for other pulsars, with two pulsars overlapping with Arecibo). Observation of a large number of pulsars allows for searches of correlated perturbations between multiple pulsar signals, which will be crucial for achieving high-significance detection of gravitational waves in the face of uncorrelated noise (from gravitational waves and rotation noise) in the individual pulsars. As new high-quality pulsars are discovered, they are added to the program.Observations of each pulsar are made with cadence of 20 to 30 days, with observations of each pulsar in two separate radio bands. Arrival times for nearly all pulsars are measured with precision better than 1 microsecond (averaged over a typical observation of 20 minutes), and in the best cases the precision is better than 100 nanoseconds.We describe the NANOGrav nine-year data release, which contains time-of-arrival measurements and high quality timing solutions from 37 pulsars observed over spans ranging between 0.7 to 9.3 years.

  9. Observations of accreting pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prince, Thomas A.; Bildsten, Lars; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Wilson, Robert B.; Finger, Mark H.

    1994-01-01

    We discuss recent observations of accreting binary pulsars with the all-sky BATSE instrument on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. BATSE has detected and studied nearly half of the known accreting pulsar systems. Continuous timing studies over a two-year period have yielded accurate orbital parameters for 9 of these systems, as well as new insights into long-term accretion torque histories.

  10. A possible optical counterpart for the triple pulsar system PSR B1620-26

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailyn, Charles D.; Rubinstein, Eric P.; Girard, Terrence M.; Dinescu, Dana I.; Rasio, Frederic A.; Yanny, Brian

    1994-01-01

    We have searched deep optical images of the globular cluster M4 for a possible optical counterpart for the third body in the PSR B1620-26 system. We identify as a possible optical counterpart a star located within 0.3 sec of the nominal pulsar position with V approximately equal to 20. This magnitude is consistent with a main-sequence cluster member with M approximately equal to 0.45 solar mass. However, this star may be blended with fainter stars, and the probability of a chance superposition is nonnegligible.

  11. Secular evolution of the pulsar triple system J0337+1715

    SciTech Connect

    Luan, Jing; Goldreich, Peter

    2014-07-20

    The pulsar triple system J0337+1715 is remarkably regular and highly hierarchical. Secular interactions transfer angular momentum between inner and outer orbits unless their apsidal lines are parallel or anti-parallel. These choices correspond to orthogonal eigenmodes p and are characterized by e{sub p,1}/e{sub p,2} ∼ a{sub 1}/a{sub 2} and e{sub a,1}/e{sub a,2} ∼ (a{sub 1}/a{sub 2}){sup –3/2}(m{sub 2}/m{sub 1}). Mode p dominates the current state so e{sub 1}/e{sub 2} remains close to e{sub p,{sub 1}}/e{sub p,} {sub 2}. A small contribution by Mode a causes e{sub 1} and e{sub 2} to oscillate with a period of ∼10{sup 3} yr which should be apparent in a few years. These will reveal the effects of general relativity, and possibly the distortion of the inner white dwarf (WD). Phinney proposes that the epicyclic energy of a WD-pulsar binary reaches equipartition with the kinetic energy of a single convective eddy when the WD's progenitor fills its Roche lobe. We extend Phinney's theory to apply to modes rather than individual orbits. Thus we predict that Mode p and Mode a achieved equipartition with eddies in the giant envelopes of the progenitors of the outer and inner WD, respectively. The most effective eddies are those with lifetimes closest to the orbit period. These were far more energetic in the progenitor of the outer WD. This explains why Mode p overwhelms Mode a, and also why the inner binary's orbit is far more eccentric than orbits of other WD-pulsar binaries with similar orbit periods. Mode a's small but finite amplitude places a lower bound of Q ∼ 10{sup 6} on the tidal quality parameter of the inner WD.

  12. A Shapiro Delay Detection in the Binary System Hosting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR J1910-5959A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corongiu, A.; Burgay, M.; Possenti, A.; Camilo, F.; D'Amico, N.; Lyne, A. G.; Manchester, R. N.; Sarkissian, J. M.; Bailes, M.; Johnston, S.; Kramer, M.; van Straten, W.

    2012-12-01

    PSR J1910-5959A is a binary pulsar with a helium white dwarf (HeWD) companion located about 6 arcmin from the center of the globular cluster NGC 6752. Based on 12 years of observations at the Parkes radio telescope, the relativistic Shapiro delay has been detected in this system. We obtain a companion mass MC = 0.180 ± 0.018 M ⊙ (1σ) implying that the pulsar mass lies in the range 1.1 M ⊙ <= MP <= 1.5 M ⊙. We compare our results with previous optical determinations of the companion mass and examine prospects for using this new measurement for calibrating the mass-radius relation for HeWDs and for investigating their evolution in a pulsar binary system. Finally, we examine the set of binary systems hosting a millisecond pulsar and a low-mass HeWD for which the mass of both stars has been measured. We confirm that the correlation between the companion mass and the orbital period predicted by Tauris & Savonije reproduces the observed values but find that the predicted MP -PB correlation overestimates the neutron star mass by about 0.5 M ⊙ in the orbital period range covered by the observations. Moreover, a few systems do not obey the observed MP -PB correlation. We discuss these results in the framework of the mechanisms that inhibit the accretion of matter by a neutron star during its evolution in a low-mass X-ray binary.

  13. Geriatric Pulsar Still Kicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    The oldest isolated pulsar ever detected in X-rays has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This very old and exotic object turns out to be surprisingly active. The pulsar, PSR J0108-1431 (J0108 for short) is about 200 million years old. Among isolated pulsars -- ones that have not been spun-up in a binary system -- it is over 10 times older than the previous record holder with an X-ray detection. At a distance of 770 light years, it is one of the nearest pulsars known. Pulsars are born when stars that are much more massive than the Sun collapse in supernova explosions, leaving behind a small, incredibly weighty core, known as a neutron star. At birth, these neutron stars, which contain the densest material known in the Universe, are spinning rapidly, up to a hundred revolutions per second. As the rotating beams of their radiation are seen as pulses by distant observers, similar to a lighthouse beam, astronomers call them "pulsars". Astronomers observe a gradual slowing of the rotation of the pulsars as they radiate energy away. Radio observations of J0108 show it to be one of the oldest and faintest pulsars known, spinning only slightly faster than one revolution per second. The surprise came when a team of astronomers led by George Pavlov of Penn State University observed J0108 in X-rays with Chandra. They found that it glows much brighter in X-rays than was expected for a pulsar of such advanced years. People Who Read This Also Read... Chandra Data Reveal Rapidly Whirling Black Holes Milky Way’s Giant Black Hole Awoke from Slumber 300 Years Ago Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy Some of the energy that J0108 is losing as it spins more slowly is converted into X-ray radiation. The efficiency of this process for J0108 is found to be higher than for any other known pulsar. "This pulsar is pumping out high-energy radiation much more efficiently than its younger cousins," said Pavlov. "So, although it

  14. Pulsar timing and general relativity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backer, D. C.; Hellings, R. W.

    1986-01-01

    Techniques are described for accounting for relativistic effects in the analysis of pulsar signals. Design features of instrumentation used to achieve millisecond accuracy in the signal measurements are discussed. The accuracy of the data permits modeling the pulsar physical characteristics from the natural glitches in the emissions. Relativistic corrections are defined for adjusting for differences between the pulsar motion in its spacetime coordinate system relative to the terrestrial coordinate system, the earth's motion, and the gravitational potentials of solar system bodies. Modifications of the model to allow for a binary pulsar system are outlined, including treatment of the system as a point mass. Finally, a quadrupole model is presented for gravitational radiation and techniques are defined for using pulsars in the search for gravitational waves.

  15. HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE DETECTION OF THE DOUBLE PULSAR SYSTEM J0737–3039 IN THE FAR-ULTRAVIOLET

    SciTech Connect

    Durant, Martin; Kargaltsev, Oleg; Pavlov, George G. E-mail: kargaltsev@email.gwu.edu

    2014-03-01

    We report on detection of the double pulsar system J0737–3039 in the far-UV with the Advanced Camera for Surveys/Solar-blind Channel detector aboard Hubble Space Telescope. We measured the energy flux F = (4.6 ± 1.0) × 10{sup –17} erg cm{sup –2} s{sup –1} in the 1250-1550 Å band, which corresponds to the extinction-corrected luminosity L ≈ 1.5 × 10{sup 28} erg s{sup –1} for the distance d = 1.1 kpc and a plausible reddening E(B – V) = 0.1. If the detected emission comes from the entire surface of one of the neutron stars with a 13 km radius, the surface blackbody temperature is in the range T ≅ (2-5) × 10{sup 5} K for a reasonable range of interstellar extinction. Such a temperature requires an internal heating mechanism to operate in old neutron stars, or, less likely, it might be explained by heating of the surface of the less energetic Pulsar B by the relativistic wind of Pulsar A. If the far-ultraviolet emission is non-thermal (e.g., produced in the magnetosphere of Pulsar A), its spectrum exhibits a break between the UV and X-rays.

  16. Pulsar lensing geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Siqi; Pen, Ue-Li; Macquart, J.-P.; Brisken, Walter; Deller, Adam

    2016-05-01

    We test the inclined sheet pulsar scintillation model (Pen & Levin) against archival very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) data on PSR 0834+06 and show that its scintillation properties can be precisely reproduced by a model in which refraction occurs on two distinct lens planes. These data strongly favour a model in which grazing-incidence refraction instead of diffraction off turbulent structures is the primary source of pulsar scattering. This model can reproduce the parameters of the observed diffractive scintillation with an accuracy at the percent level. Comparison with new VLBI proper motion results in a direct measure of the ionized interstellar medium (ISM) screen transverse velocity. The results are consistent with ISM velocities local to the PSR 0834+06 sight-line (through the Galaxy). The simple 1-D structure of the lenses opens up the possibility of using interstellar lenses as precision probes for pulsar lens mapping, precision transverse motions in the ISM, and new opportunities for removing scattering to improve pulsar timing. We describe the parameters and observables of this double screen system. While relative screen distances can in principle be accurately determined, a global conformal distance degeneracy exists that allows a rescaling of the absolute distance scale. For PSR B0834+06, we present VLBI astrometry results that provide (for the first time) a direct measurement of the distance of the pulsar. For most of the recycled millisecond pulsars that are the targets of precision timing observations, the targets where independent distance measurements are not available. The degeneracy presented in the lens modelling could be broken if the pulsar resides in a binary system.

  17. Measuring the parameters of massive black hole binary systems with pulsar timing array observations of gravitational waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sesana, Alberto; Vecchio, Alberto

    2010-05-01

    The observation of massive black hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) is one of the goals of gravitational-wave astronomy in the coming years. Massive (≳108M⊙) and low-redshift (≲1.5) sources are expected to be individually resolved by upcoming PTAs, and our ability to use them as astrophysical probes will depend on the accuracy with which their parameters can be measured. In this paper we estimate the precision of such measurements using the Fisher-information-matrix formalism. For this initial study we restrict ourselves to “monochromatic” sources, i.e. binaries whose frequency evolution is negligible during the expected ≈10yr observation time, which represent the bulk of the observable population based on current astrophysical predictions. In this approximation, the system is described by seven parameters and we determine their expected statistical errors as a function of the number of pulsars in the array, the array sky coverage, and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the signal. At fixed SNR (regardless of the number of pulsars in the PTA), the gravitational-wave astronomy capability of a PTA is achieved with ≈20 pulsars; adding more pulsars (up to 1000) to the array reduces the source error box in the sky ΔΩ by a factor ≈5 and has negligible consequences on the statistical errors on the other parameters, because the correlations among parameters are already removed to a large extent. If one folds in the increase of coherent SNR proportional to the square root of the number of pulsars, ΔΩ improves as 1/SNR2 and the other parameters as 1/SNR. For a fiducial PTA of 100 pulsars uniformly distributed in the sky and a coherent SNR=10, we find ΔΩ≈40deg2, a fractional error on the signal amplitude of ≈30% (which constrains only very poorly the chirp mass—luminosity distance combination M5/3/DL), and the source inclination and polarization angles are recovered at the ≈0.3rad level. The ongoing Parkes PTA is particularly

  18. The Pulsating Pulsar Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsui, K. H.

    2015-06-01

    Following the basic principles of a charge-separated pulsar magnetosphere, we consider the magnetosphere to be stationary in space, instead of corotating, and the electric field to be uploaded from the potential distribution on the pulsar surface, set up by the unipolar induction. Consequently, the plasma of the magnetosphere undergoes guiding center drifts of the gyromotion due to the forces transverse to the magnetic field. These forces are the electric force, magnetic gradient force, and field line curvature force. Since these plasma velocities are of drift nature, there is no need to introduce an emf along the field lines, which would contradict the {{E}\\parallel }={\\boldsymbol{E}} \\cdot {\\boldsymbol{B}} =0 plasma condition. Furthermore, there is also no need to introduce the critical field line separating the electron and ion open field lines. We present a self-consistent description where the magnetosphere is described in terms of electric and magnetic fields and also in terms of plasma velocities. The fields and velocities are then connected through the space-charge densities self-consistently. We solve the pulsar equation analytically for the fields and construct the standard steady-state pulsar magnetosphere. By considering the unipolar induction inside the pulsar and the magnetosphere outside the pulsar as one coupled system, and under the condition that the unipolar pumping rate exceeds the Poynting flux in the open field lines, plasma pressure can build up in the magnetosphere, in particular, in the closed region. This could cause a periodic opening up of the closed region, leading to a pulsating magnetosphere, which could be an alternative to pulsar beacons. The closed region can also be opened periodically by the build up of toroidal magnetic field through a positive feedback cycle.

  19. A SHAPIRO DELAY DETECTION IN THE BINARY SYSTEM HOSTING THE MILLISECOND PULSAR PSR J1910-5959A

    SciTech Connect

    Corongiu, A.; Burgay, M.; Possenti, A.; D'Amico, N.; Camilo, F.; Lyne, A. G.; Kramer, M.; Manchester, R. N.; Johnston, S.; Sarkissian, J. M.; Bailes, M.; Van Straten, W.

    2012-12-01

    PSR J1910-5959A is a binary pulsar with a helium white dwarf (HeWD) companion located about 6 arcmin from the center of the globular cluster NGC 6752. Based on 12 years of observations at the Parkes radio telescope, the relativistic Shapiro delay has been detected in this system. We obtain a companion mass M{sub C} = 0.180 {+-} 0.018 M {sub Sun} (1{sigma}) implying that the pulsar mass lies in the range 1.1 M {sub Sun} {<=} M{sub P} {<=} 1.5 M {sub Sun }. We compare our results with previous optical determinations of the companion mass and examine prospects for using this new measurement for calibrating the mass-radius relation for HeWDs and for investigating their evolution in a pulsar binary system. Finally, we examine the set of binary systems hosting a millisecond pulsar and a low-mass HeWD for which the mass of both stars has been measured. We confirm that the correlation between the companion mass and the orbital period predicted by Tauris and Savonije reproduces the observed values but find that the predicted M{sub P} -P{sub B} correlation overestimates the neutron star mass by about 0.5 M {sub Sun} in the orbital period range covered by the observations. Moreover, a few systems do not obey the observed M{sub P} -P{sub B} correlation. We discuss these results in the framework of the mechanisms that inhibit the accretion of matter by a neutron star during its evolution in a low-mass X-ray binary.

  20. Searching for Planets Around Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    Did you know that the very first exoplanets ever confirmed were found around a pulsar? The precise timing measurements of pulsar PSR 1257+12 were what made the discovery of its planetary companions possible. Yet surprisingly, though weve discovered thousands of exoplanets since then, only one other planet has ever been confirmed around a pulsar. Now, a team of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science researchers are trying to figure out why.Formation ChallengesThe lack of detected pulsar planets may simply reflect the fact that getting a pulsar-planet system is challenging! There are three main pathways:The planet formed before the host star became a pulsar which means it somehow survived its star going supernova (yikes!).The planet formed elsewhere and was captured by the pulsar.The planet formed out of the debris of the supernova explosion.The first two options, if even possible, are likely to be rare occurrences but the third option shows some promise. In this scenario, after the supernova explosion, a small fraction of the material falls back toward the stellar remnant and is recaptured, forming what is known as a supernova fallback disk. According to this model, planets could potentially form out of this disk.Disk ImplicationsLed by Matthew Kerr, the CSIRO astronomers set out to systematically look for these potential planets that might have formed in situ around pulsars. They searched a sample of 151 young, energetic pulsars, scouring seven years of pulse time-of-arrival data for periodic variation that could signal the presence of planetary companions. Their methods to mitigate pulsar timing noise and model realistic orbits allowed them to have good sensitivity to low-mass planets.The results? They found no conclusive evidence that any of these pulsars have planets.This outcome carries with it some significant implications. The pulsar sample spans 2 Myr in age, in which planets should have had enough time to form in debris disks. The fact that none were detected

  1. Geriatric Pulsar Still Kicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    The oldest isolated pulsar ever detected in X-rays has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This very old and exotic object turns out to be surprisingly active. The pulsar, PSR J0108-1431 (J0108 for short) is about 200 million years old. Among isolated pulsars -- ones that have not been spun-up in a binary system -- it is over 10 times older than the previous record holder with an X-ray detection. At a distance of 770 light years, it is one of the nearest pulsars known. Pulsars are born when stars that are much more massive than the Sun collapse in supernova explosions, leaving behind a small, incredibly weighty core, known as a neutron star. At birth, these neutron stars, which contain the densest material known in the Universe, are spinning rapidly, up to a hundred revolutions per second. As the rotating beams of their radiation are seen as pulses by distant observers, similar to a lighthouse beam, astronomers call them "pulsars". Astronomers observe a gradual slowing of the rotation of the pulsars as they radiate energy away. Radio observations of J0108 show it to be one of the oldest and faintest pulsars known, spinning only slightly faster than one revolution per second. The surprise came when a team of astronomers led by George Pavlov of Penn State University observed J0108 in X-rays with Chandra. They found that it glows much brighter in X-rays than was expected for a pulsar of such advanced years. People Who Read This Also Read... Chandra Data Reveal Rapidly Whirling Black Holes Milky Way’s Giant Black Hole Awoke from Slumber 300 Years Ago Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy Some of the energy that J0108 is losing as it spins more slowly is converted into X-ray radiation. The efficiency of this process for J0108 is found to be higher than for any other known pulsar. "This pulsar is pumping out high-energy radiation much more efficiently than its younger cousins," said Pavlov. "So, although it

  2. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manchester, Richard N.

    2015-08-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project uses the Parkes 64-m radio telescope to observe 22 millisecond pulsars in three bands: 40cm (band centre 732 MHz), 20cm (1369 MHz) and 10cm (3100 MHz). Coherent de-dispersion systems are used for the 40cm and 20cm bands and digital polyphase filterbanks are used for the 20cm and 10cm bands. Observations are made at intervals of two to three weeks and observations times for each pulsar in each band are typically one hour. Regular PPTA observations commenced in early 2005 but earlier timing data, primarily in the 20cm band, exist for many of the pulsars back to 1994. Pipeline processing scripts are based on PSRCHIVE routines and take into account instrumental offsets. Timing analyses include modelling of dispersion variations and red and white noise in the data. The primary scientific goal of the PPTA project is the detection of gravitational waves, either a stochastic background from supermassive black-hole binary systems in distant galaxies or from individual binary systems. The PPTA data sets have many other applications including establishment of a pulsar-based timescale, improvement of solar-system ephemerides and studies of the individual pulsars. PPTA data sets have been made available to the International Pulsar Timing Array consortium and analysis of the combined data sets is progressing. Recent developments, both instrumental and science-related, will be described.

  3. Prospects for Probing Strong Gravity with a Pulsar-Black Hole System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wex, N.; Liu, K.; Eatough, R. P.; Kramer, M.; Cordes, J. M.; Lazio, T. J. W.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a pulsar (PSR) in orbit around a black hole (BH) is expected to provide a superb new probe of relativistic gravity and BH properties. Apart from a precise mass measurement for the BH, one could expect a clean verification of the dragging of space-time caused by the BH spin. In order to measure the quadrupole moment of the BH for testing the no-hair theorem of general relativity (GR), one has to hope for a sufficiently massive BH. In this respect, a PSR orbiting the super-massive BH in the center of our Galaxy would be the ultimate laboratory for gravity tests with PSRs. But even for gravity theories that predict the same properties for BHs as GR, a PSR-BH system would constitute an excellent test system, due to the high grade of asymmetry in the strong field properties of these two components. Here we highlight some of the potential gravity tests that one could expect from different PSR-BH systems.

  4. Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beskin, V. S.; Chernov, S. V.; Gwinn, C. R.; Tchekhovskoy, A. A.

    2015-10-01

    Almost 50 years after radio pulsars were discovered in 1967, our understanding of these objects remains incomplete. On the one hand, within a few years it became clear that neutron star rotation gives rise to the extremely stable sequence of radio pulses, that the kinetic energy of rotation provides the reservoir of energy, and that electromagnetic fields are the braking mechanism. On the other hand, no consensus regarding the mechanism of coherent radio emission or the conversion of electromagnetic energy to particle energy yet exists. In this review, we report on three aspects of pulsar structure that have seen recent progress: the self-consistent theory of the magnetosphere of an oblique magnetic rotator; the location, geometry, and optics of radio emission; and evolution of the angle between spin and magnetic axes. These allow us to take the next step in understanding the physical nature of the pulsar activity.

  5. Equilibrium spin pulsars unite neutron star populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Wynn C. G.; Klus, H.; Coe, M. J.; Andersson, Nils

    2014-02-01

    Many pulsars are formed with a binary companion from which they can accrete matter. Torque exerted by accreting matter can cause the pulsar spin to increase or decrease, and over long times, an equilibrium spin rate is achieved. Application of accretion theory to these systems provides a probe of the pulsar magnetic field. We compare the large number of recent torque measurements of accreting pulsars with a high-mass companion to the standard model for how accretion affects the pulsar spin period. We find that many long spin period (P ≳ 100 s) pulsars must possess either extremely weak (B < 1010 G) or extremely strong (B > 1014 G) magnetic fields. We argue that the strong-field solution is more compelling, in which case these pulsars are near spin equilibrium. Our results provide evidence for a fundamental link between pulsars with the slowest spin periods and strong magnetic fields around high-mass companions and pulsars with the fastest spin periods and weak fields around low-mass companions. The strong magnetic fields also connect our pulsars to magnetars and strong-field isolated radio/X-ray pulsars. The strong field and old age of our sources suggest their magnetic field penetrates into the superconducting core of the neutron star.

  6. Programmable Ultra Lightweight System Adaptable Radio (PULSAR) Low Cost Telemetry - Access from Space Advanced Technologies or Down the Middle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims. Herb; Varnavas, Kosta; Eberly, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology has been proven in the commercial sector since the early 1990's. Today's rapid advancement in mobile telephone reliability and power management capabilities exemplifies the effectiveness of the SDR technology for the modern communications market. In contrast, presently qualified satellite transponder applications were developed during the early 1960's space program. Programmable Ultra Lightweight System Adaptable Radio (PULSAR, NASA-MSFC SDR) technology revolutionizes satellite transponder technology by increasing data through-put capability by, at least, an order of magnitude. PULSAR leverages existing Marshall Space Flight Center SDR designs and commercially enhanced capabilities to provide a path to a radiation tolerant SDR transponder. These innovations will (1) reduce the cost of NASA Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Deep Space transponders, (2) decrease power requirements, and (3) a commensurate volume reduction. Also, PULSAR increases flexibility to implement multiple transponder types by utilizing the same hardware with altered logic - no analog hardware change is required - all of which can be accomplished in orbit. This provides high capability, low cost, transponders to programs of all sizes. The final project outcome would be the introduction of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 low-cost CubeSat to SmallSat telemetry system into the NASA Portfolio.

  7. Testing Einstein's theory of gravity in a millisecond pulsar triple system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archibald, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Einstein's theory of gravity depends on a key postulate, the strong equivalence principle. This principle says, among other things, that all objects fall the same way, even objects with strong self-gravity. Almost every metric theory of gravity other than Einstein's general relativity violates the strong equivalence principle at some level. While the weak equivalence principle--for objects with negligible self-gravity--has been tested in the laboratory, the strong equivalence principle requires astrophysical tests. Lunar laser ranging provides the best current tests by measuring whether the Earth and the Moon fall the same way in the gravitational field of the Sun. These tests are limited by the weak self-gravity of the Earth: the gravitational binding energy (over c2) over the mass is only 4 . 6 ×10-10 . By contrast, for neutron stars this same ratio is expected to be roughly 0 . 1 . Thus the recently-discovered system PSR J0337+17, a hierarchical triple consisting of a millisecond pulsar and two white dwarfs, offers the possibility of a test of the strong equivalence principle that is more sensitive by a factor of 20 to 100 than the best existing test. I will describe our observations of this system and our progress towards such a test.

  8. Pulsars Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Timokhin, Andrey

    2012-01-01

    Current density determines the plasma flow regime. Cascades are non-stationary. ALWAYS. All flow regimes look different: multiple components (?) Return current regions should have particle accelerating zones in the outer magnetosphere: y-ray pulsars (?) Plasma oscillations in discharges: direct radio emission (?)

  9. Pulsars for the Beginner

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiLavore, Phillip; Wayland, James R.

    1971-01-01

    Presents the history of the discovery of pulsars, observations that have been made on pulsar radiation, and theories that have been presented for its presence and origin. Illustrations using pulsar's properties are presented in mechanics, electromagnetic radiation and thermodynamics. (DS)

  10. High Speed, Low Cost Telemetry Access from Space Development Update on Programmable Ultra Lightweight System Adaptable Radio (PULSAR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simms, William Herbert, III; Varnavas, Kosta; Eberly, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology has been proven in the commercial sector since the early 1990's. Today's rapid advancement in mobile telephone reliability and power management capabilities exemplifies the effectiveness of the SDR technology for the modern communications market. In contrast, the foundations of transponder technology presently qualified for satellite applications were developed during the early space program of the 1960's. Conventional transponders are built to a specific platform and must be redesigned for every new bus while the SDR is adaptive in nature and can fit numerous applications with no hardware modifications. A SDR uses a minimum amount of analog / Radio Frequency (RF) components to up/down-convert the RF signal to/from a digital format. Once the signal is digitized, all processing is performed using hardware or software logic. Typical SDR digital processes include; filtering, modulation, up/down converting and demodulation. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Programmable Ultra Lightweight System Adaptable Radio (PULSAR) leverages existing MSFC SDR designs and commercial sector enhanced capabilities to provide a path to a radiation tolerant SDR transponder. These innovations (1) reduce the cost of NASA Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Deep Space standard transponders, (2) decrease power requirements, and (3) commensurately reduce volume. A second pay-off is the increased SDR flexibility by allowing the same hardware to implement multiple transponder types simply by altering hardware logic - no change of hardware is required - all of which will ultimately be accomplished in orbit. Development of SDR technology for space applications will provide a highly capable, low cost transponder to programs of all sizes. The MSFC PULSAR Project results in a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 low-cost telemetry system available to Smallsat and CubeSat missions, as well as other platforms. This paper documents the continued development and

  11. THE QUASI-ROCHE LOBE OVERFLOW STATE IN THE EVOLUTION OF CLOSE BINARY SYSTEMS CONTAINING A RADIO PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Benvenuto, O. G.; De Vito, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    We study the evolution of close binary systems formed by a normal (solar composition), intermediate-mass-donor star together with a neutron star. We consider models including irradiation feedback and evaporation. These nonstandard ingredients deeply modify the mass-transfer stages of these binaries. While models that neglect irradiation feedback undergo continuous, long-standing mass-transfer episodes, models including these effects suffer a number of cycles of mass transfer and detachment. During mass transfer, the systems should reveal themselves as low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), whereas when they are detached they behave as binary radio pulsars. We show that at these stages irradiated models are in a Roche lobe overflow (RLOF) state or in a quasi-RLOF state. Quasi-RLOF stars have radii slightly smaller than their Roche lobes. Remarkably, these conditions are attained for an orbital period as well as donor mass values in the range corresponding to a family of binary radio pulsars known as ''redbacks''. Thus, redback companions should be quasi-RLOF stars. We show that the characteristics of the redback system PSR J1723-2837 are accounted for by these models. In each mass-transfer cycle these systems should switch from LMXB to binary radio pulsar states with a timescale of approximately one million years. However, there is recent and fast growing evidence of systems switching on far shorter, human timescales. This should be related to instabilities in the accretion disk surrounding the neutron star and/or radio ejection, still to be included in the model having the quasi-RLOF state as a general condition.

  12. The Quasi-Roche Lobe Overflow State in the Evolution of Close Binary Systems Containing a Radio Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benvenuto, O. G.; De Vito, M. A.; Horvath, J. E.

    2015-01-01

    We study the evolution of close binary systems formed by a normal (solar composition), intermediate-mass-donor star together with a neutron star. We consider models including irradiation feedback and evaporation. These nonstandard ingredients deeply modify the mass-transfer stages of these binaries. While models that neglect irradiation feedback undergo continuous, long-standing mass-transfer episodes, models including these effects suffer a number of cycles of mass transfer and detachment. During mass transfer, the systems should reveal themselves as low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), whereas when they are detached they behave as binary radio pulsars. We show that at these stages irradiated models are in a Roche lobe overflow (RLOF) state or in a quasi-RLOF state. Quasi-RLOF stars have radii slightly smaller than their Roche lobes. Remarkably, these conditions are attained for an orbital period as well as donor mass values in the range corresponding to a family of binary radio pulsars known as "redbacks." Thus, redback companions should be quasi-RLOF stars. We show that the characteristics of the redback system PSR J1723-2837 are accounted for by these models. In each mass-transfer cycle these systems should switch from LMXB to binary radio pulsar states with a timescale of approximately one million years. However, there is recent and fast growing evidence of systems switching on far shorter, human timescales. This should be related to instabilities in the accretion disk surrounding the neutron star and/or radio ejection, still to be included in the model having the quasi-RLOF state as a general condition.

  13. Pulsar distance measurements with VLBI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deller, Adam

    A reliable estimate of the distance to a pulsar underpins the interpretation of observational results across all wavebands. While there are many model-dependent methods available, most prominently the combination of the pulsar dispersion measure and a Galactic electron density distribution model, the underlying models must be anchored by a collection of accurate, model-independent measurements. By far the largest number of reliable and model-independent pulsar distance measurements have been obtained via a determination of annual geometric parallax with Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. With high sensitivity and a good control of systematic effects via careful calibration, the milli-arcsecond level native resolution means that relative positional accuracies of a few 10s of micro-arcseconds are achievable. This precision means that in principle a parallax distance is feasible for the majority of the known radio pulsar population; however, actually observing every feasible pulsar would cost a prohibitive amount of telescope time. Here, I will first describe several recent VLBI astrometry results where the provided distance has been crucial in furthering the understanding of the system. Second, I will describe the recently completed "PSRPI" program, which measured over 50 pulsar parallaxes using the Very Long Baseline Array - by far the largest pulsar parallax program to date. Third, I will describe the recently commenced "MSPSRPI" extension to the PSRPI program, which targets exclusively millisecond pulsars and aims to greatly improve the tie between the solar system barycentric frame and the International Celestial Reference Frame. Finally, I will briefly discuss the impact of developments in VLBI instrumentation, including the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array.

  14. Einstein@Home Discovery of 24 Pulsars in the Parkes Multi-beam Pulsar Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knispel, B.; Eatough, R. P.; Kim, H.; Keane, E. F.; Allen, B.; Anderson, D.; Aulbert, C.; Bock, O.; Crawford, F.; Eggenstein, H.-B.; Fehrmann, H.; Hammer, D.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; Machenschalk, B.; Miller, R. B.; Papa, M. A.; Rastawicki, D.; Sarkissian, J.; Siemens, X.; Stappers, B. W.

    2013-09-01

    We have conducted a new search for radio pulsars in compact binary systems in the Parkes multi-beam pulsar survey (PMPS) data, employing novel methods to remove the Doppler modulation from binary motion. This has yielded unparalleled sensitivity to pulsars in compact binaries. The required computation time of ≈17, 000 CPU core years was provided by the distributed volunteer computing project Einstein@Home, which has a sustained computing power of about 1 PFlop s-1. We discovered 24 new pulsars in our search, 18 of which were isolated pulsars, and 6 were members of binary systems. Despite the wide filterbank channels and relatively slow sampling time of the PMPS data, we found pulsars with very large ratios of dispersion measure (DM) to spin period. Among those is PSR J1748-3009, the millisecond pulsar with the highest known DM (≈420 pc cm-3). We also discovered PSR J1840-0643, which is in a binary system with an orbital period of 937 days, the fourth largest known. The new pulsar J1750-2536 likely belongs to the rare class of intermediate-mass binary pulsars. Three of the isolated pulsars show long-term nulling or intermittency in their emission, further increasing this growing family. Our discoveries demonstrate the value of distributed volunteer computing for data-driven astronomy and the importance of applying new analysis methods to extensively searched data.

  15. EINSTEIN-HOME DISCOVERY OF 24 PULSARS IN THE PARKES MULTI-BEAM PULSAR SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Knispel, B.; Kim, H.; Allen, B.; Aulbert, C.; Bock, O.; Eggenstein, H.-B.; Fehrmann, H.; Machenschalk, B.; Eatough, R. P.; Keane, E. F.; Kramer, M.; Anderson, D.; Crawford, F.; Rastawicki, D.; Hammer, D.; Papa, M. A.; Siemens, X.; Lyne, A. G.; Miller, R. B.; Sarkissian, J.; and others

    2013-09-10

    We have conducted a new search for radio pulsars in compact binary systems in the Parkes multi-beam pulsar survey (PMPS) data, employing novel methods to remove the Doppler modulation from binary motion. This has yielded unparalleled sensitivity to pulsars in compact binaries. The required computation time of Almost-Equal-To 17, 000 CPU core years was provided by the distributed volunteer computing project Einstein-Home, which has a sustained computing power of about 1 PFlop s{sup -1}. We discovered 24 new pulsars in our search, 18 of which were isolated pulsars, and 6 were members of binary systems. Despite the wide filterbank channels and relatively slow sampling time of the PMPS data, we found pulsars with very large ratios of dispersion measure (DM) to spin period. Among those is PSR J1748-3009, the millisecond pulsar with the highest known DM ( Almost-Equal-To 420 pc cm{sup -3}). We also discovered PSR J1840-0643, which is in a binary system with an orbital period of 937 days, the fourth largest known. The new pulsar J1750-2536 likely belongs to the rare class of intermediate-mass binary pulsars. Three of the isolated pulsars show long-term nulling or intermittency in their emission, further increasing this growing family. Our discoveries demonstrate the value of distributed volunteer computing for data-driven astronomy and the importance of applying new analysis methods to extensively searched data.

  16. XMM-Newton Observation of the Double Neutron Star Binary J1537+1155

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egron, Elise

    2013-10-01

    The properties of neutron star magnetospheres and relativistic winds down to light cylinder scale can be constrained with unprecedented precision by multiwavelength observations of suitable double neutron star binaries (DNSBs). PSR J1537+1155 and PSR J0737 3039 are the only firmly identified DNSBs detected with the current generation of X-ray telescopes. Because of its higher orbital eccentricity, J1537+1155 offers a unique opportunity for the identification and study of NSs interaction signatures, such as flux orbital modulation. The presence of detectable X-ray emission from this system is guaranteed by Chandra observations, but the crucial claims about orbital variability can be confirmed and better investigated only by XMM-Newton.

  17. Phase diagram of Thomas-Fermi systems in the completely ionized regime of neutron star and pulsar crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engstrom, Tyler; Crespi, Vincent; Owen, Ben

    2012-02-01

    The crusts of neutron stars in the regime between complete pressure ionization and neutron drip (ρ˜10^4-10^11 g/cc) contain an idealized form of condensed matter. There is simply a relativistic degenerate electron gas perturbed by Coulomb fields from nuclei, which tend to crystallize. Phase stability in these systems may play an important role in observable astrophysical phenomena, such as gravitational wave emission and pulsar period glitches. However, most lattice structure calculations to date have assumed zero dielectric response (nuclear Wigner crystal), or an over-simplified Yukawa pair potential to approximate screening effects. Relativistic Thomas-Fermi models give a reasonably good description of screening in the completely ionized regime, and they can be applied to non-magnetic neutron stars as well as some portions of pulsar and magnetar crusts, which are thought to have fields in excess of the surface dipole fields B˜10^12-10^15 gauss. For the relevant field strengths and temperatures, we present the single-component phase diagram of linear-response Thomas-Fermi systems, calculated using a combination of lattice dynamics and classical molecular dynamics. Possible observable consequences of the phase diagram will be discussed.

  18. Experiences with the design and construction of wideband spectral line and pulsar instrumentation with CASPER hardware and software: the digital backend system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, John M.; Prestage, Richard M.; Bloss, Marty

    2014-07-01

    NRAO recently built the Digital Backend System (DIBAS) for the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory's (SHAO) 65 meter radio telescope. The machine was created from the design of the VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spec- trometer (VEGAS) by adding pulsar search and timing modes to complement the VEGAS spectral line modes. Together the pulsar and spectral line modes cover all anticipated science requirements for the 65 meter, except VLBI. This paper introduces the radio telescope backend and explores the project management challenges of the project. These include managing the high level of reuse of existing FPGA designs, an aggressive schedule for the project, and the software design constraints imposed on the project.

  19. HIGH-PRECISION ORBITAL AND PHYSICAL PARAMETERS OF DOUBLE-LINED SPECTROSCOPIC BINARY STARS-HD78418, HD123999, HD160922, HD200077, AND HD210027

    SciTech Connect

    Konacki, Maciej; Helminiak, Krzysztof G.; Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.

    2010-08-20

    We present high-precision radial velocities (RVs) of double-lined spectroscopic binary stars HD78418, HD123999, HD160922, HD200077, and HD210027. They were obtained based on the high-resolution echelle spectra collected with the Keck I/HIRES, Shane/CAT/Hamspec, and TNG/Sarge telescopes/spectrographs over the years 2003-2008 as part of the TATOOINE search for circumbinary planets. The RVs were computed using our novel iodine cell technique for double-line binary stars, which relies on tomographically disentangled spectra of the components of the binaries. The precision of the RVs is of the order of 1-10 m s{sup -1}, and to properly model such measurements one needs to account for the light-time effect within the binary's orbit, relativistic effects, and RV variations due to tidal distortions of the components of the binaries. With such proper modeling, our RVs combined with the archival visibility measurements from the Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI) allow us to derive very precise spectroscopic/astrometric orbital and physical parameters of the binaries. In particular, we derive the masses, the absolute K- and H-band magnitudes, and the parallaxes. The masses together with the absolute magnitudes in the K and H bands enable us to estimate the ages of the binaries. These RVs allow us to obtain some of the most accurate mass determinations of binary stars. The fractional accuracy in msin i only, and hence based on the RVs alone, ranges from 0.02% to 0.42%. When combined with the PTI astrometry, the fractional accuracy in the masses in the three best cases ranges from 0.06% to 0.5%. Among them, the masses of HD210027 components rival in precision the mass determination of the components of the relativistic double pulsar system PSR J0737 - 3039. In the near future, for double-lined eclipsing binary stars we expect to derive masses with a fractional accuracy of the order of up to {approx}0.001% with our technique. This level of precision is an order of magnitude

  20. A Search for Radio Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayer, Ronald Winston

    1996-01-01

    We have built a data acquisition backend for radio pulsar search observations carried out at the NRAO 140 -foot telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia. Our system sampled 512 spectral channels over 40 MHz every 256 mus, reduced samples to one-bit precision, and wrote the resulting data stream onto magnetic tape for later, off-line processing. We have completed three surveys with this backend. In the first survey, we searched most of the Northern Hemisphere for millisecond radio pulsars. Previous surveys directed towards most of the region covered had not been as sensitive to pulsars with millisecond periods. We obtained high quality data for 15,876 deg^2 of sky. Eight new pulsars were discovered and 76 previously known pulsars were detected. Two of the eight new pulsars (PSR J1022+1001 and PSR J1518+4904) are millisecond pulsars in binary systems. PSR J1518+4904 is a 41 ms radio pulsar in an eccentric (e = 0.25) 8.6 day orbit with another stellar object, probably another neutron star. It is only the fifth double neutron star system known. The system's relativistic advance of periastron has been measured to be ˙omega = 0.0112 +/- 0.0002 ^circ yr^{-1}, implying that the total mass of the pair of stars is 2.65 +/-0.07Modot. We have searched for radio pulsar companions to 40 nearby OB runaway stars. No pulsar companions to OB runaways were discovered. One previously unknown pulsar, PSR J2044+4614, was discovered while observing towards target O star BD+45,3260. However, follow-up timing observations reveal that the pulsar is not associated with the target O star. Assuming standard models for the pulsar beaming fraction and luminosity function, we conclude that most OB runaways do not have pulsar companions. We have completed a survey for pulsed radio signals towards 27 gamma-ray sources detected by the EGRET instrument of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. No new pulsars were discovered.

  1. Searching for pulsars using image pattern recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, W. W.; Berndsen, A.; Madsen, E. C.; Tan, M.; Stairs, I. H.; Brazier, A.; Lazarus, P.; Lynch, R.; Scholz, P.; Stovall, K.; Cohen, S.; Dartez, L. P.; Lunsford, G.; Martinez, J. G.; Mata, A.; Ransom, S. M.; Banaszak, S.; Biwer, C. M.; Flanigan, J.; Rohr, M. E-mail: berndsen@phas.ubc.ca; and others

    2014-02-01

    In the modern era of big data, many fields of astronomy are generating huge volumes of data, the analysis of which can sometimes be the limiting factor in research. Fortunately, computer scientists have developed powerful data-mining techniques that can be applied to various fields. In this paper, we present a novel artificial intelligence (AI) program that identifies pulsars from recent surveys by using image pattern recognition with deep neural nets—the PICS (Pulsar Image-based Classification System) AI. The AI mimics human experts and distinguishes pulsars from noise and interference by looking for patterns from candidate plots. Different from other pulsar selection programs that search for expected patterns, the PICS AI is taught the salient features of different pulsars from a set of human-labeled candidates through machine learning. The training candidates are collected from the Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) survey. The information from each pulsar candidate is synthesized in four diagnostic plots, which consist of image data with up to thousands of pixels. The AI takes these data from each candidate as its input and uses thousands of such candidates to train its ∼9000 neurons. The deep neural networks in this AI system grant it superior ability to recognize various types of pulsars as well as their harmonic signals. The trained AI's performance has been validated with a large set of candidates from a different pulsar survey, the Green Bank North Celestial Cap survey. In this completely independent test, the PICS ranked 264 out of 277 pulsar-related candidates, including all 56 previously known pulsars and 208 of their harmonics, in the top 961 (1%) of 90,008 test candidates, missing only 13 harmonics. The first non-pulsar candidate appears at rank 187, following 45 pulsars and 141 harmonics. In other words, 100% of the pulsars were ranked in the top 1% of all candidates, while 80% were ranked higher than any noise or interference. The

  2. Searching for Pulsars Using Image Pattern Recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, W. W.; Berndsen, A.; Madsen, E. C.; Tan, M.; Stairs, I. H.; Brazier, A.; Lazarus, P.; Lynch, R.; Scholz, P.; Stovall, K.; Ransom, S. M.; Banaszak, S.; Biwer, C. M.; Cohen, S.; Dartez, L. P.; Flanigan, J.; Lunsford, G.; Martinez, J. G.; Mata, A.; Rohr, M.; Walker, A.; Allen, B.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Bogdanov, S.; Camilo, F.; Chatterjee, S.; Cordes, J. M.; Crawford, F.; Deneva, J. S.; Desvignes, G.; Ferdman, R. D.; Freire, P. C. C.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Jenet, F. A.; Kaplan, D. L.; Kaspi, V. M.; Knispel, B.; Lee, K. J.; van Leeuwen, J.; Lyne, A. G.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Siemens, X.; Spitler, L. G.; Venkataraman, A.

    2014-02-01

    In the modern era of big data, many fields of astronomy are generating huge volumes of data, the analysis of which can sometimes be the limiting factor in research. Fortunately, computer scientists have developed powerful data-mining techniques that can be applied to various fields. In this paper, we present a novel artificial intelligence (AI) program that identifies pulsars from recent surveys by using image pattern recognition with deep neural nets—the PICS (Pulsar Image-based Classification System) AI. The AI mimics human experts and distinguishes pulsars from noise and interference by looking for patterns from candidate plots. Different from other pulsar selection programs that search for expected patterns, the PICS AI is taught the salient features of different pulsars from a set of human-labeled candidates through machine learning. The training candidates are collected from the Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) survey. The information from each pulsar candidate is synthesized in four diagnostic plots, which consist of image data with up to thousands of pixels. The AI takes these data from each candidate as its input and uses thousands of such candidates to train its ~9000 neurons. The deep neural networks in this AI system grant it superior ability to recognize various types of pulsars as well as their harmonic signals. The trained AI's performance has been validated with a large set of candidates from a different pulsar survey, the Green Bank North Celestial Cap survey. In this completely independent test, the PICS ranked 264 out of 277 pulsar-related candidates, including all 56 previously known pulsars and 208 of their harmonics, in the top 961 (1%) of 90,008 test candidates, missing only 13 harmonics. The first non-pulsar candidate appears at rank 187, following 45 pulsars and 141 harmonics. In other words, 100% of the pulsars were ranked in the top 1% of all candidates, while 80% were ranked higher than any noise or interference. The

  3. New Pulsar Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Legesse

    2015-08-01

    Standard pulsar theory is based on fields that are conserved from progenitor stars. This has limited the scope of pulsar astronomy to a kind of study very much confined to a limited type of pulsars, so called field pulsars. The large majority of pulsars are technically eliminated from statistical studies because they are either too massive, or are of very high magnetic field with no mechanism yet known which forces them to decay to very low frequency rotators in a matter of a few thousands of years. This is one distinct property of these highly magnetized pulsars. The current presentation focuses on a new source for the generation of pulsar fields namely spinning separated surface charges and it shows that pulsar fields are strictly mass dependent. Massive neutron stars are strongly magnetized ( ≥ 1018 G) and less massive ones are weakly magnetized (1011 - 1013 G). This work therefore dismisses the current belief that there have to be two classes of pulsars (field pulsars and anomalous pulsars). It leads to a decay law that provides results that are consistent with observations from these two so called distinct classes of pulsars. This work also suggests that pulsar fields should be infinitely multi-polar which helps to successfully addresses the longtime issues of pulse shape and promises that the current problem of pulsar radiation could be solvable..

  4. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Verbiest, Joris P. W.; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Jenet, Rick; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Yardley, Daniel Roger Billing; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Hotan, Aidan; Champion, David; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Chaudhary, Ankur

    2011-10-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CPSR2; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  5. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; Coles, William; van Straten, Willem; Yardley, Daniel Roger Billing; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Wang, Jingbo; Levin, Yuri

    2013-04-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CPSR2; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  6. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Verbiest, Joris P. W.; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Jenet, Rick; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Yardley, Daniel Roger Billing; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Hotan, Aidan; Champion, David; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Chaudhary, Ankur

    2012-04-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CPSR2; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  7. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Verbiest, Joris P. W.; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Jenet, Rick; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Yardley, Daniel Roger Billing; Oslowski, Stefan; Hotan, Aidan; Champion, David; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Chaudhary, Ankur

    2011-04-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CPSR2; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  8. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; Coles, William; van Straten, Willem; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Wang, Jingbo; Levin, Yuri

    2013-10-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CPSR2; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  9. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Manchester, Dick; Verbiest, Joris P. W.; Sarkissian, John; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Jenet, Rick; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Ravi, Vikram; Oslowski, Stefan; Hotan, Aidan; Champion, David; Khoo, Jonathan; Shannon, Ryan; Chaudhary, Ankur

    2012-10-01

    The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project has three primary goals: (a) detection of gravitational waves from astronomical sources, (b) establishment of a pulsar timescale, and (c) improvement of our understanding of Solar-system dynamics. There are many secondary goals, some astrophysical and some instrumental/technique oriented. Achievement of these ambitious primary goals requires frequent observations of at least 20 MSPs at two or preferably three widely spaced frequencies over several years. We wish to continue observing the PPTA sample at intervals of 2-3 weeks using both the 10/50cm and Multibeam receivers. The digital filterbanks (PDFB3, PDFB4) and the baseband systems (CASPSR; APSR) are used for data recording. With the new instruments and development of an efficient pipeline processing system, we have achieved the world's best pulsar timing precision. We are collaborating with the European and North American pulsar timing array groups (EPTA and NANOGrav, respectively) to obtain more frequent observations and a larger pulsar sample. Because of the high sensitivity and wide bandwidths required, RFI mitigation is an important part of the project. We request continuing status for this project.

  10. Galactic distribution of pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiradakis, J. H.

    1977-01-01

    The density distributions of pulsars in luminosity, period, Z-distance, and galactocentric distance were derived, using a uniform sample of pulsars detected during a 408-MHz pulsar survey at Jodrell Bank. There are indications of a fine-scale structure in the spatial distributions and evidence that there is a general correlation with other galactic populations and the overall spiral structure. The electron layer in our galaxy is shown to be wider than the pulsar layer and uniform on a large scale. The number of pulsars in the galaxy has been estimated and used to derive the pulsar birthrate.

  11. Galactic distribution of pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiradakis, J. H.

    1976-01-01

    The density distributions of pulsars in luminosity, period, Z-distance, and galactocentric distance were derived using a uniform sample of pulsars detected during a 408 MHz pulsar survey at Jodrell Bank. There are indications of a fine scale structure in the spatial distribution and evidence that there is a general correlation with other galactic populations and the overall spiral structure. The electron layer in the galaxy is shown to be wider than the pulsar layer and uniform on a large scale. The number of pulsars in the galaxy was estimated and used to derive the pulsar birthrate.

  12. Star Cluster Buzzing With Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-01-01

    A dense globular star cluster near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy holds a buzzing beehive of rapidly-spinning millisecond pulsars, according to astronomers who discovered 21 new pulsars in the cluster using the National Science Foundation's 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. The cluster, called Terzan 5, now holds the record for pulsars, with 24, including three known before the GBT observations. Pulsar Diagram Pulsar Diagram: Click on image for more detail. "We hit the jackpot when we looked at this cluster," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA. "Not only does this cluster have a lot of pulsars -- and we still expect to find more in it -- but the pulsars in it are very interesting. They include at least 13 in binary systems, two of which are eclipsing, and the four fastest-rotating pulsars known in any globular cluster, with the fastest two rotating nearly 600 times per second, roughly as fast as a household blender," Ransom added. Ransom and his colleagues reported their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in San Diego, CA, and in the online journal Science Express. The star cluster's numerous pulsars are expected to yield a bonanza of new information about not only the pulsars themselves, but also about the dense stellar environment in which they reside and probably even about nuclear physics, according to the scientists. For example, preliminary measurements indicate that two of the pulsars are more massive than some theoretical models would allow. "All these exotic pulsars will keep us busy for years to come," said Jason Hessels, a Ph.D student at McGill University in Montreal. Globular clusters are dense agglomerations of up to millions of stars, all of which formed at about the same time. Pulsars are spinning, superdense neutron stars that whirl "lighthouse beams" of radio waves or light around as they spin. A neutron star is what is

  13. Interplanetary GPS using pulsar signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, W.; Bernhardt, M. G.; Jessner, A.

    2015-11-01

    An external reference system suitable for deep space navigation can be defined by fast spinning and strongly magnetized neutron stars, called pulsars. Their beamed periodic signals have timing stabilities comparable to atomic clocks and provide characteristic temporal signatures that can be used as natural navigation beacons, quite similar to the use of GPS satellites for navigation on Earth. By comparing pulse arrival times measured on-board a spacecraft with predicted pulse arrivals at a reference location, the spacecraft position can be determined autonomously and with high accuracy everywhere in the solar system and beyond. The unique properties of pulsars make clear already today that such a navigation system will have its application in future astronautics. In this paper we describe the basic principle of spacecraft navigation using pulsars and report on the current development status of this novel technology.

  14. Pulsar Astronomy with GLAST

    SciTech Connect

    Thorsett, Stephen

    2005-09-12

    Despite their name, the rotation powered neutron stars called "radio pulsars" are actually most luminous in the hard x-ray and gamma-ray bands. GLAST will be the first high-energy satellite with sufficient sensitivity to detect and study large numbers of these pulsars. I will review GLAST's key science goals in pulsar astrophysics and summarize the extraordinary advances in low-energy pulsar surveys since the days of CGRO.

  15. X-rays from the eclipsing pulsar 1957+20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fruchter, A. S.; Bookbinder, J.; Garcia, M. R.; Bailyn, C. D.

    1992-01-01

    The detection of soft X-rays of about 1 keV energy from the eclipsing pulsar PSR1957+20 is reported. This high-energy radiation should be a valuable diagnostic of the wind in this recycled pulsar system. Possible sources of the X-ray emission are the interstellar nebula driven by the pulsar wind, the interaction between the pulsar and its evaporating companion, and the pulsar itself. The small apparent size of the X-ray object argues against the first of these possibilities and suggests that the X-rays are produced within the binary.

  16. PROBING THE PULSAR WIND IN THE {gamma}-RAY BINARY SYSTEM PSR B1259-63/SS 2883

    SciTech Connect

    Takata, Jumpei; Taam, Ronald E. E-mail: r-taam@northwestern.edu

    2009-09-01

    The spectral energy distribution from the X-ray to the very high energy regime (>100 GeV) has been investigated for the {gamma}-ray binary system PSR B1259-63/SS 2883 as a function of the orbital phase within the framework of a simple model of a pulsar wind nebula. The emission model is based on the synchrotron radiation process for the X-ray regime and the inverse Compton scattering process boosting stellar photons from the Be star companion to the very high energy (100 GeV-TeV) regime. With this model, the observed temporal behavior can, in principle, be used to probe the pulsar wind properties at the shock as a function of the orbital phase. Due to theoretical uncertainties in the detailed microphysics of the acceleration process and the conversion of magnetic energy into particle kinetic energy, the observed X-ray data for the entire orbit are fitted using two different methods. In the first method, the magnetization parameter and the Lorentz factor of the wind at the shock are allowed to vary for a given power law index characterizing the accelerated particles at the shock. In this case, the observed photon index of {approx}1.2 in the 1-10 keV energy band near the periastron passage can be understood provided that (1) the electron energy distribution is described by a broken power law and (2) there is a break at an energy of about 8 x 10{sup 6} in units of the electron rest mass energy. In the second method, the magnetization parameter and the power law index are varied for a fixed Lorentz factor. Here, the photon index of {approx}1.2 can result from a particle distribution described by a power law index of {approx}1.5. The calculated emission in the energy band corresponding to 10 MeV-1 GeV from the shocked pulsar wind indicates that these two cases can be distinguished by future Fermi observations near the periastron. It is also found that the emission from the unshocked wind could be detectable by the Fermi telescope near the periastron passage if most of

  17. Search for Millisecond Pulsars for the Pulsar Timing Array project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milia, S.

    2012-03-01

    Pulsars are rapidly rotating highly magnetised neutron stars (i.e. ultra dense stars, where about one solar mass is concentrated in a sphere with a radius of ~ 10 km), which irradiate radio beams in a fashion similar to a lighthouse. As a consequence, whenever the beams cut our line of sight we perceive a radio pulses, one (or two) per pulsar rotation, with a frequency up to hundred of times a second. Owing to their compact nature, rapid spin and high inertia, pulsars are in general fairly stable rotators, hence the Times of Arrival (TOAs) of the pulses at a radio telescope can be used as the ticks of a clock. This holds true in particular for the sub­class of the millisecond pulsars (MSPs), having a spin period smaller than the conventional limit of 30 ms, whose very rapid rotation and relatively older age provide better rotational stability than the ordinary pulsars. Indeed, some MSPs rotate so regularly that they can rival the best atomic clocks on Earth over timespan of few months or years.This feature allows us to use MSPs as tools in a cosmic laboratory, by exploiting a procedure called timing, which consists in the repeated and regular measurement of the TOAs from a pulsar and then in the search for trends in the series of the TOAs over various timespans, from fraction of seconds to decades.For example the study of pulsars in binary systems has already provided the most stringent tests to date of General Relativity in strong gravitational fields and has unambiguously showed the occurrence of the emission of gravitational waves from a binary system comprising two massive bodies in a close orbit. In last decades a new exciting perspective has been opened, i.e. to use pulsars also for a direct detection of the so far elusive gravitational waves and thereby applying the pulsar timing for cosmological studies. In fact, the gravitational waves (GWs) going across our Galaxy pass over all the Galactic pulsars and the Earth, perturbing the space­time at the

  18. DISCOVERY OF AN ACCRETING MILLISECOND PULSAR IN THE ECLIPSING BINARY SYSTEM SWIFT J1749.4-2807

    SciTech Connect

    Altamirano, D.; Cavecchi, Y.; Patruno, A.; Watts, A.; Degenaar, N.; Kalamkar, M.; Van der Klis, M.; Armas Padilla, M.; Kaur, R.; Yang, Y. J.; Wijnands, R.; Linares, M.; Rea, N.; Casella, P.; Soleri, P.

    2011-01-20

    We report on the discovery and the timing analysis of the first eclipsing accretion-powered millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP): SWIFT J1749.4-2807. The neutron star rotates at a frequency of {approx}517.9 Hz and is in a binary system with an orbital period of 8.8 hr and a projected semimajor axis of {approx}1.90 lt-s. Assuming a neutron star between 0.8 and 2.2 M{sub sun} and using the mass function of the system and the eclipse half-angle, we constrain the mass of the companion and the inclination of the system to be in the {approx}0.46-0.81 M{sub sun} and {approx} 74.{sup 0}4-77.{sup 0}3 range, respectively. To date, this is the tightest constraint on the orbital inclination of any AMXP. As in other AMXPs, the pulse profile shows harmonic content up to the third overtone. However, this is the first AMXP to show a first overtone with rms amplitudes between {approx}6% and {approx}23%, which is the strongest ever seen and which can be more than two times stronger than the fundamental. The fact that SWIFT J1749.4-2807 is an eclipsing system that shows uncommonly strong harmonic content suggests that it might be the best source to date to set constraints on neutron star properties including compactness and geometry.

  19. About pulsars dynamical evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Valdivia, R.; Álvarez, C.; de La Fuente, E.; Lorimer, D.; Kramer, M.

    2011-10-01

    Based on the assumption that pulsars are losing their rotational energy according to dot{ν}=-kν^n where ν is the frequency, dot{ν} its first derivative, and n is the braking index, four evolutionary models are created. Using them, thousands of artificial pulsar populations were generated. A comparison between these populations, and the no glitches and no milisecond pulsars reported by Hobbs et al. (2004) is performed using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (K-S).

  20. Revised Pulsar Spindown

    SciTech Connect

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Spitkovsky, Anatoly; /KIPAC, Menlo Park

    2005-12-14

    We address the issue of electromagnetic pulsar spindown by combining our experience from the two limiting idealized cases which have been studied in great extent in the past: that of an aligned rotator where ideal MHD conditions apply, and that of a misaligned rotator in vacuum. We construct a spindown formula that takes into account the misalignment of the magnetic and rotation axes, and the magnetospheric particle acceleration gaps. We show that near the death line aligned rotators spin down much slower than orthogonal ones. In order to test this approach, we use a simple Monte Carlo method to simulate the evolution of pulsars and find a good fit to the observed pulsar distribution in the P-{dot P} diagram without invoking magnetic field decay. Our model may also account for individual pulsars spinning down with braking index n < 3, by allowing the corotating part of the magnetosphere to end inside the light cylinder. We discuss the role of magnetic reconnection in determining the pulsar braking index. We show, however, that n {approx} 3 remains a good approximation for the pulsar population as a whole. Moreover, we predict that pulsars near the death line have braking index values n > 3, and that the older pulsar population has preferentially smaller magnetic inclination angles. We discuss possible signatures of such alignment in the existing pulsar data.

  1. Gamma-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.

    2011-01-01

    The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope has revolutionized the study of pulsar physics with the detection of over 80 gamma-ray pulsars. Several new populations have been discovered, including 24 radio quiet pulsars found through gamma-ray pulsations alone and about 20 millisecond gamma-ray pulsars. The gamma-ray pulsations from millisecond pulsars were discovered by both folding at periods of known radio millisecond pulsars or by detecting them as gamma-ray sources that are followed up by radio pulsar searches. The second method has resulted in a phenomenally successful synergy, with -35 new radio MSPs (to date) having been discovered at Fermi unidentified source locations and the gamma-ray pulsations having then been detected in a number of these using the radio timing solutions. The higher sensitivity and larger energy range of the Fermi Large Area Telescope has produced detailed energy-dependent light curves and phase-resolved spectroscopy on brighter pulsars, that have ruled out polar cap models as the major source of the emission in favor of outer magnetosphere accelerators. The large number of gamma-ray pulsars now allows for the first time meaningful population and sub-population studies that are revealing surprising properties of these fascinating sources.

  2. A glitch in the millisecond pulsar J0613-0200

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKee, J. W.; Janssen, G. H.; Stappers, B. W.; Lyne, A. G.; Caballero, R. N.; Lentati, L.; Desvignes, G.; Jessner, A.; Jordan, C. A.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kramer, M.; Cognard, I.; Champion, D. J.; Graikou, E.; Lazarus, P.; Osłowski, S.; Perrodin, D.; Shaifullah, G.; Tiburzi, C.; Verbiest, J. P. W.

    2016-09-01

    We present evidence for a small glitch in the spin evolution of the millisecond pulsar J0613-0200, using the EPTA Data Release 1.0, combined with Jodrell Bank analogue filterbank times of arrival (TOAs) recorded with the Lovell telescope and Effelsberg Pulsar Observing System TOAs. A spin frequency step of 0.82(3) nHz and frequency derivative step of -1.6(39) × 10-19 Hz s-1 are measured at the epoch of MJD 50888(30). After PSR B1821-24A, this is only the second glitch ever observed in a millisecond pulsar, with a fractional size in frequency of Δν/ν = 2.5(1) × 10-12, which is several times smaller than the previous smallest glitch. PSR J0613-0200 is used in gravitational wave searches with pulsar timing arrays, and is to date only the second such pulsar to have experienced a glitch in a combined 886 pulsar-years of observations. We find that accurately modelling the glitch does not impact the timing precision for pulsar timing array applications. We estimate that for the current set of millisecond pulsars included in the International Pulsar Timing Array, there is a probability of ˜50 per cent that another glitch will be observed in a timing array pulsar within 10 years.

  3. Phase Coherent Observations and Millisecond Pulsar Searches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrauner, Jay Arthur

    1997-07-01

    We have built a new radio astronomical receiving system designed specifically for very high precision timing and polarimetry of fast pulsars. Unlike most detectors currently used to study pulsars, this instrument does not square the received signal at the time of observation. Instead, voltages proportional to the instantaneous electric vectors of incoming signals are digitized, time-tagged, and recorded on high speed magnetic media. During processing, the data streams are convolved with an inverse 'chirp' function that completely removes the phase retardation introduced by interstellar dispersion. The intrinsic time resolution of this system is the inverse of the system bandwidth, typically well under 1 μs. We have tested this and another phase-coherent observing-system in observations using the Arecibo 305 m and Green Bank 140 foot telescopes. With these two sets of observations we have studied giant pulses, performed high precision timing, and obtained high-resolution polarization profiles and accurate dispersion We have verified the existence of pulses with intensities hundreds of measures. times the mean for both the main pulse and interpulse of PSR B1937+21, and have established that the amplitudes of both types of giant pulses have similar power-law distributions. The giant pulses are narrower than the average pulses, systematically delayed by 40-50 μs, and many are nearly 100% circularly polarized. We have also conducted two searches of the Northern hemisphere for pulsars. The first used the original pulsar discovery telescope in Cambridge, England to search the entire Northern hemisphere at 81.5 MHz, with an average sensitivity to slow pulsars of 230 mJy. Although we obtained flux densities and pulse profiles of 20 known pulsars, no new pulsars were discovered. The second search effort covered a total of 384 deg2 of previously unsearched sky at 430 MHz using the Arecibo telescope, with an average sensitivity to slow pulsars of 0.83 mJy. We discovered 7

  4. Wideband Timing of Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennucci, Timothy; Demorest, Paul; Ransom, Scott M.; North American Nanohertz ObservatoryGravitational Waves (Nanograv)

    2015-01-01

    associated with probing posterior distributions in the search for gravitational waves. The development of this algorithm is well-motivated by the promise of even larger fractional bandwidth receiver systems in the future of pulsar astronomy.

  5. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2014-10-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6397 at 10cm, for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the role played by the high energy photons released from the pulsar in the ejection of matter from the binary system.

  6. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2013-10-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the role played by the high energy photons released from the pulsar in the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  7. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2014-04-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the role played by the high energy photons released from the pulsar in the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  8. Black widow pulsars: the price of promiscuity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, A. R.; Davies, M. B.; Beer, M. E.

    2003-10-01

    The incidence of evaporating `black widow' pulsars (BWPs) among all millisecond pulsars is far higher in globular clusters than in the field. This implies a special formation mechanism for them in clusters. Cluster millisecond pulsars in wide binaries with white dwarf companions exchange them for turnoff-mass stars. These new companions eventually overflow their Roche lobes because of encounters and tides. The millisecond pulsars eject the overflowing gas from the binary, giving mass loss on the binary evolution time-scale. The systems are only observable as BWPs at epochs where this evolution is slow, making the mass loss transparent and the lifetime long. This explains why observed BWPs have low-mass companions. We suggest that at least some field BWPs were ejected from globular clusters or entered the field population when the cluster itself was disrupted.

  9. Gamma rays from pulsar wind shock acceleration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.

    1990-01-01

    A shock forming in the wind of relativistic electron-positron pairs from a pulsar, as a result of confinement by surrounding material, could convert part of the pulsar spin-down luminosity to high energy particles through first order Fermi acceleration. High energy protons could be produced by this mechanism both in supernova remnants and in binary systems containing pulsars. The pion-decay gamma-rays resulting from interaction of accelerated protons with surrounding target material in such sources might be observable above 70 MeV with EGRET (Energetic Gamma-Ray Experimental Telescope) and above 100 GeV with ground-based detectors. Acceleration of protons and expected gamma-ray fluxes from SN1987A, Cyg X-3 type sources and binary pulsars are discussed.

  10. Free at Last: AN Energetic Pulsar Escapes its Supernova Remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camilo, Fernando

    2002-09-01

    PSR J1016-5857 is a young and energetic pulsar located just outside the supernova remnant (SNR) G284.3-1.8. The morphology of the system argues that the pulsar has a high space velocity, and has caught up with and now overtaken its associated SNR. We have identified an EINSTEIN source, which in the above hypothesis is likely to be a cometary nebula powered by the pulsar. We here propose a short CHANDRA observation of this X-ray source to determine whether it is indeed associated with the pulsar. With the resulting morphological data, we can confirm or refute the pulsar/SNR association, and can probe the pulsar's spin history and interaction with its environment.

  11. The Amazing Pulsar Machine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Large Area Telescope, Fermi

    2014-01-01

    How rotation-powered pulsars accelerate particles to PeV energies and radiate pulsed emission from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths has remained a mystery for over 40 years. But in the last few years, the Fermi Large Area Telescope has revolutionized the study of pulsars and allowed us to peer deeper into the inner workings of this incredibly efficient natural accelerator. Thanks to Fermi discoveries, we now know that the high-energy emission is radiated in the outer magnetosphere, near the light cylinder, that millisecond pulsars are extremely efficient at emitting gamma-ray pulses and that the Crab nebula undergoes dramatic flaring that challenges particle acceleration theory. I will review how these discoveries, together with recent progress in global simulation of pulsar magnetospheres, are changing our models of pulsar particle acceleration, cascade pair production and high-energy emission.

  12. Observational properties of pulsars.

    PubMed

    Manchester, R N

    2004-04-23

    Pulsars are remarkable clocklike celestial sources that are believed to be rotating neutron stars formed in supernova explosions. They are valuable tools for investigations into topics such as neutron star interiors, globular cluster dynamics, the structure of the interstellar medium, and gravitational physics. Searches at radio and x-ray wavelengths over the past 5 years have resulted in a large increase in the number of known pulsars and the discovery of new populations of pulsars, posing challenges to theories of binary and stellar evolution. Recent images at radio, optical, and x-ray wavelengths have revealed structures resulting from the interaction of pulsar winds with the surrounding interstellar medium, giving new insights into the physics of pulsars. PMID:15105491

  13. High-energy pulsar models: Developments and new questions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venter, C.; Harding, A. K.

    2014-03-01

    The past few years have seen a major advance in observational knowledge of high-energy (HE) pulsars. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) and {AGILE} have increased the number of known γ-ray pulsars by an order of magnitude, its members being divided roughly equally among millisecond pulsars (MSPs), young radio-loud pulsars, and young radio-quiet pulsars. Many new and diverse emission characteristics are being measured, while radio and X-ray follow-up observations increase the pulsar detection rate and enrich our multiwavelength picture of these extreme sources. The wealth of new data has provided impetus for further development and improvement of existing theoretical pulsar models. Geometric light curve (LC) modelling has uncovered three broad classes into which HE pulsars fall: those where the radio profile leads, is aligned with, or lags the γ-ray profile. For example, the original MSP and original black widow system are members of the second class, requiring co-located emission regions and thereby breaking with traditional notions of radio emission origin. These models imply narrow accelerator gaps in the outer magnetosphere, indicating copious pair production even in MSP magnetospheres that were previously thought to be pair-starved. The increased quality and variety of the LCs necessitate construction of ever more sophisticated models. We will review progress in global magnetosphere solutions which specify a finite conductivity on field lines above the stellar surface, filling the gap between the standard vacuum and force-free (FF; plasma-filled) models. The possibility of deriving phase-resolved spectra for the brightest pulsars, coupled with the fact that the HE pulsar population is sizable enough to allow sampling of various pulsar geometries, will enable much more stringent testing of future radiation models. Reproduction of the observed phase-resolved behavior of this disparate group will be one of the next frontiers in pulsar science, impacting on our

  14. High-Energy Pulsar Models: Developments and New Questions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venter, C.; Harding, A. K.

    2014-01-01

    The past few years have seen a major advance in observational knowledge of high-energy (HE) pulsars. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) and AGILE have increased the number of known gamma-ray pulsars by an order of magnitude, its members being divided roughly equally among millisecond pulsars (MSPs), young radio-loud pulsars, and young radio-quiet pulsars. Many new and diverse emission characteristics are being measured, while radio and X-ray follow-up observations increase the pulsar detection rate and enrich our multiwavelength picture of these extreme sources. The wealth of new data has provided impetus for further development and improvement of existing theoretical pulsar models. Geometric light curve (LC) modelling has uncovered three broad classes into which HE pulsars fall: those where the radio profile leads, is aligned with, or lags the gamma-ray profile. For example, the original MSP and original black widow system are members of the second class, requiring co-located emission regions and thereby breaking with traditional notions of radio emission origin. These models imply narrow accelerator gaps in the outer magnetosphere, indicating copious pair production even in MSP magnetospheres that were previously thought to be pair-starved. The increased quality and variety of the LCs necessitate construction of ever more sophisticated models. We will review progress in global magnetosphere solutions which specify a finite conductivity on field lines above the stellar surface, filling the gap between the standard vacuum and force-free (FF; plasma-filled) models. The possibility of deriving phase-resolved spectra for the brightest pulsars, coupled with the fact that the HE pulsar population is sizable enough to allow sampling of various pulsar geometries, will enable much more stringent testing of future radiation models. Reproduction of the observed phase-resolved behavior of this disparate group will be one of the next frontiers in pulsar science, impacting on

  15. A Pulsar and a Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    Recent, unusual X-ray observations from our galactic neighbor, the Small Magellanic Cloud, have led to an interesting model for SXP 214, a pulsar in a binary star system.Artists illustration of the magnetic field lines of a pulsar, a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star. [NASA]An Intriguing BinaryAn X-ray pulsar is a magnetized, rotating neutron star in a binary system with a stellar companion. Material is fed from the companion onto the neutron star, channeled by the objects magnetic fields onto a hotspot thats millions of degrees. This hotspot rotating past our line of sight is what produces the pulsations that we observe from X-ray pulsars.Located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, SXP 214 is a transient X-ray pulsar in a binary with a Be-type star. This star is spinning so quickly that material is thrown off of it to form a circumstellar disk.Recently, a team of authors led by JaeSub Hong (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) have presented new Chandra X-ray observations of SXP 214, tracking it for 50 ks (~14 hours) in January 2013. These observations reveal some very unexpected behavior for this pulsar.X-ray PuzzleThe energy distribution of the X-ray emission from SXP 214 over time. Dark shades or blue colors indicate high counts, and light shades or yellow colors indicate low counts. Lower-energy X-ray emission appeared only later, after about 20 ks. [Hong et al. 2016]Three interesting pieces of information came from the Chandra observations:SXP 214s rotation period was measured to be 211.5 s an increase in the spin rate since the discovery measurement of a 214-second period. Pulsars usually spin down as they lose angular momentum over time so what caused this one to spin up?Its overall X-ray luminosity steadily increased over the 50 ks of observations.Its spectrum became gradually softer (lower energy) over time; in the first 20 ks, the spectrum only consisted of hard X-ray photons above 3 keV, but after 20 ks, softer X-ray photons below 2 ke

  16. DETECTING GRAVITATIONAL WAVE MEMORY WITH PULSAR TIMING

    SciTech Connect

    Cordes, J. M.; Jenet, F. A. E-mail: merlyn@phys.utb.edu

    2012-06-10

    We compare the detectability of gravitational bursts passing through the solar system with those passing near each millisecond pulsar in an N-pulsar timing array. The sensitivity to Earth-passing bursts can exploit the correlation expected in pulse arrival times while pulsar-passing bursts, though uncorrelated between objects, provide an N-fold increase in overall time baseline that can compensate for the lower sensitivity. Bursts with memory from mergers of supermassive black holes produce step functions in apparent spin frequency that are the easiest to detect in pulsar timing. We show that the burst rate and amplitude distribution, while strongly dependent on inadequately known cosmological evolution, may favor detection in the pulsar terms rather than the Earth timing perturbations. Any contamination of timing data by red spin noise makes burst detection more difficult because both signals grow with the length of the time data span T. Furthermore, the different bursts that could appear in one or more data sets of length T Almost-Equal-To 10 yr also affect the detectability of the gravitational wave stochastic background that, like spin noise, has a red power spectrum. A burst with memory is a worthwhile target in the timing of multiple pulsars in a globular cluster because it should produce a correlated signal with a time delay of less than about 10 years in some cases.

  17. Precision Pulsar Timing at the DSN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid A.

    2015-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars are a class of radio pulsars with extremely stable rotations. The excellent timing stability of millisecond pulsars can be used to study a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. In particular, observations of a large sample of these pulsars can be used to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves. We have developed a precision pulsar timing backend for the Deep Space Network (DSN), which will allow the use of short gaps in tracking schedules to observe and time pulses from an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) operates clusters of large dish antennas (up to 70-m in diameter), located roughly equi-distant around the Earth, for communication and tracking of deep-space spacecraft. The backend system will be capable of removing entirely the dispersive effects of propagation of radio waves through the interstellar medium in real-time. We will describe our development work, initial results, and prospects for future observations scheduled later this year.This research was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,California Institute of Technology, under the Research and TechnologyDevelopment Program, under a contract with the National Aeronautics andSpace Administration.

  18. Precision Pulsar Timing at the DSN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid A.

    2016-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars are a class of radio pulsars with extremely stable rotations. The excellent timing stability of millisecond pulsars can be used to study a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. In particular, observations of a large sample of these pulsars can be used to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves. We have developed and are now commissioning a precision pulsar timing backend for the Deep Space Network (DSN), which will allow the use of short gaps in tracking schedules to observe and time pulses from an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) operates clusters of large dish antennas (up to 70-m in diameter), located roughly equi-distant around the Earth, for communication and tracking of deep-space spacecraft. The backend system is capable of removing entirely the dispersive effects of propagation of radio waves through the interstellar medium in real-time. We will describe our development work, initial results, and prospects for future observations scheduled over the next few years.

  19. Pulsar observations with the MAGIC telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidalgo, David

    2016-07-01

    The vast majority of spectra of gamma-ray pulsars exhibit an exponential cut-off at a few GeV, as seen by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board of the Fermi satellite. Due to this cut-off, current Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) with an energy threshold as low as 30 GeV, struggle to detect pulsars. So far, emission above 50 GeV has been confirmed only for the Crab and Vela pulsars. In the case of the former, the spectrum even extends up to about 1 TeV firmly revealing a second emission component. To further understand the emission mechanism of gamma-ray pulsars, the MAGIC collaboration continues the search of pulsars above 50 GeV. In this talk we report on recent results on the Crab and Geminga Pulsar obtained with the MAGIC telescopes, including the analysis of data taken with a new trigger system lowering the energy threshold of the MAGIC telescopes.

  20. Cherenkov Telescopes Results on Pulsar Wind Nebulae and Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilhelmi, Emma De Oña

    The last few years have seen a revolution in very high γ-ray astronomy (VHE; E>100 GeV) driven largely by a new generation of Cherenkov telescopes. These new facilities, namely H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System), MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescope) and its upgrade MAGIC 2, VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) and CANGAROO (Collaboration of Australia and Nippon for a Gamma Ray Observatory in the Outback) were designed to increase the flux sensitivity in the energy regime of hundreds of GeV, expanding the observed energy range from 50 to multi-TeV, and fostered as a result a period of rapid growth in our understanding of the Non-ThermalUniverse. As a result of this fast development the number of pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) detected has increased from a few in the early 90's to more than two dozen of firm candidates nowadays. Also, the low energy threshold achieved allows to investigate the pulsed spectra of the high energy pulsars powering PWNe. A review of the most relevant VHE results concerning pulsars and their relativistic winds is discussed here in the context of Cherenkov telescopes.

  1. Study of frame tie between planetary ephemerids and ICRF with millisecond and young pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jingbo; Hobbs, George; Coles, William

    2016-07-01

    The positions of pulsar can be measured by pulsar timing technology and VLBI astrometry with high precision. They can be used to tie between referece frame based on solar system ephemerids and distant quasars with high accuracy. In this paper, we have collect the pulsar positions with VLBI measurement and obtain the pulsar timing position form Nanshan and Parkes data archive. We derive the rotation matrix between JPL DE and ICRF reference frame.

  2. Particle acceleration in pulsar magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, K. B.

    1978-01-01

    The structure of pulsar magnetospheres and the acceleration mechanism for charged particles in the magnetosphere was studied using a pulsar model which required large acceleration of the particles near the surface of the star. A theorem was developed which showed that particle acceleration cannot be expected when the angle between the magnetic field lines and the rotation axis is constant (e.g. radial field lines). If this angle is not constant, however, acceleration must occur. The more realistic model of an axisymmetric neutron star with a strong dipole magnetic field aligned with the rotation axis was investigated. In this case, acceleration occurred at large distances from the surface of the star. The magnitude of the current can be determined using the model presented. In the case of nonaxisymmetric systems, the acceleration is expected to occur nearer to the surface of the star.

  3. Radio efficiency of pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Szary, Andrzej; Melikidze, George I.; Gil, Janusz; Zhang, Bing; Xu, Ren-Xin E-mail: zhang@physics.unlv.edu

    2014-03-20

    We investigate radio emission efficiency, ξ, of pulsars and report a near-linear inverse correlation between ξ and the spin-down power, E-dot , as well as a near-linear correlation between ξ and pulsar age, τ. This is a consequence of very weak, if any, dependences of radio luminosity, L, on pulsar period, P, and the period derivative, P-dot , in contrast to X-ray or γ-ray emission luminosities. The analysis of radio fluxes suggests that these correlations are not due to a selection effect, but are intrinsic to the pulsar radio emission physics. We have found that, although with a large variance, the radio luminosity of pulsars is ≈10{sup 29} erg s{sup –1}, regardless of the position in the P-- P-dot diagram. Within such a picture, a model-independent statement can be made that the death line of radio pulsars corresponds to an upper limit in the efficiency of radio emission. If we introduce the maximum value for radio efficiency into the Monte Carlo-based population syntheses we can reproduce the observed sample using the random luminosity model. Using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test on a synthetic flux distribution reveals a high probability of reproducing the observed distribution. Our results suggest that the plasma responsible for generating radio emission is produced under similar conditions regardless of pulsar age, dipolar magnetic field strength, and spin-down rate. The magnetic fields near the pulsar surface are likely dominated by crust-anchored, magnetic anomalies, which do not significantly differ among pulsars, leading to similar conditions for generating electron-positron pairs necessary to power radio emission.

  4. Pulsar searches: From radio to gamma-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Adam M.

    2003-08-01

    We report the results of four different pulsar searches, covering radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths. These searches targeted pulsars in virtually all of their guises: young and old, long-period and short-period, accretion-powered and rotation-powered. Ten new pulsars were discovered. There are very few known gamma-ray pulsars, all of which were found by folding gamma-ray data with a pulse period known from other wavelengths. Some emission models indicate that there may be a large number of gamma-ray pulsars that are undetectable at lower energies. We searched several of the brightest unidentified gamma-ray sources for pulsations. This was the first attempt to identify gamma-ray pulsars by directly searching gamma- ray data. No new identifications resulted; we report upper limits. Even more rare than gamma-ray pulsars are accreting millisecond pulsars. We searched for coherent pulsations from Aql X-1, a low-mass X-ray binary suspected of harboring such an object. No pulsations were detected, and we argue that the quiescent emission of this system has a thermal origin. The two radio searches included here were both designed to detect millisecond pulsars. First, we report the results of a large area survey from Arecibo. Five new slow pulsars were discovered, including an apparent orthogonal rotator and an extremely unusual bursting radio pulsar. No short-period pulsars were discovered and we place some of the first useful observational constraints on the limiting spin period of a neutron star. We also performed pointed searches of several globular clusters using the new Green Bank Telescope. Three new binary millisecond pulsars were found in M62. These were the first new objects found with the GBT, and they bring the total pulsar population in M62 to six. We also discovered two isolated pulsars, one each in NGC 6544 and NGC 6624. Many of the methods we developed will be relevant to future searches. Perhaps the most significant contribution is a dynamic power

  5. Stellar evolution and pulsars.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, H.-Y.

    1972-01-01

    It has been found that pulsars are rotating magnetic neutron stars, which are created during catastrophic collapses of old stars whose nuclear fuel has long since been used up. The maximum size of pulsars, based on the fastest rotation period of 33 msec, cannot exceed 100 km. The densest star the theory predicts is the neutron star. Its diameter is only 10 km. The processes producing radiation from pulsars are discussed, giving attention to a process similar to that by which a klystron operates and to a process based on a maser mechanism.

  6. PROPAGATION AND STABILITY OF SUPERLUMINAL WAVES IN PULSAR WINDS

    SciTech Connect

    Mochol, Iwona; Kirk, John G. E-mail: john.kirk@mpi-hd.mpg.de

    2013-07-01

    Nonlinear electromagnetic waves with superluminal phase velocity can propagate in the winds around isolated pulsars, and around some pulsars in binary systems. Using a short-wavelength approximation, we find and analyze an integrable system of equations that govern their evolution in spherical geometry. A confined mode is identified that stagnates to finite pressure at large radius and can form a precursor to the termination shock. Using a simplified criterion, we find this mode is stable for most isolated pulsars, but may be unstable if the external pressure is high, such as in the pulsar wind nebulae in starburst galaxies and in W44. Pulsar winds in eccentric binary systems, such as PSR 1259-63, may go through phases with stable and unstable electromagnetic precursors, as well as phases in which the density is too high for these modes to propagate.

  7. Fermi Pulsar Analysis

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation illustrates how analysis of Fermi data reveals new pulsars. Fermi's LAT records the precise arrival time and approximate direction of the gamma rays it detects, but to identify a pul...

  8. FORMATION OF THE GALACTIC MILLISECOND PULSAR TRIPLE SYSTEM PSR J0337+1715—A NEUTRON STAR WITH TWO ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tauris, T. M.; Van den Heuvel, E. P. J.

    2014-01-20

    The millisecond pulsar in a triple system (PSR J0337+1715, recently discovered by Ransom et al.) is an unusual neutron star with two orbiting white dwarfs. The existence of such a system in the Galactic field poses new challenges to stellar astrophysics for understanding evolution, interactions, and mass transfer in close multiple stellar systems. In addition, this system provides the first precise confirmation for a very wide-orbit system of the white dwarf mass-orbital period relation. Here, we present a self-consistent, semi-analytical solution to the formation of PSR J0337+1715. Our model constrains the peculiar velocity of the system to be less than 160 km s{sup –1} and brings novel insight to, for example, common envelope evolution in a triple system, for which we find evidence for in-spiral of both outer stars. Finally, we briefly discuss our scenario in relation to alternative models.

  9. Cosmic Ray Positrons from Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.

    2010-01-01

    Pulsars are potential Galactic sources of positrons through pair cascades in their magnetospheres. There are, however, many uncertainties in establishing their contribution to the local primary positron flux. Among these are the local density of pulsars, the cascade pair multiplicities that determine the injection rate of positrons from the pulsar, the acceleration of the injected particles by the pulsar wind termination shock, their rate of escape from the pulsar wind nebula, and their propagation through the interstellar medium. I will discuss these issues in the context of what we are learning from the new Fermi pulsar detections and discoveries.

  10. Pulse Portraiture: Pulsar timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennucci, Timothy T.; Demorest, Paul B.; Ransom, Scott M.

    2016-06-01

    Pulse Portraiture is a wideband pulsar timing code written in python. It uses an extension of the FFTFIT algorithm (Taylor 1992) to simultaneously measure a phase (TOA) and dispersion measure (DM). The code includes a Gaussian-component-based portrait modeling routine. The code uses the python interface to the pulsar data analysis package PSRCHIVE (ascl:1105.014) and also requires the non-linear least-squares minimization package lmfit (ascl:1606.014).

  11. The Fermi LAT Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romani, Roger W.

    2011-08-01

    The Large Area Telescope on the Fermi satellite is an impressive pulsar discovery machine, with over 75 pulse detections and counting. The populations of radio-selected, γ-selected and millisecond pulsars are now large enough to display observational patterns in the light curves and luminosities. These patterns are starting to teach us about the physics of the emission zone, which seems dominated by open field lines near the speed of light cylinder. The sample also provides initial inferences about the pulsar population. Apparently a large fraction of neutron stars have a young energetic γ-ray emitting phase, making these objects a good probe of massive star evolution. The long-lived millisecond γ-ray pulsars are even more ubiquitous and may produce a significant fraction of the γ-ray background. In any event, it is clear that the present LAT pulsar sample is dominated by nearby objects, and there is every expectation that the number, and quality, of pulsar detections will increase in years to come.

  12. An alternative numerical method for the stationary pulsar magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takamori, Yohsuke; Okawa, Hirotada; Takamoto, Makoto; Suwa, Yudai

    2014-02-01

    Stationary pulsar magnetospheres in the force-free system are governed by the pulsar equation. In 1999, Contopoulos, Kazanas, and Fendt (hereafter CKF) numerically solved the pulsar equation and obtained a pulsar magnetosphere model called the CKF solution that has both closed and open magnetic field lines. The CKF solution is a successful solution, but it contains a poloidal current sheet that flows along the last open field line. This current sheet is artificially added to make the current system closed. In this paper, we suggest an alternative method to solve the pulsar equation and construct pulsar magnetosphere models without a current sheet. In our method, the pulsar equation is decomposed into Ampère's law and the force-free condition. We numerically solve these equations simultaneously with a fixed poloidal current. As a result, we obtain a pulsar magnetosphere model without a current sheet, which is similar to the CKF solution near the neutron star and has a jet-like structure at a distance along the pole. In addition, we discuss physical properties of the model and find that the force-free condition breaks down in a vicinity of the light cylinder due to dissipation that is included implicitly in the numerical method.

  13. Optical study of pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanwal, Divas

    The Crab Pulsar emits radiation at all wavelengths from radio to extreme γ-rays including the optical. We have performed extremely high time resolution multicolor photometry of the Crab Pulsar at optical wavelengths to constrain the high energy emission models for pulsars. Our observations with 1 microsecond time resolution are a factor of 20 better than the previous best observations. We have completely resolved the peak of the main pulse of the Crab Pulsar in optical passbands. The peaks of the main pulse and the interpulse move smoothly from the rising branch to the falling branch with neither a flat top nor a cusp. We find that the peak of the Crab Pulsar main pulse in the B band arrives 140 microseconds before the peak of the radio pulse. The color of the emission changes across the phase. The maximum variation in the color ratio is about 25%. The bluest color occurs in the bridge region between the main pulse and the interpulse. The Crab Pulsar has faded by 2 +/- 2.8% since the previous observations in 1991 using the same instrument. The statistics of photon arrival times are consistent with atmospheric scintillation causing most of the variations in addition to the mean pulse variations in the shape. However, the autocorrelation function (ACF) of the Crab Pulsar light curve shows extra correlations at very short time scales. We identify two time scales, one at about 20 microseconds and another one at about 1000 microseconds at which we observe a break in the ACF. We conclude that these short timescale correlations are internal to the pulsar. We attribute the extra correlation observed in our data to microstructures. This is the first time evidence for microstructures has been observed outside the radio wavelengths. The upturn in the ACF at short time scales depends on the color. The U band shows about 10% more correlation at short time scales while the R band shows only about 3% change. We have also observed the young X-ray pulsar PSR 0656+14 at optical

  14. High-School Teams Joining Massive Pulsar Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-09-01

    to join in cutting-edge scientific research. The GBT has discovered more than 60 pulsars over the past five years, including the fastest-rotating pulsar ever found, a speedster spinning 716 times per second. At WVU, astronomers Maura McLaughlin and Duncan Lorimer are experienced pulsar specialists who use the GBT regularly for their research. Pulsar Graphic Pulsars Are Spinning Neutron Stars CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version) The PSC program will include training for teachers and student leaders at Green Bank, and an annual scientific seminar at WVU where all participants can present their research. During the year, participants will share information through an online collaboration site called the "collaboratory," operated by Northwestern University. Student teams will receive parcels of data from the GBT and analyze the data to discover pulsars. To do so, they will need to learn to use analysis software and to recognize man-made radio interference that contaminates the data. Each portion of the data will be analyzed by multiple teams. Of the 1500 hours of GBT observing data in the project, taken during the summer of 2007, some 300 hours is reserved for analysis by the student teams. This reserved data set is expected to include tens of new pulsars and about 100 known pulsars. "Because multiple teams will analyze each portion of the data, every student in the project is virtually guaranteed to discover a new pulsar," Heatherly said. "This will give West Virginia high school students the chance to make groundbreaking discoveries like finding exotic pulsar binary systems, pulsars with planetary systems, or pulsars spinning faster than currently thought possible," McLaughlin said. The project will begin recruiting teachers in February of 2008. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  15. An approximate model for pulsar navigation simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanovic, Ilija; Enright, John

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents an approximate model for the simulation of pulsar aided navigation systems. High fidelity simulations of these systems are computationally intensive and impractical for simulating periods of a day or more. Simulation of yearlong missions is done by abstracting navigation errors as periodic Gaussian noise injections. This paper presents an intermediary approximate model to simulate position errors for periods of several weeks, useful for building more accurate Gaussian error models. This is done by abstracting photon detection and binning, replacing it with a simple deterministic process. The approximate model enables faster computation of error injection models, allowing the error model to be inexpensively updated throughout a simulation. Testing of the approximate model revealed an optimistic performance prediction for non-millisecond pulsars with more accurate predictions for pulsars in the millisecond spectrum. This performance gap was attributed to noise which is not present in the approximate model but can be predicted and added to improve accuracy.

  16. Pulsars at TeV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, P.

    1994-04-01

    The atmospheric Cerenkov technique is used to search for emission at energies above several hundred GeV from a variety of objects, including pulsars (see, e.g., reviews by Weekes, 1988, Phys. Rep., 160, 1; Weekes, 1992, Sp. Sci. Rev., 59, 315). Claims for TeV emission (from any source) should be of high significance, show gamma-ray-like properties, and be independently confirmed. By these criteria the Crab nebula is currently the only established pulsar-driven system to be observed at TeV energies (Weekes et al., 1989, Astrophys. J., 342, 379; Vacanti et al., 1991, Astrophys. J., 377, 467; Goret et al., 1993, Astron. Astrophys., 270, 401). The gamma-ray signal is not pulsed at TeV energies, leading to models of synchrotron self-Compton emission from the Crab nebula (e.g., De Jager and Harding, 1992, Astrophys. J., 396, 161), although other models have also been proposed (Kwok et al., 1991, Astrophys. J., 379, 653). While claims exist for TeV emission from, amongst others, the Vela pulsar (e.g., Bhat et al., 1987, Astron. Astrophys., 178, 242, Geminga (Vishwanath et al., 1993, Astron. Astrophys., 267, L5; Bowden et al., 1993, J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys., 19, L29), and PSR 1509-58 (Nel et al., 1992, Astrophys. pulsars have high values of E-dot/d2 (due to their proximity) and are thus potentially observable TeV sources. *The detection of TeV gamma-rays from millisecond pulsars has been considered recently by Smith (1993, Astrophys. -J., 408, 468).

  17. Chandra Associates Pulsar and Historic Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-01-01

    in the same area of the sky. Past attempts to identify the pulsar with G11.2-0.3, and hence the ancient Chinese observations, have been controversial. The location of the pulsar at the center of the remnant provides new evidence that it is associated with the remnant. Since pulsars are known to move rapidly away from where they are formed, a pulsar near the center of the remnant implies the system must be very young, since not enough time has elapsed for the pulsar to travel far from its birthplace. "We believe that the pulsar and the supernova remnant G11.2-0.3 are both likely to be left over from the explosion seen by the Chinese observers over 1600 years ago," said Roberts. "While this is exciting by itself, it also raises new questions about what we know about pulsars especially during their infancies." These questions follow from a discrepancy that arose when the ASCA team applied the present spin rate to current models to determine the pulsar’s estimated lifetime and compare it to the age of G11.2-0.3. The result was an age of roughly 24,000 years - far predating the birth year of 386 AD. To explain this contradiction, the Chandra team argues that this pulsar may have had approximately the same spin rate today as it did at its birth, as had been suggested by the ASCA data. If this is true, then it could have important implications for the conventional wisdom regarding pulsars, which, may be born spinning more slowly than has been thought. "We now have strong evidence that the standard age estimate for this pulsar is probably wrong, and it is much younger than previously believed," said Kaspi. "This, in turn, suggests that other standard pulsar age estimates may be wrong as well, and this has important implications for the population as a whole." In addition to these results, the Chandra observations of G11.2-0.3 have, for the first time, revealed the bizarre appearance of the pulsar wind nebula (also known as "plerions") at the center of the supernova remnant

  18. Pulsar Simulations for the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Razzano, M.; Harding, A. K.; Baldini, L.; Bellazzini, R.; Bregeon, J.; Burnett, T.; Chiang, J.; Digel, S. W.; Dubois, R.; Kuss, M. W.; Latronico, L.; McEnery, J. E.; Omodei, N.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Sgro, C.; Spandre, G.; Thompson, D. J.

    2009-01-01

    Pulsars are among the prime targets for the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the recently launched Fermi observatory. The LAT will study the gamma-ray Universe between 20 MeV and 300 GeV with unprecedented detail. Increasing numbers of gamma-ray pulsars are being firmly identified, yet their emission mechanisms are far from being understood. To better investigate and exploit the tAT capabilities for pulsar science. a set of new detailed pulsar simulation tools have been developed within the LAT collaboration. The structure of the pulsar simulator package (PulsarSpeccrum) is presented here. Starting from photon distributions in energy and phase obtained from theoretical calculations or phenomenological considerations, gamma-rays are generated and their arrival times at the spacecraft are determined by taking Into account effects such as barycentric effects and timing noise. Pulsars in binary systems also can be simulated given orbital parameters. We present how simulations can be used for generating a realistic set of gamma rays as observed by the LAT, focusing on some case studies that show the performance of the LAT for pulsar observations.

  19. Superfluidity in Millisecond Pulsars (Review)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pines, D.; Alpar, A.

    The authors review the evidence for superfluidity in the Vela pulsar, the Crab pulsar and PSR 0525+21, and examine the prospects for observing similar consequences of superfluidity in the already-discovered millisec pulsars. They consider, inter alia, the likelihood of observing glitches, the expected post-glitch behavior, and pulsar heating by energy dissipation due to the creep of neutron vortex lines in pinned superfluid regions of the crust.

  20. Gamma-ray emission from globular clusters. Shock high energy emission from the Be-Star/Pulsar System PSR 1259-63. Echoes in x-ray novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaaret, Philip

    1995-01-01

    This grant covers work on the Compton phase 3 investigation, 'Shock High Energy Emission from the Be- Star/Pulsar System PSR 1259-63' and cycle 4 investigations 'Diffuse Gamma-Ray Emission at High Latitudes' and 'Echoes in X-Ray Novae'. Work under the investigation 'Diffuse Gamma-Ray Emission at High Latitudes' has lead to the publication of a paper (attached), describing gamma-ray emissivity variations in the northern galactic hemisphere. Using archival EGRET data, we have found a large irregular region of enhanced gamma-ray emissivity at energies greater 100 MeV. This is the first observation of local structure in the gamma-ray emissivity. Work under the investigation 'Echoes in X-Ray Novae' is proceeding with analysis of data from OSSE from the transient source GRO J1655-40. The outburst of this source last fall triggered this Target of Opportunity investigation. Preliminary spectral analysis shows emission out to 600 keV and a pure power low spectrum with no evidence of an exponential cutoff. Work is complete on the analysis of BATSE data from the Be-Star/Pulsar Sustem PSR 1259-63.

  1. A 5.75-millisecond pulsar in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manchester, R. N.; Lyne, A. G.; Johnston, S.; D'Amico, N.; Lim, J.; Kniffen, D. A.

    1990-01-01

    A pulsar with a period of 5.75 ms and a dispersion measure of 25/cu cm pc has been found in the direction of 47 Tucanae. Despite its probable origin as a member of a binary system, timing measurements show that the pulsar is now single. The observed dispersion measure is consistent with the pulsar lying outside the Galactic electron layer and within 47 Tucanae, but it is very different from the value of 67/cu cm pc for the pulsars that were reported recently as being in this globular cluster. It is suggested that the latter pulsars probably do not in fact lie within 47 Tucanae.

  2. Generative pulsar timing analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lentati, L.; Alexander, P.; Hobson, M. P.

    2015-03-01

    A new Bayesian method for the analysis of folded pulsar timing data is presented that allows for the simultaneous evaluation of evolution in the pulse profile in either frequency or time, along with the timing model and additional stochastic processes such as red spin noise, or dispersion measure variations. We model the pulse profiles using `shapelets' - a complete orthonormal set of basis functions that allow us to recreate any physical profile shape. Any evolution in the profiles can then be described as either an arbitrary number of independent profiles, or using some functional form. We perform simulations to compare this approach with established methods for pulsar timing analysis, and to demonstrate model selection between different evolutionary scenarios using the Bayesian evidence. The simplicity of our method allows for many possible extensions, such as including models for correlated noise in the pulse profile, or broadening of the pulse profiles due to scattering. As such, while it is a marked departure from standard pulsar timing analysis methods, it has clear applications for both new and current data sets, such as those from the European Pulsar Timing Array and International Pulsar Timing Array.

  3. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2011-10-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the mechanisms leading to the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  4. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2011-04-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the mechanisms leading to the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  5. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2013-04-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the mechanisms leading to the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  6. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2012-10-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the mechanisms leading to the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  7. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2012-04-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the orbital secular evolution, the eclipse region, and the mechanisms leading to the ejection of matter from the binary system).

  8. Gravitational Radiation from Compact Binary Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John

    An outstanding question in modern Physics is whether general relativity (GR) is a complete description of gravity among bodies at macroscopic scales. Currently, the best experiments supporting this hypothesis are based on high-precision timing of radio pulsars. This chapter reviews recent advances in the field with a focus on compact binary millisecond pulsars with white-dwarf (WD) companions. These systems—if modeled properly—provide an unparalleled test ground for physically motivated alternatives to GR that deviate significantly in the strong-field regime. Recent improvements in observational techniques and advances in our understanding of WD interiors have allowed for a series of precise mass measurements is such systems. These masses, combined with high-precision radio timing of the pulsars, result to stringent constraints on the radiative properties of gravity, qualitatively very different from what was available in the past.

  9. Modelling pulsar glitches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haskell, Brynmor

    2016-07-01

    Pulsar glitches, i.e. sudden jumps in the spin frequency of pulsars, are thought to be due to the presence of large scale superfluid components in neutron star interiors, and offer a unique insight into the physics of matter at high densities and low temperatures. Nevertheless, more than forty years after the first observation, many open questions still exist on the nature of pulsar glitches. In this talk I will review our current theoretical understanding of glitches, of their trigger mechanisms and of the hydrodynamics of superfluid neutron stars. In particular I will focus on 'superfluid vortex avalanches' and recent advances in applying this paradigm to glitch observations, and I will discuss hydrodynamical modelling of the post-glitch recovery.

  10. Gamma Ray Pulsars: Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David J.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    High-energy gamma rays are a valuable tool for studying particle acceleration and radiation in the magnetospheres of energetic pulsars. The six or more pulsars seen by CGRO/EGRET show that: the light curves usually have double-peak structures (suggesting a broad cone of emission); gamma rays are frequently the dominant component of the radiated power; and all the spectra show evidence of a high-energy turnover. Unless a new pulsed component appears at higher energies, progress in gamma-ray pulsar studies will be greatest in the 1-20 GeV range. Ground-based telescopes whose energy ranges extend downward toward 10 GeV should make important measurements of the spectral cutoffs. The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), now in planning for a launch in 2005, will provide a major advance in sensitivity, energy range, and sky coverage.

  11. Tempo2: Pulsar Timing Package

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, George; Edwards, Russell

    2012-10-01

    Tempo2 is a pulsar timing package developed to be used both for general pulsar timing applications and also for pulsar timing array research in which data-sets from multiple pulsars need to be processed simultaneously. It was initially developed by George Hobbs and Russell Edwards as part of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project. Tempo2 is based on the original Tempo (ascl:1509.002) code and can be used (from the command-line) in a similar fashion. It is very versatile and can be extended by plugins.

  12. Using neutron star observations to determine crust thicknesses, moments of inertia, and tidal deformabilities

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Steiner, Andrew W; Stefano, Gandolfi; Farrukh, Fattoyev; William, Newton G

    2015-01-01

    We perform a systematic assessment of models for the equation of state (EOS) of dense matter in the context of recent neutron star mass and radius measurements to obtain a broad picture of the structure of neutron stars. We demonstrate that currently available neutron star mass and radius measurements provide strong constraints on moments of inertia, tidal deformabilities, and crust thicknesses. A measurement of the moment of inertia of PSR J0737-3039A with a 10% error, without any other information from observations, will constrain the EOS over a range of densities to within 50% 60%. We find tidal deformabilities between 0.6more » and 6 1036 g cm2 s2 (to 95% confidence) for M = 1.4 M , and any measurement which constrains this range will provide an important constraint on dense matter. The crustal fraction of the moment of inertia can be as large as 10% for M = 1.4 M permitting crusts to have a large enough moment of inertia reservoir to explain glitches in the Vela pulsar even with a large amount of superfluid entrainment. Finally, due to the uncertainty in the equation of state, there is at least a 40% variation in the thickness of the crust for a fixed mass and radius, which implies that future simulations of the cooling of a neutron star crust which has been heated by accretion will need to take this variation into account.« less

  13. Using neutron star observations to determine crust thicknesses, moments of inertia, and tidal deformabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Steiner, Andrew W; Stefano, Gandolfi; Farrukh, Fattoyev; William, Newton G

    2015-01-01

    We perform a systematic assessment of models for the equation of state (EOS) of dense matter in the context of recent neutron star mass and radius measurements to obtain a broad picture of the structure of neutron stars. We demonstrate that currently available neutron star mass and radius measurements provide strong constraints on moments of inertia, tidal deformabilities, and crust thicknesses. A measurement of the moment of inertia of PSR J0737-3039A with a 10% error, without any other information from observations, will constrain the EOS over a range of densities to within 50% 60%. We find tidal deformabilities between 0.6 and 6 1036 g cm2 s2 (to 95% confidence) for M = 1.4 M , and any measurement which constrains this range will provide an important constraint on dense matter. The crustal fraction of the moment of inertia can be as large as 10% for M = 1.4 M permitting crusts to have a large enough moment of inertia reservoir to explain glitches in the Vela pulsar even with a large amount of superfluid entrainment. Finally, due to the uncertainty in the equation of state, there is at least a 40% variation in the thickness of the crust for a fixed mass and radius, which implies that future simulations of the cooling of a neutron star crust which has been heated by accretion will need to take this variation into account.

  14. Relativistic mean-field models with scaled hadron masses and couplings: Hyperons and maximum neutron star mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslov, K. A.; Kolomeitsev, E. E.; Voskresensky, D. N.

    2016-06-01

    An equation of state of cold nuclear matter with an arbitrary isotopic composition is studied within a relativistic mean-field approach with hadron masses and coupling constants depending self-consistently on the scalar mean-field. All hadron masses decrease universally with the scalar field growth, whereas meson-nucleon coupling constants can vary differently. More specifically we focus on two modifications of the KVOR model studied previously. One extension of the model (KVORcut) demonstrates that the equation of state stiffens if the increase of the scalar-field magnitude with the density is bounded from above at some value for baryon densities above the saturation nuclear density. This can be realized if the nucleon vector-meson coupling constant changes rapidly as a function of the scalar field slightly above the desired value. The other version of the model (MKVOR) utilizes a smaller value of the nucleon effective mass at the nuclear saturation density and a saturation of the scalar field in the isospin asymmetric matter induced by a strong variation of the nucleon isovector-meson coupling constant as function of the scalar field. A possibility of hyperonization of the matter in neutron star interiors is incorporated. Our equations of state fulfill majority of known empirical constraints including the pressure-density constraint from heavy-ion collisions, direct Urca constraint, gravitational-baryon mass constraint for the pulsar J0737-3039B, and the constraint on the maximum mass of the neutron stars.

  15. Pulse-phased spectroscopy of X-ray pulsars as a tool for the study of physical conditions and geometry of the binary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutovinov, Alexander; Tsygankov, Sergey

    Results of the pulse phase-resolved spectroscopy of the transient X-ray pulsar V0332+53 are presented. We found a strong variation of the cyclotron resonance line parameters (energy and depth) along the pulse profile, that seems to connect with observations of regions with different magnetic fields under different angles during different pulse phases. Moreover, a variability of the iron line equivalent width on different time scales (pulse period, orbital period, outburst phase) was also revealed and searched for its correlation with the continuum flux, spectral parameters, etc. We discussed a possibility to use variations of spectral parameters during a pulse for the study of the emission geometry, spatial distribution and physical conditions of the matter around the compact object and in the binary system.

  16. Scientific uses of pulsars.

    PubMed

    Counselman, C C; Shapiro, I I

    1968-10-18

    The recently discovered celestial sources of pulsed radio energy can be used to test general relativity, to study the solar corona, and to determine the earth's orbit and ephemeris time. The vector positions and transverse velocities of pulsars can be measured with radio interferometers; in combination with pulse-arrival-time data, the distance determination will yield the average interstellar electron density. PMID:17836655

  17. Pulsars and Acceleration Sites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice

    2008-01-01

    Rotation-powered pulsars are excellent laboratories for the studying particle acceleration as well as fundamental physics of strong gravity, strong magnetic fields and relativity. But even forty years after their discovery, we still do not understand their pulsed emission at any wavelength. I will review both the basic physics of pulsars as well as the latest developments in understanding their high-energy emission. Special and general relativistic effects play important roles in pulsar emission, from inertial frame-dragging near the stellar surface to aberration, time-of-flight and retardation of the magnetic field near the light cylinder. Understanding how these effects determine what we observe at different wavelengths is critical to unraveling the emission physics. Fortunately the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), with launch in May 2008 will detect many new gamma-ray pulsars and test the predictions of these models with unprecedented sensitivity and energy resolution for gamma-rays in the range of 30 MeV to 300 GeV.

  18. The Pulsar Search Collaboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosen, R.; Heatherly, S.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Boyles, J. R.; Wilson, M.; Lorimer, D. R.; Lynch, R.; Ransom, S.

    2010-01-01

    The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) (NSF #0737641) is a joint project between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University designed to interest high school students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related career paths by helping them to conduct authentic scientific research. The 3 year PSC program,…

  19. Three-dimensional analytical description of magnetized winds from oblique pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchekhovskoy, Alexander; Philippov, Alexander; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    2016-04-01

    Rotating neutron stars, or pulsars and magnetars, are plausibly the source of power behind many astrophysical systems, such as gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, pulsar wind nebulae, and supernova remnants. In the past several years, three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations made it possible to compute pulsar spin-down luminosity from first principles and revealed that oblique pulsar winds are more powerful than aligned ones. However, what causes this enhanced power output of oblique pulsars is not understood. In this work, using time-dependent 3D magnetohydrodynamic and force-free simulations, we show that, contrary to the standard paradigm, the open magnetic flux, which carries the energy away from the pulsar, is laterally non-uniform. We argue that this non-uniformity is the primary reason for the increased luminosity of oblique pulsars. To demonstrate this, we construct simple analytic descriptions of aligned and orthogonal pulsar winds and combine them to obtain an accurate 3D description of the pulsar wind for any obliquity. Our approach describes both the warped magnetospheric current sheet and the smooth variation of pulsar wind properties outside of it. We find that the jump in magnetic field components across the current sheet decreases with increasing obliquity, which could be a mechanism that reduces dissipation in near-orthogonal pulsars. Our analytical description of the pulsar wind can be used for constructing models of pulsar gamma-ray emission, pulsar wind nebulae, neutron star powered ultra-luminous X-ray sources, and magnetar-powered core-collapse gamma-ray bursts and supernovae.

  20. Student Discovers New Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-01-01

    A West Virginia high-school student has discovered a new pulsar, using data from the giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Shay Bloxton, 15, a participant in a project in which students analyze data from the radio telescope, spotted evidence of the pulsar on October 15. Bloxton, along with NRAO astronomers observed the object again one month later. The new observation confirmed that the object is a pulsar, a rotating, superdense neutron star. Bloxton is a sophomore at Nicholas County High School in Summersville, West Virginia. "I was very excited when I found out I had actually made a discovery," Bloxton said. She went to Green Bank in November to participate in the follow-up observation. She termed that visit "a great experience." "It also helped me learn a lot about how observations with the GBT are actually done," she added. The project in which she participated, called the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), is a joint project of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and West Virginia University, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Pulsars are known for their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves that sweep through space as the neutron star rotates, creating a pulse as the beam sweeps by the Earth. First discovered in 1967, pulsars serve as valuable natural "laboratories" for physicists studying exotic states of matter, quantum mechanics and General Relativity. The GBT, dedicated in 2000, has become one of the world's leading tools for discovering and studying pulsars. The PSC, led by NRAO Education Officer Sue Ann Heatherly and Project Director Rachel Rosen, includes training for teachers and student leaders, and provides parcels of data from the GBT to student teams. The project involves teachers and students in helping astronomers analyze data from 1500 hours of observing with the GBT. The 120 terabytes of data were produced by 70,000 individual pointings of the giant, 17-million-pound telescope. Some 300 hours of the

  1. Relaxation of the Angular Velocity of Pulsars after Glitches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedrakian, D. M.; Hayrapetyan, M. V.; Baghdasaryan, D.

    2014-03-01

    The rotational dynamics of superfluid neutron stars is examined in order to study the relaxation of the angular velocity of pulsars after glitches. The motion of the neutron-proton vortex system is investigated taking the sphericity of the superfluid core and vortex pinning and depinning into account. A relaxation solution is obtained for the angular rotation velocity of pulsars after glitches. In order to compare this solution with observational data for the Vela pulsar, the inverse problem of finding the initial distribution of vortices immediately after a glitch is solved.

  2. Observations of the Eclipsing Millisecond Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bookbinder, Jay

    1990-12-01

    FRUCHTER et al. (1988a) HAVE RECENTLY DISCOVERED a 1.6 MSEC PULSAR (PSR 1957+20) IN A 9.2 HOUR ECLIPSING BINARY SYSTEM. THE UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR OF THE DISPERSION MEASURE AS A FUNCTION OF ORBITAL PHASE, AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE PULSAR SIGNAL FOR 50 MINUTES DURING EACH ORBIT, IMPLIES THAT THE ECLIPSES ARE DUE TO A PULSAR-INDUCED WIND FLOWING OFF OF THE COMPANION. THE OPTICAL COUNTERPART IS A 21ST MAGNITUDE OBJECT WHICH VARIES IN INTENSITY OVER THE BINARY PERIOD; ACCURATE GROUND-BASED OBSERVATIONS ARE PREVENTED BY THE PROXIMITY (0.7") OF A 20TH MAGNITUDE K DWARF. WE PROPOSE TO OBSERVE THE OPTICAL COUNTERPART IN A TWO-PART STUDY. FIRST, THE WF/PC WILL PROVIDE ACCURATE MULTICOLOR PHOTOMETRY, ENABLING US TO DETERMINE UNCONTAMINATED MAGNITUDES AND COLORS BOTH AT MAXIMUM (ANTI-ECLIPSE) AS WELL AS AT MINIMUM (ECLIPSE). SECOND, WE PROPOSE TO OBSERVE THE EXPECTED UV LINE EMISSION WITH FOS, ALLOWING FOR AN INTIAL DETERMINATION OF THE TEMPERATURE AND DENSITY STRUCTURE AND ABUNDANCES OF THE WIND THAT IS BEING ABLATED FROM THE COMPANION. STUDY OF THIS UNIQUE SYSTEM HOLDS ENORMOUS POTENTIAL FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE RADIATION FIELD OF A MILLISECOND PULSAR AND THE EVOLUTION OF LMXRBs AND MSPs IN GENERAL. WE EXPECT THESE OBSERVATIONS TO PLACE VERY SIGNIFICANT CONTRAINTS ON MODELS OF THIS UNIQUE OBJECT.

  3. The Optimization of GBT Pulsar Data for the GBNCC Pulsar Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Ashlee Nicole; Green Bank NRAO, GBNCC

    2016-01-01

    The Green Bank Telescope collects data from the Green Bank Northern Celestial Cap (GBNCC) pulsar survey in order to find new pulsars within its sensitivity and also, to confirm previously found pulsars within its sensitivity range. The collected data is then loaded into the CyberSKA website database where astronomers are tasked with rating the data sets based on its potential to be a pulsar from 0(unclassified), 1(class 1 pulsar), 2(class 2 pulsar), 3(class 3 pulsar), 4(radio frequency interference), 5(not a pulsar), 6(know pulsar), 7(harmonic of a known pulsar). This specific research done was to use previously classified pulsars to create a python script that will automatically identify the data set as a pulsar or a non-pulsar. After finding the recurring frequencies of radio frequency interference (RFI), the frequencies were then added to a pipeline to further discern pulsars from RFI.

  4. Shedding Light on the Pulsar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khangulyan, Dmitry; Aharonian, Felix; Bogovalov, Sergey V.

    2012-07-01

    Pulsars are believed to eject ultrarelativistic electron-positron winds that propagate to the large distances leading to the formation of the extended non-thermal sources known as plerions. The wind has been proposed to originate close to the light cylinder, and carry the rotational energy losses of the pulsar. At the beginning the wind is dominated by electromagnetic energy (Poynting flux), but at some later stage the wind is accelerated with most of the Poynting flux being converted to the kinetic energy of bulk motion. Such winds have not been yet observed, therefore the proposed scenario has been deemed inconclusive. The `cold' winds (in the sense of the low energy of the electrons in the frame of moving plasma) represent a form of "dark substance" since, despite the very high energy of the wind particles, the wind emission is extremely weak. In fact, the pulsar winds are visible only in inverse Compton gamma-rays. Recent observations in high energy (HE) and very high energy (VHE) domains with Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi/LAT) and ground based Cherenkov detectors Magic and Veritas allow the key properties of the pulsar winds to be measured in a few important systems.

  5. Pulsar Radiation Models - Radio to High Energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venter, Christo; Harding, Alice

    Rotation-powered pulsars emit over nearly 19 decades of energy. Although an all-encompassing answer as to the origin of this broad-band emission remains elusive nearly 50 years after their discovery, the theorist does have a few tools in his / her toolkit to aid investigation. Phase-averaged spectra give clues as to the emitting particles, their acceleration, environment, and the radiation mechanism. Moreover, the phase-evolution of spectra constrains the radiation energetics and environment as different parts of the magnetosphere are exposed to the observer during the pulsar's rotation. A detailed model furthermore critically depends on the specification of the emission geometry. Modeling the light curves probes this fundamental geometric assumption, which is closely tied to the posited magnetospheric structure. Studying many versions of the same system helps to constrain critical population-averaged quantities, discover population trends, and probe model performance for different regions of phase space. When coupled with population synthesis, such modeling can provide powerful discrimination between competing emission models. Polarization properties may provide complementary constraints on the magnetic field orientation and pulsar geometry. Lastly, comparison of parameters inferred from independent models for the different wavebands yields necessary crosschecks. It is indeed fortunate that the past few years have witnessed an incredible increase in number and improved characterization of rotation-powered pulsars. We will review how the enhanced quality and quantity of data are providing impetus for further model refinement.

  6. Modeling Pulsar Trajectories to Determine Birth Locations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro-Albert, Brent; Chatterjee, Shami; Cordes, James M.; Hallenbeck, Gregory L.; Vlemmings, Wouter

    2016-01-01

    Neutron stars are the remnants of massive stars after their deaths in supernova explosions. They typically have higher velocities than their progenitor stellar population due to either kicks from supernova asymmetries or from remnant velocities of compact binaries after they are disrupted by explosions. Velocities are large enough that pulsars will typically move large distances from their birth sites. By determining the present day location and velocity, we project back to twice the pulsars characteristic age to constrain the location of the progenitor star (within the uncertainty of the unknown line-of-sight velocity component). We use precision measurements of the proper motion and parallax determined with the Very Long Baseline Array as input to trajectory modeling that includes deceleration in the Galactic potential. Using a python implementation utilizing astropy and galpy, we verify the results of Vlemmings et al. (2004, ApJ, 610, 402) on two pulsars, B2020+28 and B2012+51, which found that the two objects very likely originated in the same star cluster and whose progenitor stars could have been in the same binary system. We have applied the trace back algorithm to other pulsars using the most recent astrometric measurements to identify their birth locations. Results on these objects will be reported.

  7. Pulsar-supernova remnant associations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manchester, R. N.

    1994-04-01

    Pulsars and supernova remnants (SNRs) are both believed to be formed in the supernova explosions of massive stars. Therefore one might expect to see associations between the two classes of object. In fact, up until a couple of years ago, there was only a handful of believable associations and even now there are only nine or ten. It is relatively easy to explain why such a small fraction of the 600 or so known pulsars are associated with supernova remnants. The average pulsar lifetime is of the order of 106 years, whereas the average supernova remnant is detectable for about 104 years. Therefore, one would expect only about one percent of pulsars to be still associated, as is observed. It is somewhat more difficult to explain why so few of the 150 known supernova remnants have associated pulsars. The main factor is that supernova remnants are seen throughout the Galaxy whereas most pulsars are detectable only relatively close to the Sun, within a few kiloparsec. Another factor is that pulsar emission is beamed, so even if a pulsar exists in a relatively nearby supernova remnant, it may be undetectable. The most believable of the suggested associations are listed. Associations which are possible but by no means certain are indicated by question mark. For the more certain associations, the pulsar position is within the SNR boundaries (an exception is 'The Duck', where the pulsar is at the tip of the 'beak'), the distance estimates for the pulsar and SNR are compatible, and the age estimates are likewise compatible. References to most of these associations may be found in the pulsar catalog of Taylor, Manchester and Lyne (1993, Astrophys. J. Suppl., 88, 529). Recent references not included in the catalog are for PSR B1706-44 (McAdam, Osborne and Parkinson, 1993, Nature, 361, 516) and PSR B2334+61 (Kulkarni et al., 1993, Nature, 362, 135).

  8. An eccentric binary millisecond pulsar in the galactic plane.

    PubMed

    Champion, David J; Ransom, Scott M; Lazarus, Patrick; Camilo, Fernando; Bassa, Cees; Kaspi, Victoria M; Nice, David J; Freire, Paulo C C; Stairs, Ingrid H; van Leeuwen, Joeri; Stappers, Ben W; Cordes, James M; Hessels, Jason W T; Lorimer, Duncan R; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Backer, Don C; Bhat, N D Ramesh; Chatterjee, Shami; Cognard, Ismaël; Deneva, Julia S; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André; Gaensler, Bryan M; Han, Jinlin; Jenet, Fredrick A; Kasian, Laura; Kondratiev, Vlad I; Kramer, Michael; Lazio, Joseph; McLaughlin, Maura A; Venkataraman, Arun; Vlemmings, Wouter

    2008-06-01

    Binary pulsar systems are superb probes of stellar and binary evolution and the physics of extreme environments. In a survey with the Arecibo telescope, we have found PSR J1903+0327, a radio pulsar with a rotational period of 2.15 milliseconds in a highly eccentric (e = 0.44) 95-day orbit around a solar mass (M(middle dot in circle)) companion. Infrared observations identify a possible main-sequence companion star. Conventional binary stellar evolution models predict neither large orbital eccentricities nor main-sequence companions around millisecond pulsars. Alternative formation scenarios involve recycling a neutron star in a globular cluster, then ejecting it into the Galactic disk, or membership in a hierarchical triple system. A relativistic analysis of timing observations of the pulsar finds its mass to be 1.74 +/- 0.04 M solar symbol, an unusually high value. PMID:18483399

  9. An Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsar in the Galactic Plane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Champion, David J.; Ransom, Scott M.; Lazarus, Patrick; Camilo, Fernando; Bassa, Cess; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Nice, David J.; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; vanLeeuwen, Joeri; Stappers, Ben W.; Cordes, James M.; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Lorimer, Duncan R.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Backer, Don C.; Bhat, N. D. Ramesh; Chatterjee, Shami; Cognard, Ismael; Deneva, Julia S.; Faucher-Giguere, Claude-Andre; Gaensler, Bryan M.; Han, JinLin; Jenet, Fredrick A.; Kasian, Laura

    2008-01-01

    Binary pulsar systems are superb probes of stellar and binary evolution and the physics of extreme environments. In a survey with the Arecibo telescope, we have found PSR J1903+0327, a radio pulsar with a rotational period of 2.15 milliseconds in a highly eccentric (e = 0.44) 95-day orbit around a solar mass (M.) companion. Infrared observations identify a possible main-sequence companion star. Conventional binary stellar evolution models predict neither large orbital eccentricities nor main-sequence companions around millisecond pulsars. Alternative formation scenarios involve recycling a neutron star in a globular cluster, then ejecting it into the Galactic disk, or membership in a hierarchical triple system. A relativistic analysis of timing observations of the pulsar finds its mass to be 1.74 +/- 0.04 Solar Mass, an unusually high value.

  10. Pulsar braking: magnetodipole vs. wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Pulsars are good clocks in the universe. One fundamental question is that why they are good clocks? This is related to the braking mechanism of pulsars. Nowadays pulsar timing is done with unprecedented accuracy. More pulsars have braking indices measured. The period derivative of intermittent pulsars and magnetars can vary by a factor of several. However, during pulsar studies, the magnetic dipole braking in vacuum is still often assumed. It is shown that the fundamental assumption of magnetic dipole braking (vacuum condition) does not exist and it is not consistent with the observations. The physical torque must consider the presence of the pulsar magnetosphere. Among various efforts, the wind braking model can explain many observations of pulsars and magnetars in a unified way. It is also consistent with the up-to-date observations. It is time for a paradigm shift in pulsar studies: from magnetic dipole braking to wind braking. As one alternative to the magnetospheric model, the fallback disk model is also discussed.

  11. Binary pulsars studies with multiwavelength sky surveys - I. Companion star identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, R. P.; Corongiu, A.; Pallanca, C.; Oates, S. R.; Yershov, V. N.; Breeveld, A. A.; Page, M. J.; Ferraro, F. R.; Possenti, A.; Jackson, A. C.

    2014-09-01

    The identification of the stellar companions to binary pulsars is key to studying the evolution of the binary system and how this is influenced by the interactions between the two stars. For only a fraction of the known binary pulsars, the stellar companions have been identified. Here, we used 11 source catalogues available from multiwavelength (ultraviolet, optical, infrared) imaging sky surveys to search for the stellar companions of a sample of 144 field binary pulsars (i.e. not in globular clusters) selected from the Australia Telescope National Facility data base (version 1.48) and from the public list of γ-ray pulsars detected by Fermi. We found positional associations in at least one source catalogue for 22 pulsars, of which 10 are detected in γ-rays by Fermi, including 15 millisecond pulsars. For six pulsars in our compilation, we confirm their identifications. For another seven pulsars that had yet not been identified, we examine potential identifications. In particular, we identified a likely companion star candidate to PSR J2317+1439, whereas for both PSR B1953+29 and PSR J1935+1726 the companion star identification is more uncertain. Follow-up observations of these three pulsars are needed to settle the proposed identifications. For the remaining nine pulsars that had been already identified, we provide additional spectral information in at least one of the surveys' spectral bands, which we will use to better constrain the stars' spectral energy distributions.

  12. The Extended Pulsar Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Constantinos, Kalapotharakos; Demosthenes, Kazanas; Ioannis, Contopoulos

    2012-01-01

    We present the structure of the 3D ideal MHD pulsar magnetosphere to a radius ten times that of the light cylinder, a distance about an order of magnitude larger than any previous such numerical treatment. Its overall structure exhibits a stable, smooth, well-defined undulating current sheet which approaches the kinematic split monopole solution of Bogovalov 1999 only after a careful introduction of diffusivity even in the highest resolution simulations. It also exhibits an intriguing spiral region at the crossing of two zero charge surfaces on the current sheet, which shows a destabilizing behavior more prominent in higher resolution simulations. We discuss the possibility that this region is physically (and not numerically) unstable. Finally, we present the spiral pulsar antenna radiation pattern.

  13. 4U 1626--67: A prograde spinning X-ray pulsar in A 2500 s binary system

    SciTech Connect

    Middleditch, J.; Mason, K.O.; Nelson, J.E.; White, N.E.

    1981-03-15

    The binary period of 4U 1626--67 has been found from a careful analysis of its optical pulsations. A single lower frequency sidelobe of the 2.4% amplitude 7.68 s optical pulsations from this X-ray pulsar has been detected on at least three different nights in Fourier transforms of high speed photometry obtained with the CTIO 4 m telescope. The 0.42% sidelobe pulsations have a frequency which is 0.4011(21) mHz lower than the frequency of the direct pulsations near 130.26 mHz. The weaker sidelobe pulsations are interpreted as arising from X-ray to optical reprocessing on the companion star and are shifted to the lower frequency by the rotation frequency of the binary because the X-ray pulsar spins in the same sense as as the orbital motion (direct, or prograde). The orbital period is refined by connecting phases to be either 2491.06 s or 2492.32 s +- 0.13 s (the epoch for equal phases for the direct and lower sidelobe pulsations is JD 2,444,048.68162). Third harmonic (3F) structure in the lower sidelobe pulsations has enabled us to detect and measure the Doppler phase modulation due to the projected orbital motion and obtain an inclination-independent measurement of the total orbital separation. A simple geometrical model for the optical pulsations from the companion's Roche lobe is developed to calibrate the systematic effects of the measurements of orbital dimensions.With the help of a new limit of a/sub x/ sin i<0.04 lt-sec established from HEAO 1 data, the corrected values for the orbital parameters are: a/sub c/ sin i = 0.36(10) lt-sec, a/sub x/+a/sub c/ = 1.14(40) lt-sec, i = 18 /sup 0/(+18 /sup 0/, -7 /sup 0/) M/sub x/+M/sub c/ = 1.9(+2.8, -1.4) M/sub sun/, M/sub x/ = 1.8(+2.9, -1.3) M/sub sun/, and M/sub c/<0.5 Msun.

  14. Pulsar timing arrays: the promise of gravitational wave detection.

    PubMed

    Lommen, Andrea N

    2015-12-01

    We describe the history, methods, tools, and challenges of using pulsars to detect gravitational waves. Pulsars act as celestial clocks detecting gravitational perturbations in space-time at wavelengths of light-years. The field is poised to make its first detection of nanohertz gravitational waves in the next 10 years. Controversies remain over how far we can reduce the noise in the pulsars, how many pulsars should be in the array, what kind of source we will detect first, and how we can best accommodate our large bandwidth systems. We conclude by considering the important question of how to plan for a post-detection era, beyond the first detection of gravitational waves. PMID:26564968

  15. Future Gamma-Ray Observations of Pulsars and their Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David J.

    2006-01-01

    Pulsars and pulsar wind nebulae seen at gamma-ray energies offer insight into particle acceleration to very high energies under extreme conditions. Pulsed emission provides information about the geometry and interaction processes in the magnetospheres of these rotating neutron stars, while the pulsar wind nebulae yield information about high-energy particles interacting with their surroundings. During the next decade, a number of new and expanded gamma-ray facilities will become available for pulsar studies, including Astro-rivelatore Gamma a Immagini LEggero (AGILE) and Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) in space and a number of higher-energy ground-based systems. This review describes the capabilities of such observatories to answer some of the open questions about the highest-energy processes involving neutron stars.

  16. The pulsar spectral index distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, S. D.; Lorimer, D. R.; Verbiest, J. P. W.

    2013-05-01

    The flux-density spectra of radio pulsars are known to be steep and, to first order, described by a power-law relationship of the form Sν ∝ να, where Sν is the flux density at some frequency ν and α is the spectral index. Although measurements of α have been made over the years for several hundred pulsars, a study of the intrinsic distribution of pulsar spectra has not been carried out. From the result of pulsar surveys carried out at three different radio frequencies, we use population synthesis techniques and a likelihood analysis to deduce what underlying spectral index distribution is required to replicate the results of these surveys. We find that in general the results of the surveys can be modelled by a Gaussian distribution of spectral indices with a mean of -1.4 and unit standard deviation. We also consider the impact of the so-called gigahertz-peaked spectrum pulsars proposed by Kijak et al. The fraction of peaked-spectrum sources in the population with any significant turnover at low frequencies appears to be at most 10 per cent. We demonstrate that high-frequency (>2 GHz) surveys preferentially select flatter spectrum pulsars and the converse is true for lower frequency (<1 GHz) surveys. This implies that any correlations between α and other pulsar parameters (for example age or magnetic field) need to carefully account for selection biases in pulsar surveys. We also expect that many known pulsars which have been detected at high frequencies will have shallow, or positive, spectral indices. The majority of pulsars do not have recorded flux density measurements over a wide frequency range, making it impossible to constrain their spectral shapes. We also suggest that such measurements would allow an improved description of any populations of pulsars with `non-standard' spectra. Further refinements to this picture will soon be possible from the results of surveys with the Green Bank Telescope and LOFAR.

  17. Planets around pulsars; Proceedings of the Conference, California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, Apr. 30-May 1, 1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, J. A. (Editor); Thorsett, Steve E. (Editor); Kulkarni, Shri R. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    Topics addressed include planets and pulsar timing; timing noise in pulsars and alternative explanations; orbital dynamics; planet formation scenarios; searches for disks and other planets; and comets, planetesimals, and debris disks. Particular attention is given to PSR 1257+12 and its planetary companions; the detectability of planetary companions to radio pulsars; orbital dynamics of PSR 1257+12 and its two planetary companions; formation and evolution of pulsars; the circumstellar environment of the GG Tau multiple system; IRAS sources near positions of pulsars; and gamma-ray bursts from planetesimal accretion.

  18. Be/X-Ray Pulsar Binary Science with LOFT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2011-01-01

    Accretion disks are ubiquitous in astronomical sources. Accretion powered pulsars are a good test bed for accretion disk physics, because unlike for other objects, the spin of the neutron star is directly observable allowing us to see the effects of angular momentum transfer onto the pulsar. The combination of a sensitive wide-field monitor and the large area detector on LOFT will enable new detailed studies of accretion powered pulsars which I will review. RXTE observations have shown an unusually high number of Be/X-ray pulsar binaries in the SMC. Unlike binaries in the Milky Way, these systems are all at the same distance, allowing detailed population studies using the sensitive LOFT WFM, potentially providing connections to star formation episodes. For Galactic accreting pulsar systems, LOFT will allow measurement of spectral variations within individual pulses, mapping the accretion column in detail for the first time. LOFT will also provide better constraints on magnetic fields in accreting pulsars, allowing measurements of cyclotron features, observations of transitions into the centrifugal inhibition regime, and monitoring of spin-up rate vs flux correlations. Coordinated multi-wavelength observations are crucial to extracting the best science from LOFT from these and numerous other objects.

  19. Constraining Binary Stellar Evolution With Pulsar Timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdman, Robert D.; Stairs, I. H.; Backer, D. C.; Burgay, M.; Camilo, F.; D'Amico, N.; Demorest, P.; Faulkner, A.; Hobbs, G.; Kramer, M.; Lorimer, D. R.; Lyne, A. G.; Manchester, R.; McLaughlin, M.; Nice, D. J.; Possenti, A.

    2006-06-01

    The Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey has yielded a significant number of very interesting binary and millisecond pulsars. Two of these objects are part of an ongoing timing study at the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). PSR J1756-2251 is a double-neutron star (DNS) binary system. It is similar to the original Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar system PSR B1913+16 in its orbital properties, thus providing another important opportunity to test the validity of General Relativity, as well as the evolutionary history of DNS systems through mass measurements. PSR J1802-2124 is part of the relatively new and unstudied "intermediate-mass" class of binary system, which typically have spin periods in the tens of milliseconds, and/or relatively massive (> 0.7 solar masses) white dwarf companions. With our GBT observations, we have detected the Shapiro delay in this system, allowing us to constrain the individual masses of the neutron star and white dwarf companion, and thus the mass-transfer history, in this unusual system.

  20. Sensitivity of Pulsar Timing Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siemens, Xavier

    2015-08-01

    For the better part of the last decade, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) has been using the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes to monitor millisecond pulsars. NANOGrav, along with similar international collaborations, the European Pulsar Timing Array and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array in Australia, form a consortium of consortia: the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA). The goal of the IPTA is to directly detect low-frequency gravitational waves which cause small changes to the times of arrival of radio pulses from millisecond pulsars. In this talk I will discuss the work of NANOGrav and the IPTA as well as our sensitivity to gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. I will show that a detection is possible by the end of the decade.

  1. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, Manuel; Coelho, Jaziel G.

    2016-07-01

    The anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are a class of pulsars understood as neutron stars (NSs) with super strong surface magnetic fields, namely B ≳ 1014G, and for that reason are known as magnetars. However, in the last years, some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields B ˜ (1012-1013)G have been detected, challenging the magnetar description. Moreover, some fast and very magnetic white dwarfs (WDs) have also been observed, and at least one showed X-ray energy emission as an ordinary pulsar. Following this fact, an alternative model based on WDs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized WDs can have surface magnetic field B ˜ 107-1010 G and rotate very fast with frequencies Ω ˜ 1rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods P ˜ (2-12)s.

  2. Developing Precision Pulsar Timing Capability for the DSN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid A.; Kuiper, T. B.; Lazio, J.; Monroe, R.; Preston, R. A.; Spolaor, S.; Teitelbaum, L.; Trinh, J.

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars are a class of radio pulsars with extremely stable rotations. The excellent timing stability of millisecond pulsars can be used to study a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. In particular, observations of a large sample of these pulsars can be used to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves. We are currently developing a precision pulsar timing backend for the Deep Space Network (DSN), which will allow the use of short gaps in tracking schedules to observe and time pulses from an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) operates clusters of large dish antennas (up to 70-m in diameter), located roughly equi-distant around the Earth, for communication and tracking of deep-space spacecraft. The backend system will be capable of removing entirely the dispersive effects of propagation of radio waves through the interstellar medium in real-time. We will describe our development work, initial results, and prospects for pilot observations scheduled later this year. This research was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under the Research and Technology Development Program, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  3. Precision Pulsar Timing with NASA's Deep Space Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid; Lazio, Joseph; Teitelbaum, Lawrence

    2015-08-01

    Millisecond pulsars are a class of radio pulsars with extremely stable rotations. The excellent timing stability of millisecond pulsars can be used to study a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. In particular, observations of a large sample of these pulsars can be used to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves. We have developed a precision pulsar timing backend for the Deep Space Network (DSN), which will allow the use of short gaps in tracking schedules to observe and time pulses from an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) operates clusters of large dish antennas (up to 70-m in diameter), located roughly equi-distant around the Earth, for communication and tracking of deep-space spacecraft. The backend system will be capable of removing entirely the dispersive effects of propagation of radio waves through the interstellar medium in real-time. We will describe our development work, initial results, and prospects for future observations over the next few years.

  4. Millisecond pulsars: Timekeepers of the cosmos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaspi, Victoria M.

    1995-01-01

    A brief discussion on the characteristics of pulsars is given followed by a review of millisecond pulsar discoveries including the very first, PRS B1937+21, discovered in 1982. Methods of timing millisecond pulsars and the accuracy of millisecond pulsars as clocks are discussed. Possible reasons for the pulse residuals, or differences between the observed and predicted pulse arrival times for millisecond pulsars, are given.

  5. Mildly Recycled Pulsars at High-Energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellizzoni, A.

    2011-08-01

    Mildly recyled pulsars (MRP), conventionally defined as neutron star having spin period in the 20-100 ms range and surface magnetic field <1011 Gauss, probably rise from binary systems (disrupted or not) with an intermediate or an high mass companion. Despite their relatively low spin-down energies compared to the ``fully'' recycled millisecond pulsars (arising from common low mass X-ray binaries), nearby MRPs can be detected by deep X-ray observations and by timing analysis of the very long data span provided by gamma-ray space detectors. The discovery of peculiar timing and spectral properties, possibly transitional, of the MRPs can be of the utmost importance to link different classes of neutron stars and study their evolution.

  6. Pulsar Observations with Radio Telescope FAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nan, Ren-Dong; Wang, Qi-Ming; Zhu, Li-Chun; Zhu, Wen-Bai; Jin, Cheng-Jin; Gan, Heng-Qian

    2006-12-01

    FAST, Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, is the Chinese effort for the international project SKA, Square Kilometer Array. An innovative engineering concept and design pave a new road to realizing huge single dish in the most effective way. Three outstanding features of the telescope are the unique karst depressions as the sites, the active main reflector which corrects spherical aberration on the ground to achieve full polarization and wide band without involving complex feed system, and the light focus cabin driven by cables and servomechanism plus a parallel robot as secondary adjustable system to carry the most precise parts of the receivers. Besides a general coverage of those critical technologies involved in FAST concept, the progresses in demonstrating model being constructed at the Miyun Radio Observatory of the NAOC is introduced. Being the most sensitive radio telescope, FAST will enable astronomers to jumpstart many of science goals, for example, the natural hydrogen line surveying in distant galaxies, looking for the first generation of shining objects, hearing the possible signal from other civilizations, etc. Among these subjects, the most striking one could be pulsar study. Large scale survey by FAST will not only improve the statistics of the pulsar population, but also may offer us a good fortune to pick up more of the most exotic, even unknown types like a sub-millisecond pulsar or a neutron star -- black hole binary as the telescope is put into operation.

  7. LeRoy Apker Award: The Atmospheric Dynamics of Pulsar Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jermyn, Adam

    2016-03-01

    Pulsars emit radiation over an extremely wide frequency range, from radio through gamma. Recently, systems in which this radiation significantly alters the atmospheres of low-mass pulsar companions have been discovered. These systems, ranging from ones with highly anisotropic heating to those with transient X-ray emissions, represent an exciting opportunity to investigate pulsars through the changes they induce in their companions. In this work, we present both analytic and numerical work investigating these phenomena, with a particular focus on atmospheric heat transport, transient phenomena, and the possibility of deep heating via gamma rays. We find that certain classes of binary systems may explain decadal-timescale X-ray transient phenomena, as well as the formation of so-called redback companion systems. In addition, we examine the temperature anisotropy induced by the Pulsar in its companion, and demonstrate that this may be used to infer properties of both the companion and the Pulsar wind.

  8. Ten Years Timing of Millisecond Pulsars at Kalyazin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyasov, Yu. P.; Oreshko, V. V.

    2006-08-01

    Precise timing of millisecond binary pulsars has been started at Kalyazin radio astronomical observatory since 1995. (Tver' region, Russia). Binary pulsars: J0613-02, J1020+10, J1640+22, J1643-12, J1713+07, J2145-07 and isolated millisecond pulsar B1937+21 have been included among the Kalayazin Pulsar Timing Array (KPTA). The Backer's pulsar B1937+21 is being monitored at Kalyazin observatory (0.6 GHz) and Kashima space research centre of the National Institute of Communication Technology (NICT, Japan) (2.2 GHz) simultaneously from 1996, as well. .At Kalyazin pulsars are observed at 0.6 GHz by a full steerable 64-m dish radio telescope RT-64 of the Special Research Bureau of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. Filter-bank receiver of PRAO Lebedev Physical Institute is used for observations in two circular polarizations by 80 channels per each. Bandwidth per channel is 40 kHz, so total band is 3.2 MHz and time resolution is about 10 μs per channel. Now a perfect data base of pulses Time of Arrival (TOA) are collected with refer to the Solar system barycenter for about 10 years period. Main aim is: a) to study Pulsar Time and to establish a long-term standard of time based on pulsars ensemble as space long life clock alternative to atomic standards; b) to detect gravitational waves extremely low frequency belong to the Gravity Wave Background - GWB. After ten years monitoring of B1937+21 its timing noise is looking as "white phase noise" with RMS about 1.8 μs.( Fractional instability is about 6.10^-15). After these data and timing results of binary pulsar J1640+22 gravitational natural GWB upper limit should be reduced till to less than Ω[g]h^2 <10^-7-10^ -9 . Secular changes of DM toward millisecond pulsar B1937+21 was revealed after long time two frequency timing observations (Kalyazin -0,6 and Kashima -2.3).

  9. Pulsar Bursts Coming From Beachball-Sized Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-03-01

    In a major breakthrough for understanding what one of them calls "the most exotic environment in the Universe," a team of astronomers has discovered that powerful radio bursts in pulsars are generated by structures as small as a beach ball. VLA Image of Crab Nebula VLA Image of Crab Nebula (Click on Image for Larger Version) Pulsar Diagram Diagram of a Pulsar (Click on Image for Larger Version) "These are by far the smallest objects ever detected outside our solar system," said Tim Hankins, leader of the research team, which studied the pulsar at the center of the Crab Nebula, more than 6,000 light-years from Earth. "The small size of these regions is inconsistent with all but one proposed theory for how the radio emission is generated," he added. The other members of the team are Jeff Kern, James Weatherall and Jean Eilek. Hankins was a visiting scientist at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico at the time the pulsar observations were made. He and Eilek are professors at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) in Socorro, NM. Kern is a graduate student at NM Tech and a predoctoral fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro. Weatherall is an adjunct professor at NM Tech, currently working at the Federal Aviation Administration. The astronomers reported their discovery in the March 13 edition of the scientific journal Nature. Pulsars are superdense neutron stars, the remnants of massive stars that exploded as supernovae. Pulsars emit powerful beams of radio waves and light. As the neutron star spins, the beam sweeps through space like the beam of a lighthouse. When such a beam sweeps across the Earth, astronomers see a pulse from the pulsar. The Crab pulsar spins some 33 times every second. British radio astronomers discovered pulsars in 1967, one receiving the Nobel Prize for the discovery. In the years since, the method by which pulsars produce their powerful beams of electromagnetic radiation has remained a

  10. Discovery of the Optical Counterparts to Four Energetic Fermi Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breton, R. P.; van Kerkwijk, M. H.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Camilo, F.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Stairs, I. H.

    2013-06-01

    In the last few years, over 43 millisecond radio pulsars have been discovered by targeted searches of unidentified γ-ray sources found by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. A large fraction of these millisecond pulsars are in compact binaries with low-mass companions. These systems often show eclipses of the pulsar signal and are commonly known as black widows and redbacks because the pulsar is gradually destroying its companion. In this paper, we report on the optical discovery of four strongly irradiated millisecond pulsar companions. All four sources show modulations of their color and luminosity at the known orbital periods from radio timing. Light curve modeling of our exploratory data shows that the equilibrium temperature reached on the companion's dayside with respect to their nightside is consistent with about 10%-30% of the available spin-down energy from the pulsar being reprocessed to increase the companion's dayside temperature. This value compares well with the range observed in other irradiated pulsar binaries and offers insights about the energetics of the pulsar wind and the production of γ-ray emission. In addition, this provides a simple way of estimating the brightness of irradiated pulsar companions given the pulsar spin-down luminosity. Our analysis also suggests that two of the four new irradiated pulsar companions are only partially filling their Roche lobe. Some of these sources are relatively bright and represent good targets for spectroscopic follow-up. These measurements could enable, among other things, mass determination of the neutron stars in these systems.

  11. Discovery of the optical counterparts to four energetic Fermi millisecond pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Breton, R. P.; Van Kerkwijk, M. H.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Camilo, F.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Stairs, I. H.

    2013-06-01

    In the last few years, over 43 millisecond radio pulsars have been discovered by targeted searches of unidentified γ-ray sources found by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. A large fraction of these millisecond pulsars are in compact binaries with low-mass companions. These systems often show eclipses of the pulsar signal and are commonly known as black widows and redbacks because the pulsar is gradually destroying its companion. In this paper, we report on the optical discovery of four strongly irradiated millisecond pulsar companions. All four sources show modulations of their color and luminosity at the known orbital periods from radio timing. Light curve modeling of our exploratory data shows that the equilibrium temperature reached on the companion's dayside with respect to their nightside is consistent with about 10%-30% of the available spin-down energy from the pulsar being reprocessed to increase the companion's dayside temperature. This value compares well with the range observed in other irradiated pulsar binaries and offers insights about the energetics of the pulsar wind and the production of γ-ray emission. In addition, this provides a simple way of estimating the brightness of irradiated pulsar companions given the pulsar spin-down luminosity. Our analysis also suggests that two of the four new irradiated pulsar companions are only partially filling their Roche lobe. Some of these sources are relatively bright and represent good targets for spectroscopic follow-up. These measurements could enable, among other things, mass determination of the neutron stars in these systems.

  12. Higgs portals to pulsar collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bramante, Joseph; Elahi, Fatemeh

    2015-06-01

    Pulsars apparently missing from the Galactic center could have been destroyed by asymmetric fermionic dark matter (mX=1 - 100 GeV ) coupled to a light scalar (mϕ=5 - 20 MeV ), which mixes with the Higgs boson. We point out that this pulsar-collapsing dark sector can resolve the core-cusp problem and will either be excluded or discovered by upcoming direct detection experiments. Another implication is a maximum pulsar age curve that increases with distance from the Galactic center, with a normalization that depends on the couplings and masses of dark sector particles. In addition, we use old pulsars outside the Galactic center to place bounds on asymmetric Higgs portal models.

  13. FSSC Science Tools: Pulsar Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Dave

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the typical pulsar analysis, giving tips for screening of the data, the use of time series analysis, and utility tools. Specific information about analyzing Vela data is reviewed.

  14. Fermi's New Pulsar Detection Technique

    NASA Video Gallery

    To locate a pulsar in Fermi LAT data requires knowledge of the object’s sky position, its pulse period, and how the pulse rate slows over time. Computers check many different combinations of posi...

  15. Millisecond radio pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Verbunt, Frank; Lewin, Walter H. G.; Van Paradijs, Jan

    1989-01-01

    It is shown that the number of millisecond radio pulsars, in globular clusters, should be larger than 100, applying the standard scenario that all the pulsars descend from low-mass X-ray binaries. Moreover, most of the pulsars are located in a small number of clusters. The prediction that Teran 5 and Liller 1 contain at least about a dozen millisecond radio pulsars each is made. The observations of millisecond radio pulsars in globular clusters to date, in particular the discovery of two millisecond radio pulsars in 47 Tuc, are in agreement with the standard scenario, in which the neutron star is spun up during the mass transfer phase.

  16. X-Ray Spectra of Young Pulsars and Their Wind Nebulae: Dependence on Spin-Down Energy Loss Rate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gotthelf, E. V.

    2003-01-01

    An observational model is presented for the spectra of young rotation-powered pulsars and their nebulae based on a study of nine bright Crab-like pulsar systems observed with the Chandra X-ray observatory. A significant correlation is discovered between the X-ray spectra of these pulsars and that of their associated pulsar wind nebulae, both of which are observed to be a function of the spin-down energy loss rate, E. The 2-10 keV spectra of these objects are well characterized by an absorbed power-law model with photon indices, Gamma, in the range of 0.6 < Gamma (sub PSR) < 2.1 and 1.3 < Gamma(sub PWN) < 2.3, for the pulsars and their nebulae, respectively. A linear regression fit relating these two sets of indexes yields Gamma(sub PWN) = 0.91 +/- 0.18 + (0.66 +/- 0.11) Gamma (sub PSR), with a correlation coefficient of r = 0.97. The spectra of these pulsars are found to steepen as Gamma = Gamma(sub max) + alpha E (exp -1/2), with Gamma(sub max) providing an observational limit on the spectral slopes of young rotation-powered pulsars. These results reveal basic properties of young pulsar systems, allow new observational constraints on models of pulsar wind emission, and provide a means of predicting the energetics of pulsars lacking detected pulsations.

  17. On the evolution of pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beskin, V. S.; Gurevich, A. V.; Istomin, Ya. N.

    1991-01-01

    Data from a previous investigation on the angle chi between the axis of rotation and the magnetic dipole axis, determined from polarization observations, provides a complete catalog which makes it possible to carry out a detailed comparison of the theoretical results of this present investigation with the observed distribution of radio pulsars over the angel chi. Before such a comparison is made, the main features of a theory for pulsar evolution is described.

  18. Pulsar Observatory for Students (POS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Bhal Chandra; Manoharan, P. K.; Gopakumar, A.; Mitra, D.; Bagchi, Joydeep; Saikia, D. J.

    2012-07-01

    A new program, to initiate motivated undergraduate students to the methodology of pulsar astronomy in particular and radio astronomy in general, is being launched at the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT). The ORT is a 530 m X 30 m cylindrical radio telescope operating at 325 MHz, having an equatorial mount. Its equatorial mount allows modestly trained students to make pulsar observations without any substantial help from the observatory. Due to its large collecting area, it is a sensitive instrument for pulsar astronomy, capable of detecting a large number of pulsars with short observation time. The program consists of biannual workshops that will introduce scores of students to basics of radio-astronomy and pulsars. It will also train them in the use of the ORT as well as expose them to the future prospects and excitements in the field. The second leg of the program involves live ORT observations by these trained students during various academic breaks. There is a possibility for a follow up program of highly motivated students, selected from this program, to pursue projects of their interest from the data obtained in these sensitive observations. The long term aim of the program is to enlarge the pulsar astronomy community in the country. The presentation will highlight the main features of this program and describe the experience drawn from such programs.

  19. The LOFAR Pulsar Data Pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexov, A.; Hessels, J.; Mol, J. D.; Stappers, B.; van Leeuwen, J.

    2010-12-01

    The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) for radio astronomy is being built in the Netherlands by ASTRON, with extensions throughout Europe. LOFAR operates at radio frequencies below 250 MHz. The project is an interferometric array of radio antennas grouped into stations that are distributed over an area of hundreds of kilometers. LOFAR will revolutionise low-frequency radio astronomy. Transient radio phenomena and pulsars are one of six LOFAR Key Science Projects (KSPs). As part of the Transients KSP, the Pulsar Working Group has been developing the LOFAR Pulsar Data Pipeline to both study known pulsars as well as search for new ones. The pipeline is being developed for the Blue Gene/P (BG/P) supercomputer and a large Linux cluster in order to utilize enormous amounts of computation capabilities (˜ 50 Tflops) and data streams of up to 23TB/hour. The LOFAR pipeline output will be using the Hierarchical Data Format 5 (HDF5) to efficiently store large amounts of numerical data, and to manage complex data encompassing a variety of data types, across distributed storage and processing architectures. We present the LOFAR Pulsar Data Pipeline overview, the pulsar beam-formed data format, the status of the pipeline processing as well as our future plans for developing additional transient pipelines.

  20. A massive pulsar in a compact relativistic binary.

    PubMed

    Antoniadis, John; Freire, Paulo C C; Wex, Norbert; Tauris, Thomas M; Lynch, Ryan S; van Kerkwijk, Marten H; Kramer, Michael; Bassa, Cees; Dhillon, Vik S; Driebe, Thomas; Hessels, Jason W T; Kaspi, Victoria M; Kondratiev, Vladislav I; Langer, Norbert; Marsh, Thomas R; McLaughlin, Maura A; Pennucci, Timothy T; Ransom, Scott M; Stairs, Ingrid H; van Leeuwen, Joeri; Verbiest, Joris P W; Whelan, David G

    2013-04-26

    Many physically motivated extensions to general relativity (GR) predict substantial deviations in the properties of spacetime surrounding massive neutron stars. We report the measurement of a 2.01 ± 0.04 solar mass (M⊙) pulsar in a 2.46-hour orbit with a 0.172 ± 0.003 M⊙ white dwarf. The high pulsar mass and the compact orbit make this system a sensitive laboratory of a previously untested strong-field gravity regime. Thus far, the observed orbital decay agrees with GR, supporting its validity even for the extreme conditions present in the system. The resulting constraints on deviations support the use of GR-based templates for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Additionally, the system strengthens recent constraints on the properties of dense matter and provides insight to binary stellar astrophysics and pulsar recycling. PMID:23620056

  1. Radio pulsar disk electrodynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michel, F. C.

    1983-01-01

    Macroscopic physics are discussed for the case of a disk close to an isolated, magnetized, rotating neutron star that acts as a Faraday disk dynamo, while the disk acts as both a load and a neutral sheet. This sheet allows the polar cap current to return to the neutron star, splitting a dipolar field into two monopolar halves. The dominant energy loss is from the stellar wind torque, and the next contribution is dissipation in the auroral zones, where the current returns to the star in a 5 cm-thick sheet. The disk itself may be a source of visible radiation comparable to that in pulsed radio frequency emission. As the pulsar ages, the disk expands and narrows into a ring which, it is suggested, may lead to a cessation of pulsed emission at periods of a few sec.

  2. Ion-proton pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, P. B.

    2016-07-01

    Evidence derived with minimal assumptions from existing published observations is presented to show that an ion-proton plasma is the source of radio-frequency emission in millisecond and in normal isolated pulsars. There is no primary involvement of electron-positron pairs. This conclusion has also been reached by studies of the plasma composition based on well-established particle-physics processes in neutron stars with positive polar-cap corotational charge density. This work has been published in a series of papers which are also summarized here. It is now confirmed by simple analyses of the observed radio-frequency characteristics, and its implications for the further study of neutron stars are outlined.

  3. Pulsars In The Headlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Puerto, C.

    1967 was the year of the so-called “war of the six days” or “third Arab Israeli war”, the year of the Che Guevara's death in Bolivia, the year of the military coup in Greece and, in medicine, the year of the first human heart transplant. Moreover, the signing of the international agreement on the use of space with peaceful means and the crash of the Russian shuttle Soyuz-1, with Cosmonaut Vladimir Kamarov on board also happened that year. Likewise, Spanish writer and professor of journalists, José Azorín, passed away. However, here we are interested in 1967 because it was the year of the detection of pulsars, which astronomers initially confused with signals from extraterrestrials or Little Green Men. Nowadays, they are still present in the headlines.

  4. Ion-proton pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, P. B.

    2016-04-01

    Evidence derived with minimal assumptions from existing published observations is presented to show that an ion-proton plasma is the source of radio-frequency emission in millisecond and in normal isolated pulsars. There is no primary involvement of electron-positron pairs. This conclusion has also been reached by studies of the plasma composition based on well-established particle-physics processes in neutron stars with positive polar-cap corotational charge density. This work has been published in a series of papers which are also summarized here. It is now confirmed by simple analyses of the observed radio-frequency characteristics, and its implications for the further study of neutron stars are outlined.

  5. Distance Indicators of Gamma-Ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Distance measurements of gamma-ray pulsars are challenging questions in present pulsar studies. The Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi gamma-ray observatory discovered more than 100 gamma-ray pulsars including 24 new gamma-selected pulsars which nearly have no distance information. We study the relation between gamma-ray emission efficiency (η = Lγ/Ė) and pulsar parameters for young radio-selected gamma-ray pulsars with known distance information in the first gamma-ray pulsar catalog reported by Fermi/LAT. We have introduced three generation order parameters to describe gamma-ray emission properties of pulsars, and find the strong correlation of η - ζ3 a generation order parameter which reflects γ-ray photon generations in pair cascade processes induced by magnetic field absorption in pulsar magnetosphere. A good correlation of η - BLC the magnetic field at the light cylinder radius is also found. These correlations would be the distance indicators in gamma-ray pulsars to evaluate distances for gamma-selected pulsars. Distances of 25 gamma-selected pulsars are estimated, which could be tested by other distance measurement methods. Physical origin of the correlations may be also interesting for pulsar studies.

  6. Accretion powered X-ray pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, N. E.; Swank, J. H.; Holt, S. S.

    1982-01-01

    A unified description of the properties of 14 X-ray pulsars is presented and compared with the current theoretical understanding of these systems. The sample extends over six orders of magnitude in luminosity, with the only trend in the phase averaged spectra being that the lower luminosity systems appear to have less abrupt high energy cutoffs. There is no correlation of luminosity with power law index, high energy cutoff energy or iron line EW. Detailed pulse phase spectroscopy is given for five systems.

  7. Pulsar searching and timing with the Parkes telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. W. Y.

    2014-11-01

    Pulsars are highly magnetised, rapidly rotating neutron stars that radiate a beam of coherent radio emission from their magnetic poles. An introduction to the pulsar phenomenology is presented in Chapter 1 of this thesis. The extreme conditions found in and around such compact objects make pulsars fantastic natural laboratories, as their strong gravitational fields provide exclusive insights to a rich variety of fundamental physics and astronomy. The discovery of pulsars is therefore a gateway to new science. An overview of the standard pulsar searching technique is described in Chapter 2, as well as a discussion on notable pulsar searching efforts undertaken thus far with various telescopes. The High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) Pulsar Survey conducted with the 64-m Parkes radio telescope in Australia forms the bulk of this PhD. In particular, the author has led the search effort of the HTRU low-latitude Galactic plane project part which is introduced in Chapter 3. We discuss the computational challenges arising from the processing of the petabyte-sized survey data. Two new radio interference mitigation techniques are introduced, as well as a partially-coherent segmented acceleration search algorithm which aims to increase our chances of discovering highly-relativistic short-orbit binary systems, covering a parameter space including the potential pulsar-black hole binaries. We show that under a linear acceleration approximation, a ratio of ~0.1 of data length over orbital period results in the highest effectiveness for this search algorithm. Chapter 4 presents the initial results from the HTRU low-latitude Galactic plane survey. From the 37 per cent of data processed thus far, we have re-detected 348 previously known pulsars and discovered a further 47 pulsars. Two of which are fast-spinning pulsars with periods less than 30 ms. PSR J1101-6424 is a millisecond pulsar (MSP) with a heavy white dwarf companion while its short spin period of 5 ms indicates

  8. HST images of the eclipsing pulsar B1957+20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fruchter, Andrew S.; Bookbinder, Jay; Bailyn, Charles D.

    1995-01-01

    We have obtained images of the eclipsing pulsar binary PSR B1957+20 using the Planetary Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The high spatial resolution of this instrument has allowed us to separate the pulsar system from a nearby background star which has confounded ground-based observations of this system near optical minimum. Our images limit the temperature of the backside of the companion to T less than or approximately = 2800 K, about a factor of 2 less than the average temperature of the side of the companion facing the pulsar, and provide a marginal detection of the companion at optical minimum. The magnitude of this detection is consistent with previous work which suggests that the companion nearly fills its Roche lobe and is supported through tidal dissipation.

  9. New Pulsars from Arecibo Drift Scan Searches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Backer, D. C.; Cordes, J. M.; Fruchter, A.; Lommen, A. N.; Xilouris, K.

    2003-01-01

    We report new pulsars discovered in drift-scan data taken by two collaborations (Berkeley/Cornell and STScI/NAIC) during the latter stages of the Arecibo upgrade period. The data were taken with the Penn State Pulsar Machine and are being processed on the COBRA cluster at Jodrell Bank. Processing is roughly 70% complete and has resulted in the detection of 10 new and 31 known pulsars, in addition to a number of pulsar candidates. The 10 new pulsars include one pulsar with a spin-period of 55 ms and another with a spin period of 5.8 ms. At the completion of the processing, we expect to have discovered roughly 20 new pulsars. All new pulsars are being subjected to a program of followup observations at Arecibo to determine spin and astrometric parameters.

  10. Millisecond pulsars - Nature's most stable clocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Joseph H., Jr.

    1991-07-01

    The author describes the role pulsars might play in time and frequency technology. Millisecond pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars: spherical flywheels some 20 km in diameter, 1.4 times as massive as the Sun, and spinning as fast as several thousand radians per second. Radio noise generated in a pulsar's magnetosphere by a highly beamed process is detectable over interstellar distances, as a periodic sequence of pulses similar to the ticks of an excellent clock. High-precision comparisons between pulsar time and terrestrial atomic time show that over intervals of several years, some millisecond pulsars have fractional stabilities comparable to those of the best atomic clocks. The author briefly reviews the physics of pulsars, discusses the techniques of pulsar timing measurements, and summarizes the results of careful studies of pulsar stabilities.

  11. Fermi Finds Youthful Pulsar Among Ancient Stars

    NASA Video Gallery

    In three years, NASA's Fermi has detected more than 100 gamma-ray pulsars, but something new has appeared. Among a type of pulsar with ages typically numbering a billion years or more, Fermi has fo...

  12. Equilibrium spin pulsars unite neutron star populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Wynn; Klus, Helen; Coe, Malcolm; Andersson, Nils

    2015-08-01

    We compare the large number of recent torque measurements of accreting pulsars with a high-mass companion to the standard model for how accretion affects the pulsar spin period. We find that many long spin period (P > 100 s) pulsars must possess either extremely weak (B < 10^10 G) or extremely strong (B > 10^14 G) magnetic fields. We argue that the strong-field solution is more compelling, in which case these pulsars are near spin equilibrium. Our results provide evidence for a fundamental link between pulsars with the slowest spin periods and strong magnetic fields around high-mass companions and pulsars with the fastest spin periods and weak fields around low-mass companions. The strong magnetic fields also connect our pulsars to magnetars and strong-field isolated radio/X-ray pulsars. The strong field and old age of our sources suggests their magnetic field penetrates into the superconducting core of the neutron star.

  13. Newly Commissioned Green Bank Telescope Bags New Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-01-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's newly commissioned Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered a windfall of three previously undetected millisecond pulsars in a dense cluster of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Green Bank Telescope The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope "This globular cluster, known as Messier 62, has been very well studied, and it would have been an exciting discovery to find just one new pulsar. The fact that we were able to detect three new pulsars at one time is simply remarkable," said Bryan Jacoby, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology who led the research team. Results of the discovery were recently announced in an International Astronomical Union Circular. Jacoby and his colleague Adam Chandler, also a graduate student at Caltech, used the GBT to search for new pulsars in addition to the three already known in this cluster. Their research was part of the GBT's Early Science Program, which allows scientific investigations during the testing and commissioning of the telescope. The researchers used the Berkeley-Caltech Pulsar Machine, a new instrument whose development was overseen by Donald Backer at the University of California at Berkeley, to process the signals from the GBT and record them for later analysis. After their data were analyzed, the researchers discovered the telltale signatures of three additional pulsars and their white dwarf companion stars. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit intense beams of radio waves along their misaligned magnetic axes. When these beams intersect the Earth, we see the pulsar flash on and off. Due to their exquisitely steady rotation, pulsars allow astronomers to study the basic laws of physics and the ways in which these dense clusters and exotic stellar systems are formed. Astronomers study globular clusters because they are among the oldest building blocks of our Galaxy. With their very dense stellar populations, these

  14. Searches for Pulsars at the Center of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid

    2015-08-01

    Pulsars are highly magnetized, rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation that could be detected at Earth, if the emission beam is pointing toward the Earth, analogous to the way a lighthouse can be seen when the light is pointed in the direction of the observer. Pulsars within the central parsec of our Galaxy is expected to make excellent probes of not only the environment of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, but also in the case of pulsar/black hole binary systems expected in this region, of their own rich environment dominated by relativistic gravity effects. In this presentation I will give an overview of why it is important to search for pulsars in the center of the galaxy, and a summary of previous and ongoing efforts to survey this region with radio telescopes. I will describe the difficulties encountered with current surveys and prospects for detection of perhaps hundreds of pulsars in this region with new generations of radio telescopes now under construction.

  15. Three Millisecond Pulsars in Fermi LAT Unassociated Bright Sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Camilo, F.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Celik, O.; Wolff, M. T.; Cheung, C. C.; Kerr, M.; Pennucci, T.; DeCesar, M. E.; Cognard, I.; Lyne, A. G.; Stappers, B. W.; Freire, P. C. C.; Grove, J. E.; Abdo, A. A.; Desvignes, G.; Donato, D.; Ferrara, E. C.; Gehrels, N.; Guillemot, L.; Gwon, C.; Johnston, S.; Harding, A. K.; Thompson, D. J.

    2010-01-01

    We searched for radio pulsars in 25 of the non-variable, unassociated sources in the Fermi LAT Bright Source List with the Green Bank Telescope at 820 MHz. We report the discovery of three radio and gamma-ray millisecond pulsar (MSPs) from a high Galactic latitude subset of these sources. All of the pulsars are in binary systems, which would have made them virtually impossible to detect in blind gamma-ray pulsation searches. They seem to be relatively normal, nearby (<= 2 kpc) MSPs. These observations, in combination with the Fermi detection of gamma-rays from other known radio MSPs, imply that most, if not all, radio MSPs are efficient gamma-ray producers. The gamma-ray spectra of the pulsars are power law in nature with exponential cutoffs at a few Ge V, as has been found with most other pulsars. The MSPs have all been detected as X-ray point sources. Their soft X-ray luminosities of approx 10(exp 30) - 10(exp 31) erg/s are typical of the rare radio MSPs seen in X-rays.

  16. TOWARD A REALISTIC PULSAR MAGNETOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Kalapotharakos, Constantinos; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Harding, Alice

    2012-04-10

    We present the magnetic and electric field structures and the currents and charge densities of pulsar magnetospheres that do not obey the ideal condition, E {center_dot} B = 0. Since the acceleration of particles and the production of radiation require the presence of an electric field component parallel to the magnetic field, E{sub ||}, the structure of non-ideal pulsar magnetospheres is intimately related to the production of pulsar radiation. Therefore, knowledge of the structure of non-ideal pulsar magnetospheres is important because their comparison (including models for the production of radiation) with observations will delineate the physics and the parameters underlying the pulsar radiation problem. We implement a variety of prescriptions that support non-zero values for E{sub ||} and explore their effects on the structure of the resulting magnetospheres. We produce families of solutions that span the entire range between the vacuum and the (ideal) force-free electrodynamic solutions. We also compute the amount of dissipation as a fraction of the Poynting flux for pulsars of different angles between the rotation and magnetic axes and conclude that this is at most 20%-40% (depending on the non-ideal prescription) in the aligned rotator and 10% in the perpendicular one. We present also the limiting solutions with the property J = {rho}c and discuss their possible implication on the determination of the 'on/off' states of the intermittent pulsars. Finally, we find that solutions with values of J greater than those needed to null E{sub ||} locally produce oscillations, potentially observable in the data.

  17. A New Standard Pulsar Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Kalapotharakos, Constantinos; Kazanas, Demosthenes

    2014-01-01

    In view of recent efforts to probe the physical conditions in the pulsar current sheet, we revisit the standard solution that describes the main elements of the ideal force-free pulsar magnetosphere. The simple physical requirement that the electric current contained in the current layer consists of the local electric charge moving outward at close to the speed of light yields a new solution for the pulsar magnetosphere everywhere that is ideal force-free except in the current layer. The main elements of the new solution are as follows: (1) the pulsar spindown rate of the aligned rotator is 23% larger than that of the orthogonal vacuum rotator; (2) only 60% of the magnetic flux that crosses the light cylinder opens up to infinity; (3) the electric current closes along the other 40%, which gradually converges to the equator; (4) this transfers 40% of the total pulsar spindown energy flux in the equatorial current sheet, which is then dissipated in the acceleration of particles and in high-energy electromagnetic radiation; and (5) there is no separatrix current layer. Our solution is a minimum free-parameter solution in that the equatorial current layer is electrostatically supported against collapse and thus does not require a thermal particle population. In this respect, it is one more step toward the development of a new standard solution. We discuss the implications for intermittent pulsars and long-duration gamma-ray bursts. We conclude that the physical conditions in the equatorial current layer determine the global structure of the pulsar magnetosphere.

  18. Wideband Observations of Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennucci, Timothy T.

    2015-08-01

    Pulsars are exotic objects which have yielded a bounty of important astrophysical results. As rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars, pulsars' stable rotation and beamed radio emission enables their use as interstellar laboratory clocks. The extraordinary timing regularity of the millisecond pulsar (MSP) population permits some of the most precise measurements in astronomy. The discovery of MSPs raised the probability of directly detecting gravitational waves for the first time. Ongoing efforts by several pulsar timing array (PTA) collaborations compliment the ground- and space-based efforts of laser interferometers. One such PTA is the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav). NANOGrav has recently employed a new set of wideband instruments to increase the sensitivity of their PTA, and the future of pulsar astronomy is moving towards progressively larger bandwidths. In this dissertation, we address the benefits and issues from adopting the new instrumentation, particularly for the scientific motivations of NANOGrav. We first develop a measurement technique for simultaneously obtaining pulse times-of-arrival (TOAs) and dispersion measures (DMs) using 2D models of evolving Gaussian components. We then apply the methodology broadly to a variety of pulsars, including a bright, test MSP in a globular cluster, the Galactic Center magnetar, and the entire suite of 37 MSPs from the NANOGrav 9-year data set. For a subset of these MSPs, we make targeted observations at specific orbital phases aimed at improving the timing models and constraining the Shapiro delay. With a few exceptions, we find positive or consistent timing results from the implementation of our first generation wideband timing protocol. Some highlights include: improved measurement uncertainties, mitigation of chromatic ISM effects, a reduction in the number of timing parameters and TOAs, signs of chromatic DMs, and at least one new pulsar mass.

  19. A new standard pulsar magnetosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Kalapotharakos, Constantinos; Kazanas, Demosthenes

    2014-01-20

    In view of recent efforts to probe the physical conditions in the pulsar current sheet, we revisit the standard solution that describes the main elements of the ideal force-free pulsar magnetosphere. The simple physical requirement that the electric current contained in the current layer consists of the local electric charge moving outward at close to the speed of light yields a new solution for the pulsar magnetosphere everywhere that is ideal force-free except in the current layer. The main elements of the new solution are as follows: (1) the pulsar spindown rate of the aligned rotator is 23% larger than that of the orthogonal vacuum rotator; (2) only 60% of the magnetic flux that crosses the light cylinder opens up to infinity; (3) the electric current closes along the other 40%, which gradually converges to the equator; (4) this transfers 40% of the total pulsar spindown energy flux in the equatorial current sheet, which is then dissipated in the acceleration of particles and in high-energy electromagnetic radiation; and (5) there is no separatrix current layer. Our solution is a minimum free-parameter solution in that the equatorial current layer is electrostatically supported against collapse and thus does not require a thermal particle population. In this respect, it is one more step toward the development of a new standard solution. We discuss the implications for intermittent pulsars and long-duration gamma-ray bursts. We conclude that the physical conditions in the equatorial current layer determine the global structure of the pulsar magnetosphere.

  20. Towards a Realistic Pulsar Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalapotharakos, Constantinos; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Harding, Alice; Contopoulos, Ioannis

    2012-01-01

    We present the magnetic and electric field structures as well as the currents ami charge densities of pulsar magnetospberes which do not obey the ideal condition, E(raised dot) B = O. Since the acceleration of particles and the production of radiation requires the presence of an electric field component parallel to the magnetic field, E(sub ll) the structure of non-Ideal pulsar magnetospheres is intimately related to the production of pulsar radiation. Therefore, knowledge of the structure of non-Ideal pulsar maglletospheres is important because their comparison (including models for t he production of radiation) with observations will delineate the physics and the parameters underlying the pulsar radiation problem. We implement a variety of prescriptions that support nonzero values for E(sub ll) and explore their effects on the structure of the resulting magnetospheres. We produce families of solutions that span the entire range between the vacuum and the (ideal) Force-Free Electrodynamic solutions. We also compute the amount of dissipation as a fraction of the Poynting flux for pulsars of different angles between the rotation and magnetic axes and conclude that tltis is at most 20-40% (depending on t he non-ideal prescription) in the aligned rotator and 10% in the perpendicular one. We present also the limiting solutions with the property J = pc and discuss their possible implicatioll on the determination of the "on/ off" states of the intermittent pulsars. Finally, we find that solutions with values of J greater than those needed to null E(sub ll) locally produce oscillations, potentially observable in the data.

  1. What brakes the Crab pulsar?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čadež, A.; Zampieri, L.; Barbieri, C.; Calvani, M.; Naletto, G.; Barbieri, M.; Ponikvar, D.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Optical observations provide convincing evidence that the optical phase of the Crab pulsar follows the radio one closely. Since optical data do not depend on dispersion measure variations, they provide a robust and independent confirmation of the radio timing solution. Aims: The aim of this paper is to find a global mathematical description of Crab pulsar's phase as a function of time for the complete set of published Jodrell Bank radio ephemerides (JBE) in the period 1988-2014. Methods: We apply the mathematical techniques developed for analyzing optical observations to the analysis of JBE. We break the whole period into a series of episodes and express the phase of the pulsar in each episode as the sum of two analytical functions. The first function is the best-fitting local braking index law, and the second function represents small residuals from this law with an amplitude of only a few turns, which rapidly relaxes to the local braking index law. Results: From our analysis, we demonstrate that the power law index undergoes "instantaneous" changes at the time of observed jumps in rotational frequency (glitches). We find that the phase evolution of the Crab pulsar is dominated by a series of constant braking law episodes, with the braking index changing abruptly after each episode in the range of values between 2.1 and 2.6. Deviations from such a regular phase description behave as oscillations triggered by glitches and amount to fewer than 40 turns during the above period, in which the pulsar has made more than 2 × 1010 turns. Conclusions: Our analysis does not favor the explanation that glitches are connected to phenomena occurring in the interior of the pulsar. On the contrary, timing irregularities and changes in slow down rate seem to point to electromagnetic interaction of the pulsar with the surrounding environment.

  2. The gamma-ray pulsar population of globular clusters: implications for the GeV excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Dan; Linden, Tim

    2016-08-01

    It has been suggested that the GeV excess, observed from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, might originate from a population of millisecond pulsars that formed in globular clusters. With this in mind, we employ the publicly available Fermi data to study the gamma-ray emission from 157 globular clusters, identifying a statistically significant signal from 25 of these sources (ten of which are not found in existing gamma-ray catalogs). We combine these observations with the predicted pulsar formation rate based on the stellar encounter rate of each globular cluster to constrain the gamma-ray luminosity function of millisecond pulsars in the Milky Way's globular cluster system. We find that this pulsar population exhibits a luminosity function that is quite similar to those millisecond pulsars observed in the field of the Milky Way (i.e. the thick disk). After pulsars are expelled from a globular cluster, however, they continue to lose rotational kinetic energy and become less luminous, causing their luminosity function to depart from the steady-state distribution. Using this luminosity function and a model for the globular cluster disruption rate, we show that millisecond pulsars born in globular clusters can account for only a few percent or less of the observed GeV excess. Among other challenges, scenarios in which the entire GeV excess is generated from such pulsars are in conflict with the observed mass of the Milky Way's Central Stellar Cluster.

  3. The gamma-ray pulsar population of globular clusters: Implications for the GeV excess

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hooper, Dan; Linden, Tim

    2016-08-09

    In this study, it has been suggested that the GeV excess, observed from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, might originate from a population of millisecond pulsars that formed in globular clusters. With this in mind, we employ the publicly available Fermi data to study the gamma-ray emission from 157 globular clusters, identifying a statistically significant signal from 25 of these sources (ten of which are not found in existing gamma-ray catalogs). We combine these observations with the predicted pulsar formation rate based on the stellar encounter rate of each globular cluster to constrain the gamma-ray luminosity function of millisecondmore » pulsars in the Milky Way's globular cluster system. We find that this pulsar population exhibits a luminosity function that is quite similar to those millisecond pulsars observed in the field of the Milky Way (i.e. the thick disk). After pulsars are expelled from a globular cluster, however, they continue to lose rotational kinetic energy and become less luminous, causing their luminosity function to depart from the steady-state distribution. Using this luminosity function and a model for the globular cluster disruption rate, we show that millisecond pulsars born in globular clusters can account for only a few percent or less of the observed GeV excess. Among other challenges, scenarios in which the entire GeV excess is generated from such pulsars are in conflict with the observed mass of the Milky Way's Central Stellar Cluster.« less

  4. THE VELA PULSAR AND ITS LIKELY COUNTER-JET IN THE K{sub s} BAND

    SciTech Connect

    Zyuzin, D.; Shibanov, Yu.; Danilenko, A.; Mennickent, R. E.; Zharikov, S.

    2013-10-01

    We report the first high spatial resolution near-infrared (near-IR) imaging of the Vela pulsar in the K{sub s} band obtained with the new adaptive optics system recently mounted on the Gemini-South telescope. For the first time, we have firmly detected the pulsar in this band with K{sub s} ≈ 21.8 mag, and have resolved in detail an extended feature barely detected previously in the immediate vicinity of the pulsar in the J{sub s}H bands. The pulsar K{sub s} flux is fully consistent with the extension of the flat optical spectrum of the pulsar toward the IR and does not confirm the strong IR flux excess in the pulsar emission suggested earlier by the low spatial resolution data. The extended feature is about two times brighter than the pulsar and is likely associated with its X-ray counter-jet. It extends ∼2'' southward of the pulsar along the X-ray counter-jet and shows knot-like structures and a red spectrum.

  5. The Vela Pulsar and Its Likely Counter-jet in the Ks Band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zyuzin, D.; Shibanov, Yu.; Danilenko, A.; Mennickent, R. E.; Zharikov, S.

    2013-10-01

    We report the first high spatial resolution near-infrared (near-IR) imaging of the Vela pulsar in the Ks band obtained with the new adaptive optics system recently mounted on the Gemini-South telescope. For the first time, we have firmly detected the pulsar in this band with Ks ≈ 21.8 mag, and have resolved in detail an extended feature barely detected previously in the immediate vicinity of the pulsar in the JsH bands. The pulsar Ks flux is fully consistent with the extension of the flat optical spectrum of the pulsar toward the IR and does not confirm the strong IR flux excess in the pulsar emission suggested earlier by the low spatial resolution data. The extended feature is about two times brighter than the pulsar and is likely associated with its X-ray counter-jet. It extends ~2'' southward of the pulsar along the X-ray counter-jet and shows knot-like structures and a red spectrum.

  6. PREDICTING RANGES FOR PULSARS' BRAKING INDICES

    SciTech Connect

    Magalhaes, Nadja S.; Miranda, Thaysa A.; Frajuca, Carlos

    2012-08-10

    The theoretical determination of braking indices of pulsars is still an open problem. In this paper we report results of a study concerning such determination based on a modification of the canonical model, which admits that pulsars are rotating magnetic dipoles, and on data from the seven pulsars with known braking indices. In order to test the modified model, we predict ranges for the braking indices of other pulsars.

  7. Understanding pulsar magnetospheres with the SKA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karastergiou, A.; Johnston, S.; Karastergiou, A.; Johnston, S.; Andersson, N.; Breton, R.; Brook, P.; Gwinn, C.; Lewandowska, N.; Keane, E.; Kramer, M.; Macquart, J. P.; Serylak, M.; Shannon, R.; Stappers, B.; van Leeuwen, J.; Verbiest, J.; Weltevrede, P.; Wright, G.

    The SKA will discover tens of thousands of pulsars and provide unprecedented data quality on these, as well as the currently known population, due to its unrivalled sensitivity. Here, we outline the state of the art of our understanding of magnetospheric radio emission from pulsars and how we will use the SKA to solve the open problems in pulsar magnetospheric physics.

  8. Pulsar Magnetohydrodynamic Winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Isao; Sigalo, Friday B.

    2006-12-01

    The acceleration and collimation/decollimation of relativistic magnetocentrifugal winds are discussed concerning a cold plasma from a strongly magnetized, rapidly rotating neutron star in a steady axisymmetric state based on ideal magnetohydrodynamics. There exist unipolar inductors associated with the field line angular frequency, α, at the magnetospheric base surface, SB, with a huge potential difference between the poles and the equator, which drive electric current through the pulsar magnetosphere. Any ``current line'' must emanate from one terminal of the unipolar inductor and return to the other, converting the Poynting flux to the kinetic flux of the wind at finite distances. In a plausible field structure satisfying the transfield force-balance equation, the fast surface, SF, must exist somewhere between the subasymptotic and asymptotic domains, i.e., at the innermost point along each field line of the asymptotic domain of \\varpaA2/\\varpi2 ≪ 1, where \\varpiA is the Alfvénic axial distance. The criticality condition at SF yields the Lorentz factor, γF = μ\\varepsilon1/3, and the angular momentum flux, β, as the eigenvalues in terms of the field line angular velocity, α, the mass flux per unit flux tube, η, and one of the Bernoulli integrals, μδ, which are assumed to be specifiable as the boundary conditions at SB. The other Bernoulli integral, μɛ, is related to μδ as μɛ = μδ[1-(α2\\varpiA2/c2)]-1, and both μɛ and \\varpiA2 are eigenvalues to be determined by the criticality condition at SF. Ongoing MHD acceleration is possible in the superfast domain. This fact may be helpful in resolving a discrepancy between the wind theory and the Crab-nebula model. It is argued that the ``anti-collimation theorem'' holds for relativistic winds, based on the curvature of field streamlines determined by the transfield force balance. The ``theorem'' combines with the ``current-closure condition'' as a global condition in the wind zone to produce a

  9. Statistical studies of pulsar glitches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyne, A. G.; Shemar, S. L.; Smith, F. Graham

    2000-07-01

    Shemar & Lyne have previously presented observations and an analysis of 32 glitches and their subsequent relaxations observed in a total of 15 pulsars. These data are brought together in this paper with those published by other authors. We show quantitatively how glitch activity decreases linearly with decreasing rate of slow-down. As indicated previously from studies of the Vela pulsar, the analysis suggests that 1.7per cent of the moment of inertia of a typical neutron star is normally contained in pinned superfluid which releases its excess angular momentum at the time of a glitch. There is a broad range of glitch amplitude and there is a strong indication that pulsars with large magnetic fields suffer many small glitches while others show a smaller number of large glitches. Transient effects following glitches are very marked in young pulsars and decrease linearly with decreasing rate of slow-down, suggesting that the amount of loosely pinned superfluid decreases with age. We suggest that the low braking index of the Vela and Crab pulsars cannot be caused by a decreasing moment of inertia and should be attributed to step increases in the effective magnetic moment of the neutron star at the glitches.

  10. JPL pulsar timing observations. II - Geocentric arrival times

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downs, G. S.; Reichley, P. E.

    1983-01-01

    Monitoring of the behavior of naturally pulsating galactic radio sources, or pulsars, through regularly spaced measurements of pulse arrival times, has been conducted by several laboratories. A tabular presentation is here made of pulse arrival time measurements from the NASA Deep Space Network between late 1968 and early 1981. By expressing the measurements in ephemeris time, and referring them to the geocenter, usable tables of results have been generated for each pulsar listed in the first of the tables given. The considerations addressed by the tables are: (1) a necessary step in the study of pulsar dynamics is the reduction of topocentric arrival times to the barycenter of the solar system; (2) the tabulated data are accessible to all opinions as to the procedures to be used in interpreting arrival time data; and (3) different observing programs can usually be combined to produce an improvement in the total data set.

  11. Probing Binary Evolution Using the Pulsar Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdman, Robert D.; Stairs, I. H.; Kramer, M.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Faulkner, A.; Backer, D. C.; Demorest, P.; Nice, D. J.; Burgay, M.; Camilo, F.; D'Amico, N.; Hobbs, G.; Lorimer, D. R.; Lyne, A. G.; Manchester, R.; Possenti, A.

    2006-12-01

    The Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey has yielded a significant number of very interesting binary and millisecond pulsars. Two of these objects are part of an ongoing timing study at the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). PSR J1756-2251 is a double-neutron star (DNS) binary system. Its orbital properties show it to be a similar system to PSR B1913+16, the original binary pulsar system discovered by Hulse and Taylor. Mass measurements of this system thus provide another important opportunity to test the validity of General Relativity, and to study the evolutionary history of DNS systems. PSR J1802-2124 is part of the relatively new and unstudied "intermediate-mass" class of binary pulsars. These typically spin with periods in the tens of milliseconds, and often have relatively massive (> 0.7 solar masses) white dwarf companions. GBT observations over the past two years have enabled us to detect the Shapiro delay in this system. This has led to the determination of the individual masses of the neutron star and white dwarf companion, providing constraints on the mass-transfer history in this unusual system.

  12. Monitoring The Crab Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rots, Arnold H.; Swank, Jean (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The monitoring of the X-ray pulses from the Crab pulsar is still ongoing at the time of this writing, and we hope to be able to continue the campaign for the life of the XTE mission. We have established beyond all doubt that: (1) the X-ray main pulse leads the radio pulse by approximately 300 microseconds, (2) this phase lag is constant and not influenced by glitches, (3) this lag does not depend on X-ray energy, (4) the relative phase of the two X-ray pulses does not vary, and (5) the spectral indices of primary, secondary, and inter-pulse are distinct and constant. At this time we are investigating whether the radio timing ephemeris can be replaced by an x-ray ephemeris and whether any long-time timing ephemeris can be established. If so, it would enable use to study variations in pulse arrival times at a longer time scales. Such a study is easier in x-rays than at radio wavelengths since the dispersion measure plays no role. These results were reported at the 2000 HEAD Meeting in Honolulu, HI. Travel was paid partly out of this grant. The remainder was applied toward the acquisition of a laptop computer that allows independent and fast analysis of all monitoring observations.

  13. String theories and millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, N.; Signore, M.

    1988-11-01

    We discuss the two ways of connecting string theories (cosmic, fundamental and the connection between them) to the observational reality: (i) radioastronomy observations (millisecond pulsar timing), and (ii) elementary particle phenomenology (compactification schemes). We study the limits imposed on the string parameter Gμ by recent millisecond pulsar timings. Cosmic strings derived from GUTs agree with (i). For cosmic strings derived from fundamental strings themselves there is contradiction between (i) and (ii). One of these scenarios connecting string theory to reality must be revised (or the transition from fundamental into cosmic strings rejected). Meanwhile, millisecond pulsar can select one scenario, or reject both of them. UA 336 Laboratoire Associé au CNRS, Observatoire de Meudon et Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.

  14. Gamma Ray Pulsars: Multiwavelength Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    High-energy gamma rays are a valuable tool for studying particle acceleration and radiation in the magnetospheres of energetic pulsars. The seven or more pulsars seen by instruments on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) show that: the light curves usually have double-peak structures (suggesting a broad cone of emission); gamma rays are frequently the dominant component of the radiated power; and all the spectra show evidence of a high-energy turnover. For all the known gamma-ray pulsars, multiwavelength observations and theoretical models based on such observations offer the prospect of gaining a broad understanding of these rotating neutron stars. The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), now in planning for a launch in 2006, will provide a major advance in sensitivity, energy range, and sky coverage.

  15. Gravitational radiation from binary systems in alternative metric theories of gravity - Dipole radiation and the binary pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Will, C. M.

    1977-01-01

    The generation of gravitational radiation in several currently viable metric theories of gravitation (Brans-Dicke, Rosen, Ni, and Lightman-Lee) is analyzed, and it is shown that these theories predict the emission of dipole gravitational radiation from systems containing gravitationally bound objects. In the binary system PSR 1913 + 16, this radiation results in a secular change in the orbital period of the system with a nominal magnitude of 3 parts in 100,000 per year. The size of the effect is proportional to the reduced mass of the system, to the square of the difference in (self-gravitational energy)/(mass) between the two components of the system, and to a parameter, xi, whose value varies from theory to theory. In general relativity xi equals 0, in Rosen's (1973) theory xi equals -20/3, and in Ni's (1973) theory xi equals -400/3. The current upper limit on such a secular period change is one part in 1 million per year. It is shown that further observations of the binary system that tighten this limit and that establish the masses of the components and the identity of the companion may provide a crucial test of otherwise viable alternatives to general relativity.

  16. PINT, a New Pulsar Timing Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Jing; Jenet, Fredrick A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Demorest, Paul; Van Haasteren, Rutger; Archibald, Anne

    2015-01-01

    We are presenting a new pulsar timing software PINT. The current pulsar timing group are heavily depending on Tempo/Tempo2, a package for analysis pulsar data. However, for a high accuracy pulsar timing related project, such as pulsar timing for gravitational waves, an alternative software is needed for the purpose of examing the results. We are developing a Tempo independent software with a different structure. Different modules is designed to be more isolated and easier to be expanded. Instead of C, we are using Python as our programming language for the advantage of flexibility and powerful docstring. Here, we are presenting the detailed design and the first result of the software.

  17. The Disturbance of a Millisecond Pulsar Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shannon, R. M.; Lentati, L. T.; Kerr, M.; Bailes, M.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Coles, W. A.; Dai, S.; Dempsey, J.; Hobbs, G.; Keith, M. J.; Lasky, P. D.; Levin, Y.; Manchester, R. N.; Osłowski, S.; Ravi, V.; Reardon, D. J.; Rosado, P. A.; Spiewak, R.; van Straten, W.; Toomey, L.; Wang, J.-B.; Wen, L.; You, X.-P.; Zhu, X.-J.

    2016-09-01

    Pulsar timing has enabled some of the strongest tests of fundamental physics. Central to the technique is the assumption that the detected radio pulses can be used to accurately measure the rotation of the pulsar. Here, we report on a broadband variation in the pulse profile of the millisecond pulsar J1643‑1224. A new component of emission suddenly appears in the pulse profile, decays over four months, and results in a permanently modified pulse shape. Profile variations such as these may be the origin of timing noise observed in other millisecond pulsars. The sensitivity of pulsar-timing observations to gravitational radiation can be increased by accounting for this variability.

  18. Distribution of neutrino fluxes from pulsar shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, M. M.; Silberberg, R.

    According to a model considered by Berezinsky and Prilutsky (1976), a young, dense supernova shell can be a powerful source of high-energy neutrinos. In this model, ultra-high energy protons and other nuclei are accelerated at the central pulsar. The protons interact in the supernova shell and generate cascades of mesons, which in turn yield neutrinos upon decay. The pulsar luminosity function based on all the observed Galactic pulsars is considered. It is found that the high-energy neutrinos from supernovae in the Milky Way Galaxy should be readily detectable. The corresponding pulsars would be relatively low-powered pulsars.

  19. Chandra Imaging of the X-Ray Nebula Powered by Pulsar B1509-58

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensler, B. M.; Arons, J.; Kaspi, V. M.; Pivovaroff, M. J.; Kawai, N.; Tamura, K.

    2002-04-01

    We present observations with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) powered by the energetic young pulsar B1509-58. These data confirm the complicated morphology of the system indicated by previous observations, and in addition reveal several new components to the nebula. The overall PWN shows a clear symmetry axis oriented at a position angle 150deg+/-5deg (north through east), which we argue corresponds to the pulsar spin axis. We show that a previously identified radio feature matches well with the overall extent of the X-ray PWN, and propose the former as the long-sought radio nebula powered by the pulsar. We further identify a bright collimated feature, at least 4' long, lying along the nebula's main symmetry axis; we interpret this feature as a physical outflow from the pulsar, and infer a velocity for this jet of greater than 0.2c. The lack of any observed counterjet implies that the pulsar spin axis is inclined at ~30° to the line of sight, contrary to previous estimates made from lower resolution data. We also identify a variety of compact features close to the pulsar. A pair of semicircular X-ray arcs lie 17" and 30" to the north of the pulsar; the latter arc shows a highly polarized radio counterpart. We show that these features can be interpreted as ion-compression wisps in a particle-dominated equatorial flow, and use their properties to infer a ratio of electromagnetic to particle energy in pairs at the wind shock σ~0.005, similar to that seen in the Crab Nebula. We further identify several compact knots seen very close to the pulsar; we use these to infer σ<0.003 at a separation from the pulsar of 0.1 pc.

  20. Initial Follow-up of Pulsar Discoveries from the HTRU Galactic Plane Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Cherry; Possenti, Andrea; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Burgay, Marta; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Stappers, Benjamin; Bates, Samuel; Keane, Evan; Levin, Lina; Champion, David; Jameson, Andrew; Tiburzi, Caterina; Petroff, Emily; Barr, Ewan; Flynn, Chris

    2014-10-01

    This is a request for observing time for the initial follow-up of pulsar discoveries from the low-latitude Galactic plane section of the HTRU survey (P630). We have already discovered (50 pulsars from just 40% of processed data. Extrapolation and population synthesis show that the Galactic plane survey will result in at least a further 100 discoveries. Currently, with data processing on-going employing all available computing resources, we expect about 20 new discoveries per semester. The discovery of pulsars is just a first step and interesting science can usually only be revealed when a follow-up timing campaign is carried out. One year of initial timing is the minimal timespan required to fully-characterise any newly-discovered pulsars, essential for deriving pulsar parameters such as the characteristic age, magnetic field strength, spin-down rate, as well as to detect any unexpected behaviour of the pulsar which might result from emission instabilities. This follow-up timing project is necessary for identifying any individual interesting pulsar systems discovered from the HTRU Galactic plane survey. Since all of the pulsars on the observing list here are followed-up for the first time, they will produce completely new and exciting results. In addition, this timing project will enable a large-scale examination of the Galactic plane pulsar population, exploring the true boundaries of pulsar phase space. Given the large number of discoveries expected and the long integration length required, this dedicated follow-up timing campaign is vital for achieving our science goals.

  1. Initial Follow-up of Pulsar Discoveries from the HTRU Galactic Plane Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Cherry; Possenti, Andrea; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Burgay, Marta; Bailes, Matthew; Bhat, Ramesh; Keith, Michael; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; van Straten, Willem; Stappers, Benjamin; Bates, Samuel; Keane, Evan; Levin, Lina; Champion, David; Jameson, Andrew; Tiburzi, Caterina; Petroff, Emily; Barr, Ewan; Flynn, Chris

    2014-04-01

    This is a request for observing time for the initial follow-up of pulsar discoveries from the low-latitude Galactic plane section of the HTRU survey (P630). We have already discovered 40 pulsars from just 30% of processed data. Extrapolation and population synthesis show that the Galactic plane survey will result in at least a further 120 discoveries. Currently, with data processing on-going employing all available computing resources, we expect about 20 new discoveries per semester. The discovery of pulsars is just a first step and interesting science can usually only be revealed when a follow-up timing campaign is carried out. One year of initial timing is the minimal timespan required to fully-characterise any newly-discovered pulsars, essential for deriving pulsar parameters such as the characteristic age, magnetic field strength, spin-down rate, as well as to detect any unexpected behaviour of the pulsar which might result from emission instabilities. This follow-up timing project is necessary for identifying any individual interesting pulsar systems discovered from the HTRU Galactic plane survey. Since all of the pulsars on the observing list here are followed-up for the first time, they will produce completely new and exciting results. In addition, this timing project will enable a large-scale examination of the Galactic plane pulsar population, exploring the true boundaries of pulsar phase space. Given the large number of discoveries expected and the long integration length required, this dedicated follow-up timing campaign is vital for achieving our science goals.

  2. The Unusual Binary Pulsar PSR J1744-3922: Radio Flux Variability, Near-Infrared Observation, and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breton, R. P.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Ransom, S. M.; Kaspi, V. M.; Durant, M.; Bergeron, P.; Faulkner, A. J.

    2007-06-01

    PSR J1744-3922 is a binary pulsar exhibiting highly variable pulsed radio emission. We report on a statistical multifrequency study of the pulsed radio flux variability which suggests that this phenomenon is extrinsic to the pulsar and possibly tied to the companion, although not strongly correlated with orbital phase. The pulsar has an unusual combination of characteristics compared to typical recycled pulsars: a long spin period (172 ms); a relatively high magnetic field strength (1.7×1010 G); a very circular, compact orbit of 4.6 hr; and a low-mass companion (0.08 Msolar). These spin and orbital properties are likely inconsistent with standard evolutionary models. We find similarities between the properties of the PSR J1744-3922 system and those of several other known binary pulsar systems, motivating the identification of a new class of binary pulsars. We suggest that this new class could result from: a standard accretion scenario of a magnetar or a high magnetic field pulsar; common envelope evolution with a low-mass star and a neutron star, similar to what is expected for ultracompact X-ray binaries; or accretion induced collapse of a white dwarf. We also report the detection of a possible K'=19.30(15) infrared counterpart at the position of the pulsar, which is relatively bright if the companion is a helium white dwarf at the nominal distance, and discuss its implications for the pulsar's companion and evolutionary history.

  3. On the nature of the binary radio pulsar PSR B0042-73 in the small magellanic cloud

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lipunov, V. M.; Postnov, K. A.; Prokhorov, M. E.

    1995-01-01

    The modern scenario of evolution of massive binary systems predicts the existence of a subclass of binary radio pulsars (PSRs) with black holes (BHs). Their Galactic number was evaluated as approximately 1 per 1000 single pulsars (Lipunov et al. 1994b). Distinctive properties of such binaries would be (1) mass of the unseen companion M(sub c) greater than 3-4 solar mass and (2) absence of eclipses of the pulsar radiation with no distinctive variance of the dispersion measure along the pulsar orbit. The pulsars themselves must be similar to standard isolated ones. The recently discovered binary 1 s pulsar PSR B0042-73 = PSR J0045-7319 in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) with a massive companion in a highly elongated (eccentricity e =0.8) 51 day orbit (Kaspi et al. 1994) may be the first such pulsar with a BH. The paradoxical fact that the first pulsar discovered in the SMC proved to be in a binary system can be naturally understood if its companion actually is a 10-30 solar mass black hole. We illustrate this fact by the numerical calculation of evolution of radio pulsars after a star formation burst.

  4. Slowly rotating pulsars and magnetic field decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, J. L.

    1997-02-01

    Two dozen long period pulsars are separated from the swarm of ordinary pulsars by an obvious gap in the P versus Sd diagram (where Sd=log˙(P)+21.0), with a plausible upper boundary for ordinary pulsars. Possible pulsar evolutionary tracks are discussed to explain the diagram in terms of previously suggested scenarios of magnetic field decay. The (P-Sd) diagram is difficult to understand if there is no magnetic field decay during the active life of pulsars. However, if the magnetic fields of neutron stars decay exponentially, almost all slowly rotating pulsars must have been injected with a very long initial spin period of about 2 seconds, which seems impossible. Based on qualitative analyses, it is concluded that magnetic fields of neutron stars decay as a power-law, with a time scale related to the initial field strengths. The plausible boundary and the gap are suggested to naturally divide pulsars with distinct magnetic "genes", ie. pulsars which were born from strongly magnetized progenitors -- such as Bp stars, and pulsars born from normal massive stars. The possibility remains open that a fraction of slowly rotating pulsars were injected with long initial spin periods, while others would have a classical pulsar evolution history. It is suggested that PSR B1849+00 was born in the supernova remnant Kes-79 with an initial period of about 2 seconds.

  5. Crustal entrainment and pulsar glitches.

    PubMed

    Chamel, N

    2013-01-01

    Large pulsar frequency glitches are generally interpreted as sudden transfers of angular momentum between the neutron superfluid permeating the inner crust and the rest of the star. Despite the absence of viscous drag, the neutron superfluid is strongly coupled to the crust due to nondissipative entrainment effects. These effects are shown to severely limit the maximum amount of angular momentum that can possibly be transferred during glitches. In particular, it is found that the glitches observed in the Vela pulsar require an additional reservoir of angular momentum. PMID:23383772

  6. Pulsar gamma rays from polar cap regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiang, James; Romani, Roger W.

    1992-01-01

    The production is studied of pulsar gamma rays by energetic electrons flowing in the open field region above pulsar polar caps. The propagation was followed of curvature radiation from primary electrons, as well as hard synchrotron radiation generated by secondary pairs, through the pulsar magnetosphere for vacuum dipole open field geometries. Using data from radio and optical observations, models were constructed for the specific geometries and viewing angles appropriate to particular pulsars. These detailed models produce normalized spectra above 10 MeV, pulse profiles, beaming fractions and phase resolved spectra appropriate for direct comparison with COS-B and GRO data. Models are given for the Crab, Vela, and other potentially detectable pulsars; general agreement with existing data is good, although perturbations to the simplified models are needed for close matches. The calculations were extended to the millisecond pulsar range, which allows the production of predictions for the flux and spectra of populations of recycled pulsars and search strategies are pointed out.

  7. ARECIBO PULSAR SURVEY USING ALFA: PROBING RADIO PULSAR INTERMITTENCY AND TRANSIENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Deneva, J. S.; Cordes, J. M.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Edel, S.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Nice, D. J.; Crawford, F.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Camilo, F.; Champion, D. J.; Freire, P. C. C.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Jenet, F. A.; Kasian, L.; Kaspi, V. M.; Lazarus, P.; Stairs, I. H.; Kramer, M.; Ransom, S. M.

    2009-10-01

    We present radio transient search algorithms, results, and statistics from the ongoing Arecibo Pulsar ALFA (PALFA) survey of the Galactic plane. We have discovered seven objects through a search for isolated dispersed pulses. All of these objects are Galactic and have measured periods between 0.4 and 4.7 s. One of the new discoveries has a duty cycle of 0.01%, smaller than that of any other radio pulsar. We discuss the impact of selection effects on the detectability and classification of intermittent sources, and compare the efficiencies of periodicity and single-pulse (SP) searches for various pulsar classes. For some cases we find that the apparent intermittency is likely to be caused by off-axis detection or a short time window that selects only a few bright pulses and favors detection with our SP algorithm. In other cases, the intermittency appears to be intrinsic to the source. No transients were found with DMs large enough to require that they originate from sources outside our Galaxy. Accounting for the on-axis gain of the ALFA system, as well as the low gain but large solid-angle coverage of far-out sidelobes, we use the results of the survey so far to place limits on the amplitudes and event rates of transients of arbitrary origin.

  8. Elementary Wideband Timing of Radio Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennucci, Timothy T.; Demorest, Paul B.; Ransom, Scott M.

    2014-08-01

    We present an algorithm for the simultaneous measurement of a pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) and dispersion measure (DM) from folded wideband pulsar data. We extend the prescription from Taylor's 1992 work to accommodate a general two-dimensional template "portrait," the alignment of which can be used to measure a pulse phase and DM. We show that there is a dedispersion reference frequency that removes the covariance between these two quantities and note that the recovered pulse profile scaling amplitudes can provide useful information. We experiment with pulse modeling by using a Gaussian-component scheme that allows for independent component evolution with frequency, a "fiducial component," and the inclusion of scattering. We showcase the algorithm using our publicly available code on three years of wideband data from the bright millisecond pulsar J1824-2452A (M28A) from the Green Bank Telescope, and a suite of Monte Carlo analyses validates the algorithm. By using a simple model portrait of M28A, we obtain DM trends comparable to those measured by more standard methods, with improved TOA and DM precisions by factors of a few. Measurements from our algorithm will yield precisions at least as good as those from traditional techniques, but is prone to fewer systematic effects and is without ad hoc parameters. A broad application of this new method for dispersion measure tracking with modern large-bandwidth observing systems should improve the timing residuals for pulsar timing array experiments, such as the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves.

  9. Cosmic-ray Positrons from Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venter, C.; Kopp, A.; Harding, A. K.; Gonthier, P. L.; Büsching, I.

    2015-07-01

    Observations by the Fermi Large Area Telescope of γ-ray millisecond pulsar (MSP) light curves imply copious pair production in their magnetospheres, and not exclusively in those of younger pulsars. Such pair cascades may be a primary source of Galactic electrons and positrons, contributing to the observed enhancement in positron flux above ∼10 GeV. Fermi has also uncovered many new MSPs, impacting Galactic stellar population models. We investigate the contribution of Galactic MSPs to the flux of terrestrial cosmic-ray electrons and positrons. Our population synthesis code predicts the source properties of present-day MSPs. We simulate their pair spectra invoking an offset-dipole magnetic field. We also consider positrons and electrons that have been further accelerated to energies of several TeV by strong intrabinary shocks in black widow (BW) and redback (RB) systems. Since MSPs are not surrounded by pulsar wind nebulae or supernova shells, we assume that the pairs freely escape and undergo losses only in the intergalactic medium. We compute the transported pair spectra at Earth, following their diffusion and energy loss through the Galaxy. The predicted particle flux increases for non-zero offsets of the magnetic polar caps. Pair cascades from the magnetospheres of MSPs are only modest contributors around a few tens of GeV to the lepton fluxes measured by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, PAMELA, and Fermi, after which this component cuts off. The contribution by BWs and RBs may, however, reach levels of a few tens of percent at tens of TeV, depending on model parameters.

  10. Elementary wideband timing of radio pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Pennucci, Timothy T.; Demorest, Paul B.; Ransom, Scott M. E-mail: pdemores@nrao.edu

    2014-08-01

    We present an algorithm for the simultaneous measurement of a pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) and dispersion measure (DM) from folded wideband pulsar data. We extend the prescription from Taylor's 1992 work to accommodate a general two-dimensional template 'portrait', the alignment of which can be used to measure a pulse phase and DM. We show that there is a dedispersion reference frequency that removes the covariance between these two quantities and note that the recovered pulse profile scaling amplitudes can provide useful information. We experiment with pulse modeling by using a Gaussian-component scheme that allows for independent component evolution with frequency, a 'fiducial component', and the inclusion of scattering. We showcase the algorithm using our publicly available code on three years of wideband data from the bright millisecond pulsar J1824–2452A (M28A) from the Green Bank Telescope, and a suite of Monte Carlo analyses validates the algorithm. By using a simple model portrait of M28A, we obtain DM trends comparable to those measured by more standard methods, with improved TOA and DM precisions by factors of a few. Measurements from our algorithm will yield precisions at least as good as those from traditional techniques, but is prone to fewer systematic effects and is without ad hoc parameters. A broad application of this new method for dispersion measure tracking with modern large-bandwidth observing systems should improve the timing residuals for pulsar timing array experiments, such as the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves.

  11. Torque Reversals in Disk Accreting Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jianke; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.

    1998-07-01

    X-ray binaries in which the accreting component is a neutron star commonly exhibit significant changes in their spin. In the system Cen X-3, a disk accreting binary system, the pulsar was observed to spin up at a rate ḟ = 8 × 10-13 Hz s-1 when averaged over the past twenty years, but significant fluctuations were observed above this mean. Recent BASTE observations have disclosed that these fluctuations are much larger than previously noted, and appeared to be a system characteristic. The change in the spin state from spin-up to spin-down or vice-versa occurs on a time scale that is much shorter than the instrument can resolve (≤1 d), but appears always to be a similar amplitude, and to occur stochastically. These observations have posed a problem for the conventional torque-mass accretion relation for accreting pulsars, because in this model the spin rate is closely related to the accretion rate, and the latter needs to be finely tuned and to change abruptly to explain the observations. Here we review recent work in this direction and present a coherent picture that explains these observations. We also draw attention to some outstanding problems for future studies.

  12. RESISTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR PULSAR MAGNETOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Jason; Spitkovsky, Anatoly; Tchekhovskoy, Alexander

    2012-02-10

    The current state of the art in the modeling of pulsar magnetospheres invokes either the vacuum or force-free limits for the magnetospheric plasma. Neither of these limits can simultaneously account for both the plasma currents and the accelerating electric fields that are needed to explain the morphology and spectra of high-energy emission from pulsars. To better understand the structure of such magnetospheres, we combine accelerating fields and force-free solutions by considering models of magnetospheres filled with resistive plasma. We formulate Ohm's law in the minimal velocity fluid frame and construct a family of resistive solutions that smoothly bridges the gap between the vacuum and the force-free magnetosphere solutions. The spin-down luminosity, open field line potential drop, and the fraction of open field lines all transition between the vacuum and force-free values as the plasma conductivity varies from zero to infinity. For fixed inclination angle, we find that the spin-down luminosity depends linearly on the open field line potential drop. We consider the implications of our resistive solutions for the spin-down of intermittent pulsars and sub-pulse drift phenomena in radio pulsars.

  13. Braking Index of Isolated Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamil, Oliver; Stone, Jirina; Urbanec, Martin; Urbancova, Gabriela

    2015-04-01

    Isolated pulsars are rotating neutron stars with accurately measured angular velocities Ω, and their time derivatives which show unambiguously that the pulsars are slowing down. The exact mechanism of the spin-down is a question of debate in detail, but the commonly accepted view is that it arises through emission of magnetic dipole radiation (MDR). The energy loss by a rotating pulsar is proportional to a model dependent power of Ω. This relation leads to the power law Ω˙ = -K Ωn where n is called the braking index, equal to the ratio (ΩΩ̈)/ Ω˙2 . The simple MDR model predicts the value of n = 3, but observations of isolated pulsars provide rather precise values of n, individually accurate to a few percent or better, in the range 1 < n < 2.8, which is consistently less than the predictions of the MDR model. In this work, we study the dynamical limits of the MDR model as a function of angular velocity. The effects of variation in the rest mass, the moment of inertia, and the dependence on a realistic Equation of State of the rotating star are considered. Furthermore, we introduce a simulated superfluid effect by which the angular momentum of the core is eliminated from the calculation.

  14. Hunting gravitational waves using pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayor, Louise

    2014-10-01

    With the first direct detection of gravitational waves at the top of many physicists' wish list, Louise Mayor describes how radio astronomers are hoping to reveal these ripples in space-time by pointing their telescopes at an array of distant pulsars.

  15. CHANGES IN THE CRAB PULSAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Scientists are learning more about how pulsars work by studying a series of Hubble Space Telescope images of the heart of the Crab Nebula. The images, taken over a period of several months, show that the Crab is a far more dynamic object than previously understood. At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar. The pulsar is a tiny object by astronomical standards -- only about six miles across -- but has a mass greater than that of the Sun and rotates at a rate of 30 times a second. As the pulsar spins its intense magnetic field whips around, acting like a sling shot, accelerating subatomic particles and sending them hurtling them into space at close to the speed of light. The tiny pulsar and its wind are the powerhouse for the entire Crab Nebula, which is 10 light-years across -- a feat comparable to an object the size of a hydrogen atom illuminating a volume of space a kilometer across. The three pictures shown here, taken from the series of Hubble images, show dramatic changes in the appearance of the central regions of the nebula. These include wisp-like structures that move outward away from the pulsar at half the speed of light, as well as a mysterious 'halo' which remains stationary, but grows brighter then fainter over time. Also seen are the effects of two polar jets that move out along the rotation axis of the pulsar. The most dynamic feature seen -- a small knot that 'dances around' so much that astronomers have been calling it a 'sprite' -- is actually a shock front (where fast-moving material runs into slower-moving material)in one of these polar jets. The telescope captured the images with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 using a filter that passes light of wavelength around 550 nanometers, near the middle of the visible part of the spectrum. The Crab Nebula is located 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA

  16. Neutrinos from binary pulsars. [generated by high energy particles striking companion star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eichler, D.

    1978-01-01

    It is shown that binary systems containing moderately young pulsars may emit high-energy neutrinos (between 1 and 100 TeV) at detectable levels. The pulsars are assumed to have total luminosities of the order of 10 to the 38th erg/sec. The neutrinos are produced by high energy particles (e.g. protons) from the pulsar striking the companion. Cyg X3 may be detectable in high-energy neutrinos if it emits greater than about 10 to the 35th erg/sec in high-energy protons. There may be a whole class of objects like Cyg X3, but obscured by thick accretion clouds.

  17. New Results from an Old Friend: The Crab Nebula and its Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2011-01-01

    The Crab nebula and its associated pulsar have been the target of thousands of observations at all wavelengths over the years. Nevertheless, the system continues to provide new surprises and observational insights into its physical mechanisms. We shall discuss a number of new results we have obtained through Chandra observations. Results include highly detailed pulse-phase spectroscopy which poses challenges to our understanding of pulsar emission mechanisms, a new and precise look at the pulsar geometry, the results of a search for the site of the recently-discovered gamma-ray flares, and a study of the spatial and temporal variation(s) of the southern jet.

  18. High Mass X-ray Binary Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naik, Sachindra

    2016-07-01

    High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs) are interesting objects that provide a wide range of observational probes to the nature of the two stellar components, accretion process, stellar wind and orbital parameters of the systems. Most of the transient HMXBs are found to Be/X-ray binaries (~67%), consisting of a compact object (neutron star) in orbit around the companion Be star. The orbit of the compact object around the Be star is wide and highly eccentric. Be/X-ray binaries are generally quiescent in X-ray emission. The transient X-ray outbursts seen in these objects are known to be due to interaction between the compact object and the circumstellar disk surrounding the Be star. In the recent years, another class of transient HMXBs have been found which have supergiant companions and show shorter X-ray outbursts. X-ray, infrared and optical observations of these HMXBs provide vital information regarding these systems. The timing and broad-band X-ray spectral properties of a few HMXB pulsars, mainly Be/X-ray binary pulsars during regular X-ray outbursts will be discussed.

  19. Radio Observations of Elongated Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Stephen C.-Y.

    2015-08-01

    The majority of pulsars' rotational energy is carried away by relativistic winds, which are energetic particles accelerated in the magnetosphere. The confinement of the winds by the ambient medium result in synchrotron bubbles with broad-band emission, which are commonly referred to as pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe). Due to long synchrotron cooling time, a radio PWN reflects the integrated history of the system, complementing information obtained from the X-ray and higher energy bands. In addition, radio polarization measurements can offer a powerful probe of the PWN magnetic field structure. Altogether these can reveal the physical conditions and evolutionary history of a system.I report on preliminary results from high-resolution radio observations of PWNe associated with G327.1-1.1, PSRs J1015-5719, B1509-58, and J1549-4848 taken with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). Their magnetic field structure and multiwavelength comparison with other observations are discussed.This work is supported by a ECS grant of the Hong Kong Government under HKU 709713P. The Australia Telescope is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO.

  20. The global return current in a pulsar's magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barzilay, Yudith

    2016-08-01

    An open issue in pulsar's models is the current adjustment between the gap current and the global current that depends on the global structure of the pulsar's magnetosphere. Here I propose a mechanism for the global return current in pulsars.

  1. Science highlights from high-sensitivity pulsar observations with the MWA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSweeney, Samuel; Bhat, Ramesh; Tremblay, Steven; Ord, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Pulsars are exquisite probes of the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM), capable of resolving structures down to tens of thousands of kilometres. Understanding the ISM is important for many areas of astrophysics, such as galactic dynamics, the chemical evolution of the galaxy, and the identification of timing noise in the search for gravitational waves using pulsar timing arrays. Low frequency observations of pulsars are key, because the strength of propagation effects scales strongly with frequency.We present the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) as a key science tool for making high quality observations of pulsars at low frequencies (~80-300 MHz). Recently commissioned software for making tied-array beams and the MWA's high time resolution voltage capture system (VCS) allow an order of magnitude increase in sensitivity, vital for pulsar and other time-domain science. A pipeline has now been developed for observing the scintillation patterns of important pulsars at low frequencies, including a new computational technique for measuring the curvature of parabolic arcs in noisy secondary spectra. A program of MWA observations is being undertaken to sample a large number of millisecond pulsars. We present recent highlights including PSR J0437-4715, which yielded a new measurement of scattering screen distance of ~120 pc from Earth, consistent with a Parkes observation at ~730 MHz, and matching the predicted perimeter of the Local Bubble.

  2. A high-frequency survey of the southern Galactic plane for pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Simon; Lyne, A. G.; Manchester, R. N.; Kniffen, D. A.; D'Amico, N.; Lim, J.; Ashworth, M.

    1992-01-01

    Results of an HF survey designed to detect young, distant, and short-period pulsars are presented. The survey detected a total of 100 pulsars, 46 of which were previously unknown. The periods of the newly discovered pulsars range between 47 ms and 2.5 ms. One of the new discoveries, PSR 1259-63, is a member of a long-period binary system. At least three of the pulsars have ages less than 30,000 yr, bringing the total number of such pulsars to 12. The majority of the new discoveries are distant objects with high dispersion measures, which are difficult to detect at low frequencies. This demonstrates that the survey has reduced the severe selection effects of pulse scattering, high Galactic background temperature, and dispersion broadening, which hamper the detection of such pulsars at low radio frequencies. The pulsar distribution in the southern Galaxy is found to extend much further from the Galactic center than that in the north, probably due to two prominent spiral arms in the southern Galaxy.

  3. PSR J1838-0537: DISCOVERY OF A YOUNG, ENERGETIC GAMMA-RAY PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Pletsch, H. J.; Allen, B.; Aulbert, C.; Fehrmann, H.; Guillemot, L.; Kramer, M.; Baring, M. G.; Camilo, F.; Caraveo, P. A.; Marelli, M.; Grove, J. E.; Ray, P. S.; Kerr, M.; Ransom, S. M.; Saz Parkinson, P. M. E-mail: guillemo@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

    2012-08-10

    We report the discovery of PSR J1838-0537, a gamma-ray pulsar found through a blind search of data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The pulsar has a spin frequency of 6.9 Hz and a frequency derivative of -2.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} Hz s{sup -1}, implying a young characteristic age of 4970 yr and a large spin-down power of 5.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}. Follow-up observations with radio telescopes detected no pulsations; thus PSR J1838-0537 appears radio-quiet as viewed from Earth. In 2009 September the pulsar suffered the largest glitch so far seen in any gamma-ray-only pulsar, causing a relative increase in spin frequency of about 5.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6}. After the glitch, during a putative recovery period, the timing analysis is complicated by the sparsity of the LAT photon data, the weakness of the pulsations, and the reduction in average exposure from a coincidental, contemporaneous change in LAT's sky-survey observing pattern. The pulsar's sky position is coincident with the spatially extended TeV source HESS J1841-055 detected by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.). The inferred energetics suggest that HESS J1841-055 contains a pulsar wind nebula powered by the pulsar.

  4. X-ray observations of Fermi LAT gamma-ray pulsars and pulsar candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saz Parkinson, P.; Belfiore, A.; Caraveo, P.; De Luca, A.; Marelli, M.

    2014-07-01

    Since the launch of Fermi, in 2008, the population of known gamma-ray pulsars has exploded from just a handful, to over 150. X-ray observations have been crucial in both the discovery and the understanding of this new pulsar population. I will discuss our ongoing program of XMM, Chandra, and Swift observations of Fermi-LAT pulsars and pulsar candidates and present some of the latest results we have obtained.

  5. Prospects for high-precision pulsar timing with the new Effelsberg PSRIX backend

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarus, P.; Karuppusamy, R.; Graikou, E.; Caballero, R. N.; Champion, D. J.; Lee, K. J.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Kramer, M.

    2016-05-01

    The PSRIX backend is the primary pulsar timing instrument of the Effelsberg 100 m radio telescope since early 2011. This new ROACH-based system enables bandwidths up to 500 MHz to be recorded, significantly more than what was possible with its predecessor, the Effelsberg-Berkeley Pulsar Processor (EBPP). We review the first four years of PSRIX timing data for 33 pulsars collected as part of the monthly European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA) observations. We describe the automated data analysis pipeline, COASTGUARD, that we developed to reduce these observations. We also introduce TOASTER, the EPTA timing data base, used to store timing results, processing information and observation metadata. Using these new tools, we measure the phase-averaged flux densities at 1.4 GHz of all 33 pulsars. For seven of these pulsars, our flux density measurements are the first values ever reported. For the other 26 pulsars, we compare our flux density measurements with previously published values. By comparing PSRIX data with EBPP data, we find an improvement of ˜2-5 times in signal-to-noise ratio, which translates to an increase of ˜2-5 times in pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) precision. We show that such an improvement in TOA precision will improve the sensitivity to the stochastic gravitational wave background. Finally, we showcase the flexibility of the new PSRIX backend by observing several millisecond-period pulsars (MSPs) at 5 and 9 GHz. Motivated by our detections, we discuss the potential for complementing existing pulsar timing array data sets with MSP monitoring campaigns at these higher frequencies.

  6. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Studies with GLAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, D. J.

    2008-02-01

    Some pulsars have their maximum observable energy output in the gamma-ray band, offering the possibility of using these high-energy photons as probes of the particle acceleration and interaction processes in pulsar magnetospheres. After an extended hiatus between satellite missions, the recently-launched AGILE mission and the upcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Large Area Telescope (LAT) will allow gamma-ray tests of the theoretical models developed based on past discoveries. With its greatly improved sensitivity, better angular resolution, and larger energy reach than older instruments, GLAST LAT should detect dozens to hundreds of new gamma-ray pulsars and measure luminosities, light curves, and phase-resolved spectra with unprecedented resolution. It will also have the potential to find radio-quiet pulsars like Geminga, using blind search techniques. Cooperation with radio and X-ray pulsar astronomers is an important aspect of the LAT team's planning for pulsar studies.

  7. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Studies With GLAST

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, D.J.; /NASA, Goddard

    2011-11-23

    Some pulsars have their maximum observable energy output in the gamma-ray band, offering the possibility of using these high-energy photons as probes of the particle acceleration and interaction processes in pulsar magnetospheres. After an extended hiatus between satellite missions, the recently-launched AGILE mission and the upcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Large Area Telescope (LAT) will allow gamma-ray tests of the theoretical models developed based on past discoveries. With its greatly improved sensitivity, better angular resolution, and larger energy reach than older instruments, GLAST LAT should detect dozens to hundreds of new gamma-ray pulsars and measure luminosities, light curves, and phase-resolved spectra with unprecedented resolution. It will also have the potential to find radio-quiet pulsars like Geminga, using blind search techniques. Cooperation with radio and X-ray pulsar astronomers is an important aspect of the LAT team's planning for pulsar studies.

  8. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Studies with GLAST

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, D. J.

    2008-02-27

    Some pulsars have their maximum observable energy output in the gamma-ray band, offering the possibility of using these high-energy photons as probes of the particle acceleration and interaction processes in pulsar magnetospheres. After an extended hiatus between satellite missions, the recently-launched AGILE mission and the upcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Large Area Telescope (LAT) will allow gamma-ray tests of the theoretical models developed based on past discoveries. With its greatly improved sensitivity, better angular resolution, and larger energy reach than older instruments, GLAST LAT should detect dozens to hundreds of new gamma-ray pulsars and measure luminosities, light curves, and phase-resolved spectra with unprecedented resolution. It will also have the potential to find radio-quiet pulsars like Geminga, using blind search techniques. Cooperation with radio and X-ray pulsar astronomers is an important aspect of the LAT team's planning for pulsar studies.

  9. Theoretical Study of Gamma-ray Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yuzhe; Cheng, Kwong Sang; Takata, Jumpei

    2016-06-01

    We use the non-stationary three dimensional two-layer outer gap model to explain gamma-ray emissions from a pulsar magnetosphere. We found out that for some pulsars like the Geminga pulsar, it was hard to explain emissions above a level of around 1 GeV. We then developed the model into a non-stationary model. In this model we assigned a power-law distribution to one or more of the spectral parameters proposed in the previous model and calculated the weighted phaseaveraged spectrum. Though this model is suitable for some pulsars, it still cannot explain the high energy emission of the Geminga pulsar. An Inverse-Compton Scattering component between the primary particles and the radio photons in the outer magnetosphere was introduced into the model, and this component produced a sufficient number of GeV photons in the spectrum of the Geminga pulsar.

  10. Pulsar Emission Geometry and Accelerating Field Strength

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeCesar, Megan E.; Harding, Alice K.; Miller, M. Coleman; Kalapotharakos, Constantinos; Parent, Damien

    2012-01-01

    The high-quality Fermi LAT observations of gamma-ray pulsars have opened a new window to understanding the generation mechanisms of high-energy emission from these systems, The high statistics allow for careful modeling of the light curve features as well as for phase resolved spectral modeling. We modeled the LAT light curves of the Vela and CTA I pulsars with simulated high-energy light curves generated from geometrical representations of the outer gap and slot gap emission models. within the vacuum retarded dipole and force-free fields. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo maximum likelihood method was used to explore the phase space of the magnetic inclination angle, viewing angle. maximum emission radius, and gap width. We also used the measured spectral cutoff energies to estimate the accelerating parallel electric field dependence on radius. under the assumptions that the high-energy emission is dominated by curvature radiation and the geometry (radius of emission and minimum radius of curvature of the magnetic field lines) is determined by the best fitting light curves for each model. We find that light curves from the vacuum field more closely match the observed light curves and multiwavelength constraints, and that the calculated parallel electric field can place additional constraints on the emission geometry

  11. Upper limits on gravitational wave emission from 78 radio pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, B.; Abbott, R.; Adhikari, R.; Agresti, J.; Ajith, P.; Allen, B.; Amin, R.; Anderson, S. B.; Anderson, W. G.; Arain, M.; Araya, M.; Armandula, H.; Ashley, M.; Aston, S.; Aufmuth, P.; Aulbert, C.; Babak, S.; Ballmer, S.; Bantilan, H.; Barish, B. C.; Barker, C.; Barker, D.; Barr, B.; Barriga, P.; Barton, M. A.; Bayer, K.; Belczynski, K.; Betzwieser, J.; Beyersdorf, P. T.; Bhawal, B.; Bilenko, I. A.; Billingsley, G.; Biswas, R.; Black, E.; Blackburn, K.; Blackburn, L.; Blair, D.; Bland, B.; Bogenstahl, J.; Bogue, L.; Bork, R.; Boschi, V.; Bose, S.; Brady, P. R.; Braginsky, V. B.; Brau, J. E.; Brinkmann, M.; Brooks, A.; Brown, D. A.; Bullington, A.; Bunkowski, A.; Buonanno, A.; Burmeister, O.; Busby, D.; Butler, W. E.; Byer, R. L.; Cadonati, L.; Cagnoli, G.; Camp, J. B.; Cannizzo, J.; Cannon, K.; Cantley, C. A.; Cao, J.; Cardenas, L.; Carter, K.; Casey, M. M.; Castaldi, G.; Cepeda, C.; Chalkey, E.; Charlton, P.; Chatterji, S.; Chelkowski, S.; Chen, Y.; Chiadini, F.; Chin, D.; Chin, E.; Chow, J.; Christensen, N.; Clark, J.; Cochrane, P.; Cokelaer, T.; Colacino, C. N.; Coldwell, R.; Conte, R.; Cook, D.; Corbitt, T.; Coward, D.; Coyne, D.; Creighton, J. D. E.; Creighton, T. D.; Croce, R. P.; Crooks, D. R. M.; Cruise, A. M.; Cumming, A.; Dalrymple, J.; D'Ambrosio, E.; Danzmann, K.; Davies, G.; Debra, D.; Degallaix, J.; Degree, M.; Demma, T.; Dergachev, V.; Desai, S.; Desalvo, R.; Dhurandhar, S.; Díaz, M.; Dickson, J.; di Credico, A.; Diederichs, G.; Dietz, A.; Doomes, E. E.; Drever, R. W. P.; Dumas, J.-C.; Dupuis, R. J.; Dwyer, J. G.; Ehrens, P.; Espinoza, E.; Etzel, T.; Evans, M.; Evans, T.; Fairhurst, S.; Fan, Y.; Fazi, D.; Fejer, M. M.; Finn, L. S.; Fiumara, V.; Fotopoulos, N.; Franzen, A.; Franzen, K. Y.; Freise, A.; Frey, R.; Fricke, T.; Fritschel, P.; Frolov, V. V.; Fyffe, M.; Galdi, V.; Ganezer, K. S.; Garofoli, J.; Gholami, I.; Giaime, J. A.; Giampanis, S.; Giardina, K. D.; Goda, K.; Goetz, E.; Goggin, L.; González, G.; Gossler, S.; Grant, A.; Gras, S.; Gray, C.; Gray, M.; Greenhalgh, J.; Gretarsson, A. M.; Grosso, R.; Grote, H.; Grunewald, S.; Guenther, M.; Gustafson, R.; Hage, B.; Hammer, D.; Hanna, C.; Hanson, J.; Harms, J.; Harry, G.; Harstad, E.; Hayler, T.; Heefner, J.; Heng, I. S.; Heptonstall, A.; Heurs, M.; Hewitson, M.; Hild, S.; Hirose, E.; Hoak, D.; Hosken, D.; Hough, J.; Howell, E.; Hoyland, D.; Huttner, S. H.; Ingram, D.; Innerhofer, E.; Ito, M.; Itoh, Y.; Ivanov, A.; Jackrel, D.; Johnson, B.; Johnson, W. W.; Jones, D. I.; Jones, G.; Jones, R.; Ju, L.; Kalmus, P.; Kalogera, V.; Kasprzyk, D.; Katsavounidis, E.; Kawabe, K.; Kawamura, S.; Kawazoe, F.; Kells, W.; Keppel, D. G.; Khalili, F. Ya.; Kim, C.; King, P.; Kissel, J. S.; Klimenko, S.; Kokeyama, K.; Kondrashov, V.; Kopparapu, R. K.; Kozak, D.; Krishnan, B.; Kwee, P.; Lam, P. K.; Landry, M.; Lantz, B.; Lazzarini, A.; Lee, B.; Lei, M.; Leiner, J.; Leonhardt, V.; Leonor, I.; Libbrecht, K.; Lindquist, P.; Lockerbie, N. A.; Longo, M.; Lormand, M.; Lubiński, M.; Lück, H.; Machenschalk, B.; Macinnis, M.; Mageswaran, M.; Mailand, K.; Malec, M.; Mandic, V.; Marano, S.; Márka, S.; Markowitz, J.; Maros, E.; Martin, I.; Marx, J. N.; Mason, K.; Matone, L.; Matta, V.; Mavalvala, N.; McCarthy, R.; McClelland, D. E.; McGuire, S. C.; McHugh, M.; McKenzie, K.; McNabb, J. W. C.; McWilliams, S.; Meier, T.; Melissinos, A.; Mendell, G.; Mercer, R. A.; Meshkov, S.; Messaritaki, E.; Messenger, C. J.; Meyers, D.; Mikhailov, E.; Mitra, S.; Mitrofanov, V. P.; Mitselmakher, G.; Mittleman, R.; Miyakawa, O.; Mohanty, S.; Moreno, G.; Mossavi, K.; Mowlowry, C.; Moylan, A.; Mudge, D.; Mueller, G.; Mukherjee, S.; Müller-Ebhardt, H.; Munch, J.; Murray, P.; Myers, E.; Myers, J.; Nash, T.; Newton, G.; Nishizawa, A.; Nocera, F.; Numata, K.; O'Reilly, B.; O'Shaughnessy, R.; Ottaway, D. J.; Overmier, H.; Owen, B. J.; Pan, Y.; Papa, M. A.; Parameshwaraiah, V.; Parameswariah, C.; Patel, P.; Pedraza, M.; Penn, S.; Pierro, V.; Pinto, I. M.; Pitkin, M.; Pletsch, H.; Plissi, M. V.; Postiglione, F.; Prix, R.; Quetschke, V.; Raab, F.; Rabeling, D.; Radkins, H.; Rahkola, R.; Rainer, N.; Rakhmanov, M.; Rawlins, K.; Ray-Majumder, S.; Re, V.; Regimbau, T.; Rehbein, H.; Reid, S.; Reitze, D. H.; Ribichini, L.; Riesen, R.; Riles, K.; Rivera, B.; Robertson, N. A.; Robinson, C.; Robinson, E. L.; Roddy, S.; Rodriguez, A.; Rogan, A. M.; Rollins, J.; Romano, J. D.; Romie, J.; Route, R.; Rowan, S.; Rüdiger, A.; Ruet, L.; Russell, P.; Ryan, K.; Sakata, S.; Samidi, M.; de La Jordana, L. Sancho; Sandberg, V.; Sanders, G. H.; Sannibale, V.; Saraf, S.; Sarin, P.; Sathyaprakash, B. S.; Sato, S.; Saulson, P. R.; Savage, R.; Savov, P.; Sazonov, A.; Schediwy, S.; Schilling, R.; Schnabel, R.; Schofield, R.; Schutz, B. F.; Schwinberg, P.; Scott, S. M.; Searle, A. C.; Sears, B.; Seifert, F.; Sellers, D.; Sengupta, A. S.; Shawhan, P.; Shoemaker, D. H.; Sibley, A.; Sidles, J. A.; Siemens, X.; Sigg, D.; Sinha, S.; Sintes, A. M.; Slagmolen, B. J. J.; Slutsky, J.; Smith, J. R.; Smith, M. R.; Somiya, K.; Strain, K. A.; Strom, D. M.; Stuver, A.; Summerscales, T. Z.; Sun, K.-X.; Sung, M.; Sutton, P. J.; Takahashi, H.; Tanner, D. B.; Tarallo, M.; Taylor, R.; Taylor, R.; Thacker, J.; Thorne, K. A.; Thorne, K. S.; Thüring, A.; Tokmakov, K. V.; Torres, C.; Torrie, C.; Traylor, G.; Trias, M.; Tyler, W.; Ugolini, D.; Ungarelli, C.; Urbanek, K.; Vahlbruch, H.; Vallisneri, M.; van den Broeck, C.; van Putten, M.; Varvella, M.; Vass, S.; Vecchio, A.; Veitch, J.; Veitch, P.; Villar, A.; Vorvick, C.; Vyachanin, S. P.; Waldman, S. J.; Wallace, L.; Ward, H.; Ward, R.; Watts, K.; Webber, D.; Weidner, A.; Weinert, M.; Weinstein, A.; Weiss, R.; Wen, S.; Wette, K.; Whelan, J. T.; Whitbeck, D. M.; Whitcomb, S. E.; Whiting, B. F.; Wiley, S.; Wilkinson, C.; Willems, P. A.; Williams, L.; Willke, B.; Wilmut, I.; Winkler, W.; Wipf, C. C.; Wise, S.; Wiseman, A. G.; Woan, G.; Woods, D.; Wooley, R.; Worden, J.; Wu, W.; Yakushin, I.; Yamamoto, H.; Yan, Z.; Yoshida, S.; Yunes, N.; Zanolin, M.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, L.; Zhao, C.; Zotov, N.; Zucker, M.; Zur Mühlen, H.; Zweizig, J.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.

    2007-08-01

    We present upper limits on the gravitational wave emission from 78 radio pulsars based on data from the third and fourth science runs of the LIGO and GEO 600 gravitational wave detectors. The data from both runs have been combined coherently to maximize sensitivity. For the first time, pulsars within binary (or multiple) systems have been included in the search by taking into account the signal modulation due to their orbits. Our upper limits are therefore the first measured for 56 of these pulsars. For the remaining 22, our results improve on previous upper limits by up to a factor of 10. For example, our tightest upper limit on the gravitational strain is 2.6×10-25 for PSR J1603-7202, and the equatorial ellipticity of PSR J2124 3358 is less than 10-6. Furthermore, our strain upper limit for the Crab pulsar is only 2.2 times greater than the fiducial spin-down limit.

  12. Self-modulational formation of pulsar microstructures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chian, A. C.-L.; Kennel, C. F.

    1983-01-01

    A nonlinear plasma theory for self-modulation of pulsar radio pulses is discussed. A nonlinear Schroedinger equation is derived for strong electromagnetic waves propagating in an electron-positron plasma. The nonlinearities arising from wave-intensity-induced particle-mass variation may excite the modulational instability of circularly and linearly polarized pulsar radiation. The resulting wave envelopes can take the form of periodic wave trains or solitons. These nonlinear stationary waveforms may account for the formation of pulsar microstructures.

  13. High-sensitivity observations of 28 pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisberg, J. M.; Armstrong, B. K.; Backus, P. R.; Cordes, J. M.; Boriakoff, V.

    1986-01-01

    Average 430-MHz pulse profiles and, where possible, modulation indices and pulse-nulling fractions are computed for 28 pulsars. Morphological classifications are determined for most of the pulsars. It is found that core emission components tend to have lower modulation indices than conal components, and that pulsars having only a core component never exhibit pulse pulling. PSR 1612 + 07 is shown to undergo mode changes.

  14. Birth of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grindlay, J. E.; Bailyn, C. D.

    1988-01-01

    It is argued here that accretion-induced collapse of white dwarfs in binaries can form millisecond pulsars directly without requiring a precursor low-mass X-ray binary stage. Ablation of the precollapse binary companion by the millisecond pulsar's radiation field, a process invoked to explain some of the characteristics of the recently discovered eclipsing millisecond pulsar, can then yield isolated neutron stars witout requiring an additional stellar encounter.

  15. Self-modulational formation of pulsar microstructures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chian, A. C.-L.; Kennel, C. F.

    1987-01-01

    A nonlinear plasma theory for self modulation of pulsar radio pulses is discussed. A nonlinear Schroedinger equation is derived for strong electromagnetic waves propagating in an electron positron plasma. The nonlinearities arising from wave intensity induced particle mass variation may excite the modulational instability of circularly and linearly polarized pulsar radiation. The resulting wave envelopes can take the form of periodic wave trains or solitons. These nonlinear stationary waveforms may account for the formation of pulsar microstructures.

  16. Very-high-energy gamma-ray observations of pulsar wind nebulae and cataclysmic variable stars with MAGIC and development of trigger systems for IACTs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Coto, Ruben

    2015-07-01

    lowest possible energy threshold with the LSTs of CTA. Together with this work, the trigger of the MAGIC telescopes was improved. We have simulated, tested and commissioned a new concept of stereoscopic trigger. This new system, that uses the information of the position of the showers on each of the MAGIC cameras, is dubbed "Topo-trigger". The scientific fraction of the thesis deals with galactic sources observed with the MAGIC telescopes. In Part III, I talk about the analysis of the VHE γ-ray emission of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe): the discovery of VHE γ-ray emission from the puzzling PWN 3C 58, the likely remnant of the SN 1181 AD and the weakest PWN detected at VHE to date; the characterization of the VHE tail of the Crab nebula by observing it at the highest zenith angles; and the search for an additional inverse Compton component during the Crab nebula flares reported by Fermi-LAT in the synchrotron regime. Part IV is concerned with searches for VHE γ-ray emission of cataclysmic variable stars. I studied, on a multiwavelength context, the VHE γ-ray nature of the previously claimed pulsed γ-ray emission of the cataclysmic variable AE Aqr. I also performed observations of novae and a dwarf nova to pinpoint the ac- celeration mechanisms taking place in this kind of objects and to discover a putative hadronic component of the soft γ-ray emission. A conclusion chapter summarizes all the work performed and lists prospects related with the topics treated in this thesis.

  17. Pulsar-black hole binaries in the Galactic Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André; Loeb, Abraham

    2011-08-01

    Binaries consisting of a pulsar and a black hole (BH) are a holy grail of astrophysics, both for their significance for stellar evolution and for their potential application as probes of strong gravity. In spite of extensive surveys of our Galaxy and its system of globular clusters, no pulsar-black hole (PSR-BH) binary has been found to date. Clues as to where such systems might exist are therefore important. We show that if the central parsec around Sgr A★ harbours a cluster of ˜25 000 stellar BHs (as predicted by mass-segregation arguments) and if it is also rich in recycled pulsar binaries (by analogy with globular clusters), then three-body exchange interactions should produce PSR-BHs in the Galactic Centre. Simple estimates of the formation rate and survival time of these binaries suggest that a few PSR-BHs should be present in the central parsec today. The proposed formation mechanism makes unique predictions for the PSR-BH properties: (1) the binary would reside within ˜1 pc of Sgr A★; (2) the pulsar would be recycled, with a period of ˜1 to a few tens of milliseconds, and a low magnetic field B≲ 1010 G; (3) the binary would have high eccentricity, e˜ 0.8, but with a large scatter and (4) the binary would be relatively wide, with semimajor axis ab˜ 0.1 -≳3 au. The potential discovery of a PSR-BH binary therefore provides a strong motivation for deep, high-frequency radio searches for recycled pulsars towards the Galactic Centre.

  18. Systematic and Stochastic Variations in Pulsar Dispersion Measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, M. T.; Cordes, J. M.; Chatterjee, S.; Jones, M. L.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Armstrong, J. W.

    2016-04-01

    We analyze deterministic and random temporal variations in the dispersion measure (DM) from the full three-dimensional velocities of pulsars with respect to the solar system, combined with electron-density variations over a wide range of length scales. Previous treatments have largely ignored pulsars’ changing distances while favoring interpretations involving changes in sky position from transverse motion. Linear trends in pulsar DMs observed over 5–10 year timescales may signify sizable DM gradients in the interstellar medium (ISM) sampled by the changing direction of the line of sight to the pulsar. We show that motions parallel to the line of sight can also account for linear trends, for the apparent excess of DM variance over that extrapolated from scintillation measurements, and for the apparent non-Kolmogorov scalings of DM structure functions inferred in some cases. Pulsar motions through atomic gas may produce bow-shock ionized gas that also contributes to DM variations. We discuss the possible causes of periodic or quasi-periodic changes in DM, including seasonal changes in the ionosphere, annual variations of the solar elongation angle, structure in the heliosphere and ISM boundary, and substructure in the ISM. We assess the solar cycle’s role on the amplitude of ionospheric and solar wind variations. Interstellar refraction can produce cyclic timing variations from the error in transforming arrival times to the solar system barycenter. We apply our methods to DM time series and DM gradient measurements in the literature and assess their consistency with a Kolmogorov medium. Finally, we discuss the implications of DM modeling in precision pulsar timing experiments.

  19. Detection of new pulsars at 111 MHz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyul'bashev, S. A.; Tyul'bashev, V. S.; Oreshko, V. V.; Logvinenko, S. V.

    2016-02-01

    The first results of a search for pulsars using the Large Phased Array of the Lebedev Physical Institute at 111 MHz for right ascensions 0h-24h and declinations 21°-42° are reported. Data with a time resolution of 100 ms in six frequency channels within a 2.5-MHz frequency band have been processed. Thirty-four pulsars have been detected, of which seventeen were observed on this telescope earlier; ten known pulsars had not been observed earlier. Seven new pulsars have been discovered.

  20. Pulsar Electrodynamics: a Time-dependent View

    SciTech Connect

    Spitkovsky, Anatoly; /KIPAC, Menlo Park

    2006-04-10

    Pulsar spindown forms a reliable yet enigmatic prototype for the energy loss processes in many astrophysical objects including accretion disks and back holes. In this paper we review the physics of pulsar magnetospheres, concentrating on recent developments in force-free modeling of the magnetospheric structure. In particular, we discuss a new method for solving the equations of time-dependent force-free relativistic MHD in application to pulsars. This method allows to dynamically study the formation of the magnetosphere and its response to perturbations, opening a qualitatively new window on pulsar phenomena. Applications of the method to other magnetized rotators, such as magnetars and accretion disks, are also discussed.

  1. ON PULSAR DISTANCE MEASUREMENTS AND THEIR UNCERTAINTIES

    SciTech Connect

    Verbiest, J. P. W.; Lee, K. J.; Weisberg, J. M.; Chael, A. A.; Lorimer, D. R.

    2012-08-10

    Accurate distances to pulsars can be used for a variety of studies of the Galaxy and its electron content. However, most distance measures to pulsars have been derived from the absorption (or lack thereof) of pulsar emission by Galactic H I gas, which typically implies that only upper or lower limits on the pulsar distance are available. We present a critical analysis of all measured H I distance limits to pulsars and other neutron stars, and translate these limits into actual distance estimates through a likelihood analysis that simultaneously corrects for statistical biases. We also apply this analysis to parallax measurements of pulsars in order to obtain accurate distance estimates and find that the parallax and H I distance measurements are biased in different ways, because of differences in the sampled populations. Parallax measurements typically underestimate a pulsar's distance because of the limited distance to which this technique works and the consequential strong effect of the Galactic pulsar distribution (i.e., the original Lutz-Kelker bias), in H I distance limits, however, the luminosity bias dominates the Lutz-Kelker effect, leading to overestimated distances because the bright pulsars on which this technique is applicable are more likely to be nearby given their brightness.

  2. Post-Glitch Relaxation of Pulsar Angular Velocity in the Context of an Inverse Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayrapetyan, M. V.; Baghdasaryan, D.

    2015-06-01

    The motion of the neutron-proton vortex system in neutron stars is examined taking pinning and depinning of the vortices into account. The relaxation solution of the equations for the dynamics of pulsar rotation after glitches is compared with observational data on the Vela pulsar. It is shown that the angular rotation relaxation parameters are related both to the appearance of a "density wave" of neutron vortices during a glitch and to features of the motion of the vortices between successive glitches.

  3. Interpretation of rapidly rotating pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, F. . Inst. fuer Theoretische Physik); Glendenning, N.K. )

    1992-08-05

    The minimum possible rotational period of pulsars, which are interpreted as rotating neutron stars, is determined by applying a representative collection of realistic nuclear equations of state. It is found that none of the selected equations of state allows for neutron star rotation at periods below 0.8--0.9 ms. Thus, this work strongly supports the suggestion that if pulsars with shorter rotational periods were found, these are likely to be strange-quark-matter stars. The conclusion that the confined hadronic phase of nucleons and nuclei is only metastable would then be almost inescapable, and the plausible ground-state in that event is the deconfined phase of (3-flavor) strange-quark-matter.

  4. The International Pulsar Timing Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manchester, R. N.; IPTA

    2013-11-01

    The International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) is an organization whose raison d’être is to facilitate collaboration between the three main existing PTAs (the EPTA in Europe, NANOGrav in North America and the PPTA in Australia) in order to realize the benefits of combined PTA data sets in reaching the goals of PTA projects. Currently, shared data sets for 50 pulsars are available for IPTA-based projects. Operation of the IPTA is administered by a Steering Committee consisting of six members, two from each PTA, plus the immediate past Chair in a non-voting capacity. A Constitution and several Agreements define the framework for the collaboration. Web pages provide information both to members of participating PTAs and to the general public. With support from an NSF PIRE grant, the IPTA facilitates the organization of annual Student Workshops and Science Meetings. These are very valuable both in training new students and in communicating current results from IPTA-based research.

  5. Pair-Starved Pulsar Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muslimov, Alex G.; Harding, Alice K.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a simple analytic model for the innermost (within the light cylinder of canonical radius, approx. c/Omega) structure of open-magnetic-field lines of a rotating neutron star (NS) with relativistic outflow of charged particles (electrons/positrons) and arbitrary angle between the NS spin and magnetic axes. We present the self-consistent solution of Maxwell's equations for the magnetic field and electric current in the pair-starved regime where the density of electron-positron plasma generated above the pulsar polar cap is not sufficient to completely screen the accelerating electric field and thus establish thee E . B = 0 condition above the pair-formation front up to the very high altitudes within the light cylinder. The proposed mode1 may provide a theoretical framework for developing the refined model of the global pair-starved pulsar magnetosphere.

  6. An ultraluminous nascent millisecond pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluźniak, Włodek; Lasota, Jean-Pierre

    2015-03-01

    If the ultraluminous source (ULX) M82 X-2 sustains its measured spin-up value of dot{ν }= 10^{-10} s^{-2}, it will become a millisecond pulsar in less than 105 yr. The observed (isotropic) luminosity of 1040 erg s-1 also supports the notion that the neutron star will spin up to a millisecond period upon accreting about 0.1 M⊙ - the reported hard X-ray luminosity of this ULX, together with the spin-up value, implies torques consistent with the accretion disc extending down to the vicinity of the stellar surface, as expected for low values of the stellar dipole magnetic field (B ≲ 109 G). This suggests a new channel of millisecond pulsar formation - in high-mass X-ray binaries - and may have implications for studies of gravitational waves, and possibly for the formation of low-mass black holes through accretion-induced collapse.

  7. The spin down of the radio pulsars: Braking index

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beskin, V. S.; Gurevich, A. V.; Istomin, Ya. N.

    1991-01-01

    Presently, the value of the retardation dP/dt is well known for most radio pulsars. It is negative for all cases except one and is of the order of 10(exp -15). That single case is when the pulsar, which is located in the star globular system, can have a considerable acceleration leading to the opposite sign of P'= dP/dt due to the Doppler effect. Careful measurements of the period, P, also allow one to determine the variation of this retardation with the course of time- P'' = d(exp 2)P/dt(exp 2). The results of these measurements are usually represented in the form of the dimensionless retardation index n = omega'' omega/omega(exp 2)= 2 - P''P/P(exp 2) (omega is the angular velocity). The data for 21 pulsars are given. The parameter, n, is strongly undetermined both in value and sign in all cases except for four pulsars. Changes of the rotation period, P, and the inclination angle, chi, the angle between the axes of rotation and the magnetic moment are caused by two processes: the regular retardation and nutation due to deviation from the strict spherical shape of the neutron star. Losses which are caused by the currents flowing in the magnetosphere of the neutron star and by being closed on the star surface are considered. Such losses are critical for the neutron star magnetosphere which is full of dense plasma. Since the radio emission is generated in the dense plasma of the polar magnetosphere, then practically all radio pulsars are retarded by the current mechanism. The formula for the braking index is presented along with other aspects of the investigation.

  8. The magnetospheric structure of pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, D. H.

    1973-01-01

    A model of pulsar magnetospheres is described which has evolved inductively from the work of Sturrock, where the radiation is produced near the surface of a neutron star. Some of the theoretical ideas of others, particularly those of Sturrock, are discussed. The braking index n and period-pulse-width distribution of pulsars are first reinvestigated by relaxing the conventional assumption that R sub Y = R sub L, where R sub Y is the radius of the neutral points marking the transition from closed to open magnetic field lines, and R sub L is the radius of the light cylinder. This is replaced by the parameterization R sub Y = R sub * (1- eta )power R sub L (eta), where R sub * is the neutron star radius. If the ratio frequency radiation is created near the surface and beamed along open field lines, it is found that a good fit to the period-pulse-width distribution can be obtained for eta in the range 0.5 = or eta = or 0.7. The relation n = 1 + 2 eta then gives n = 2.2 + or - 0.2, which is in good agreement with the values measured for the Crab pulsar.

  9. "Missing Link" Revealing Fast-Spinning Pulsar Mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-05-01

    Astronomers have discovered a unique double-star system that represents a "missing link" stage in what they believe is the birth process of the most rapidly-spinning stars in the Universe -- millisecond pulsars. "We've thought for some time that we knew how these pulsars get 'spun up' to rotate so swiftly, and this system looks like it's showing us the process in action," said Anne Archibald, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Pulsar and Companion Neutron star with accretion disk (left) drawing material from companion star (right). CREDIT:Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Animations of this system and its evolution. Pulsars are superdense neutron stars, the remnants left after massive stars have exploded as supernovae. Their powerful magnetic fields generate lighthouse-like beams of light and radio waves that sweep around as the star rotates. Most rotate a few to tens of times a second, slowing down over thousands of years. However, some, dubbed millisecond pulsars, rotate hundreds of times a second. Astronomers believe the fast rotation is caused by a companion star dumping material onto the neutron star and spinning it up. The material from the companion would form a flat, spinning disk around the neutron star, and during this period, the radio waves characteristic of a pulsar would not be seen coming from the system. As the amount of matter falling onto the neutron star decreased and stopped, the radio waves could emerge, and the object would be recognized as a pulsar. This sequence of events is apparently what happened with a binary-star system some 4000 light-years from Earth. The millisecond pulsar in this system, called J1023, was discovered by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia in 2007 in a survey led by astronomers at West Virginia University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The astronomers then found that the object had been detected by NSF's Very Large Array (VLA) radio

  10. A search for binary pulsar companions using multi-wavelength OBSERVATIONS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, Roberto; Yershov, Vladimir; Oates, Samantha; Breeveld, Alice; Pallanca, Cristina; Corongiu, Alessandro; Ferraro, Francesco

    The identification of the stellar companions to binary pulsars is key to study the evolution of the binary system and how this is influenced by the interactions between the two stars. For only a fraction of the known binary pulsars, the stellar companion has been identified. Here, we used 11 source catalogues available from multi-wavelength (optical, infrared, ultraviolet) imaging sky surveys, including the recently released Swift/UVOT and XMM-Newton/OM, to search for the stellar companions of a sample of 144 field binary pulsars (i.e. not in Globular Clusters) selected from the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) data base (version 1.48) and from the public list of gamma-ray pulsars detected by Fermi.

  11. A population of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars seen with the Fermi Large Area Telescope.

    PubMed

    Abdo, A A; Ackermann, M; Ajello, M; Atwood, W B; Axelsson, M; Baldini, L; Ballet, J; Barbiellini, G; Baring, M G; Bastieri, D; Baughman, B M; Bechtol, K; Bellazzini, R; Berenji, B; Bignami, G F; Blandford, R D; Bloom, E D; Bonamente, E; Borgland, A W; Bregeon, J; Brez, A; Brigida, M; Bruel, P; Burnett, T H; Caliandro, G A; Cameron, R A; Camilo, F; Caraveo, P A; Carlson, P; Casandjian, J M; Cecchi, C; Celik, O; Charles, E; Chekhtman, A; Cheung, C C; Chiang, J; Ciprini, S; Claus, R; Cognard, I; Cohen-Tanugi, J; Cominsky, L R; Conrad, J; Corbet, R; Cutini, S; Dermer, C D; Desvignes, G; de Angelis, A; de Luca, A; de Palma, F; Digel, S W; Dormody, M; do Couto e Silva, E; Drell, P S; Dubois, R; Dumora, D; Edmonds, Y; Farnier, C; Favuzzi, C; Fegan, S J; Focke, W B; Frailis, M; Freire, P C C; Fukazawa, Y; Funk, S; Fusco, P; Gargano, F; Gasparrini, D; Gehrels, N; Germani, S; Giebels, B; Giglietto, N; Giordano, F; Glanzman, T; Godfrey, G; Grenier, I A; Grondin, M H; Grove, J E; Guillemot, L; Guiriec, S; Hanabata, Y; Harding, A K; Hayashida, M; Hays, E; Hobbs, G; Hughes, R E; Jóhannesson, G; Johnson, A S; Johnson, R P; Johnson, T J; Johnson, W N; Johnston, S; Kamae, T; Katagiri, H; Kataoka, J; Kawai, N; Kerr, M; Knödlseder, J; Kocian, M L; Kramer, M; Kuss, M; Lande, J; Latronico, L; Lemoine-Goumard, M; Longo, F; Loparco, F; Lott, B; Lovellette, M N; Lubrano, P; Madejski, G M; Makeev, A; Manchester, R N; Marelli, M; Mazziotta, M N; McConville, W; McEnery, J E; McLaughlin, M A; Meurer, C; Michelson, P F; Mitthumsiri, W; Mizuno, T; Moiseev, A A; Monte, C; Monzani, M E; Morselli, A; Moskalenko, I V; Murgia, S; Nolan, P L; Norris, J P; Nuss, E; Ohsugi, T; Omodei, N; Orlando, E; Ormes, J F; Paneque, D; Panetta, J H; Parent, D; Pelassa, V; Pepe, M; Pesce-Rollins, M; Piron, F; Porter, T A; Rainò, S; Rando, R; Ransom, S M; Ray, P S; Razzano, M; Rea, N; Reimer, A; Reimer, O; Reposeur, T; Ritz, S; Rochester, L S; Rodriguez, A Y; Romani, R W; Roth, M; Ryde, F; Sadrozinski, H F W; Sanchez, D; Sander, A; Saz Parkinson, P M; Scargle, J D; Schalk, T L; Sgrò, C; Siskind, E J; Smith, D A; Smith, P D; Spandre, G; Spinelli, P; Stappers, B W; Starck, J L; Striani, E; Strickman, M S; Suson, D J; Tajima, H; Takahashi, H; Tanaka, T; Thayer, J B; Thayer, J G; Theureau, G; Thompson, D J; Thorsett, S E; Tibaldo, L; Torres, D F; Tosti, G; Tramacere, A; Uchiyama, Y; Usher, T L; Van Etten, A; Vasileiou, V; Venter, C; Vilchez, N; Vitale, V; Waite, A P; Wallace, E; Wang, P; Watters, K; Webb, N; Weltevrede, P; Winer, B L; Wood, K S; Ylinen, T; Ziegler, M

    2009-08-14

    Pulsars are born with subsecond spin periods and slow by electromagnetic braking for several tens of millions of years, when detectable radiation ceases. A second life can occur for neutron stars in binary systems. They can acquire mass and angular momentum from their companions, to be spun up to millisecond periods and begin radiating again. We searched Fermi Large Area Telescope data for pulsations from all known millisecond pulsars (MSPs) outside of globular clusters, using rotation parameters from radio telescopes. Strong gamma-ray pulsations were detected for eight MSPs. The gamma-ray pulse profiles and spectral properties resemble those of young gamma-ray pulsars. The basic emission mechanism seems to be the same for MSPs and young pulsars, with the emission originating in regions far from the neutron star surface. PMID:19574349

  12. THE OPTICAL COMPANION TO THE BINARY MILLISECOND PULSAR J1824-2452H IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER M28

    SciTech Connect

    Pallanca, C.; Dalessandro, E.; Ferraro, F. R.; Lanzoni, B.; Rood, R. T.; Possenti, A.; D'Amico, N.; Freire, P. C.; Stairs, I.; Begin, S.; Ransom, S. M.

    2010-12-10

    We report on the optical identification of the companion star to the eclipsing millisecond pulsar (MSP) PSR J1824-2452H in the galactic globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). This star is at only 0.''2 from the nominal position of the pulsar and it shows optical variability ({approx}0.25 mag) that nicely correlates with the pulsar orbital period. It is located on the blue side of the cluster main sequence, {approx}1.5 mag fainter than the turnoff point. The observed light curve shows two distinct and asymmetric minima, suggesting that the companion star is suffering tidal distortion from the pulsar. This discovery increases the number of non-degenerate MSP companions optically identified so far in globular clusters (four out of seven), suggesting that these systems could be a common outcome of the pulsar recycling process, at least in dense environments where they can be originated by exchange interactions.

  13. Suzaku Observations of PSR B1259-63: A New Manifestation of Relativistic Pulsar Wind

    SciTech Connect

    Uchiyama, Yasunobu; Tanaka, Takaaki; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Mori, Koji; Nakazawa, Kazuhiro

    2009-04-27

    We observed PSR B1259-63, a young non-accreting pulsar orbiting around a Be star SS 2883, eight times with the Suzaku satellite from July to September 2007, to characterize the X-ray emission arising from the interaction between a pulsar relativistic wind and Be star outflows. The X-ray spectra showed a featureless continuum in 0.6-10 keV, modeled by a power law with a wide range of photon index 1.3-1.8. When combined with the Suzaku PIN detector which allowed spectral analysis in the hard 15-50 keV band, X-ray spectra do show a break at {approx} 5 keV in a certain epoch. Regarding the PSR B1259-63 system as a compactified pulsar wind nebula, in which e{sup {+-}} pairs are assumed to be accelerated at the inner shock front of the pulsar wind, we attribute the X-ray spectral break to the low-energy cutoff of the synchrotron radiation associated with the Lorentz factor of the relativistic pulsar wind {gamma}{sub 1} {approx} 4 x 10{sup 5}. Our result indicates that Comptonization of stellar photons by the unshocked pulsar wind will be accessible (or tightly constrained) by observations with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope during the next periastron passage. The PSR B1259-63 system allows us to probe the fundamental properties of the pulsar wind by a direct means, being complementary to the study of large-scale pulsar wind nebulae.

  14. Braking index of isolated pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamil, O.; Stone, J. R.; Urbanec, M.; Urbancová, G.

    2015-03-01

    Isolated pulsars are rotating neutron stars with accurately measured angular velocities Ω , and their time derivatives that show unambiguously that the pulsars are slowing down. Although the exact mechanism of the spin-down is a question of detailed debate, the commonly accepted view is that it arises through emission of magnetic dipole radiation (MDR) from a rotating magnetized body. Other processes, including the emission of gravitational radiation, and of relativistic particles (pulsar wind), are also being considered. The calculated energy loss by a rotating pulsar with a constant moment of inertia is assumed proportional to a model dependent power of Ω . This relation leads to the power law Ω ˙ =-K Ωn where n is called the braking index. The MDR model predicts n exactly equal to 3. Selected observations of isolated pulsars provide rather precise values of n , individually accurate to a few percent or better, in the range 1

  15. A PRECISE MASS MEASUREMENT OF THE INTERMEDIATE-MASS BINARY PULSAR PSR J1802 - 2124

    SciTech Connect

    Ferdman, R. D.; Cognard, I.; Desvignes, G.; Theureau, G.; Stairs, I. H.; Kramer, M.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Nice, D. J.; Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G.; Lyne, A. G.; Faulkner, A.; Camilo, F.; Possenti, A.; Demorest, P. B.; Backer, D. C.

    2010-03-10

    PSR J1802 - 2124 is a 12.6 ms pulsar in a 16.8 hr binary orbit with a relatively massive white dwarf (WD) companion. These properties make it a member of the intermediate-mass class of binary pulsar (IMBP) systems. We have been timing this pulsar since its discovery in 2002. Concentrated observations at the Green Bank Telescope, augmented with data from the Parkes and Nancay observatories, have allowed us to determine the general relativistic Shapiro delay. This has yielded pulsar and WD mass measurements of 1.24 +- 0.11 M{sub sun} and 0.78 +- 0.04 M{sub sun} (68% confidence), respectively. The low mass of the pulsar, the high mass of the WD companion, the short orbital period, and the pulsar spin period may be explained by the system having gone through a common-envelope phase in its evolution. We argue that selection effects may contribute to the relatively small number of known IMBPs.

  16. A New High-Frequency Search for Galactic Center Millisecond Pulsars using DSS-43

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemley, Cameron; Prince, Thomas Allen; Majid, Walid A.; Murchikova, Elena

    2016-01-01

    The primary 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna (DSS-43) in Canberra, Australia was equipped with a new high-frequency (18-28 GHz) receiver system in May 2015 for use in a search for Galactic Center (GC) millisecond pulsars. The primary motivation for this search is that a pulsar in the Galactic Center region (especially one that is gravitationally bound to the massive black hole at the GC) would provide unprecedented tests of gravity in the strong-field regime and would offer an entirely new tool for probing the characteristics of the Galactic Center region. Preparation for the GC pulsar search has involved the development of a single-pulse search pipeline that integrates tools from both Fortran and Python as well as the implementation of this pipeline on high performance CPUs. The original version of the search pipeline was developed using Vela Pulsar data from DSS-43, and a more refined version that relies upon chi-squared fitting techniques was ultimately developed using Crab Pulsar data. Future work will involve continued testing of the single-pulse search pipeline using data from the rotating radio transient (RRAT) J1819-1458, the characterization of RRAT pulses using high time resolution data from the new receiver system on DSS-43, and ultimately the analysis of high-frequency data using the existing pipeline to search for millisecond pulsars in the Galactic Center.

  17. Key Science with the Square Kilometer Array: Strong-field Tests of Gravity using Pulsars and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, J. M.; Kramer, M.; Backer, D. C.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Science Working Groupthe Square Kilometer Array Team

    2005-12-01

    A Galactic census of pulsars with the SKA will discover most of the active pulsars in the Galaxy beamed toward us. The sheer number of pulsars discovered, along with the exceptional timing precision the SKA can provide, will revolutionize the field of pulsar astrophysics and will enable significant tests of theories of gravity. Census discoveries will almost certainly include pulsar-black hole binaries as well as pulsars orbiting the super-massive black hole in the Galactic center. These systems provide unique opportunties for probing the ultra-strong field limit of relativistic gravity and will complement future gravitational wave detections using LISA-like instruments. SKA measurements can be used to test the Cosmic Censorship Conjecture and the No-Hair theorem. The large number of millisecond pulsars discovered with the SKA will also provide a dense array of precision clocks on the sky that can be used as multiple arms of a cosmic gravitational wave detector, which can be used to detect and measure the stochastic cosmological gravitational wave background that is expected from a number of sources. In addition to gravitational tests, the large number of lines of sight will provide a detailed map of the Galaxy's electron density and magnetic fields and important information on the dynamics and evolutionary histories of neutron stars. The census will provide examples of nearly every possible outcome of the evolution of massive stars, including (as above) pulsar black-hole systems and sub-millisecond pulsars, if they exist. These objects will yield constraints on the equation of state of matter at super-nuclear densities. Masses of pulsars and their binary companions planets, white dwarfs, other neutron stars, and black holes will be determined to ˜ 1% for hundreds of objects. The SKA will also provide partial censuses of nearby galaxies through periodicity and giant-pulse detections, yielding important information on the intergalactic medium.

  18. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Candidates for GLAST

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, D. J.

    2008-01-01

    The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) will be launched this year, and its Large Area Telescope (LAT) is expected to discover scores to hundreds of gamma-ray pulsars. This poster discusses which of the over 1700 known pulsars, mostly visible only at radio frequencies, are likely to emit greater than 100 MeV gamma rays with intensities detectable by the LAT. The main figure of merit used to select gamma-ray pulsar candidates is sqrt(E-dot)/d2, where E-dot is the energy loss due to rotational spin-down, and d is the distance to the pulsar. The figure of merit incorporates spin-down flux at earth (proportional to E-dot/d2) times efficiency, assumed proportional to l/sqrt(E-dot). A few individual objects are cited to illustrate the issues. Since large E-dot pulsars also tend to have large timing noise and occasional glitches, their ephemerides can become inaccurate in weeks to months. To detect and study the gamma-ray emission the photons must be accurately tagged with the pulse phase. With hours to days between gamma-ray photon arrival times from a pulsar and months to years of LAT exposure needed for good detections, GLAST will rely on radio and X-ray timing measurements throughout the continuous gamma-ray observations. The poster will describe efforts to coordinate pulsar timing of the candidate gamma-ray pulsars.

  19. Gamma-Ray Pulsar Candidates for GLAST

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David J.; Smith, D. A.; Dumora, D.; Guillemot, L.; Parent, D.; Reposeur, T.; Grove, E.; Romani, R. W.; Thorsett, S. E.

    2007-01-01

    The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) will be launched less than a year from now, and its Large Area Telescope (LAT) is expected to discover scores to hundreds of gamma-ray pulsars. This poster discusses which of the over 1700 known pulsars, mostly visible only at radio Erequencies, are likely to emit greater than l00 MeV gamma rays with intensities detectable by the LAT. The main figure of merit used to select gamma-ray pulsar candidates is sqrt(E-dot)/d^2, where E-dot is the energy loss due to rotational spindown, and d is the distance to the pulsar. The figure of merit incorporates spin-down flux at earth (proportional to E-dot/d^2) times efficiency, assumed proportional to 1/sqrt(E-dot). A few individual objects are cited to illustrate the issues. Since large E-dot pulsars also tend to have large timing noise and occasional glitches, their ephemerides can become inaccurate in weeks to months. To detect and study the gamma-ray emission the photons must be accurately tagged with the pulse phase. With hours to days between gamma-ray photon arrival times from a pulsar and months to years of LAT exposure needed for good detections, GLAST will need timing measurements throughout the continuous gamma-ray observations. The poster will describe efforts to coordinate pulsar timing of the candidate gamma-ray pulsars.

  20. Neutron Stars and the Discovery of Pulsars.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstein, George

    1985-01-01

    Part one recounted the story of the discovery of pulsars and examined the Crab Nebula, supernovae, and neutron stars. This part (experts from the book "Frozen Star") shows how an understanding of the nature of pulsars allowed astronomers to tie these together. (JN)

  1. Radio polarimetry of Galactic Centre pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnitzeler, D. H. F. M.; Eatough, R. P.; Ferrière, K.; Kramer, M.; Lee, K. J.; Noutsos, A.; Shannon, R. M.

    2016-07-01

    To study the strength and structure of the magnetic field in the Galactic Centre (GC), we measured Faraday rotation of the radio emission of pulsars which are seen towards the GC. Three of these pulsars have the largest rotation measures (RMs) observed in any Galactic object with the exception of Sgr A⋆. Their large dispersion measures, RMs and the large RM variation between these pulsars and other known objects in the GC implies that the pulsars lie in the GC and are not merely seen in projection towards the GC. The large RMs of these pulsars indicate large line-of-sight magnetic field components between ˜ 16 and 33 μG; combined with recent model predictions for the strength of the magnetic field in the GC this implies that the large-scale magnetic field has a very small inclination angle with respect to the plane of the sky (˜12°). Foreground objects like the Radio Arc or possibly an ablated, ionized halo around the molecular cloud G0.11-0.11 could contribute to the large RMs of two of the pulsars. If these pulsars lie behind the Radio Arc or G0.11-0.11 then this proves that low-scattering corridors with lengths ≳100 pc must exist in the GC. This also suggests that future, sensitive observations will be able to detect additional pulsars in the GC. Finally, we show that the GC component in our most accurate electron density model oversimplifies structure in the GC.

  2. Radio polarimetry of Galactic centre pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnitzeler, D. H. F. M.; Eatough, R. P.; Ferrière, K.; Kramer, M.; Lee, K. J.; Noutsos, A.; Shannon, R. M.

    2016-04-01

    To study the strength and structure of the magnetic field in the Galactic centre (GC) we measured Faraday rotation of the radio emission of pulsars which are seen towards the GC. Three of these pulsars have the largest rotation measures (RMs) observed in any Galactic object with the exception of Sgr A⋆. Their large dispersion measures, RMs and the large RM variation between these pulsars and other known objects in the GC implies that the pulsars lie in the GC and are not merely seen in projection towards the GC. The large RMs of these pulsars indicate large line-of-sight magnetic field components between ˜ 16 - 33 μG; combined with recent model predictions for the strength of the magnetic field in the GC this implies that the large-scale magnetic field has a very small inclination angle with respect to the plane of the sky (˜ 12°). Foreground objects like the Radio Arc or possibly an ablated, ionized halo around the molecular cloud G0.11-0.11 could contribute to the large RMs of two of the pulsars. If these pulsars lie behind the Radio Arc or G0.11-0.11 then this proves that low-scattering corridors with lengths ≳ 100 pc must exist in the GC. This also suggests that future, sensitive observations will be able to detect additional pulsars in the GC. Finally, we show that the GC component in our most accurate electron density model oversimplifies structure in the GC.

  3. The Binary Pulsar: Gravity Waves Exist.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Will, Clifford

    1987-01-01

    Reviews the history of pulsars generally and the 1974 discovery of the binary pulsar by Joe Taylor and Russell Hulse specifically. Details the data collection and analysis used by Taylor and Hulse. Uses this discussion as support for Albert Einstein's theory of gravitational waves. (CW)

  4. Gamma rays from hidden millisecond pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavani, Marco

    1992-01-01

    The properties were studied of a new class of gamma ray sources consisting of millisecond pulsars totally or partially surrounded by evaporating material from irradiated companion stars. Hidden millisecond pulsars offer a unique possibility to study gamma ray, optical and radio emission from vaporizing binaries. The relevance of this class of binaries for GRO observations and interpretation of COS-B data is emphasized.

  5. Towards solving the pulsar timing sampling problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Haasteren, Rutger; Ellis, Justin; Vallisneri, Michele; Nanograv Collaboration

    2016-03-01

    Bayesian data analysis of Pulsar Timing Array (PTA) has proved to be a computationally challenging problem, with scaling relations that are super-linear in both the number of pulsars and the number of model parameters. Thus far, our best models cannot be used when analyzing full (international) pulsar timing array datasets in the search for gravitational waves, and shortcuts always need to be made. A promising approach in the literature, based on Hamiltonian sampling techniques, has been shown to be infeasible in realistic datasets due to phase transition behavior of the likelihood. We have introduced a coordinate transformation that mitigates this phase transition behavior, and makes Hamiltonian sampling efficient. This makes a full (stochastic) gravitational-wave search in pulsar timing data feasible with our most up-to-date models. This method scales almost linearly with the number of pulsars. Supported by NASA through Einstein fellowship PF3-140116.

  6. Pulsars, PTAs, and PALFA: Highlights and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, Paul A.

    2015-08-01

    The detection of gravitational waves with nanohertz frequencies from SMBHs in merging galaxies, either a single source or a background, is greatly aided by increasing the sensitivity of pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). Increasing the number of millisecond pulsars in PTAs is one of the best ways to enhance their sensitivity. Therefore searches for new millisecond pulsars are absolutely essential to the detection of gravitational waves from merging galaxies. I will review the status of current pulsar search efforts and how they have contributed to PTAs. I will then present some of the recent highlights of the PALFA survey. Using the PALFA survey as a case study, I will outline the current challenges faced by pulsar searches, including RFI and a large number of false positives, and potential solutions to those issues.

  7. A radio pulsar spinning at 716 Hz.

    PubMed

    Hessels, Jason W T; Ransom, Scott M; Stairs, Ingrid H; Freire, Paulo C C; Kaspi, Victoria M; Camilo, Fernando

    2006-03-31

    We have discovered a 716-hertz eclipsing binary radio pulsar in the globular cluster Terzan 5 using the Green Bank Telescope. It is the fastest spinning neutron star found to date, breaking the 24-year record held by the 642-hertz pulsar B1937+21. The difficulty in detecting this pulsar, because of its very low flux density and high eclipse fraction (approximately 40% of the orbit), suggests that even faster spinning neutron stars exist. If the pulsar has a mass less than twice the mass of the Sun, then its radius must be constrained by the spin rate to be <16 kilometers. The short period of this pulsar also constrains models that suggest that gravitational radiation, through an r-mode (Rossby wave) instability, limits the maximum spin frequency of neutron stars. PMID:16410486

  8. Testing black hole superradiance with pulsar companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosa, João G.

    2015-10-01

    We show that the magnetic dipole and gravitational radiation emitted by a pulsar can undergo superradiant scattering off a spinning black hole companion. We find that the relative amount of superradiant modes in the radiation depends on the pulsar's angular position relative to the black hole's equatorial plane. In particular, when the pulsar and black hole spins are aligned, superradiant modes are dominant at large angles, leading to an amplification of the pulsar's luminosity, whereas for small angles the radiation is dominantly composed of non-superradiant modes and the signal is attenuated. This results in a characteristic orbital modulation of the pulsar's luminosity, up to the percent level within our approximations, which may potentially yield a signature of superradiant scattering in astrophysical black holes and hence an important test of general relativity.

  9. THE BENEFITS OF VLBI ASTROMETRY TO PULSAR TIMING ARRAY SEARCHES FOR GRAVITATIONAL RADIATION

    SciTech Connect

    Madison, D. R.; Chatterjee, S.; Cordes, J. M.

    2013-11-10

    Precision astrometry is an integral component of successful pulsar timing campaigns. Astrometric parameters are commonly derived by fitting them as parameters of a timing model to a series of pulse times of arrival (TOAs). TOAs measured to microsecond precision over spans of several years can yield position measurements with sub-milliarcsecond precision. However, timing-based astrometry can become biased if a pulsar displays any red spin noise or a red signal produced by the stochastic gravitational wave background. We investigate how noise of different spectral types is absorbed by timing models, leading to significant estimation biases in the astrometric parameters. We find that commonly used techniques for fitting timing models in the presence of red noise (Cholesky whitening) prevent the absorption of noise into the timing model remarkably well if the time baseline of observations exceeds several years, but are inadequate for dealing with shorter pulsar data sets. Independent of timing, pulsar-optimized very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) is capable of providing position estimates precise to the sub-milliarcsecond levels needed for high-precision timing. In order to make VLBI astrometric parameters useful in pulsar timing models, the transformation between the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF) and the dynamical solar system ephemeris used for pulsar timing must be constrained to within a few microarcseconds. We compute a transformation between the ICRF and pulsar timing frames and quantitatively discuss how the transformation will improve in coming years. We find that incorporating VLBI astrometry into the timing models of pulsars for which only a couple of years of timing data exist will lead to more realistic assessments of red spin noise and could enhance the amplitude of gravitational wave signatures in post-fit timing residuals by factors of 20 or more.

  10. X-ray Pulsar Navigation Algorithms and Testbed for SEXTANT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winternitz, Luke M. B.; Hasouneh, Monther A.; Mitchell, Jason W.; Valdez, Jennifer E.; Price, Samuel R.; Semper, Sean R.; Yu, Wayne H.; Ray, Paul S.; Wood, Kent S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Grendreau, Keith C.

    2015-01-01

    The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a NASA funded technologydemonstration. SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray Pulsar-based Navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. This paper describes the basic design of the SEXTANT system with a focus on core models and algorithms, and the design and continued development of the GSFC X-ray Navigation Laboratory Testbed (GXLT) with its dynamic pulsar emulation capability. We also present early results from GXLT modeling of the combined NICER X-ray timing instrument hardware and SEXTANT flight software algorithms.

  11. High-Energy Emission at Shocks in Millisecond Pulsar Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kust Harding, Alice; Wadiasingh, Zorawar; Venter, Christo; Boettcher, Markus

    2016-04-01

    A large number of new Black Widow (BW) and Redback (RB) energetic millisecond pulsars have been discovered through radio searches of unidentified Fermi sources, increasing the known number of these systems from 4 to 28. We model the high-energy emission components from particles accelerated to several TeV in intrabinary shocks in BW and RB systems, and their predicted modulation at the binary orbital period. Synchrotron emission is expected at X-ray energies and such modulated emission has already been detected by Chandra and XMM. Inverse Compton emission from accelerated particles scattering the UV emission from the radiated companion star is expected in the Fermi and TeV bands. Detections or constraints on this emission will probe the unknown physics of pulsar winds.

  12. Timing the Relativistic Binary Pulsar PSR B1913+16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yuping; Weisberg, Joel M.

    2016-06-01

    We present results of three decades of timing data from the relativistic binary pulsar PSR B1913+16. With kinematic corrections, the measured rate of orbital decay due to gravitational wave radiation exhibits 99.69+/-0.17% agreement with the prediction of general relativity. For the first time in this system, the Shapiro delay parameters have been determined, therefore constituting two additional tests of gravity theories. We have also measured the relativistic deformation parameter of the orbit, and marginally the derivative of the semimajor axis, both of which are biased by the presence of aberration delay. We will discuss the possibility of constraining the moment of inertia of the pulsar in this system through improved measurement of the orbital semimajor axis derivative, and the determination of the aberration delay parameters from future geodetic precession modelling.

  13. The PALFA Survey: Going to great depths to find radio pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarus, P.

    2013-03-01

    The on-going PALFA survey is searching the Galactic plane (|b| < 5°, 32° < l < 77° and 168° < l < 214°) for radio pulsars at 1.4 GHz using ALFA, the 7-beam receiver installed at the Arecibo Observatory. By the end of August 2012, the PALFA survey has discovered 100 pulsars, including 17 millisecond pulsars (P < 30 ms). Many of these discoveries are among the pulsars with the largest DM/P ratios, proving that the PALFA survey is capable of probing the Galactic plane for millisecond pulsars to a much greater depth than any previous survey. This is due to the survey's high sensitivity, relatively high observing frequency, and its high time and frequency resolution. Recently the rate of discoveries has increased, due to a new more sensitive spectrometer, two updated complementary search pipelines, the development of online collaborative tools, and access to new computing resources. Looking forward, focus has shifted to the application of artificial intelligence systems to identify pulsar-like candidates, and the development of an improved full-resolution pipeline incorporating more sophisticated radio interference rejection. The new pipeline will be used in a complete second analysis of data already taken, and will be applied to future survey observations. An overview of recent developments, and highlights of exciting discoveries will be presented.

  14. The Einstein@Home Search for Radio Pulsars and PSR J2007+2722 Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, B.; Knispel, B.; Cordes, J. M.; Deneva, J. S.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Anderson, D.; Aulbert, C.; Bock, O.; Brazier, A.; Chatterjee, S.; Demorest, P. B.; Eggenstein, H. B.; Fehrmann, H.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Hammer, D.; Kaspi, V. M.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; Machenschalk, B.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Messenger, C.; Pletsch, H. J.; Ransom, S. M.; Stairs, I. H.; Stappers, B. W.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Bogdanov, S.; Camilo, F.; Champion, D. J.; Crawford, F.; Desvignes, G.; Freire, P. C. C.; Heald, G.; Jenet, F. A.; Lazarus, P.; Lee, K. J.; van Leeuwen, J.; Lynch, R.; Papa, M. A.; Prix, R.; Rosen, R.; Scholz, P.; Siemens, X.; Stovall, K.; Venkataraman, A.; Zhu, W.

    2013-08-01

    Einstein@Home aggregates the computer power of hundreds of thousands of volunteers from 193 countries, to search for new neutron stars using data from electromagnetic and gravitational-wave detectors. This paper presents a detailed description of the search for new radio pulsars using Pulsar ALFA survey data from the Arecibo Observatory. The enormous computing power allows this search to cover a new region of parameter space; it can detect pulsars in binary systems with orbital periods as short as 11 minutes. We also describe the first Einstein@Home discovery, the 40.8 Hz isolated pulsar PSR J2007+2722, and provide a full timing model. PSR J2007+2722's pulse profile is remarkably wide with emission over almost the entire spin period. This neutron star is most likely a disrupted recycled pulsar, about as old as its characteristic spin-down age of 404 Myr. However, there is a small chance that it was born recently, with a low magnetic field. If so, upper limits on the X-ray flux suggest but cannot prove that PSR J2007+2722 is at least ~100 kyr old. In the future, we expect that the massive computing power provided by volunteers should enable many additional radio pulsar discoveries.

  15. THE EINSTEIN-HOME SEARCH FOR RADIO PULSARS AND PSR J2007+2722 DISCOVERY

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, B.; Knispel, B.; Aulbert, C.; Bock, O.; Eggenstein, H. B.; Fehrmann, H.; Machenschalk, B.; Cordes, J. M.; Brazier, A.; Chatterjee, S.; Deneva, J. S.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Anderson, D.; Demorest, P. B.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Hammer, D.; Kaspi, V. M.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; McLaughlin, M. A.; and others

    2013-08-20

    Einstein-Home aggregates the computer power of hundreds of thousands of volunteers from 193 countries, to search for new neutron stars using data from electromagnetic and gravitational-wave detectors. This paper presents a detailed description of the search for new radio pulsars using Pulsar ALFA survey data from the Arecibo Observatory. The enormous computing power allows this search to cover a new region of parameter space; it can detect pulsars in binary systems with orbital periods as short as 11 minutes. We also describe the first Einstein-Home discovery, the 40.8 Hz isolated pulsar PSR J2007+2722, and provide a full timing model. PSR J2007+2722's pulse profile is remarkably wide with emission over almost the entire spin period. This neutron star is most likely a disrupted recycled pulsar, about as old as its characteristic spin-down age of 404 Myr. However, there is a small chance that it was born recently, with a low magnetic field. If so, upper limits on the X-ray flux suggest but cannot prove that PSR J2007+2722 is at least {approx}100 kyr old. In the future, we expect that the massive computing power provided by volunteers should enable many additional radio pulsar discoveries.

  16. Quasi-periodical variations of pulsars spin as mimicry of differential rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitiashvili, I.; Gusev, A.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT Observation of pulsars is a powerful source of information for studying the dynamics and internal structure of neutron stars. Known about quasi-periodical fluctuations of the time-of-arrival of radiation(TOA) for some pulsars, which we explain as Chandler wobble, Free core nutation, Free inner core nutation and Inner core wobble in case three layer model. Using hamilton approximation to theory rotation of multilayer celestial bodies we estimate dynamical flattening for different layers for PSR B1828-11. It is known that an innate feature of pulsar radiation is high stability of the time-of-arrival (TOA) of pulses, and therefore the analysis of TOA fluctuations can reflect subtle effects of neutron stars dynamics. TOA variations of pulsars can be interpreted by three reasons: gravitational perturbation of pulsar by planetary bodies, peculiarities of a pulsar interior like Tkachenko oscillations and free precession motion, when axis of rotation do not coincide with vectors of the angular moment of solid crust, liquid outer core and crystal core. The radial velocity of a star is obtained by measuring the magnitude of the Doppler effect in its spectrum. Stars showing a small amplitude variation of the radial velocity can be interpreted as systems having planetary companions. Assuming that the pulsar PSR B1257+12 has a mass of 1:35M¯, the Keplerian orbital radii are 0.9, 1.4 and 2.1 AU and with masses are 3:1M©=sin(i), 10:2M©=sin(i), 4:6M©=sin(i), where i is the orbital inclination [7]. In 2000, Stairs, Lyne and Shemar reported about their discovery of long-term, highly-periodic and correlated variations of pulse shape and the rate of slow-down of the pulsar PSR B182811 with period variations approximately 1000, 500, 250 and 167 days, which may be a result of the spin axis caused by an asymmetry in the shape of the pulsar. The long-periodic precession phenomenon was also detected for a few pulsars: PSR 2217+47, PSR 0531+21, PSR B083345, PSR B182811, PSR B

  17. Early Pulsar Observations with LOFAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hessels, J. W. T.; Stappers, B.; Alexov, A.; Coenen, T.; Hassall, T.; Karastergiou, A.; Kondratiev, V. K.; Kramer, M.; van Leeuwen, J.; Mol, J. D.; Noutsos, A.; Weltevrede, P.

    This contribution to the proceedings of "A New Golden Age for Radio Astronomy" is simply intended to give some of the highlights from pulsar observations with LOFAR at the time of its official opening: June 12th, 2010. These observations illustrate that, though LOFAR is still under construction and astronomical commissioning, it is already starting to deliver on its promise to revolutionize radio astronomy in the low-frequency regime. These observations also demonstrate how LOFAR has many "next-generation" capabilities, such as wide-field multi-beaming, that will be vital to open a new Golden Age in radio astronomy through the Square Kilometer Array and its precursors.

  18. A Pulsar Eases Off the Brakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-10-01

    In 2006, pulsar PSR 18460258 unexpectedly launched into a series of energetic X-ray outbursts. Now a study has determined that this event may have permanently changed the behavior of this pulsar, raising questions about our understanding of how pulsars evolve.Between CategoriesA pulsar a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation can be powered by one of three mechanisms:Rotation-powered pulsars transform rotational energy into radiation, gradually slowing down in a predictable way.Accretion-powered pulsars convert the gravitational energy of accreting matter into radiation.Magnetars are powered by the decay of their extremely strong magnetic fields.Astronomical classification often results in one pesky object that doesnt follow the rules. In this case, that object is PSR 18460258, a young pulsar categorized as rotation-powered. But in 2006, PSR 18460258 suddenly emitted a series of short, hard X-ray bursts and underwent a flux increase behavior that is usually only exhibited by magnetars. After this outburst, it returned to normal, rotation-powered-pulsar behavior.Since the discovery of this event, scientists have been attempting to learn more about this strange pulsar that seems to straddle the line between rotation-powered pulsars and magnetars.Unprecedented DropOne way to examine whats going on with PSR 18460258 is to evaluate whats known as its braking index, a measure of how quickly the pulsars rotation slows down. For a rotation-powered pulsar, the braking index should be roughly constant. The pulsar then slows down according to a fixed power law, where the slower it rotates, the slower it slows down.In a recent study, Robert Archibald (McGill University) and collaborators report on 7 years worth of timing observations of PSR 18460258 after its odd magnetar-like outburst. They then compare these observations to 6.5 years of data from before the outburst. The team finds that the braking index for this bizarre

  19. Particles generation and cooling of pulsar magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kryvdyk, Volodymyr

    2016-07-01

    The generation of secondary particles (neutrinos, neutrons, electrons, protons, mesons) and gamma-ray photons because of nuclear interactions in magnetospheres of pulsars and magnetars are considered. By means of the nuclear interactions, the primarily accelerated electrons and protons in the pulsar magnetosphere will be generated secondary particles and photons, which will also generate particles and gamma-ray photons by cascading interactions. Namely from these particles and photons, which arise because of multiple interactions, and will consist of the pulsar magnetosphere. It is important that in pulsar magnetosphere will generate the powerful flux of neutral particles (neutrons) and a neutrino that do not interact with the magnetic field and are free to go out with her, bringing out energy and cooling magnetosphere. So, we obtain a powerful new channel cooling pulsar magnetosphere. This is a new result, which shows that cooling of pulsar and magnetars is not only a result of the processes generating neutrinos in the inner core, but also due to the generation of neutrino and neutrons in the pulsar magnetosphere and subsequently their exit in the interstellar environment.

  20. Fluctuating neutron star magnetosphere: braking indices of eight pulsars, frequency second derivatives of 222 pulsars and 15 magnetars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ou, Z. W.; Tong, H.; Kou, F. F.; Ding, G. Q.

    2016-04-01

    Eight pulsars have low braking indices, which challenge the magnetic dipole braking of pulsars. 222 pulsars and 15 magnetars have abnormal distribution of frequency second derivatives, which also make contradiction with classical understanding. How neutron star magnetospheric activities affect these two phenomena are investigated by using the wind braking model of pulsars. It is based on the observational evidence that pulsar timing is correlated with emission and both aspects reflect the magnetospheric activities. Fluctuations are unavoidable for a physical neutron star magnetosphere. Young pulsars have meaningful braking indices, while old pulsars' and magnetars' fluctuation item dominates their frequency second derivatives. It can explain both the braking index and frequency second derivative of pulsars uniformly. The braking indices of eight pulsars are the combined effect of magnetic dipole radiation and particle wind. During the lifetime of a pulsar, its braking index will evolve from three to one. Pulsars with low braking index may put strong constraint on the particle acceleration process in the neutron star magnetosphere. The effect of pulsar death should be considered during the long term rotational evolution of pulsars. An equation like the Langevin equation for Brownian motion was derived for pulsar spin-down. The fluctuation in the neutron star magnetosphere can be either periodic or random, which result in anomalous frequency second derivative and they have similar results. The magnetospheric activities of magnetars are always stronger than those of normal pulsars.

  1. Classical Accreting Pulsars with NICER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2014-01-01

    Soft excesses are very common center dot Lx > 1038 erg/s - reprocessing by optically thick material at the inner edge of the accretion disk center dot Lx < 1036 erg/s - photoionized or collisionally heated diffuse gas or thermal emission from the NS surface center dot Lx 1037 erg/s - either or both types of emission center dot NICER observations of soft excesses in bright X-ray pulsars combined with reflection modeling will constrain the ionization state, metalicity and dynamics of the inner edge of the magnetically truncated accretion disk Reflection models of an accretion disk for a hard power law - Strong soft excess below 3 keV from hot X-ray heated disk - For weakly ionized case: strong recombination lines - Are we seeing changes in the disk ionization in 4U1626-26? 13 years of weekly monitoring with RXTE PCA center dot Revealed an unexpectedly large population of Be/X-ray binaries compared to the Milky Way center dot Plotted luminosities are typical of "normal" outbursts (once per orbit) center dot The SMC provides an excellent opportunity to study a homogenous population of HMXBs with low interstellar absorption for accretion disk studies. Monitoring with NICER will enable studies of accretion disk physics in X-ray pulsars center dot The SMC provides a potential homogeneous low-absorption population for this study center dot NICER monitoring and TOO observations will also provide measurements of spinfrequencies, QPOs, pulsed fluxes, and energy spectra.

  2. Accelerating pulsar timing data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Haasteren, Rutger

    2013-02-01

    The analysis of pulsar timing data, especially in pulsar timing array (PTA) projects, has encountered practical difficulties: evaluating the likelihood and/or correlation-based statistics can become prohibitively computationally expensive for large data sets. In situations where a stochastic signal of interest has a power spectral density that dominates the noise in a limited bandwidth of the total frequency domain (e.g. the isotropic background of gravitational waves), a linear transformation exists that transforms the timing residuals to a basis in which virtually all the information about the stochastic signal of interest is contained in a small fraction of basis vectors. By only considering such a small subset of these `generalized residuals', the dimensionality of the data analysis problem is greatly reduced, which can cause a large speedup in the evaluation of the likelihood: the ABC-method (Acceleration By Compression). The compression fidelity, calculable with crude estimates of the signal and noise, can be used to determine how far a data set can be compressed without significant loss of information. Both direct tests on the likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of mock data, show that the signal can be recovered as well as with an analysis of uncompressed data. In the analysis of International PTA Mock Data Challenge data sets, speedups of a factor of 3 orders of magnitude are demonstrated. For realistic PTA data sets the acceleration may become greater than six orders of magnitude due to the low signal-to-noise ratio.

  3. Gamma ray pulsars: Models and observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David J.

    1990-01-01

    The two known gamma ray pulsars, the Crab and Vela, were used as guides for the development of models of high-energy radiation from spinning neutron stars. Two general classes of models were developed: those with the gamma radiation originating in the pulsar magnetosphere far from the neutron star surface (outer gap models) and those with the gamma radiation coming from above the polar cap (polar cap models). The goal is to indicate how EGRET can contribute to understanding gamma-ray pulsars, and especially how it can help distinguish between models for emission.

  4. Limits to the Stability of Pulsar Time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petit, Gerard

    1996-01-01

    The regularity of the rotation rate of millisecond pulsars is the underlying hypothesis for using these neutron stars as 'celestial clocks'. Given their remote location in our galaxy and to our lack of precise knowledge on the galactic environment, a number of phenomena effect the apparent rotation rate observed on Earth. This paper reviews these phenomena and estimates the order of magnitude of their effect. It concludes that an ensemble pulsar time based on a number of selected millisecond pulsars should have a fractional frequency stability close to 2 x 10(sup -15) for an averaging time of a few years.

  5. Formation of Short-Period Binary Pulsars in Globular Clusters.

    PubMed

    Rasio; Pfahl; Rappaport

    2000-03-20

    We present a new dynamical scenario for the formation of short-period binary millisecond pulsars in globular clusters. Our work is motivated by the recent observations of 20 radio pulsars in 47 Tuc. In a dense cluster such as 47 Tuc, most neutron stars acquire binary companions through exchange interactions with primordial binaries. The resulting systems have semimajor axes in the range approximately 0.1-1 AU and neutron star companion masses approximately 1-3 M middle dot in circle. For many of these systems, we find that when the companion evolves off the main sequence and fills its Roche lobe, the subsequent mass transfer is dynamically unstable. This leads to a common envelope phase and the formation of short-period neutron star-white dwarf binaries. For a significant fraction of these binaries, the decay of the orbit due to gravitational radiation will be followed by a period of stable mass transfer driven by a combination of gravitational radiation and tidal heating of the companion. The properties of the resulting short-period binaries match well those of observed binary pulsars in 47 Tuc. PMID:10702129

  6. Pulsar wind model for the spin-down behavior of intermittent pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Li, L.; Tong, H.; Yan, W. M.; Yuan, J. P.; Wang, N.; Xu, R. X.

    2014-06-10

    Intermittent pulsars are part-time radio pulsars. They have higher slow down rates in the on state (radio-loud) than in the off state (radio-quiet). This gives evidence that particle wind may play an important role in pulsar spindown. The effect of particle acceleration is included in modeling the rotational energy loss rate of the neutron star. Applying the pulsar wind model to the three intermittent pulsars (PSR B1931+24, PSR J1841–0500, and PSR J1832+0029) allows their magnetic fields and inclination angles to be calculated simultaneously. The theoretical braking indices of intermittent pulsars are also given. In the pulsar wind model, the density of the particle wind can always be the Goldreich-Julian density. This may ensure that different on states of intermittent pulsars are stable. The duty cycle of particle wind can be determined from timing observations. It is consistent with the duty cycle of the on state. Inclination angle and braking index observations of intermittent pulsars may help to test different models of particle acceleration. At present, the inverse Compton scattering induced space charge limited flow with field saturation model can be ruled out.

  7. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-01-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope have discovered the fastest-spinning neutron star ever found, a 20-mile-diameter superdense pulsar whirling faster than the blades of a kitchen blender. Their work yields important new information about the nature of one of the most exotic forms of matter known in the Universe. Pulsar Graphic Pulsars Are Spinning Neutron Stars CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version) "We believe that the matter in neutron stars is denser than an atomic nucleus, but it is unclear by how much. Our observations of such a rapidly rotating star set a hard upper limit on its size, and hence on how dense the star can be.," said Jason Hessels, a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal. Hessels and his colleagues presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Washington, DC. Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that sling "lighthouse beams" of radio waves or light around as they spin. A neutron star is what is left after a massive star explodes at the end of its "normal" life. With no nuclear fuel left to produce energy to offset the stellar remnant's weight, its material is compressed to extreme densities. The pressure squeezes together most of its protons and electrons to form neutrons; hence, the name "neutron star." "Neutron stars are incredible laboratories for learning about the physics of the fundamental particles of nature, and this pulsar has given us an important new limit," explained Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and one of Hessels' collaborators on this work. The scientists discovered the pulsar, named PSR J1748-2446ad, in a globular cluster of stars called Terzan 5, located some 28,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. The newly-discovered pulsar is spinning 716 times per second, or at 716 Hertz (Hz), readily beating the previous record of 642 Hz from a pulsar

  8. Radio Timing and Analysis of Black Widow Pulsar J2256-1024

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowter, Kathryn; Stairs, Ingrid H.; McPhee, Christie A.; Archibald, Anne M.; Boyles, Jason; Hessels, Jason; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Kondratiev, Vlad I.; Lorimer, Duncan; Lynch, Ryan S.; McLaughlin, Maura; Pennucci, Timothy; Ransom, Scott M.; Roberts, Mallory; Stovall, Kevin; van Leeuwen, Joeri

    2015-01-01

    Pulsar J2256-1024, discovered in a 350MHz GBT drift-scan survey and subsequently detected by Fermi-LAT, is a black widow millisecond pulsar in an eclipsing binary system. Black widow pulsars have a rather interesting history. They started life in a binary system, were then spun up by their companions into millisecond pulsars but at some point started ablating those companions, slowly destroying them - thus the moniker "black widow". They are characterized by relatively short orbital periods, in this case 5.1 hours, a low companion mass and, if the inclination angle is right, eclipses. For J2256-1024 we see very clear radio eclipses. Black widow systems used to be few and far between but are now more common with at least 18 currently known. Black widows are interesting for a variety of reasons. They provide potential insight into the formation of isolated millisecond pulsars which must have formed in a binary but are now seen alone, and in eclipsing systems pulses travel through the magnetosphere of the companion providing a probe of that region. Here we present timing and polarization results for J2256-1024 based on radio observations with the GBT.

  9. Swings between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar.

    PubMed

    Papitto, A; Ferrigno, C; Bozzo, E; Rea, N; Pavan, L; Burderi, L; Burgay, M; Campana, S; Di Salvo, T; Falanga, M; Filipović, M D; Freire, P C C; Hessels, J W T; Possenti, A; Ransom, S M; Riggio, A; Romano, P; Sarkissian, J M; Stairs, I H; Stella, L; Torres, D F; Wieringa, M H; Wong, G F

    2013-09-26

    It is thought that neutron stars in low-mass binary systems can accrete matter and angular momentum from the companion star and be spun-up to millisecond rotational periods. During the accretion stage, the system is called a low-mass X-ray binary, and bright X-ray emission is observed. When the rate of mass transfer decreases in the later evolutionary stages, these binaries host a radio millisecond pulsar whose emission is powered by the neutron star's rotating magnetic field. This evolutionary model is supported by the detection of millisecond X-ray pulsations from several accreting neutron stars and also by the evidence for a past accretion disc in a rotation-powered millisecond pulsar. It has been proposed that a rotation-powered pulsar may temporarily switch on during periods of low mass inflow in some such systems. Only indirect evidence for this transition has hitherto been observed. Here we report observations of accretion-powered, millisecond X-ray pulsations from a neutron star previously seen as a rotation-powered radio pulsar. Within a few days after a month-long X-ray outburst, radio pulses were again detected. This not only shows the evolutionary link between accretion and rotation-powered millisecond pulsars, but also that some systems can swing between the two states on very short timescales. PMID:24067710

  10. Building a Natural Language Interface for the ATNF Pulsar Database for Speeding up Execution of Complex Queries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Rupert; Jenet, F.; Rangel, S.; Dartez, L.

    2010-01-01

    Until now, there has been no available natural language interfaces (NLI's) for querying a database of pulsars (rotating neutron stars emitting radiation at regular intervals). Currently, pulsar records are retrieved through an HTML form accessible via the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) website where one needs to be familiar with pulsar attributes used by the interface (e.g. BLC). Using a NLI relinquishes the need for learning form-specific formalism and allows execution of more powerful queries than those supported by the HTML form. Furthermore, on database access that requires comparison of attributes for all the pulsar records (e.g. what is the fastest pulsar?), using a NLI for retrieving answers to such complex questions is definitely much more efficient and less error-prone. This poster presents the first NLI ever created for the ATNF pulsar database (ATNF-Query) to facilitate database access using complex queries. ATNF-Query is built using a machine learning approach that induces a semantic parser from a question corpus; the innovative application is intended to provide pulsar researchers or laymen with an intelligent language understanding database system for friendly information access.

  11. THERMAL X-RAY EMISSION FROM THE SHOCKED STELLAR WIND OF PULSAR GAMMA-RAY BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Zabalza, V.; Paredes, J. M.; Bosch-Ramon, V.

    2011-12-10

    Gamma-ray-loud X-ray binaries are binary systems that show non-thermal broadband emission from radio to gamma rays. If the system comprises a massive star and a young non-accreting pulsar, their winds will collide producing broadband non-thermal emission, most likely originated in the shocked pulsar wind. Thermal X-ray emission is expected from the shocked stellar wind, but until now it has neither been detected nor studied in the context of gamma-ray binaries. We present a semi-analytic model of the thermal X-ray emission from the shocked stellar wind in pulsar gamma-ray binaries, and find that the thermal X-ray emission increases monotonically with the pulsar spin-down luminosity, reaching luminosities of the order of 10{sup 33} erg s{sup -1}. The lack of thermal features in the X-ray spectrum of gamma-ray binaries can then be used to constrain the properties of the pulsar and stellar winds. By fitting the observed X-ray spectra of gamma-ray binaries with a source model composed of an absorbed non-thermal power law and the computed thermal X-ray emission, we are able to derive upper limits on the spin-down luminosity of the putative pulsar. We applied this method to LS 5039, the only gamma-ray binary with a radial, powerful wind, and obtain an upper limit on the pulsar spin-down luminosity of {approx}6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}. Given the energetic constraints from its high-energy gamma-ray emission, a non-thermal to spin-down luminosity ratio very close to unity may be required.

  12. Sampling the Radio Transient Universe: Studies of Pulsars and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chennamangalam, Jayanth

    The transient radio universe is a relatively unexplored area of astronomy, offering a variety of phenomena, from solar and Jovian bursts, to flare stars, pulsars, and bursts of Galactic and potentially even cosmological origin. Among these, perhaps the most widely studied radio transients, pulsars are fast-spinning neutron stars that emit radio beams from their magnetic poles. In spite of over 40 years of research on pulsars, we have more questions than answers on these exotic compact objects, chief among them the nature of their emission mechanism. Nevertheless, the wealth of phenomena exhibited by pulsars make them one of the most useful astrophysical tools. With their high densities, pulsars are probes of the nature of ultra-dense matter. Characterized by their high timing stability, pulsars can be used to verify the predictions of general relativity, discover planets around them, study bodies in the solar system, and even serve as an interplanetary (and possibly some day, interstellar) navigation aid. Pulsars are also used to study the nature of the interstellar medium, much like a flashlight illuminating airborne dust in a dark room. Studies of pulsars in the Galactic center can help answer questions about the massive black hole in the region and the star formation history in its vicinity. Millisecond pulsars in globular clusters are long-lived tracers of their progenitors, low-mass X-ray binaries, and can be used to study the dynamical history of those clusters. Another source of interest in radio transient astronomy is the hitherto undetected engineered signal from extraterrestrial intelligence. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is an ongoing attempt at discovering the presence of technological life elsewhere in the Galaxy. In this work, I present my forays into two aspects of the study of the radio transient universe---pulsars and SETI. Firstly, I describe my work on the luminosity function and population size of pulsars in the globular

  13. Alternancia entre el estado de emisión de Rayos-X y Pulsar en Sistemas Binarios Interactuantes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Vito, M. A.; Benvenuto, O. G.; Horvath, J. E.

    2015-08-01

    Redbacks belong to the family of binary systems in which one of the components is a pulsar. Recent observations show redbacks that have switched their state from pulsar - low mass companion (where the accretion of material over the pulsar has ceased) to low mass X-ray binary system (where emission is produced by the mass accretion on the pulsar), or inversely. The irradiation effect included in our models leads to cyclic mass transfer episodes, which allow close binary systems to switch between one state to other. We apply our results to the case of PSR J1723-2837, and discuss the need to include new ingredients in our code of binary evolution to describe the observed state transitions.

  14. Regimes of Pulsar Pair Formation and Particle Energetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Muslimov, Alexander G.; Zhang, Bing; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We investigate the conditions required for the production of electron-positron pairs above a pulsar polar cap (PC) and the influence of pair production on the energetics of the primary particle acceleration. Assuming space-charge limited flow acceleration including the inertial frame-dragging effect, we allow both one-photon and two-photon pair production by either curvature radiation (CR) photons or photons resulting from inverse-Compton scattering of thermal photons from the PC by primary electrons. We find that,, while only the younger pulsars can produce pairs through CR, nearly all known radio pulsars are capable of producing pairs through non-resonant inverse-Compton scatterings. The effect of the neutron star equations of state on the pair death lines is explored. We show that pair production is facilitated in more compact stars and more a massive stars. Therefore accretion of mass by pulsars in binary systems may allow pair production in most of the millisecond purser population. We also find that two-photon pair production may be important in millisecond pursers if their surface temperatures are above approx. or equal to three million degrees K. Pursers that produce pairs through CRT wilt have their primary acceleration limited by the effect of screening of the electric field. In this regime, the high-energy luminosity should follow a L(sub HE) proportional to dot-E(sup 1/2, sub rot) dependence. The acceleration voltage drop in pursers that produce pairs only through inverse-Compton emission will not be limited by electric field screening. In this regime, the high-energy luminosity should follow a L(sub HE) proportional to dot-E(sub rot) dependence. Thus, older pursers will have significantly lower gamma-ray luminosity.

  15. Time Evolution of Pulsar Magnetosphere - An Implicit Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sreekumar, Sushilkumar; Schlegel, Eric

    2015-04-01

    The Magnetosphere for a pulsar plays a very significant role in its evolution and is regarded as an ideal site for high energy emission. Understanding the structure, dynamics and evolution of the magnetosphere is important. Contopoulos et al. (CKF, 1999) were able to demonstrate numerically the importance of current sheets (CS) along with the Goldreich-Julian charge density (1969). In addition, Spitkovsky (2006) was also able to numerically solve the time dependent hyperbolic system of equations and validate the existence of CS within the Alfvén radius and beyond. However the explicitnature of the numerical approach restricts the size of the time step, which results in an unresolved current sheet. Currently the CKF type magnetosphere is the new benchmark in pulsar modelling and hence CS and its distribution plays a key role. Its contribution in pulsar spin down mechanism, high energy emissions, flux outflow, reconnection events, acceleration mechanisms and locations is currently not understood and as a result resolution of the CS is critical. It is with this motivation that our group has decided to develop a computationally challenging implicit code under the force-free electrodynamics. With implicit approach the Courant number can be sufficiently large which will not only help to resolve the CS and spatial resolution but will also guide us within the high conductivity limit of resistive solutions, where the traditional explicit method becomes too expensive.

  16. On neutron star structure and the millisecond pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, A. K.

    1983-01-01

    The recently discovered millisecond pulsar (PSR1937-214) is observed to be rotating close to the limit of dynamical instability for a neutron star. Despite its extremely rapid rotation, measurements of the period derivative put a stringent upper limit on the energy loss from gravitational radiation, thus requiring that the quadrupole moment be quite small. The pulsar must also be rotating below the critical frequency at which its equilibrium configuration would become non-axisymmetric, since the lifetime of this configuration against decay by gravitational radiation is very short. This critical frequency, given by the theory of rotating ellipsoids, imposes a restriction on the rotation rate more severe than the break-up frequency and may be used to set a lower limit, rho 2 x 10 to the 14th power g/cu cm, on the density of the star. If the mass is 0.5 - 1.5 solar mass, several of the stiffer neutron star equations of state may be ruled out, and the radius should be less than 16 km. The condition for axisymmetry also imposes an upper limit on the rotation rate to which neutron stars may be spun up by accretion disks in binary systems, a model recently proposed for the evolution of the millisecond pulsar.

  17. Interstellar scintillation of the double pulsar J0737–3039

    SciTech Connect

    Rickett, B. J.; Coles, W. A.; Nava, C. F.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Ransom, S. M.; Camilo, F.; Ferdman, R. D.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; Freire, P. C. C.; Stairs, I. H.

    2014-06-01

    We report a series of observations of the interstellar scintillation (ISS) of the double pulsar J0737–3039 over the course of 18 months. As in earlier work, the basic phenomenon is the variation in the ISS caused by the changing transverse velocities of each pulsar, the ionized interstellar medium (IISM), and the Earth. The transverse velocity of the binary system can be determined both by very long baseline interferometry and timing observations. The orbital velocity and inclination is almost completely determined from timing observations, but the direction of the orbital angular momentum is not known. Since the Earth's velocity is known, and can be compared with the orbital velocity by its effect on the timescale of the ISS, we can determine the orientation Ω of the pulsar orbit with respect to equatorial coordinates (Ω = 65 ± 2°). We also resolve the ambiguity (i = 88.°7 or 91.°3) in the inclination of the orbit deduced from the measured Shapiro delay by our estimate i = 88.°1 ± 0.°5. This relies on the analysis of the ISS over both frequency and time, and provides a model for the location, anisotropy, turbulence level, and transverse phase gradient of the IISM. We find that the IISM can be well-modeled during each observation, typically of a few orbital periods, but its turbulence level and mean velocity vary significantly over the 18 months.

  18. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassa, C. G.; Antoniadis, J.; Camilo, F.; Cognard, I.; Koester, D.; Kramer, M.; Ransom, S. R.; Stappers, B. W.

    2016-02-01

    We report on photometric and spectroscopic observations of white dwarf companions to four binary radio millisecond pulsars, leading to the discovery of companions to PSRs J0614-3329, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We place limits on the brightness of the companion to PSR J0613-0200. Optical spectroscopy of the companion to PSR J0614-3329 identifies it as a DA-type white dwarf with a temperature of Teff = 6460 ± 80 K, a surface gravity log g = 7.0 ± 0.2 cgs and a mass of MWD = 0.24 ± 0.04 M⊙. We find that the distance to PSR J0614-3329 is smaller than previously estimated, removing the need for the pulsar to have an unrealistically high γ-ray efficiency. Comparing the photometry with predictions from white dwarf cooling models allows us to estimate temperatures and cooling ages of the companions to PSRs J0613-0200, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We find that the white dwarfs in these systems are cool Teff < 4000 K and old ≳ 5 Gyr. Thin hydrogen envelopes are required for these white dwarfs to cool to the observed temperatures, and we suggest that besides hydrogen shell flashes, irradiation driven mass loss by the pulsar may have been important.

  19. Quasars, pulsars, black holes and HEAO's

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolitte, R. F.; Moritz, K.; Whilden, R. D. C.

    1974-01-01

    Astronomical surveys are discussed by large X-ray, gamma ray, and cosmic ray instruments carried onboard high-energy astronomy observatories. Quasars, pulsars, black holes, and the ultimate benefits of the new astronomy are briefly discussed.

  20. Outlook for Detecting Gravitational Waves with Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

    Though the recent discovery of GW150914 is a thrilling success in the field of gravitational-wave astronomy, LIGO is only one tool the scientific community is using to hunt for these elusive signals. After 10 years of unsuccessful searching, how likely is it that pulsar-timing-array projects will make their own first detection soon?Frequency ranges for gravitational waves produced by different astrophysical sources. Pulsar timing arrays such as the EPTA and IPTA are used to detect low-frequency gravitational waves generated by the stochastic background and supermassive black hole binaries. [Christopher Moore, Robert Cole and Christopher Berry]Supermassive BackgroundGround-based laser interferometers like LIGO are ideal for probing ripples in space-time caused by the merger of stellar-mass black holes; these mergers cause chirps in the frequency range of tens to thousands of hertz. But how do we pick up the extremely low-frequency, nanohertz background signal caused by the orbits of pairs of supermassive black holes? For that, we need pulsar timing arrays.Pulsar timing arrays are sets of pulsars whose signals are analyzed to look for correlations in the pulse arrival time. As the space-time between us and a pulsar is stretched and then compressed by a passing gravitational wave, the pulsars pulses should arrive a little late and then a little early. Comparing these timing residuals in an array of pulsars could theoretically allow for the detection of the gravitational waves causing them.Globally, there are currently four pulsar timing array projects actively searching for this signal, with a fifth planned for the future. Now a team of scientists led by Stephen Taylor (NASA-JPL/Caltech) has estimated the likelihood that these projects will successfully detect gravitational waves in the future.Probability for SuccessExpected detection probability of the gravitational-wave background as a function of observing time, for five different pulsar timing arrays. Optimistic

  1. Wavelet based recognition for pulsar signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, H.; Wang, X.; Chen, X.; Yuan, J.; Nie, J.; Zhang, H.; Liu, N.; Wang, N.

    2015-06-01

    A signal from a pulsar can be decomposed into a set of features. This set is a unique signature for a given pulsar. It can be used to decide whether a pulsar is newly discovered or not. Features can be constructed from coefficients of a wavelet decomposition. Two types of wavelet based pulsar features are proposed. The energy based features reflect the multiscale distribution of the energy of coefficients. The singularity based features first classify the signals into a class with one peak and a class with two peaks by exploring the number of the straight wavelet modulus maxima lines perpendicular to the abscissa, and then implement further classification according to the features of skewness and kurtosis. Experimental results show that the wavelet based features can gain comparatively better performance over the shape parameter based features not only in the clustering and classification, but also in the error rates of the recognition tasks.

  2. The origin of planets orbiting millisecond pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavani, Marco; Brookshaw, Leigh

    1992-01-01

    A model for the formation of planets around millisecond pulsar which no longer have stellar companions is suggested. Detailed hydrodynamical models are presented which suggest that planet formation can occur either in a low-mass X-ray binary progenitor to a progenitor of a star-vaporizing millisecond pulsar when the neutron star is accreting material driven off its companion by X-ray irradiation or after a pulsar has formed and is vaporizing its companion. In both cases a circumbinary disk is created in which planets can form on a timescale of 10 exp 5 to 10 exp 6 yrs and the planets can survive a second phase in which the companion star moves toward the pulsar and is completely vaporized.

  3. The origin of the Guitar pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tetzlaff, N.; Neuhäuser, R.; Hohle, M. M.

    2009-11-01

    Among a sample of 140 OB associations and clusters, we want to identify probable parent associations for the Guitar pulsar (PSR B2224+65), which would then also constrain its age. For this purpose, we are using an Euler-Cauchy technique, treating the vertical component of the Galactic potential to calculate the trajectories of the pulsar and each association into the past. To include errors, we use Monte Carlo simulations varying the initial parameters within their error intervals. The whole range of possible pulsar radial velocities is taken into account during the simulations. We find that the Guitar pulsar most probably originated from the Cygnus OB3 association ~0.8Myr ago, inferring a current radial velocity of vr ~ -30kms-1, consistent with the inclination of its bow shock.

  4. Testing Gravity Using Pulsar Scintillation Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Huan; Nishizawa, Atsushi; Pen, Ue-Li

    2016-03-01

    We propose to use pulsar scintillation measurements to test predictions of alternative theories of gravity. Comparing to single-path pulsar timing measurements, the scintillation measurements can achieve a factor of 104 ~105 improvement in timing accuracy, due to the effect of multi-path interference. The self-noise from pulsar also does not affect the interference pattern, where the data acquisition timescale is 103 seconds instead of years. Therefore it has unique advantages in measuring gravitational effect or other mechanisms (at mHz and above frequencies) on light propagation. We illustrate its application in constraining scalar gravitational-wave background and measuring gravitational-wave speed, in which cases the sensitivities are greatly improved with respect to previous limits. We expect much broader applications in testing gravity with existing and future pulsar scintillation observations.

  5. Exploring the Universe with Pulsar Timing Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke-Spolaor, Sarah

    2016-03-01

    It is an exciting time for pulsar timing arrays, as their upper limits on gravitational radiation are carving into the expected strength of gravitational waves from several source populations in the Universe. Cosmic strings, inflationary gravitational waves, and binary supermassive black holes are all expected contributors to the nanohertz to microhertz band probed by pulsar timing arrays: they might be discovered as bursting sources, as continuously oscillating signals, or as an ensemble population in a stochastic background. This presentation will discuss the predicted intensity and form of these sources, and how the upper limits set by pulsar timing arrays are being used to set unique constraints on source properties, and to measure galaxy evolution in the nearby Universe. Looking to the future, we will explore how pulsar timing arrays can characterize their target source populations, and we will present the prospects for multi-messenger detection.

  6. Timing of New Magellanic Cloud Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, Fronefield; Lorimer, Duncan Ross; Ridley, Joshua

    2013-10-01

    Recently, we announced the discovery of eight new radio pulsars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) from a search of an archival search Parkes multibeam survey (Manchester et al. 2006) and a new high-resolution Parkes survey (Parkes proposal P743). Although these new discoveries represent a 50 % increase in the number of known pulsars in the LMC, none of these eight pulsars have yet been timed to determine accurate positions, physical characteristics, or to establish the presence of any binary companions. We request a total of 70 hours in the 2013OCTS term to time these pulsars. An additional 45 hours will be requested in the 2014APRS term to provide a full year of timing observations which will complete this project.

  7. Timing of New Magellanic Cloud Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, Fronefield; Lorimer, Duncan Ross; Ridley, Joshua; StJohn, Demi

    2014-04-01

    Recently, we announced the discovery of eight new radio pulsars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) from a search of an archival Parkes multibeam survey (Manchester et al. 2006) and a new high-resolution Parkes survey (Parkes proposals P682 and P743). Although these new discoveries represent a 50% increase in the number of known pulsars in the LMC, none of these eight pulsars have yet been timed to determine accurate positions, physical characteristics, or to establish the presence of any binary companions. We request a total of 60 hours in the 2014APRS term to time these pulsars. This will be combined with the 32 hours that were allocated in the 2013OCTS term to provide a full year of timing observations which will complete this project.

  8. Outer magnetospheric fluctuations and pulsar timing noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, K. S.

    1987-01-01

    The Cheng, Ho, and Ruderman (1986) outer-magnetosphere gap model was used to investigate the stability of Crab-type outer magnetosphere gaps for pulsars having the parameter (Omega-square B) similar to that of the Crab pulsar. The Lamb, Pines, and Shaham (1978) fluctuating magnetosphere noise model was applied to the Crab pulsar to examine the type of the equation of state that best describes the structure of the neutron star. The noise model was also applied to other pulsars, and the theoretical results were compared with observational data. The results of the comparison are consistent with the stiff equation of state, as suggested by the vortex creep model of the neutron star interior. The timing-noise observations also contribute to the evidence for the existence of superfluid in the core of the neutron star.

  9. Vela Pulsar and Its Synchrotron Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfand, D. J.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Halpern, J. P.

    2001-07-01

    We present high-resolution Chandra X-ray observations of PSR B0833-45, the 89 ms pulsar associated with the Vela supernova remnant. We have acquired two observations separated by 1 month to search for changes in the pulsar and its environment following an extreme glitch in its rotation frequency. We find a well-resolved nebula with a toroidal morphology remarkably similar to that observed in the Crab Nebula, along with an axial Crab-like jet. Between the two observations, taken ~3×105 s and ~3×106 s after the glitch, the flux from the pulsar is found to be steady to within 0.75% the 3 σ limit on the fractional increase in the pulsar's X-ray flux is <~10-5 of the inferred glitch energy. We use this limit to constrain parameters of glitch models and neutron star structure. We do find a significant increase in the flux of the nebula's outer arc; if associated with the glitch, the inferred propagation velocity is >~0.7c, similar to that seen in the brightening of the Crab Nebula wisps. We propose an explanation for the X-ray structure of the Vela synchrotron nebula based on a model originally developed for the Crab Nebula. In this model, the bright X-ray arcs are the shocked termination of a relativistic equatorial pulsar wind that is contained within the surrounding kidney-bean shaped synchrotron nebula comprising the postshock, but still relativistic, flow. In a departure from the Crab model, the magnetization parameter σ of the Vela pulsar wind is allowed to be of order unity; this is consistent with the simplest MHD transport of magnetic field from the pulsar to the nebula, where B<=4×10-4 G. The inclination angle of the axis of the equatorial torus with respect to the line of sight is identical to that of the rotation axis of the pulsar as previously measured from the polarization of the radio pulse. The projection of the rotation axis on the sky may also be close to the direction of proper motion of the pulsar if previous radio measurements were confused by

  10. Pulsar-aided SETI experimental observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heidmann, J.; Biraud, F.; Tarter, J.

    1989-01-01

    The rotational frequencies of pulsars are used to select preferred radio frequencies for SETI. Pulsar rotational frequencies are converted into SETI frequencies in the 1-10 GHz Galactic radio window. Experimental observations using the frequencies are conducted for target stars closer than 25 parsecs, unknown targets in a globular cluster, and unknown targets in the Galaxy closer than 2.5 kpc. The status of these observations is discussed.

  11. On the magnetosphere of an accelerated pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brennan, T. Daniel; Gralla, Samuel E.

    2014-05-01

    We report on a remarkable class of exact solutions to force-free electrodynamics that has four-current along the light cones of an arbitrary timelike worldline in flat spacetime. No symmetry is assumed, and the solutions are given in terms of a free function of three variables. The field configuration should describe the outer magnetosphere of a pulsar moving on the worldline. The power radiated is the sum of an acceleration (Larmor-type) term and a pulsar-type term.

  12. The Vela Pulsar and Its Synchrotron Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfand, D.; Gotthelf, E.; Halpern, J.

    2000-10-01

    We present high-resolution Chandra X-ray observations of PSR0833-45, the 89 ms pulsar associated with the Vela supernova remnant. We have acquired two observations of the pulsar separated by one month to search for morphological changes in the pulsar and its environment following an extreme glitch in its rotation frequency. We find a well-resolved nebula with a morphology remarkably similar to the torus-like structure observed in the Crab Nebula, along with an axial Crab-like jet. The flux from the pulsar is found to be steady to within 0.75 %; the 3 sigma limit on the fractional increase in the pulsar's X-ray flux is <10-5 of the inferred glitch energy. We use this limit to constrain parameters of glitch models and neutron star structure. We do find a significant increase in the flux of the nebula's outer torus; if associated with the glitch, the inferred propogation velocity is ~0.5c, similar to that seen in the brightening of the Crab Nebula wisps. We propose an explanation for the X-ray structure of the Vela synchrotron nebula based on a model originally developed for the Crab Nebula. In this model, the bright, arc-shaped X-ray wisps are the shocked termination of a relativistic equatorial pulsar wind which is contained within the surrounding kidney-bean shaped synchrotron nebula which comprises the post-shock, but still relativistic, flow. In a departure from the Crab model, the magnetization parameter of the Vela pulsar wind is required to be of order unity; this is consistent with the simplest MHD transport of magnetic field from the pulsar to the nebula, where B ~ 4 x 10-4G.

  13. A SEARCH FOR RAPIDLY SPINNING PULSARS AND FAST TRANSIENTS IN UNIDENTIFIED RADIO SOURCES WITH THE NRAO 43 METER TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, Deborah; Crawford, Fronefield; Gilpin, Claire; Langston, Glen

    2013-04-15

    We have searched 75 unidentified radio sources selected from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey catalog for the presence of rapidly spinning pulsars and short, dispersed radio bursts. The sources are radio bright, have no identifications or optical source coincidences, are more than 5% linearly polarized, and are spatially unresolved in the catalog. If these sources are fast-spinning pulsars (e.g., sub-millisecond pulsars), previous large-scale pulsar surveys may have missed detection due to instrumental and computational limitations, eclipsing effects, or diffractive scintillation. The discovery of a sub-millisecond pulsar would significantly constrain the neutron star equation of state and would have implications for models predicting a rapid slowdown of highly recycled X-ray pulsars to millisecond periods from, e.g., accretion disk decoupling. These same sources were previously searched unsuccessfully for pulsations at 610 MHz with the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. This new search was conducted at a different epoch with a new 800 MHz backend on the NRAO 43 m Telescope at a center frequency of 1200 MHz. Our search was sensitive to sub-millisecond pulsars in highly accelerated binary systems and to short transient pulses. No periodic or transient signals were detected from any of the target sources. We conclude that diffractive scintillation, dispersive smearing, and binary acceleration are unlikely to have prevented detection of the large majority of the sources if they are pulsars, though we cannot rule out eclipsing, nulling or intermittent emission, or radio interference as possible factors for some non-detections. Other (speculative) possibilities for what these sources might include radio-emitting magnetic cataclysmic variables or older pulsars with aligned magnetic and spin axes.

  14. Six millisecond pulsars detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope and the radio/gamma-ray connection of millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinoza, C. M.; Guillemot, L.; Çelik, Ö.; Weltevrede, P.; Stappers, B. W.; Smith, D. A.; Kerr, M.; Zavlin, V. E.; Cognard, I.; Eatough, R. P.; Freire, P. C. C.; Janssen, G. H.; Camilo, F.; Desvignes, G.; Hewitt, J. W.; Hou, X.; Johnston, S.; Keith, M.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A.; Manchester, R. N.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Shannon, R.; Theureau, G.; Webb, N.

    2013-03-01

    We report on the discovery of gamma-ray pulsations from five millisecond pulsars (MSPs) using the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) and timing ephemerides provided by various radio observatories. We also present confirmation of the gamma-ray pulsations from a sixth source, PSR J2051-0827. Five of these six MSPs are in binary systems: PSRs J1713+0747, J1741+1351, J1600-3053 and the two black widow binary pulsars PSRs J0610-2100 and J2051-0827. The only isolated MSP is the nearby PSR J1024-0719, which is also known to emit X-rays. We present X-ray observations in the direction of PSRs J1600-3053 and J2051-0827. While PSR J2051-0827 is firmly detected, we can only give upper limits for the X-ray flux of PSR J1600-3053. There are no dedicated X-ray observations available for the other three objects. The MSPs mentioned above, together with most of the MSPs detected by Fermi, are used to put together a sample of 30 gamma-ray MSPs. This sample is used to study the morphology and phase connection of radio and gamma-ray pulse profiles. We show that MSPs with pulsed gamma-ray emission which is phase-aligned with the radio emission present the steepest radio spectra and the largest magnetic fields at the light cylinder among all MSPs. Also, we observe a trend towards very low, or undetectable, radio linear polarization levels. These properties could be attributed to caustic radio emission produced at a range of different altitudes in the magnetosphere. We note that most of these characteristics are also observed in the Crab pulsar, the only other radio pulsar known to exhibit phase-aligned radio and gamma-ray emission.

  15. A novel mechanism for creating double pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigurdsson, Steinn; Hernquist, Lars

    1992-01-01

    Simulations of encounters between pairs of hard binaries, each containing a neutron star and a main-sequence star, reveal a new formation mechanism for double pulsars in dense cores of globular clusters. In many cases, the two normal stars are disrupted to form a common envelope around the pair of neutron stars, both of which will be spun up to become millisecond pulsars. We predict that a new class of pulsars, double millisecond pulsars, will be discovered in the cores of dense globular clusters. The genesis proceeds through a short-lived double-core common envelope phase, with the envelope ejected in a fast wind. It is possible that the progenitor may also undergo a double X-ray binary phase. Any circular, short-period double pulsar found in the galaxy would necessarily come from disrupted disk clusters, unlike Hulse-Taylor class pulsars or low-mass X-ray binaries which may be ejected from clusters or formed in the galaxy.

  16. Observing pulsars and fast transients with LOFAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stappers, B. W.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Alexov, A.; Anderson, K.; Coenen, T.; Hassall, T.; Karastergiou, A.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Kramer, M.; van Leeuwen, J.; Mol, J. D.; Noutsos, A.; Romein, J. W.; Weltevrede, P.; Fender, R.; Wijers, R. A. M. J.; Bähren, L.; Bell, M. E.; Broderick, J.; Daw, E. J.; Dhillon, V. S.; Eislöffel, J.; Falcke, H.; Griessmeier, J.; Law, C.; Markoff, S.; Miller-Jones, J. C. A.; Scheers, B.; Spreeuw, H.; Swinbank, J.; Ter Veen, S.; Wise, M. W.; Wucknitz, O.; Zarka, P.; Anderson, J.; Asgekar, A.; Avruch, I. M.; Beck, R.; Bennema, P.; Bentum, M. J.; Best, P.; Bregman, J.; Brentjens, M.; van de Brink, R. H.; Broekema, P. C.; Brouw, W. N.; Brüggen, M.; de Bruyn, A. G.; Butcher, H. R.; Ciardi, B.; Conway, J.; Dettmar, R.-J.; van Duin, A.; van Enst, J.; Garrett, M.; Gerbers, M.; Grit, T.; Gunst, A.; van Haarlem, M. P.; Hamaker, J. P.; Heald, G.; Hoeft, M.; Holties, H.; Horneffer, A.; Koopmans, L. V. E.; Kuper, G.; Loose, M.; Maat, P.; McKay-Bukowski, D.; McKean, J. P.; Miley, G.; Morganti, R.; Nijboer, R.; Noordam, J. E.; Norden, M.; Olofsson, H.; Pandey-Pommier, M.; Polatidis, A.; Reich, W.; Röttgering, H.; Schoenmakers, A.; Sluman, J.; Smirnov, O.; Steinmetz, M.; Sterks, C. G. M.; Tagger, M.; Tang, Y.; Vermeulen, R.; Vermaas, N.; Vogt, C.; de Vos, M.; Wijnholds, S. J.; Yatawatta, S.; Zensus, A.

    2011-06-01

    Low frequency radio waves, while challenging to observe, are a rich source of information about pulsars. The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a new radio interferometer operating in the lowest 4 octaves of the ionospheric "radio window": 10-240 MHz, that will greatly facilitate observing pulsars at low radio frequencies. Through the huge collecting area, long baselines, and flexible digital hardware, it is expected that LOFAR will revolutionize radio astronomy at the lowest frequencies visible from Earth. LOFAR is a next-generation radio telescope and a pathfinder to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), in that it incorporates advanced multi-beaming techniques between thousands of individual elements. We discuss the motivation for low-frequency pulsar observations in general and the potential of LOFAR in addressing these science goals. We present LOFAR as it is designed to perform high-time-resolution observations of pulsars and other fast transients, and outline the various relevant observing modes and data reduction pipelines that are already or will soon be implemented to facilitate these observations. A number of results obtained from commissioning observations are presented to demonstrate the exciting potential of the telescope. This paper outlines the case for low frequency pulsar observations and is also intended to serve as a reference for upcoming pulsar/fast transient science papers with LOFAR.

  17. On gigahertz spectral turnovers in pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajwade, K.; Lorimer, D. R.; Anderson, L. D.

    2016-01-01

    Pulsars are known to emit non-thermal radio emission that is generally a power-law function of frequency. In some cases, a turnover is seen at frequencies around 100 MHz. Kijak et al. have reported the presence of a new class of `Gigahertz Peaked Spectrum' (GPS) pulsars that show spectral turnovers at frequencies around 1 GHz. We apply a model based on free-free thermal absorption to explain these turnovers in terms of surrounding material such as the dense environments found in H II regions, pulsar wind nebulae, or in cold, partially ionized molecular clouds. We show that the turnover frequency depends on the electron temperature of the environment close to the pulsar, as well as the emission measure along the line of sight. We fitted this model to the radio fluxes of known GPS pulsars and show that it can replicate the GHz turnover. From the thermal absorption model, we demonstrate that normal pulsars would exhibit a GPS-like behaviour if they were in a dense environment. We discuss the application of this model in the context of determining the population of neutron stars within the central parsec of the Galaxy. We show that a non-negligible fraction of this population might exhibit high-frequency spectral turnovers, which has implications on the detectability of these sources in the Galactic Centre.

  18. Simulations of stellar/pulsar-wind interaction along one full orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosch-Ramon, V.; Barkov, M. V.; Khangulyan, D.; Perucho, M.

    2012-08-01

    Context. The winds from a non-accreting pulsar and a massive star in a binary system collide forming a bow-shaped shock structure. The Coriolis force induced by orbital motion deflects the shocked flows, strongly affecting their dynamics. Aims: We study the evolution of the shocked stellar and pulsar winds on scales in which the orbital motion is important. Potential sites of non-thermal activity are investigated. Methods: Relativistic hydrodynamical simulations in two dimensions, performed with the code PLUTO and using the adaptive mesh refinement technique, are used to model interacting stellar and pulsar winds on scales ~80 times the distance between the stars. The hydrodynamical results suggest the suitable locations of sites for particle acceleration and non-thermal emission. Results: In addition to the shock formed towards the star, the shocked and unshocked components of the pulsar wind flowing away from the star terminate by means of additional strong shocks produced by the orbital motion. Strong instabilities lead to the development of turbulence and an effective two-wind mixing in both the leading and trailing sides of the interaction structure, which starts to merge with itself after one orbit. The adopted moderate pulsar-wind Lorentz factor already provides a good qualitative description of the phenomena involved in high-mass binaries with pulsars, and can capture important physical effects that would not appear in non-relativistic treatments. Conclusions: Simulations show that shocks, instabilities, and mass-loading yield efficient mass, momentum, and energy exchanges between the pulsar and the stellar winds. This renders a rapid increase in the entropy of the shocked structure, which will likely be disrupted on scales beyond the simulated ones. Several sites of particle acceleration and low- and high-energy emission can be identified. Doppler boosting will have significant and complex effects on radiation. A movie of the simulation is available in

  19. PSR J1723–2837: AN ECLIPSING BINARY RADIO MILLISECOND PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Crawford, Fronefield; Lyne, Andrew G.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Kaplan, David L.; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Lorimer, Duncan R.; Freire, Paulo C. C.; Kramer, Michael; Burgay, Marta; D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Camilo, Fernando; Faulkner, Andrew; Manchester, Richard N.; Steeghs, Danny

    2013-10-10

    We present a study of PSR J1723–2837, an eclipsing, 1.86 ms millisecond binary radio pulsar discovered in the Parkes Multibeam survey. Radio timing indicates that the pulsar has a circular orbit with a 15 hr orbital period, a low-mass companion, and a measurable orbital period derivative. The eclipse fraction of ∼15% during the pulsar's orbit is twice the Roche lobe size inferred for the companion. The timing behavior is significantly affected by unmodeled systematics of astrophysical origin, and higher-order orbital period derivatives are needed in the timing solution to account for these variations. We have identified the pulsar's (non-degenerate) companion using archival ultraviolet, optical, and infrared survey data and new optical photometry. Doppler shifts from optical spectroscopy confirm the star's association with the pulsar and indicate a pulsar-to-companion mass ratio of 3.3 ± 0.5, corresponding to a companion mass range of 0.4 to 0.7 M{sub ☉} and an orbital inclination angle range of between 30° and 41°, assuming a pulsar mass range of 1.4-2.0 M{sub ☉}. Spectroscopy indicates a spectral type of G for the companion and an inferred Roche-lobe-filling distance that is consistent with the distance estimated from radio dispersion. The features of PSR J1723–2837 indicate that it is likely a 'redback' system. Unlike the five other Galactic redbacks discovered to date, PSR J1723–2837 has not been detected as a γ-ray source with Fermi. This may be due to an intrinsic spin-down luminosity that is much smaller than the measured value if the unmeasured contribution from proper motion is large.

  20. Transformation of a star into a planet in a millisecond pulsar binary.

    PubMed

    Bailes, M; Bates, S D; Bhalerao, V; Bhat, N D R; Burgay, M; Burke-Spolaor, S; D'Amico, N; Johnston, S; Keith, M J; Kramer, M; Kulkarni, S R; Levin, L; Lyne, A G; Milia, S; Possenti, A; Spitler, L; Stappers, B; van Straten, W

    2011-09-23

    Millisecond pulsars are thought to be neutron stars that have been spun-up by accretion of matter from a binary companion. Although most are in binary systems, some 30% are solitary, and their origin is therefore mysterious. PSR J1719-1438, a 5.7-millisecond pulsar, was detected in a recent survey with the Parkes 64-meter radio telescope. We show that this pulsar is in a binary system with an orbital period of 2.2 hours. The mass of its companion is near that of Jupiter, but its minimum density of 23 grams per cubic centimeter suggests that it may be an ultralow-mass carbon white dwarf. This system may thus have once been an ultracompact low-mass x-ray binary, where the companion narrowly avoided complete destruction. PMID:21868629

  1. PONDER - A Real time software backend for pulsar and IPS observations at the Ooty Radio Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidu, Arun; Joshi, Bhal Chandra; Manoharan, P. K.; Krishnakumar, M. A.

    2015-06-01

    This paper describes a new real-time versatile backend, the Pulsar Ooty Radio Telescope New Digital Efficient Receiver (PONDER), which has been designed to operate along with the legacy analog system of the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT). PONDER makes use of the current state of the art computing hardware, a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) and sufficiently large disk storage to support high time resolution real-time data of pulsar observations, obtained by coherent dedispersion over a bandpass of 16 MHz. Four different modes for pulsar observations are implemented in PONDER to provide standard reduced data products, such as time-stamped integrated profiles and dedispersed time series, allowing faster avenues to scientific results for a variety of pulsar studies. Additionally, PONDER also supports general modes of interplanetary scintillation (IPS) measurements and very long baseline interferometry data recording. The IPS mode yields a single polarisation correlated time series of solar wind scintillation over a bandwidth of about four times larger (16 MHz) than that of the legacy system as well as its fluctuation spectrum with high temporal and frequency resolutions. The key point is that all the above modes operate in real time. This paper presents the design aspects of PONDER and outlines the design methodology for future similar backends. It also explains the principal operations of PONDER, illustrates its capabilities for a variety of pulsar and IPS observations and demonstrates its usefulness for a variety of astrophysical studies using the high sensitivity of the ORT.

  2. On the Formation of Eccentric Millisecond Pulsars with Helium White-dwarf Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white dwarfs (WDs) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire & Tauris recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. However, their hypothesis predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities—in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (104-105 yr) disk can result in eccentricities of e ~= 0.01-0.15 for orbital periods between 15 and 50 days. Finally, I propose that, more generally, the disk hypothesis may explain the lack of circular binary pulsars for the aforementioned orbital-period range.

  3. ON THE FORMATION OF ECCENTRIC MILLISECOND PULSARS WITH HELIUM WHITE-DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-20

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white dwarfs (WDs) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire and Tauris recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. However, their hypothesis predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities—in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} yr) disk can result in eccentricities of e ≅ 0.01-0.15 for orbital periods between 15 and 50 days. Finally, I propose that, more generally, the disk hypothesis may explain the lack of circular binary pulsars for the aforementioned orbital-period range.

  4. THE BINARY COMPANION OF YOUNG, RELATIVISTIC PULSAR J1906+0746

    SciTech Connect

    Van Leeuwen, J.; Janssen, G. H.; Kasian, L.; Stairs, I. H.; Lorimer, D. R.; Camilo, F.; Chatterjee, S.; Cognard, I.; Desvignes, G.; Freire, P. C. C.; Kramer, M.; Lyne, A. G.; Stappers, B. W.; Nice, D. J.; Ransom, S. M.; Weisberg, J. M.

    2015-01-10

    PSR J1906+0746 is a young pulsar in the relativistic binary with the second-shortest known orbital period, of 3.98 hr. We here present a timing study based on five years of observations, conducted with the five largest radio telescopes in the world, aimed at determining the companion nature. Through the measurement of three post-Keplerian orbital parameters, we find the pulsar mass to be 1.291(11) M {sub ☉}, and the companion mass 1.322(11) M {sub ☉}, respectively. These masses fit well in the observed collection of double neutron stars (DNSs), but are also compatible with other systems where a young pulsar such as J1906+0746 is orbited by a white dwarf (WD). Neither radio pulsations nor dispersion-inducing outflows that could have further established the companion nature were detected. We derive an H I-absorption distance, which indicates that an optical confirmation of a WD companion is very challenging. The pulsar is fading fast due to geodetic precession, limiting future timing improvements. We conclude that the young pulsar J1906+0746 is likely part of a DNS, or is otherwise orbited by an older WD, in an exotic system formed through two stages of mass transfer.

  5. ARECIBO PALFA SURVEY AND EINSTEIN-HOME: BINARY PULSAR DISCOVERY BY VOLUNTEER COMPUTING

    SciTech Connect

    Knispel, B.; Allen, B.; Aulbert, C.; Bock, O.; Fehrmann, H.; Lazarus, P.; Bogdanov, S.; Anderson, D.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Brazier, A.; Chatterjee, S.; Cordes, J. M.; Camilo, F.; Crawford, F.; Deneva, J. S.; Desvignes, G.; Freire, P. C. C.; Hammer, D.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Jenet, F. A.

    2011-05-01

    We report the discovery of the 20.7 ms binary pulsar J1952+2630, made using the distributed computing project Einstein-Home in Pulsar ALFA survey observations with the Arecibo telescope. Follow-up observations with the Arecibo telescope confirm the binary nature of the system. We obtain a circular orbital solution with an orbital period of 9.4 hr, a projected orbital radius of 2.8 lt-s, and a mass function of f = 0.15 M{sub sun} by analysis of spin period measurements. No evidence of orbital eccentricity is apparent; we set a 2{sigma} upper limit e {approx}< 1.7 x 10{sup -3}. The orbital parameters suggest a massive white dwarf companion with a minimum mass of 0.95 M{sub sun}, assuming a pulsar mass of 1.4 M{sub sun}. Most likely, this pulsar belongs to the rare class of intermediate-mass binary pulsars. Future timing observations will aim to determine the parameters of this system further, measure relativistic effects, and elucidate the nature of the companion star.

  6. The Velocity Distribution of Isolated Radio Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arzoumanian, Z.; Chernoff, D. F.; Cordes, J. M.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We infer the velocity distribution of radio pulsars based on large-scale 0.4 GHz pulsar surveys. We do so by modelling evolution of the locations, velocities, spins, and radio luminosities of pulsars; calculating pulsed flux according to a beaming model and random orientation angles of spin and beam; applying selection effects of pulsar surveys; and comparing model distributions of measurable pulsar properties with survey data using a likelihood function. The surveys analyzed have well-defined characteristics and cover approx. 95% of the sky. We maximize the likelihood in a 6-dimensional space of observables P, dot-P, DM, absolute value of b, mu, F (period, period derivative, dispersion measure, Galactic latitude, proper motion, and flux density). The models we test are described by 12 parameters that characterize a population's birth rate, luminosity, shutoff of radio emission, birth locations, and birth velocities. We infer that the radio beam luminosity (i) is comparable to the energy flux of relativistic particles in models for spin-driven magnetospheres, signifying that radio emission losses reach nearly 100% for the oldest pulsars; and (ii) scales approximately as E(exp 1/2) which, in magnetosphere models, is proportional to the voltage drop available for acceleration of particles. We find that a two-component velocity distribution with characteristic velocities of 90 km/ s and 500 km/ s is greatly preferred to any one-component distribution; this preference is largely immune to variations in other population parameters, such as the luminosity or distance scale, or the assumed spin-down law. We explore some consequences of the preferred birth velocity distribution: (1) roughly 50% of pulsars in the solar neighborhood will escape the Galaxy, while approx. 15% have velocities greater than 1000 km/ s (2) observational bias against high velocity pulsars is relatively unimportant for surveys that reach high Galactic absolute value of z distances, but is severe for

  7. HIGH-PRECISION TIMING OF FIVE MILLISECOND PULSARS: SPACE VELOCITIES, BINARY EVOLUTION, AND EQUIVALENCE PRINCIPLES

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, M. E.; Stairs, I. H.; Ferdman, R. D.; Lyne, A. G.; Freire, P. C. C.; Kramer, M.; Nice, D. J.; Demorest, P. B.; Ransom, S. M.; Camilo, F.; Hobbs, G.; Manchester, R. N.

    2011-12-20

    We present high-precision timing of five millisecond pulsars (MSPs) carried out for more than seven years; four pulsars are in binary systems and one is isolated. We are able to measure the pulsars' proper motions and derive an estimate for their space velocities. The measured two-dimensional velocities are in the range 70-210 km s{sup -1}, consistent with those measured for other MSPs. We also use all the available proper motion information for isolated and binary MSPs to update the known velocity distribution for these populations. As found by earlier works, we find that the velocity distribution of binary and isolated MSPs are indistinguishable with the current data. Four of the pulsars in our observing program are highly recycled with low-mass white dwarf companions and we are able to derive accurate binary parameters for these systems. For three of these binary systems, we are able to place initial constraints on the pulsar masses with best-fit values in the range 1.0-1.6 M{sub Sun }. The implications of the results presented here to our understanding of binary pulsar evolution are discussed. The updated parameters for the binary systems studied here, together with recently discovered similar systems, allowed us to update previous limits on the violation of the strong equivalence principle through the parameter |{Delta}| to 4.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3} (95% confidence) and the violation of Lorentz invariance/momentum conservation through the parameter |{alpha}-hat3| to 5.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -20} (95% confidence).

  8. Pulsar-irradiated stars in dense globular clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavani, Marco

    1992-01-01

    We discuss the properties of stars irradiated by millisecond pulsars in 'hard' binaries of dense globular clusters. Irradiation by a relativistic pulsar wind as in the case of the eclipsing millisecond pulsar PSR 1957+20 alter both the magnitude and color of the companion star. Some of the blue stragglers (BSs) recently discovered in dense globular clusters can be irradiated stars in binaries containing powerful millisecond pulsars. The discovery of pulsar-driven orbital modulations of BS brightness and color with periods of a few hours together with evidence for radio and/or gamma-ray emission from BS binaries would valuably contribute to the understanding of the evolution of collapsed stars in globular clusters. Pulsar-driven optical modulation of cluster stars might be the only observable effect of a new class of binary pulsars, i.e., hidden millisecond pulsars enshrouded in the evaporated material lifted off from the irradiated companion star.

  9. Spectral Analysis of Timing Noise in NANOGrav Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrodin, Delphine; Jenet, F. A.; Lommen, A. N.; Finn, L. S.; Demorest, P. B.

    2012-01-01

    The NANOGrav collaboration seeks to detect gravitational waves from distant supermassive black hole sources using a pulsar timing array. In order to search for gravitational waves, it is necessary to have a good characterization of the timing noise for each pulsar of the pulsar timing array. Red noise is common in millisecond pulsars, and we need to quantify how much red noise is present for each pulsar. This can be done by looking at the power spectra of the pulsar timing residuals. However because the pulsar data are non-uniformly sampled, one cannot simply do a Fourier analysis. Also, commonly used least-square fitting methods such as the Lomb-Scargle analysis are not adequate for steep red spectra. Instead, we compute the power spectra of NANOGrav pulsar timing residuals using the Cholesky transformation, which eliminates spectral leakage. This is done with the help of the TEMPO2 ``SpectralModel" plugin developed by William Coles and George Hobbs.

  10. Spectral Analysis of Timing Noise in NANOGrav Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrodin, Delphine

    2011-07-01

    The NANOGrav collaboration seeks to detect gravitational waves from distant supermassive black hole sources using a pulsar timing array. In order to search for gravitational waves, it is necessary to have a good characterization of the timing noise for each pulsar of the pulsar timing array. Red noise is common in millisecond pulsars, and we need to quantify how much red noise is present for each pulsar. This can be done by looking at the power spectra of the pulsar timing residuals. However because the pulsar data are non-uniformly sampled, one cannot simply do a Fourier analysis. Also, commonly used least-square fitting methods such as the Lomb-Scargle analysis are not adequate for steep red spectra. Instead, we compute the power spectra of NANOGrav pulsar timing residuals using the Cholesky transformation, which eliminates spectral leakage. This is done with the help of the TEMPO2 "SpectralModel" plugin developed by William Coles and George Hobbs.

  11. Spin rotation, Chandler wobble and free core nutation of isolated multi-layer pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, Alexander; Kitiashvili, Irina

    2013-03-01

    At present time there are investigations of precession and nutation for very different celestial multi-layer bodies: the Earth (Getino 1995), Moon (Gusev 2010), planets of Solar system (Gusev 2010) and pulsars (Link et al. 2007). The long-periodic precession phenomenon was detected for few pulsars: PSR B1828-11, PSR B1557-50, PSR 2217+47, PSR 0531+21, PSR B0833-45, and PSR B1642-03. Stairs, Lyne & Shemar (2000) have found that the arrival-time residuals from PSR B1828-11 vary periodically with a different periods. According to our model, the neutron star has the rigid crust (RC), the fluid outer core (FOC) and the solid inner core (SIC). The model explains generation of four modes in the rotation of the pulsar: two modes of Chandler wobble (CW, ICW) and two modes connecting with free core nutation (FCN, FICN) (Gusev & Kitiashvili 2008). We are propose the explanation for all harmonics of Time of Arrival (TOA) pulses variations as precession of a neutron star owing to differential rotation of RC, FOC and crystal SIC of the pulsar PSR B1828-11: 250, 500, 1000 days. We used canonical method for interpretation TOA variations by Chandler Wobble (CW) and Free Core Nutation (FCN) of pulsar.

  12. AN ASTEROID BELT INTERPRETATION FOR THE TIMING VARIATIONS OF THE MILLISECOND PULSAR B1937+21

    SciTech Connect

    Shannon, R. M.; Cordes, J. M.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Jessner, A.; Kramer, M.; Lazaridis, K. E-mail: cordes@astro.cornell.edu

    2013-03-20

    Pulsar timing observations have revealed companions to neutron stars that include other neutron stars, white dwarfs, main-sequence stars, and planets. We demonstrate that the correlated and apparently stochastic residual times of arrival from the millisecond pulsar B1937+21 are consistent with the signature of an asteroid belt having a total mass {approx}< 0.05 M{sub Circled-Plus }. Unlike the solar system's asteroid belt, the best fit pulsar asteroid belt extends over a wide range of radii, consistent with the absence of any shepherding companions. We suggest that any pulsar that has undergone accretion-driven spin-up and subsequently evaporated its companion may harbor orbiting asteroid mass objects. The resulting timing variations may fundamentally limit the timing precision of some of the other millisecond pulsars. Observational tests of the asteroid belt model include identifying periodicities from individual asteroids, which are difficult; testing for statistical stationarity, which becomes possible when observations are conducted over a longer observing span; and searching for reflected radio emission.

  13. A NEW PULSAR IN GREEN BANK TELESCOPE SEARCHES OF 10 GLOBULAR CLUSTERS

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, Ryan S.; Ransom, Scott M. E-mail: sransom@nrao.edu

    2011-03-20

    We report the results of pulsar searches in 10 globular clusters (GCs) using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. One new binary millisecond pulsar (MSP) has been discovered in NGC 5986 with P{sub spin} = 2.6 ms, P{sub orb} = 1.3 days, and a minimum companion mass of 0.16 M{sub sun}. The companion is most likely a helium white dwarf. Eight of the GCs we searched have central densities <10{sup 4} L{sub sun} pc{sup -3}, making this a good sample for studying the pulsar content of low-density clusters. We find no evidence for pulsars in clusters with very low densities (<10{sup 3} L{sub sun} pc{sup -3}), consistent with theoretical predictions. Null results in many of the clusters we searched with moderate densities indicate that these systems do not contain a bright MSP. Two clusters in particular, one with very low metallicity, stand in contrast to theoretical calculations by Ivanova et al. We also find that three-body exchange interaction rates calculated by Phinney seem to overpredict the pulsar content in the clusters we studied.

  14. Polynomial regression calculation of the Earth's position based on millisecond pulsar timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng; Tang, Zheng-Hong; Yan, Qing-Zeng; Yu, Yong

    2012-02-01

    Prior to achieving high precision navigation of a spacecraft using X-ray observations, a pulsar rotation model must be built and analysis of the precise position of the Earth should be performed using ground pulsar timing observations. We can simulate time-of-arrival ground observation data close to actual observed values before using pulsar timing observation data. Considering the correlation between the Earth's position and its short arc section of an orbit, we use polynomial regression to build the correlation. Regression coefficients can be calculated using the least square method, and a coordinate component series can also be obtained; that is, we can calculate Earth's position in the Barycentric Celestial Reference System according to pulse arrival time data and a precise pulsar rotation model. In order to set appropriate parameters before the actual timing observations for Earth positioning, we can calculate the influence of the spatial distribution of pulsars on errors in the positioning result and the influence of error source variation on positioning by simulation. It is significant that the threshold values of the observation and systematic errors can be established before an actual observation occurs; namely, we can determine the observation mode with small errors and reject the observed data with big errors, thus improving the positioning result.

  15. Known radio pulsars do not contribute to the Galactic Center gamma-ray excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linden, Tim

    2016-03-01

    Observations using the Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) have found a significant γ -ray excess surrounding the center of the Milky Way (GC). One possible interpretation of this excess invokes γ -ray emission from an undiscovered population of either young or recycled pulsars densely clustered throughout the inner kiloparsec of the Milky Way. While these systems, by construction, have individual fluxes that lie below the point-source sensitivity of the Fermi-LAT, they may already be observed in multiwavelength observations. Notably the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) catalog of radio pulsars includes 270 sources observed in the inner 10° around the GC. We calculate the γ -ray emission observed from these 270 sources and obtain three key results: (1) point-source searches in the GC region produce a plethora of highly significant γ -ray "hot spots" compared to searches far from the Galactic Plane, (2) there is no statistical correlation between the positions of these γ -ray hot spots and the locations of ATNF pulsars, and (3) the spectrum of the most statistically significant γ -ray hot spots is substantially softer than the spectrum of the GC γ -ray excess. These results place strong constraints on models where young pulsars produce the majority of the γ -ray excess, and disfavor some models where millisecond pulsars produce the γ -ray excess.

  16. DOES A ''STOCHASTIC'' BACKGROUND OF GRAVITATIONAL WAVES EXIST IN THE PULSAR TIMING BAND?

    SciTech Connect

    Ravi, V.; Wyithe, J. S. B.; Hobbs, G.; Shannon, R. M.; Manchester, R. N.; Yardley, D. R. B.; Keith, M. J.

    2012-12-20

    We investigate the effects of gravitational waves (GWs) from a simulated population of binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) on pulsar timing array data sets. We construct a distribution describing the binary SMBH population from an existing semi-analytic galaxy formation model. Using realizations of the binary SMBH population generated from this distribution, we simulate pulsar timing data sets with GW-induced variations. We find that the statistics of these variations do not correspond to an isotropic, stochastic GW background. The ''Hellings and Downs'' correlations between simulated data sets for different pulsars are recovered on average, though the scatter of the correlation estimates is greater than expected for an isotropic, stochastic GW background. These results are attributable to the fact that just a few GW sources dominate the GW-induced variations in every Fourier frequency bin of a five-year data set. Current constraints on the amplitude of the GW signal from binary SMBHs will be biased. Individual binary systems are likely to be detectable in five-year pulsar timing array data sets where the noise is dominated by GW-induced variations. Searches for GWs in pulsar timing array data therefore need to account for the effects of individual sources of GWs.

  17. The Duck Redux: An Improved Proper-Motion Upper Limit for the Pulsar B1757-24 near the Supernova Remnant G5.4-1.2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blazek, J. A.; Gaensler, B. M.; Chatterjee, S.; van der Swaluw, E.; Camilo, F.; Stappers, B. W.

    2006-12-01

    ``The Duck'' is a complicated nonthermal radio system, consisting of the energetic radio pulsar B1757-24, its surrounding pulsar wind nebula G5.27-0.90, and the adjacent supernova remnant (SNR) G5.4-1.2. PSR B1757-24 was originally claimed to be a young (~15,000 yr) and extreme-velocity (>~1500 km s-1) pulsar, which had penetrated and emerged from the shell of the associated SNR G5.4-1.2 but recent upper limits on the pulsar's motion have raised serious difficulties with this interpretation. We here present 8.5 GHz interferometric observations of the nebula G5.27-0.90 over a 12 yr baseline, doubling the time span of previous measurements. These data correspondingly allow us to halve the previous upper limit on the nebula's westward motion to 14 mas yr-1 (5 σ), allowing a substantive reevaluation of this puzzling object. We rule out the possibility that the pulsar and SNR were formed from a common supernova explosion ~15,000 yr ago, as implied by the pulsar's characteristic age, but conclude that an old (>~70,000 yr) pulsar/SNR association, or a situation in which the pulsar and SNR are physically unrelated, are both still viable explanations.

  18. Basic physics and cosmology from pulsar timing data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, J. H.

    1991-01-01

    Radio pulsars provide unparalleled opportunities for making measurements of astrophysically interesting phenomena. The author concentrates on two particular applications of high precision timing observations of pulsars: tests of relativistic gravitation theory using the binary pulsar 1913+16, and tests of cosmological models using timing data from millisecond pulsars. New upper limits are presented for the energy density of a cosmic background of low frequency gravitational radiation.

  19. From spin noise to systematics: stochastic processes in the first International Pulsar Timing Array data release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lentati, L.; Shannon, R. M.; Coles, W. A.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; van Haasteren, R.; Ellis, J. A.; Caballero, R. N.; Manchester, R. N.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Babak, S.; Bassa, C. G.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Brem, P.; Burgay, M.; Burke-Spolaor, S.; Champion, D.; Chatterjee, S.; Cognard, I.; Cordes, J. M.; Dai, S.; Demorest, P.; Desvignes, G.; Dolch, T.; Ferdman, R. D.; Fonseca, E.; Gair, J. R.; Gonzalez, M. E.; Graikou, E.; Guillemot, L.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Hobbs, G.; Janssen, G. H.; Jones, G.; Karuppusamy, R.; Keith, M.; Kerr, M.; Kramer, M.; Lam, M. T.; Lasky, P. D.; Lassus, A.; Lazarus, P.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Lee, K. J.; Levin, L.; Liu, K.; Lynch, R. S.; Madison, D. R.; McKee, J.; McLaughlin, M.; McWilliams, S. T.; Mingarelli, C. M. F.; Nice, D. J.; Osłowski, S.; Pennucci, T. T.; Perera, B. B. P.; Perrodin, D.; Petiteau, A.; Possenti, A.; Ransom, S. M.; Reardon, D.; Rosado, P. A.; Sanidas, S. A.; Sesana, A.; Shaifullah, G.; Siemens, X.; Smits, R.; Stairs, I.; Stappers, B.; Stinebring, D. R.; Stovall, K.; Swiggum, J.; Taylor, S. R.; Theureau, G.; Tiburzi, C.; Toomey, L.; Vallisneri, M.; van Straten, W.; Vecchio, A.; Wang, J.-B.; Wang, Y.; You, X. P.; Zhu, W. W.; Zhu, X.-J.

    2016-05-01

    We analyse the stochastic properties of the 49 pulsars that comprise the first International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) data release. We use Bayesian methodology, performing model selection to determine the optimal description of the stochastic signals present in each pulsar. In addition to spin-noise and dispersion-measure (DM) variations, these models can include timing noise unique to a single observing system, or frequency band. We show the improved radio-frequency coverage and presence of overlapping data from different observing systems in the IPTA data set enables us to separate both system and band-dependent effects with much greater efficacy than in the individual pulsar timing array (PTA) data sets. For example, we show that PSR J1643-1224 has, in addition to DM variations, significant band-dependent noise that is coherent between PTAs which we interpret as coming from time-variable scattering or refraction in the ionized interstellar medium. Failing to model these different contributions appropriately can dramatically alter the astrophysical interpretation of the stochastic signals observed in the residuals. In some cases, the spectral exponent of the spin-noise signal can vary from 1.6 to 4 depending upon the model, which has direct implications for the long-term sensitivity of the pulsar to a stochastic gravitational-wave (GW) background. By using a more appropriate model, however, we can greatly improve a pulsar's sensitivity to GWs. For example, including system and band-dependent signals in the PSR J0437-4715 data set improves the upper limit on a fiducial GW background by ˜60 per cent compared to a model that includes DM variations and spin-noise only.

  20. BOOK REVIEW: Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, V. M.

    2008-03-01

    Pulsar astrophysics has come a long way in the 40 years since the discovery of the first pulsar by Bell and Hewish. From humble beginnings as bits of 'scruff' on the Cambridge University group's chart recorder paper, the field of pulsars has blossomed into a major area of mainstream astrophysics, with an unparalleled diversity of astrophysical applications. These range from Nobel-celebrated testing of general relativity in the strong-field regime to constraining the equation-of-state of ultradense matter; from probing the winds of massive stars to globular cluster evolution. Previous notable books on the subject of pulsars have tended to focus on some particular topic in the field. The classic text Pulsars by Manchester and Taylor (1977 San Francisco, CA: Freeman) targeted almost exclusively rotation-powered radio pulsars, while the Mészáros book High-Energy Radiation from Magnetized Neutron Stars (1992 Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press) considered both rotation- and accretion-powered neutron stars, but focused on their radiation at x-ray energies and above. The recent book Neutron Stars 1 by Haensel et al (2007 Berlin: Springer) considers only the equation of state and neutron-star structure. Into this context appears Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars, by Pranab Ghosh. In contrast to other books, here the author takes an encyclopedic approach and attempts to synthesize practically all of the major aspects of the two main types of neutron star. This is ambitious. The only comparable undertaking is the useful but more elementary Lyne and Graham-Smith text Pulsar Astronomy (1998 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), or Compact Stellar X-ray Sources (eds Lewin and van der Klis, 2006 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), an anthology of technical review articles that also includes black hole topics. Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars thus fills a clear void in the field, providing a readable, graduate-level book that covers nearly everything you

  1. Hybrid Imaging-Periodicity Search for Radio Pulsars: A Pilot VLA Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finn, Molly; Wharton, Robert; Chatterjee, Shami; Cordes, James M.; Kaplan, David L. A.; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; Crawford, Fronefield; Deller, Adam; Lazio, Joseph; Ransom, Scott M.

    2015-01-01

    Almost all of the ~2300 known pulsars have been discovered using the standard period-dispersion measure (P-DM) search. In a P-DM search, time series intensity data are collected, de-dispersed for a set of trial DMs, and searched for periodic signals usually with frequency-domain algorithms but with fast-folding algorithms for long-period objects. Here we describe a hybrid imaging-periodicity search, an alternate method that uses an imaging survey to select radio point sources as pulsar candidates, followed by a deep P-DM search of these candidates using new or archival data. Since the hybrid search is largely conducted in the imaging domain of time-averaged intensities, it does not suffer reduced sensitivity (as the P-DM method does) when a pulsar signal is heavily modulated by orbital motion, pulse-broadened by scattering, or intermittently emitting (due to large-scale magnetospheric changes, eclipses, etc). As such, the hybrid method is sensitive to systems that are highly selected against in P-DM searches such as compact neutron star binaries, highly scattered millisecond pulsars, and pulsars with spin periods less than a millisecond (should they exist). Interferometric imaging also requires a lower significance threshold for detection than a periodicity search and is more robust against radio-frequency interference. We present preliminary results of a wide-field high dynamic range imaging survey conducted with the Jansky VLA at 1-2 GHz in a pilot program to test the efficacy of a hybrid imaging-periodicity search for radio pulsars in the Galactic plane. The survey region covers four square degrees (Galactic longitudes 32.5-36.5 degrees) using 38 pointings and overlaps with the Arecibo PALFA pulsar survey, which will be used as the periodicity component of our hybrid search. We analyze the observed properties of the 23 known radio pulsars in the survey region and discuss the implications for the selection process needed to narrow the thousands of detected

  2. Gravitational wave signal of the short rise fling of galactic runaway pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Mosquera Cuesta, Herman J; Bonilla Quintero, Carlos A E-mail: gravitaxion@gmail.com

    2008-11-15

    Determination of pulsar parallaxes and proper motions addresses fundamental astrophysical open issues. Here, after scrutinizing the ATNF Catalog searching for pulsar distances and proper motions, we verify that for an ATNF sample of 212 galactic runaway pulsars (RAPs), which currently run across the Galaxy at very high speed and undergo large displacements, some gravitational wave (GW) signals produced by such present accelerations appear to be detectable after calibration against the Advanced LIGO (LIGO II). Motivated by this insight, we address the issue of the pulsar kick at birth, or the short rise fling from a supernova explosion, by adapting the theory for emission of GW by ultrarelativistic sources in this case in which the Lorentz factor is {gamma}{approx}1. We show that during the short rise fling each runaway pulsar (RAP) generates a GW signal with characteristic amplitude and frequency that makes it detectable by current GW interferometers. For a realistic analysis, an efficiency parameter is introduced to quantify the expenditure of the rise fling kinetic energy, which is estimated from the linear momentum conservation law applied to the supernova explosion that kicks out the pulsar. The remaining energy is supposed to be used to make the star spin. Thus, a comparison with the spin of ATNF pulsars having velocities in the range 400-500 km s{sup -1} is performed. The resulting difference suggests that other mechanisms (like differential rotation, magnetic breaking or magneto-rotational instability) should dissipate part of that energy to produce the observed pulsar spin periods. Meanwhile, the kick phenomenon may also occur in globular and open star clusters at the formation or disruption of very short period compact binary systems wherein abrupt velocity and acceleration similar to those given to RAPs during the short rise fling can be imparted to each orbital partner. To better analyze these cases, pulsar astrometry from micro-to nano-arcsec scales

  3. Gravitational wave signal of the short rise fling of galactic runaway pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosquera Cuesta, Herman J.; Bonilla Quintero, Carlos A.

    2008-11-01

    Determination of pulsar parallaxes and proper motions addresses fundamental astrophysical open issues. Here, after scrutinizing the ATNF Catalog searching for pulsar distances and proper motions, we verify that for an ATNF sample of 212 galactic runaway pulsars (RAPs), which currently run across the Galaxy at very high speed and undergo large displacements, some gravitational wave (GW) signals produced by such present accelerations appear to be detectable after calibration against the Advanced LIGO (LIGO II). Motivated by this insight, we address the issue of the pulsar kick at birth, or the short rise fling from a supernova explosion, by adapting the theory for emission of GW by ultrarelativistic sources in this case in which the Lorentz factor is γ~1. We show that during the short rise fling each runaway pulsar (RAP) generates a GW signal with characteristic amplitude and frequency that makes it detectable by current GW interferometers. For a realistic analysis, an efficiency parameter is introduced to quantify the expenditure of the rise fling kinetic energy, which is estimated from the linear momentum conservation law applied to the supernova explosion that kicks out the pulsar. The remaining energy is supposed to be used to make the star spin. Thus, a comparison with the spin of ATNF pulsars having velocities in the range 400-500 km s-1 is performed. The resulting difference suggests that other mechanisms (like differential rotation, magnetic breaking or magneto-rotational instability) should dissipate part of that energy to produce the observed pulsar spin periods. Meanwhile, the kick phenomenon may also occur in globular and open star clusters at the formation or disruption of very short period compact binary systems wherein abrupt velocity and acceleration similar to those given to RAPs during the short rise fling can be imparted to each orbital partner. To better analyze these cases, pulsar astrometry from micro-to nano-arcsec scales might be of great

  4. Unusual flux-distance relationship for pulsars suggested by analysis of the Australia national telescopy facility pulsar catalogue

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, John; Perez, M R; Singleton, J; Ardavan, H; Ardavan, A

    2009-01-01

    We analyze pulsar fluxes at 1400 MHz (S(1400)) and distances d taken from the Australia National Telescope Facility (ATNF) Pulsar Catalogue. Under the assumption that pulsar populations in different parts of the Galaxy are similar, we find that either (a) pulsar fluxes diminish with distance according to a non-standard power law (we suggest S(1400){proportional_to} 1/d rather than {proportional_to} 1/d{sup 2}) or (b) that there are very significant (i.e. order of magnitude) errors in the distance estimates quoted in the ATNF Catalogue. The former conclusion (a) supports a recent model for pulsar emission that has also successfully explained the frequency spectrum of the Crab pulsar over 16 orders of magnitude of frequency, whilst alternative (b) would necessitate a radical re-evaluation of both the dispersion method for estimating pulsar distances and current ideas about the distribution of pulsars within our Galaxy.

  5. The distance indicators in gamma-ray pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei

    2013-03-01

    Distance measurements of gamma-ray pulsars are challenging questions in present pulsar studies. The Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi gamma-ray observatory discovered more than 100 gamma-ray pulsars, including 34 new gamma-selected pulsars which nearly have no distance information. We study the relation between gamma-ray emission efficiency (η=L γ/Ė) and pulsar parameters, for young radio-selected gamma-ray pulsars with known distance information. We have introduced three generation order parameters to describe gamma-ray emission properties of pulsars, and find a strong correlation between η and ζ3, the generation order parameter which reflects γ-ray photon generations in pair cascade processes induced by magnetic field absorption in pulsar magnetosphere. A good correlation between η and B LC, the magnetic field at the light cylinder radius, is also found. These correlations can serve as distance indicators in gamma-ray pulsars, to evaluate distances for gamma-selected pulsars. Distances of 35 gamma-selected pulsars are estimated, which could be tested by other distance measurement methods. The physical origin of the correlations may be also interesting for pulsar studies.

  6. THE GREEN BANK TELESCOPE 350 MHz DRIFT-SCAN SURVEY. I. SURVEY OBSERVATIONS AND THE DISCOVERY OF 13 PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Boyles, J.; Lorimer, D. R.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Cardoso, R. F.; Lynch, R. S.; Kaspi, V. M.; Archibald, A.; Karako-Argaman, C.; Ransom, S. M.; Stairs, I. H.; Berndsen, A.; Cherry, A.; McPhee, C. A.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Van Leeuwen, J.; Epstein, C. R.; Pennucci, T.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Stovall, K.

    2013-02-15

    Over the summer of 2007, we obtained 1191 hr of 'drift-scan' pulsar search observations with the Green Bank Telescope at a radio frequency of 350 MHz. Here we describe the survey setup, search procedure, and the discovery and follow-up timing of 13 pulsars. Among the new discoveries, one (PSR J1623-0841) was discovered only through its single pulses, two (PSRs J1327-0755 and J1737-0814) are millisecond pulsars, and another (PSR J2222-0137) is a mildly recycled pulsar. PSR J1327-0755 is a 2.7 ms pulsar at a dispersion measure (DM) of 27.9 pc cm{sup -3} in an 8.7 day orbit with a minimum companion mass of 0.22 M {sub Sun }. PSR J1737-0814 is a 4.2 ms pulsar at a DM of 55.3 pc cm{sup -3} in a 79.3 day orbit with a minimum companion mass of 0.06 M {sub Sun }. PSR J2222-0137 is a 32.8 ms pulsar at a very low DM of 3.27 pc cm{sup -3} in a 2.4 day orbit with a minimum companion mass of 1.11 M {sub Sun }. It is most likely a white-dwarf-neutron-star system or an unusual low-eccentricity double neutron star system. Ten other pulsars discovered in this survey are reported in the companion paper Lynch et al.

  7. Radio wave propagation in pulsar magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrova, S. A.; Lyubarskii, Yu. E.

    Pulsar magnetospheres are known to contain an ultrarelativistic highly magnetized plasma which streams along the open magnetic lines. The radio emission observed from pulsars is believed to originate sufficiently deep in the open field line tube, so that the characteristics of outgoing waves can be influenced by propagation in the magnetospheric plasma. Refraction of radio waves in pulsar magnetospheres appears to be efficient. The effect not only influences the observed pulse width and its frequency dependency. It can alter the apparent spatial structure of pulsar emission region which can be derived from the observations of pulsar interstellar scintillations. Transverse ray separation versus pulse longitude calculated allowing for magnetospheric refraction appears to be in qualitative agreement with that observed. In particular, the nonmonotonic character of the curve can be attributed to nonmonotonic distribution of the plasma number density across the open field line tube which makes the rays emitted at different spatial locations deviate in the opposite directions. Proceeding from the frequency dependence of refraction some predictions are made about the frequency evolution of the apparent spatial structure of pulsar emission region. Magnetospheric refraction can also determine the profile shape giving rise to ray grouping into separate components. It will be demonstrated that the salient features of profile morphology can be explained within the frame of a primordial hollow-cone emission model taking into account refraction of rays in pulsar plasma. Then the frequency evolution of profile structure is naturally interpreted as a consequence of frequency dependence of refraction. As the waves propagate in the magnetospheric plasma their polarization also evolves essentially. In the vicinity of the emission region normal waves are linearly polarized and propagate independently, with the polarization plane following the orientation of the local magnetic field. As

  8. Turn-over in pulsar spectra: From young pulsars to millisecond ones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kijak, J.; Lewandowski, W.; Serylak, M.

    2008-02-01

    The evidence for turn-over in young pulsar radio spectra at high frequencies is presented. The frequency at which a spectrum shows the maximum flux density is called the peak frequency. This peak frequency appears to depend on pulsar age and dispersion measure. A possible relation with pulsar age is interesting. Millisecond pulsars, which are very old objects, may show no evidence for spectral turn-over down to 100 MHz. Some studied pulsars with turn-over at high frequencies have been shown to have very interesting interstellar environments. This could suggest that the turn-over phenomenon is associated with the enviromental conditions around the neutron stars, rahter than being related intrinsically with the radio emission mechanism. Although there are no earlier reports of such a connection, a more detailed study on larger sample of pulsars is needed to address this idea more quantitatively. In this context, future observations below 200 MHz using LOFAR will allow us to investigate turn-over in radio pulsar spectra.

  9. THE PULSAR SEARCH COLLABORATORY: DISCOVERY AND TIMING OF FIVE NEW PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, R.; Swiggum, J.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Yun, M.; Boyles, J.; Heatherly, S. A.; Scoles, S.; Lynch, R.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Ransom, S. M.; Moniot, M. L.; Thompson, C.; Cottrill, A.; Raycraft, M.; Weaver, M.; Snider, A.; Dudenhoefer, J.; Allphin, L.; Thorley, J.; and others

    2013-05-01

    We present the discovery and timing solutions of five new pulsars by students involved in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, a NSF-funded joint program between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University designed to excite and engage high-school students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and related fields. We encourage students to pursue STEM fields by apprenticing them within a professional scientific community doing cutting edge research, specifically by teaching them to search for pulsars. The students are analyzing 300 hr of drift-scan survey data taken with the Green Bank Telescope at 350 MHz. These data cover 2876 deg{sup 2} of the sky. Over the course of five years, more than 700 students have inspected diagnostic plots through a web-based graphical interface designed for this project. The five pulsars discovered in the data have spin periods ranging from 3.1 ms to 4.8 s. Among the new discoveries are PSR J1926-1314, a long period, nulling pulsar; PSR J1821+0155, an isolated, partially recycled 33 ms pulsar; and PSR J1400-1438, a millisecond pulsar in a 9.5 day orbit whose companion is likely a white dwarf star.

  10. Detection and localization of continuous gravitational waves with pulsar timing arrays: the role of pulsar terms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, X.-J.; Wen, L.; Xiong, J.; Xu, Y.; Wang, Y.; Mohanty, S. D.; Hobbs, G.; Manchester, R. N.

    2016-09-01

    A pulsar timing array is a Galactic-scale detector of nanohertz gravitational waves (GWs). Its target signals contain two components: the `Earth term' and the `pulsar term' corresponding to GWs incident on the Earth and pulsar, respectively. In this work we present a Frequentist method for the detection and localization of continuous waves that takes into account the pulsar term and is significantly faster than existing methods. We investigate the role of pulsar terms by comparing a full-signal search with an Earth-term-only search for non-evolving black hole binaries. By applying the method to synthetic data sets, we find that (i) a full-signal search can slightly improve the detection probability (by about five per cent); (ii) sky localization is biased if only Earth terms are searched for and the inclusion of pulsar terms is critical to remove such a bias; (iii) in the case of strong detections (with signal-to-noise ratio ≳30), it may be possible to improve pulsar distance estimation through GW measurements.

  11. Isolated pulsar spin evolution on the diagram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridley, J. P.; Lorimer, D. R.

    2010-05-01

    We look at two contrasting spin-down models for isolated radio pulsars and, accounting for selection effects, synthesize observable populations. While our goal is to reproduce all of the observable characteristics, in this paper we pay particular attention to the form of the spin period versus period derivative () diagram and its dependence on various pulsar properties. We analyse the initial spin period, the braking index, the magnetic field, various beaming models as well as the pulsar's luminosity. In addition to considering the standard magnetic dipole model for pulsar spin-down, we also consider the recent hybrid model proposed by Contopoulos and Spitkovsky. The magnetic dipole model, however, does a better job of reproducing the observed pulsar population. We conclude that random alignment angles and period-dependent luminosity distributions are essential to reproduce the observed diagram. We also consider the time decay of alignment angles and attempt to reconcile various models currently being studied. We conclude that in order to account for recent evidence for the alignment found by Weltevrede and Johnston, the braking torque on a neutron star should not depend strongly on the inclination. Our simulation code is publicly available and includes a web-based interface to examine the results and make predictions for yields of current and future surveys.

  12. PULSAR WIND NEBULAE WITH THICK TOROIDAL STRUCTURE

    SciTech Connect

    Chevalier, Roger A.; Reynolds, Stephen P. E-mail: reynolds@ncsu.edu

    2011-10-10

    We investigate a class of pulsar wind nebulae that show synchrotron emission from a thick toroidal structure. The best studied such object is the small radio and X-ray nebula around the Vela pulsar, which can be interpreted as the result of interaction of a mildly supersonic inward flow with the recent pulsar wind. Such a flow near the center of a supernova remnant can be produced in a transient phase when the reverse shock reaches the center of the remnant. Other nebulae with a thick toroidal structure are G106.6+2.9 and G76.9+1.0. Their structure contrasts with young pulsar nebulae like the Crab Nebula and 3C 38, which show a more chaotic, filamentary structure in the synchrotron emission. In both situations, a torus-jet structure is present where the pulsar wind passes through a termination shock, indicating the flow is initially toroidal. We suggest that the difference is due to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability that operates when the outer boundary of the nebula is accelerating into freely expanding supernova ejecta. The instability gives rise to mixing in the Crab and related objects, but is not present in the nebulae with thick toroidal regions.

  13. Gamma-ray pulsar studies with COMPTEL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermsen, W.; Kuiper, L.; Diehl, R.; Lichti, G.; Schoenfelder, V.; Strong, A. W.; Connors, A.; Ryan, J.; Bennett, K.; Busetta, M.; Carraminana, A.; Buccheri, R.; Grenier, I. A.

    1994-06-01

    Since the launch of the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) the number of detected gamma-ray pulsars increased from two to six. COMPTEL, on-board CGRO and sensitive to gamma-rays with energies between approximately 0.7 and 30 MeV, detected three of these unambiguously. The classical Crab and Vela pulsars have been observed on several occasions and detailed pulse patterns and spectral parameters have been derived. The new CGRO gamma-ray pulsar PSR B1509-58 has been detected by COMPTEL at a significance level above 4 sigma, consistently in a timing and spatial analysis. A likely detection of Geminga has been obtained at an approximately 3 sigma level. This indication is found in a phase interval in which COS B data showed the presence of a new variable component, Interpeak 2, exhibiting a very soft spectrum above 50 MeV. The diversities in light-curve sphapes and spectral distributions, the apparent time variabilities, and the significant differences in the fractions of the spin-down power radiated at gamma-ray energies in this small sample of gamma-ray pulsars pose important constraints to pulsar modeling.

  14. LUMINOSITY EVOLUTION OF GAMMA-RAY PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Hirotani, Kouichi

    2013-04-01

    We investigate the electrodynamic structure of a pulsar outer-magnetospheric particle accelerator and the resulting gamma-ray emission. By considering the condition for the accelerator to be self-sustained, we derive how the trans-magnetic-field thickness of the accelerator evolves with the pulsar age. It is found that the thickness is small but increases steadily if the neutron-star envelope is contaminated by sufficient light elements. For such a light element envelope, the gamma-ray luminosity of the accelerator is kept approximately constant as a function of age in the initial 10,000 yr, forming the lower bound of the observed distribution of the gamma-ray luminosity of rotation-powered pulsars. If the envelope consists of only heavy elements, on the other hand, the thickness is greater, but it increases less rapidly than a light element envelope. For such a heavy element envelope, the gamma-ray luminosity decreases relatively rapidly, forming the upper bound of the observed distribution. The gamma-ray luminosity of a general pulsar resides between these two extreme cases, reflecting the envelope composition and the magnetic inclination angle with respect to the rotation axis. The cutoff energy of the primary curvature emission is regulated below several GeV even for young pulsars because the gap thickness, and hence the acceleration electric field, is suppressed by the polarization of the produced pairs.

  15. IS CALVERA A GAMMA-RAY PULSAR?

    SciTech Connect

    Halpern, J. P.

    2011-07-20

    Originally selected as a neutron star (NS) candidate in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey, 1RXS J141256.0+792204 ('Calvera') was discovered to be a 59 ms X-ray pulsar in a pair of XMM-Newton observations by Zane et al. Surprisingly, their claimed detection of this pulsar in Fermi {gamma}-ray data requires no period derivative, severely restricting its dipole magnetic field strength, spin-down luminosity, and distance to small values. This implies that the cooling age of Calvera is much younger than its characteristic spin-down age. If so, it could be a mildly recycled pulsar, or the first 'orphaned' central compact object (CCO). Here we show that the published Fermi ephemeris fails to align the pulse phases of the two X-ray observations with each other, which indicates that the Fermi detection is almost certainly spurious. Analysis of additional Fermi data also does not confirm the {gamma}-ray detection. This leaves the spin-down rate of Calvera less constrained, and its place among the families of NSs uncertain. It could still be either an ordinary pulsar, a mildly recycled pulsar, or an orphaned CCO.

  16. Polarization Properties of Rotation Powered Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding Alice K.

    2009-01-01

    Polarization measurements of rotation-powered pulsars and their nebulae have unique diagnostic potential. The polarization position angle of the pulsar wind nebula, as is know for the Crab pulsar, can tell us the orientation of the spin axis. Phase-resolved polarimetry of pulsars has had enormous diagnostic capability at radio and optical wavelengths and could also be a powerful diagnostic in the X-ray range. Measurement of the polarization properties as a function of pulse phase can therefore provide a multidimensional mapping of the pulsar emission. In the 'rotating vector' model, radiation originating near a magnetic pole is expected to show a characteristic S-shaped swing of the position angle vs. pulse phase. In this case it is possible to determine the magnetic inclination and viewing angles. Radiation originating further from the poles or further above the neutron star surface will have a more complex polarization signature, as a result of relativistic effects of aberration and time-of-flight delays and may also cause depolarization of the signal. I will discuss predicted polarization properties of pulsed emission in polar cap models, where radiation originates near the neutron star surface at the magnetic poles, and in slot gap and outer gap models, where radiation originates over a range of altitudes out to the speed-of-light cylinder.

  17. Gamma-ray Pulsars: Models and Predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding Alice K.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Pulsed emission from gamma-ray pulsars originates inside the magnetosphere, from radiation by charged particles accelerated near the magnetic poles or in the outer gaps. In polar cap models, the high energy spectrum is cut off by magnetic pair production above an energy that is, dependent on the local magnetic field strength. While most young pulsars with surface fields in the range B = 10(exp 12) - 10(exp 13) G are expected to have high energy cutoffs around several GeV, the gamma-ray spectra of old pulsars having lower surface fields may extend to 50 GeV. Although the gamma-ray emission of older pulsars is weaker, detecting pulsed emission at high energies from nearby sources would be an important confirmation of polar cap models. Outer gap models predict more gradual high-energy turnovers of the primary curvature emission around 10 GeV, but also predict an inverse Compton component extending to TeV energies. Detection of pulsed TeV emission, which would not survive attenuation at the polar caps, is thus an important test of outer gap models. Next-generation gamma-ray telescopes sensitive to GeV-TeV emission will provide critical tests of pulsar acceleration and emission mechanisms.

  18. An optical and near infrared search for a pulsar in Supernova 1987A

    SciTech Connect

    Sasseen, T.P.

    1990-12-01

    We describe a search for an optical pulsar in the remnant of Supernova 1987A. We have performed over one hundred separate observations of the supernova, covering wavelengths from 3500 angstroms to 1.8 microns, with sensitivity to pulsations as faint as magnitude 22.7. As of September 26, 1990, we have not seen evidence for pulsations due to a pulsar in the supernova. We discuss the implications of this result on predictions of pulsar optical luminosity. We have constructed for the search two photodiode detectors and a data system. We describe their design, calibration and performance. These detectors have allowed us to increase our sensitivity as much as a factor of 5 over standard photomultiplier tubes, and extend this search to near infrared wavelengths. 59 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Pulsar discoveries by volunteer distributed computing and the strongest continuous gravitational wave signal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knispel, Benjamin

    2011-07-01

    Neutron stars are the endpoints of stellar evolution and one of the most compact forms of matter in the universe. They can be observed as radio pulsars and are promising sources for the emission of continuous gravitational waves. Discovering new radio pulsars in tight binary orbits offers the opportunity to conduct very high precision tests of General Relativity and to further our understanding of neutron star structure and matter at super-nuclear densities. The direct detection of gravitational waves would validate Einstein's theory of Relativity and open a new window to the universe by offering a novel astronomical tool. This thesis addresses both of these scientific fields: the first fully coherent search for radio pulsars in tight, circular orbits has been planned, set up and conducted in the course of this thesis. Two unusual radio pulsars, one of them in a binary system, have been discovered. The other half of this thesis is concerned with the simulation of the Galactic neutron star population to predict their emission of continuous gravitational waves. First realistic statistical upper limits on the strongest continuous gravitational-wave signal and detection predictions for realistic all-sky blind searches have been obtained. The data from a large-scale pulsar survey with the 305-m Arecibo radio telescope were searched for signals from radio pulsars in binary orbits. The massive amount of computational work was done on hundreds of thousands of computers volunteered by members of the general public through the distributed computing project Einstein@Home. The newly developed analysis pipeline searched for pulsar spin frequencies below 250 Hz and for orbital periods as short as 11 min. The structure of the search pipeline consisting of data preparation, data analysis, result post-processing, and set-up of the pipeline components is presented in detail. The first radio pulsar, discovered with this search, PSR J2007+2722, is an isolated radio pulsar, likely from

  20. High-energy emission from the eclipsing millisecond pulsar PSR 1957+20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arons, Jonathan; Tavani, Marco

    1993-01-01

    The properties of the high-energy emission expected from the eclipsing millisecond pulsar system PSR 1957+20 are investigated. Emission is considered by both the relativistic shock produced by the pulsar wind in the nebula surrounding the binary and by the shock constraining the mass outflow from the companion star of PSR 1957+20. On the basis of the results of microscopic plasma physical models of relativistic shocks it is suggested that the high-energy radiation is produced in the range from X-rays to MeV gamma rays in the binary and in the range from 0.01 eV to about 40 keV in the nebula. Doppler boost of the emission in the radiating wind suggests the flux should vary on the orbital time scale, with the largest flux observed roughly coincident with the pulsar's radio eclipse.

  1. Tests of local Lorentz invariance violation of gravity in the standard model extension with pulsars.

    PubMed

    Shao, Lijing

    2014-03-21

    The standard model extension is an effective field theory introducing all possible Lorentz-violating (LV) operators to the standard model and general relativity (GR). In the pure-gravity sector of minimal standard model extension, nine coefficients describe dominant observable deviations from GR. We systematically implemented 27 tests from 13 pulsar systems to tightly constrain eight linear combinations of these coefficients with extensive Monte Carlo simulations. It constitutes the first detailed and systematic test of the pure-gravity sector of minimal standard model extension with the state-of-the-art pulsar observations. No deviation from GR was detected. The limits of LV coefficients are expressed in the canonical Sun-centered celestial-equatorial frame for the convenience of further studies. They are all improved by significant factors of tens to hundreds with existing ones. As a consequence, Einstein's equivalence principle is verified substantially further by pulsar experiments in terms of local Lorentz invariance in gravity. PMID:24702346

  2. Multi-wavelength studies of pulsars and their companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, John Ioannis

    2013-09-01

    Neutron stars are the degenerate relic cores of massive stars formed in the aftermath of a supernova explosion. Matter in their centes is believed to be condensed at densities as high as ten times that found in atomic nuclei. Thus, observational access to their properties provides the means to study the behavior of physical laws in extreme conditions, beyond the reach of terrestrial experiments. Rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars emit a narrow intense beam of radio emission from their magnetospheric poles. When this pulse happens to intersect our line of sight, it gives rise to the pulsar phenomenon. Regular radio-timing of pulse arrival times on earth, results in some of the most precise measurements in astrophysics. This thesis deals with the study of binary millisecond pulsars with white dwarf companions and is divided in 7 Chapters. Chapters 1 & 2 give a brief introduction to neutron stars, pulsars, and binary pulsars. Chapter 3 describes spectroscopic and optical observations of the low mass white dwarf companion to PSR J1909-3744. For this system, radio observations have yielded a precise mass measurement as well as distance information. Combined with the optical data, these provide the first observational test for theoretical white-dwarf cooling models and spectra. The latter, if reliable, can be used to infer theory-independent masses for similar systems. In Chapter 4, I discuss the measurement of the component masses in the short-orbit PSR J1738+0333 system based on spectroscopy of its white-dwarf companion. This system is particularly important for understanding the physics of pulsar recycling and binary evolution. Moreover, combined with the measurement of the orbital decay from radio-timing, the masses pose the most stringent constraints on Scalar-Tensor gravity. Chapter 5 describes radio and optical observations of PSR J0348+0432, a compact pulsar-white dwarf binary discovered recently with the 100-m Green-Bank Radio Telescope. Spectral

  3. Pulsar Observations Using the First Station of the Long Wavelength Array and the LWA Pulsar Data Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stovall, K.; Ray, P. S.; Blythe, J.; Dowell, J.; Eftekhari, T.; Garcia, A.; Lazio, T. J. W.; McCrackan, M.; Schinzel, F. K.; Taylor, G. B.

    2015-08-01

    We present initial pulsar results from the first station of the Long Wavelength Array (LWA1) obtained during the commissioning period of LWA1 and in early science results. We present detections of periodic emission from 44 previously known pulsars, including 3 millisecond pulsars. The effects of the interstellar medium (ISM) on pulsar emission are significantly enhanced at the low frequencies of the LWA1 band (10–88 MHz), making LWA1 a very sensitive instrument for characterizing changes in the dispersion measure (DM) and other effects from the ISM. Pulsars also often have significant evolution in their pulse profile at low frequency and a break in their spectral index. We report DM measurements for 44 pulsars, mean flux density measurements for 36 pulsars, and multi-frequency component spacing and widths for 15 pulsars with more than one profile component. For 27 pulsars, we report spectral index measurements within our frequency range. We also introduce the LWA1 Pulsar Data Archive, which stores reduced data products from LWA1 pulsar observations. Reduced data products for the observations presented here can be found in the archive. Reduced data products from future LWA1 pulsar observations will also be made available through the archive.

  4. Improved timing of the millisecond pulsar PSR 1937+21 using real-time coherent dedispersion

    SciTech Connect

    Hankins, T.H.; Stinebring, D.R.; Rawley, L.A.

    1987-04-01

    Profiles of the millisecond pulsar PSR 1937+21 have been obtained with 6-micron resolution using a real-time hardware dispersion removal device. This dedisperser has a potential resolution of better than 0.5 microsec and is immune to time-of-arrival jitter caused by scintillation-induced spectral gradients across the receiver passband. It significantly reduces the time-of-arrival residuals when compared with the timing technique currently in use. This increased timing accuracy, when utilized in a long-term timing program of millisec pulsars, will improve the solar system ephemeris and will substantially improve the detection limit of a gravitational wave background. 27 references.

  5. A New Parameterization of the Shapiro delay and improved tests of general relativity in binary pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire, Paulo; Wex, Norbert

    In this talk, we present a re-parameterization of the Shapiro delay as observed in the timing of radio pulses of binary pulsars. We express the Shapiro delay as a sum of harmonics of the orbital period of the system, and use the harmonic coefficients as the main parameters of a much improved description of the effect. This includes a superior description of the constraints on the masses and orbital inclination introduced by a measurement of the Shapiro delay. In some cases (which we discuss) this leads to dramatically improved parametric tests of general relativity with binary pulsars.

  6. Monitoring Accreting X-ray Pulsars with the GLAST Burst Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Patel, Sandeep K.; Bhat, P. Narayana; Preece, Robert D.; Meegan, Charles A.

    2007-01-01

    Accreting pulsars are exceptionally good laboratories for probing the detailed physics of accretion onto magnetic stars. While similar accretion flows also occur in other types of astrophysical systems, e.g. magnetic CVs, only neutron stars have a small enough moment of inertia for the accretion of angular momentum to result in measurable changes in spin-frequency in a timescale of days. Long-term monitoring of accreting pulsar spin-frequencies and fluxes was demonstrated with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Here we present sample results from BATSE, discuss measurement techniques appropriate for GBM, and estimate the expected GBM sensitivity.

  7. Monitoring Accreting X-ray Pulsars with the GLAST Burst Monitor

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Finger, Mark H.; Patel, Sandeep K.; Bhat, P. Narayana; Preece, Robert D.; Meegan, Charles A.

    2007-07-12

    Accreting pulsars are exceptionally good laboratories for probing the detailed physics of accretion onto magnetic stars. While similar accretion flows also occur in other types of astrophysical systems, e.g. magnetic CVs, only neutron stars have a small enough moment of inertia for the accretion of angular momentum to result in measurable changes in spin-frequency in a timescale of days. Long-term monitoring of accreting pulsar spin-frequencies and fluxes was demonstrated with the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Here we present sample results from BATSE, discuss measurement techniques appropriate for GBM, and estimate the expected GBM sensitivity.

  8. Observing the dynamics of supermassive black hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays.

    PubMed

    Mingarelli, C M F; Grover, K; Sidery, T; Smith, R J E; Vecchio, A

    2012-08-24

    Pulsar timing arrays are a prime tool to study unexplored astrophysical regimes with gravitational waves. Here, we show that the detection of gravitational radiation from individually resolvable supermassive black hole binary systems can yield direct information about the masses and spins of the black holes, provided that the gravitational-wave-induced timing fluctuations both at the pulsar and at Earth are detected. This in turn provides a map of the nonlinear dynamics of the gravitational field and a new avenue to tackle open problems in astrophysics connected to the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes. We discuss the potential, the challenges, and the limitations of these observations. PMID:23002736

  9. Properties and Evolution of the Redback Millisecond Pulsar Binary PSR J2129-0429

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellm, Eric C.; Kaplan, David L.; Breton, Rene P.; Phinney, E. Sterl; Bhalerao, Varun B.; Camilo, Fernando; Dahal, Sumit; Djorgovski, S. G.; Drake, Andrew J.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Laher, Russ R.; Levitan, David B.; Lewis, Fraser; Mahabal, Ashish A.; Ofek, Eran O.; Prince, Thomas A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Roberts, Mallory S. E.; Russell, David M.; Sesar, Branimir; Surace, Jason A.; Tang, Sumin

    2016-01-01

    PSR J2129-0429 is a “redback” eclipsing millisecond pulsar binary with an unusually long 15.2 hr orbit. It was discovered by the Green Bank Telescope in a targeted search of unidentified Fermi gamma-ray sources. The pulsar companion is optically bright (mean mR = 16.6 mag), allowing us to construct the longest baseline photometric data set available for such a system. We present 10 years of archival and new photometry of the companion from the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research Survey, the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey, the Palomar Transient Factory, the Palomar 60 inch, and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope. Radial velocity spectroscopy using the Double-Beam Spectrograph on the Palomar 200 inch indicates that the pulsar is massive: 1.74 ± 0.18 {M}⊙ . The G-type pulsar companion has mass 0.44 ± 0.04 {M}⊙ , one of the heaviest known redback companions. It is currently 95 ± 1% Roche-lobe filling and only mildly irradiated by the pulsar. We identify a clear 13.1 mmag yr-1 secular decline in the mean magnitude of the companion as well as smaller-scale variations in the optical light curve shape. This behavior may indicate that the companion is cooling. Binary evolution calculations indicate that PSR J2129-0429 has an orbital period almost exactly at the bifurcation period between systems that converge into tighter orbits as black widows and redbacks and those that diverge into wider pulsar-white dwarf binaries. Its eventual fate may depend on whether it undergoes future episodes of mass transfer and increased irradiation.

  10. Analysis and design of grazing incidence x-ray optics for pulsar navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Fuchang; Chen, Jianwu; Li, Liansheng; Mei, Zhiwu

    2013-10-01

    As a promising new technology for deep space exploration due to autonomous capability, pulsar navigation has attracted extensive attentions from academy and engineering domains. The pulsar navigation accuracy is determined by the measurement accuracy of Time of Arrival (TOA) of X-ray photon, which can be enhanced through design of appropriate optics. The energy band of X-ray suitable for pulsar navigation is 0.1-10keV, the effective focusing of which can be primely and effectively realized by the grazing incidence reflective optics. The Wolter-I optics, originally proposed based on a paraboloid mirror and a hyperboloid mirror for X-ray imaging, has long been widely developed and employed in X-ray observatory. Some differences, however, remain in the requirements on optics between astronomical X-ray observation and pulsar navigation. X-ray concentrator, the simplified Wolter-I optics, providing single reflection by a paraboloid mirror, is more suitable for pulsar navigation. In this paper, therefore, the requirements on aperture, effective area and focal length of the grazing incidence reflective optics were firstly analyzed based on the characteristics, such as high time resolution, large effective area and low angular resolution, of the pulsar navigation. Furthermore, the preliminary design of optical system and overall structure, as well as the diaphragm, was implemented for the X-ray concentrator. Through optical and FEA simulation, system engineering analysis on the X-ray concentrator was finally performed to analyze the effects of environmental factors on the performance, providing basis and guidance for fabrication of the X-ray concentrator grazing incidence optics.

  11. Discovery of the Millisecond Pulsar PSR J2043+1711 in a Fermi Source with the Nancay Radio Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guillemot, L.; Freire, P. C. C.; Cognard, I.; Johnson, T. J.; Takahashi, Y.; Kataoka, J.; Desvignes, G.; Camilo, F.; Ferrara, E. C.; Harding, A. K.; Janssen, G. H.; Keith, M.; Kerr, M.; Kramer, M.; Parent, D.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Smith, D. A.; Stappers, W.; Theureau, G.

    2012-01-01

    We report the discovery of the millisecond pulsar PSR J2043+1711 in a search of a Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) source with no known associations, with the Nancay Radio Telescope. The new pulsar, confirmed with the Green Bank Telescope, has a spin period of 2.38 ms, is relatively nearby (d approx. < 2 kpc) and is in a 1.48-d orbit around a low-mass companion, probably an He-type white dwarf. Using an ephemeris based on Arecibo, Nancay and Westerbork timing measurements, pulsed gamma-ray emission was detected in the data recorded by the Fermi LAT. The gamma-ray light curve and spectral properties are typical of other gamma-ray millisecond pulsars seen with Fermi. X-ray observations of the pulsar with Suzaku and the Swift X-ray Telescope yielded no detection. At 1.4 GHz, we observe strong flux density variations because of interstellar diffractive scintillation; however, a sharp peak can be observed at this frequency during bright scintillation states. At 327 MHz, the pulsar is detected with a much higher signal-to-noise ratio and its flux density is far more steady. However, at that frequency the Arecibo instrumentation cannot yet fully resolve the pulse profile. Despite that, our pulse time-of-arrival measurements have a post-fit residual rms of 2 micro s. This and the expected stability of this system have made PSR J2043+1711 one of the first new Fermi-selected millisecond pulsars to be added to pulsar gravitational wave timing arrays. It has also allowed a significant measurement of relativistic delays in the times of arrival of the pulses due to the curvature of space-time near the companion, but not yet with enough precision to derive useful masses for the pulsar and the companion. Nevertheless, a mass for the pulsar between 1.7 and 2.0 solar Mass can be derived if a standard millisecond pulsar formation model is assumed. In this paper, we also present a comprehensive summary of pulsar searches in Fermi LAT sources with the Nancay Radio Telescope to date.

  12. Timing of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, Nichi; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Kramer, Michael; Sarkissian, John; Lyne, Andrew; Burgay, Marta; Corongiu, Alessandro; Camilo, Fernando; Bailes, Matthew; van Straten, Willem

    2010-10-01

    Timing of the dozen pulsars discovered by us in P303 is ensuring high quality results: (a) the peculiarities (in position or projected acceleration) of all the 5 millisecond pulsars in NGC6752 suggested the presence of non thermal dynamics in the core, perhaps due to black-holes of intermediate mass; (b) the eclipsing pulsar in NGC6397 is a stereotype for studying the late evolution of exotic binaries. We propose to continue our timing project focusing mostly on NGC6752 at 20cm (in order to measure additional parameters useful to constrain the existence of a black-hole) and NGC6397 at 10cm (for studying the eclipse region and the orbital secular evolution).

  13. Polarisation properties of pulsars at optical wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, Roberto; Marelli, Martino; Shearer, Andrew; Slowikowska, Agnieszka

    2016-07-01

    Polarisation measurements of pulsars offer unique insights into their highly-magnetised relativistic environments and represent a primary test for neutron star magnetosphere models and radiation emission mechanisms. Besides the radio band, optical observations have been, so far, best suited to these goals, with polarisation measurements in the X-rays becoming possible in the near future thanks to missions, such as XIPE and IXPE. In this talk, we review the status of the optical polarisation measurements of pulsars and we foresee possible synergies between X-ray polarimetry observations of selected pulsars with, e.g XIPE and IXPE, and optical observations with the next generation of extremely large telescope, such as the E-ELT.

  14. Pulsar timing and the Fermi mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, Matthew; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Hobbs, George; Romani, Roger W.; Thompson, David J.; Weltevrede, Patrick; Shannon, Ryan; Petroff, Emily; Brook, Paul

    2014-04-01

    We request time to observe 180 pulsars on a regular basis in order to provide the accurate ephemerides necessary for the detection and characterisation of gamma-ray pulsars with the Fermi satellite. The main science goals are to increase the number of known gamma-ray pulsars (both radio loud and radio quiet), to determine accurate pulse profiles, and to characterise their high energy (phase-resolved) spectra. In the radio, the observations will also allow us to find glitches, characterise timing noise, investigate dispersion and rotation measure variability, and enhance our knowledge of single pulse phenomenology. To date, we are (co-)authors on 45 papers arising from the collaboration and P574 data. The data have contributed to the PhD theses of Lucas Guillemot and Damien Parent from the Bordeaux Fermi group and Kyle Watters from Stanford. Currently four students have active projects using the radio datasets.

  15. Young Pulsar Timing and the Fermi Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, Matthew; Possenti, Andrea; Manchester, Dick; Johnston, Simon; Hobbs, George; Romani, Roger W.; Thompson, David J.; Weltevrede, Patrick; Shannon, Ryan; Petroff, Emily; Brook, Paul

    2014-10-01

    We request time to observe 230 pulsars on a regular basis in order to provide the accurate ephemerides necessary for the detection and characterisation of gamma-ray pulsars with the Fermi satellite. The main science goals are to increase the number of known gamma-ray pulsars (both radio loud and radio quiet), to determine accurate pulse profiles, and to characterise their high energy (phase-resolved) spectra. In the radio, the observations will also allow us to find glitches, characterise timing noise, investigate dispersion and rotation measure variability, and enhance our knowledge of single pulse phenomenology. To date, we are (co-)authors on 45 papers arising from the collaboration and P574 data. The data have contributed to the PhD theses of Lucas Guillemot and Damien Parent from the Bordeaux Fermi group and Kyle Watters from Stanford. Currently four students have active projects using the radio datasets.

  16. Pulsars and Fast Transients with LOFAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stappers, Ben; Hessels, Jason; Alexov, Anastasia; Anderson, Kenneth; Coenen, Thijs; Hassall, Tom; Karastergiou, Aris; Kondratiev, Vlad; Kramer, Michael; van Leeuwen, Joeri; Mol, Jan David; Noutsos, A.; Romein, John; Weltevrede, Patrick; Fender, Robert; Wijers, Ralph

    2011-08-01

    The LOw Frequency ARray is the first of the next generation of radio telescopes to be completed. It uses large numbers of small receptors and vast computing and data transport capabilities to achieve a high degree of sensitivity over large fields of view. It uses two different types of receptor to enable it to observe over the frequency range 10-260 MHz. Here we report on some of the capabilities of this telescope for pulsar and fast transient research. We also present some results of the commissioning work that we have been carrying out which highlight the exciting potential of this telescope. These include simultaneous imaging and pulsar observations, simultaneous observations spanning 30-8000 MHz, a large number of known pulsars detected in the high band and the detection of PSR B0809+74 down to a frequency of 16 MHz.

  17. Electromagnetic processes in the atmosphere of pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yukhimuk, A. K.

    1974-01-01

    The work consists of two parts. The first deals with the fine structure of radio pulses. Based on kinetic theory, processes occurring in the plasma shell of a pulsar when external electromagnetic radiation is present are investigated. It is shown that electromagnetic waves cause electrons to drift relative to ions, and initiate longitudinal oscillations. A dispersion equation describing the longitudinal oscillations in magnetized plasma is derived. Conditions for excitation of oscillations are found. Correlation functions of electron density are calculated, along with the coefficients of electromagnetic wave scattering. It is shown that variations in the amplitude of pulsar pulses are associated with scintillations caused by fluctuations in the plasma electron density. The second part of the study presents a mechanism for the radio emission of pulsars. The model of a rotating and a pulsating star, a neutron star with dipolar or more complex magnetic field, is examined.

  18. Gamma-ray pulsars: A gold mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grenier, Isabelle A.; Harding, Alice K.

    2015-08-01

    The most energetic neutron stars, powered by their rotation, are capable of producing pulsed radiation from the radio up to γ rays with nearly TeV energies. These pulsars are part of the universe of energetic and powerful particle accelerators, using their uniquely fast rotation and formidable magnetic fields to accelerate particles to ultra-relativistic speed. The extreme properties of these stars provide an excellent testing ground, beyond Earth experience, for nuclear, gravitational, and quantum-electrodynamical physics. A wealth of γ-ray pulsars has recently been discovered with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. The energetic γ rays enable us to probe the magnetospheres of neutron stars and particle acceleration in this exotic environment. We review the latest developments in this field, beginning with a brief overview of the properties and mysteries of rotation-powered pulsars, and then discussing γ-ray observations and magnetospheric models in more detail. xml:lang="fr"

  19. ACCELERATING HIGH-ENERGY PULSAR RADIATION CODES

    SciTech Connect

    Venter, C.; De Jager, O. C.

    2010-12-20

    Curvature radiation (CR) is believed to be a dominant mechanism for creating gamma-ray emission from pulsars and is emitted by relativistic particles that are constrained to move along curved magnetic field lines. Additionally, synchrotron radiation (SR) is expected to be radiated by both relativistic primaries (involving cyclotron resonant absorption of radio photons and re-emission of SR photons), or secondary electron-positron pairs (created by magnetic or photon-photon pair production processes involving CR gamma rays in the pulsar magnetosphere). When calculating these high-energy spectra, especially in the context of pulsar population studies where several millions of CR and SR spectra have to be generated, it is profitable to consider approximations that would save computational time without sacrificing too much accuracy. This paper focuses on one such approximation technique, and we show that one may gain significantly in computational speed while preserving the accuracy of the spectral results.

  20. EVIDENCE OF AN ASTEROID ENCOUNTERING A PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Brook, P. R.; Karastergiou, A.; Buchner, S.; Roberts, S. J.; Keith, M. J.; Johnston, S.; Shannon, R. M.

    2014-01-10

    Debris disks and asteroid belts are expected to form around young pulsars due to fallback material from their original supernova explosions. Disk material may migrate inward and interact with a pulsar's magnetosphere, causing changes in torque and emission. Long-term monitoring of PSR J0738–4042 reveals both effects. The pulse shape changes multiple times between 1988 and 2012. The torque, inferred via the derivative of the rotational period, changes abruptly from 2005 September. This change is accompanied by an emergent radio component that drifts with respect to the rest of the pulse. No known intrinsic pulsar processes can explain these timing and radio emission signatures. The data lead us to postulate that we are witnessing an encounter with an asteroid or in-falling debris from a disk.

  1. First-Principles Simulations of Pulsar Magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    Pulsars are rotating magnetized neutron stars that produce broadband, pulsed emission. Observations with Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have uncovered more than 100 gamma-ray emitting pulsars, dramatically expanding the number of such sources known, and producing unprecedented data on light curves and spectra in the gamma-ray band. The magnetospheric processes that lead to this emission are very interesting and currently not understood in detail. The main difficulty is the absence of a self-consistent model of the pulsar magnetosphere that can predict the global shape of the magnetic field and the state of the plasma throughout the magnetosphere. The standard picture envisions the magnetosphere as filled with plasma due to space-charge-limited flow of charges from the surface of the star. These charges are accelerated by strong electric fields induced by rapid stellar rotation. As charges are curved while traveling along the magnetic fields, they emit curvature radiation that can pair-produce and fill the magnetosphere with pair plasma. The currents and charges in this plasma affect magnetic field structure and particle acceleration. Until recently, no self-consistent solutions of the pulsar electrodynamics that accounted for plasma supply and production existed. Considerable progress on the global magnetospheric structure was made under assumptions about the plasma supply in the force-free and magnetohydrodynamic limits, which assume abundant plasma throughout the magnetosphere. These solutions allowed to calculate the global structure of oblique rotators and their spin-down power at the expense of losing information about particle density and acceleration, and making it difficult to compute emission spectra. Recently, the development of multidimensional kinetic simulations has brought the goal of self-consistently calculating plasma supply and magnetospheric shape of pulsars closer to reality. In this proposal, we plan to perform first three-dimensional kinetic

  2. DSPSR: Digital Signal Processing Software for Pulsar Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Straten, W.; Bailes, M.

    2010-10-01

    DSPSR, written primarily in C++, is an open-source, object-oriented, digital signal processing software library and application suite for use in radio pulsar astronomy. The library implements an extensive range of modular algorithms for use in coherent dedispersion, filterbank formation, pulse folding, and other tasks. The software is installed and compiled using the standard GNU configure and make system, and is able to read astronomical data in 18 different file formats, including FITS, S2, CPSR, CPSR2, PuMa, PuMa2, WAPP, ASP, and Mark5.

  3. The space velocities of radio pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loginov, A. A.; Nikitina, E. B.; Malov, I. F.

    2016-02-01

    Known models proposed to explain the high space velocities of pulsars based on asymmetry of the transport coefficients of different sorts of neutrinos or electromagnetic radiation can be efficient only in the presence of high magnetic fields (to 1016 G) or short rotation periods for the neutron stars (of the order of 1 ms). This current study shows that the observed velocities are not correlated with either the pulsar periods or their surface magnetic fields. The initial rotation periods are estimated in a model for the magnetedipolar deceleration of their spin, aßsuming that the pulsar ages are equal to their kinematic ages. The initial period distribution is bimodal, with peaks at 5 ms and 0.5 s, and similar to the current distribution of periods. It is shown that asymmetry of the pulsar electromagnetic radiation is insufficient to give rise to additional acceleration of pulsars during their evolution after the supernova explosion that gave birth to them. The observations testify to deceleration of the motion, most likely due to the influence of the interstellar medium and interactions with nearby objects. The time scale for the exponential decrease in the magnetic field τ D and in the angle between the rotation axis and magnetic moment τ ß are estimated, yielding τ β = 1.4 million years. The derived dependence of the transverse velocity of a pulsar on the angle between the line of sight and the rotation axis of the neutron star corresponds to the expected dependence for acceleration mechanisms associated with asymmetry of the radiation emitted by the two poles of the star.

  4. A survey for Hα pulsar bow shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Brownsberger, Sasha; Romani, Roger W. E-mail: sashab@stanford.edu

    2014-04-01

    We report on a survey for Hα bow shock emission around nearby γ-detected energetic pulsars. This survey adds three Balmer-dominated neutron star bow shocks to the six previously confirmed examples. In addition to the shock around Fermi pulsar PSR J1741–2054, we now report Hα structures around two additional γ-ray pulsars, PSR J2030+4415 and PSR J1509–5850. These are the first known examples of Hα nebulae with pre-ionization halos. With new measurements, we show that a simple analytic model can account for the angular size and flux of the bow shocks' apices. The latter, in particular, provides a new pulsar probe and indicates large moments of inertia and smaller distances than previously assumed in several cases. In particular, we show that the re-measured PSR J0437–4715 shock flux implies I = (1.7 ± 0.2) × 10{sup 45}/(f {sub HI}sin i) g cm{sup 2}. We also derive a distance d ≈ 0.72 kpc for the γ-ray only pulsar PSR J2030+4415 and revised distances for PSRs J1959+2048 (1.4 kpc) and J2555+6535 (∼1 kpc), smaller than the conventional DM-estimated values. Finally, we report upper limits for 94 additional LAT pulsars. An estimate of the survey sensitivity indicates that for a warm neutral medium filling factor φ{sub WNM} ∼ 0.3 there should be a total of approximately nine Hα bow shocks in our LAT-targeted survey; given that seven such objects are now known, a much larger φ{sub WNM} seems problematic.

  5. X-ray and γ-ray studies of the millisecond pulsar and possible X-ray binary/radio pulsar transition object PSR J1723-2837

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Esposito, Paolo; Crawford III, Fronefield; Possenti, Andrea; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Freire, Paulo

    2014-01-20

    We present X-ray observations of the 'redback' eclipsing radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) and candidate radio pulsar/X-ray binary transition object PSR J1723-2837. The X-ray emission from the system is predominantly non-thermal and exhibits pronounced variability as a function of orbital phase, with a factor of ∼2 reduction in brightness around superior conjunction. Such temporal behavior appears to be a defining characteristic of this variety of peculiar MSP binaries and is likely caused by a partial geometric occultation by the main-sequence-like companion of a shock within the binary. There is no indication of diffuse X-ray emission from a bow shock or pulsar wind nebula associated with the pulsar. We also report on a search for point source emission and γ-ray pulsations in Fermi Large Area Telescope data using a likelihood analysis and photon probability weighting. Although PSR J1723-2837 is consistent with being a γ-ray point source, due to the strong Galactic diffuse emission at its position a definitive association cannot be established. No statistically significant pulsations or modulation at the orbital period are detected. For a presumed detection, the implied γ-ray luminosity is ≲5% of its spin-down power. This indicates that PSR J1723-2837 is either one of the least efficient γ-ray producing MSPs or, if the detection is spurious, the γ-ray emission pattern is not directed toward us.

  6. FORMATION OF BLACK WIDOWS AND REDBACKS—TWO DISTINCT POPULATIONS OF ECLIPSING BINARY MILLISECOND PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Chen, Xuefei; Han, Zhanwen; Tauris, Thomas M.

    2013-09-20

    Eclipsing binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs; the so-called black widows and redbacks) can provide important information about accretion history, pulsar irradiation of their companion stars, and the evolutionary link between accreting X-ray pulsars and isolated MSPs. However, the formation of such systems is not well understood, nor the difference in progenitor evolution between the two populations of black widows and redbacks. Whereas both populations have orbital periods between 0.1 and 1.0 days, their companion masses differ by an order of magnitude. In this paper, we investigate the formation of these systems via the evolution of converging low-mass X-ray binaries by employing the MESA stellar evolution code. Our results confirm that one can explain the formation of most of these eclipsing binary MSPs using this scenario. More notably, we find that the determining factor for producing either black widows or redbacks is the efficiency of the irradiation process, such that the redbacks absorb a larger fraction of the emitted spin-down energy of the radio pulsar (resulting in more efficient mass loss via evaporation) compared to that of the black widow systems. We argue that geometric effects (beaming) are responsible for the strong bimodality of these two populations. Finally, we conclude that redback systems do not evolve into black widow systems with time.

  7. A Search for Pulsar Companions to OB Runaway Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayer, R. W.; Nice, D. J.; Kaspi, V. M.

    1996-04-01

    We have searched for radio pulsar companions to 40 nearby OB runaway stars. Observations were made at 575 and 770 MHz with the NRAO 140 foot (43 m) telescope. The survey was sensitive to long- period pulsars with flux densities of 1 mJy or more. No pulsar companions to OB runaways were discovered. One previously unknown pulsar was discovered, PSR J2044 +4614, while observing toward target 0 star BD +45°3260. Follow-up timing observations of the pulsar measured its position to high precision, revealing a 9' separation between the pulsar and the target star, unequivocally indicating they are not associated. The pulsar is ordinary, except that its dispersion measure, 315 pc cm-3, is unusually high given its Galactic longitude, l = 85°. The nondetection of pulsars bound to target stars places an upper limit of 8% (95% confidence) for the fraction of runaway OB stars with pulsar companions detectable via pulsed radio emission by surveys such as ours. Assuming standard models for the pulsar beaming fraction and luminosity function, we conclude most OB runaways do not have pulsar companions.

  8. PULSAR STATE SWITCHING FROM MARKOV TRANSITIONS AND STOCHASTIC RESONANCE

    SciTech Connect

    Cordes, J. M.

    2013-09-20

    Markov processes are shown to be consistent with metastable states seen in pulsar phenomena, including intensity nulling, pulse-shape mode changes, subpulse drift rates, spin-down rates, and X-ray emission, based on the typically broad and monotonic distributions of state lifetimes. Markovianity implies a nonlinear magnetospheric system in which state changes occur stochastically, corresponding to transitions between local minima in an effective potential. State durations (though not transition times) are thus largely decoupled from the characteristic timescales of various magnetospheric processes. Dyadic states are common but some objects show at least four states with some transitions forbidden. Another case is the long-term intermittent pulsar B1931+24 that has binary radio-emission and torque states with wide, but non-monotonic duration distributions. It also shows a quasi-period of 38 ± 5 days in a 13 yr time sequence, suggesting stochastic resonance in a Markov system with a forcing function that could be strictly periodic or quasi-periodic. Nonlinear phenomena are associated with time-dependent activity in the acceleration region near each magnetic polar cap. The polar-cap diode is altered by feedback from the outer magnetosphere and by return currents from the equatorial region outside the light cylinder that may also cause the neutron star to episodically charge and discharge. Orbital perturbations of a disk or current sheet provide a natural periodicity for the forcing function in the stochastic-resonance interpretation of B1931+24. Disk dynamics may introduce additional timescales in observed phenomena. Future work can test the Markov interpretation, identify which pulsar types have a propensity for state changes, and clarify the role of selection effects.

  9. PICsar: Particle in cell pulsar magnetosphere simulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belyaev, Mikhail A.

    2016-07-01

    PICsar simulates the magnetosphere of an aligned axisymmetric pulsar and can be used to simulate other arbitrary electromagnetics problems in axisymmetry. Written in Fortran, this special relativistic, electromagnetic, charge conservative particle in cell code features stretchable body-fitted coordinates that follow the surface of a sphere, simplifying the application of boundary conditions in the case of the aligned pulsar; a radiation absorbing outer boundary, which allows a steady state to be set up dynamically and maintained indefinitely from transient initial conditions; and algorithms for injection of charged particles into the simulation domain. PICsar is parallelized using MPI and has been used on research problems with ~1000 CPUs.

  10. Is the sub-millisecond pulsar strange?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frieman, Joshua A.; Olinto, Angela V.

    1989-01-01

    The possibility that the submillisecond pulsar from supernova 1987A is composed of strange matter is theoretically discussed. It is shown that for a range of hadron parameters, the maximum rotation rate of secularly stable strange stars may exceed that of the half-millisecond pulsar and the nonrotating maximum mass is greater than 1.52 solar mass. The low-mass companion(s) to SN1987A, inferred from the periodic modulations of the optical signal, can be accounted for by stable strange-matter lump(s) ejected from the young strange star.

  11. Recycling Pulsars: spins, masses and ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauris, T. M.; Kramer, M.; Langer, N.

    2013-03-01

    Although the first millisecond pulsars (MSPs) were discovered 30 years ago we still do not understand all details of their formation process. Here, we present new results from Tauris, Langer & Kramer (2012) on the recycling scenario leading to radio MSPs with helium or carbon-oxygen white dwarf companions via evolution of low- and intermediate mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs, IMXBs). We discuss the location of the spin-up line in the PṖ-diagram and estimate the amount of accreted mass needed to obtain a given spin period and compare with observations. Finally, we constrain the true ages of observed recycled pulsars via calculated isochrones in the PṖ-diagram.

  12. Pulsar glitches: the crust is not enough.

    PubMed

    Andersson, N; Glampedakis, K; Ho, W C G; Espinoza, C M

    2012-12-14

    Pulsar glitches are traditionally viewed as a manifestation of vortex dynamics associated with a neutron superfluid reservoir confined to the inner crust of the star. In this Letter we show that the nondissipative entrainment coupling between the neutron superfluid and the nuclear lattice leads to a less mobile crust superfluid, effectively reducing the moment of inertia associated with the angular momentum reservoir. Combining the latest observational data for prolific glitching pulsars with theoretical results for the crust entrainment, we find that the required superfluid reservoir exceeds that available in the crust. This challenges our understanding of the glitch phenomenon, and we discuss possible resolutions to the problem. PMID:23368300

  13. A novel approach toward gravitational wave analyses with pulsar timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mingarelli, Chiara M. F.; University of Birmingham Gravitational Wave Group (A. Vecchio, K. Grover, R. Smith, T. Sidery, I. Mandel)

    2015-01-01

    My doctoral studies provide a novel approach toward gravitational wave (GW) analyses, including the generalization of nanoHertz stochastic GW background searches, strict limits on when assumptions made in GW background analyses break down, and how to extract information about the masses and spins of supermassive black hole binaries using pulsar timing arrays. A pulsar timing array is galactic-scale nanoHertz GW detector that looks for small deviations in the ultra-stable arrival time of radio pulses from millisecond pulsars to infer the presence of GWs. I show that the standard analysis for isotropic stochastic GW backgrounds can be generalized in a conceptually straightforward way to the case of generic anisotropic background radiation. If evidence for a signal is found in the data, testing the assumption of isotropy could be one of the methods to confirm its cosmological origin. However, if one expects some deviations from isotropy, which may be the case for a background created by a finite population of supermassive black hole binaries, my method can be used to extract constraints on the underlying physical population. Moreover, I assess the assumptions made when computing the correlation functions used in the stochastic GW background searches, and found that when pulsars are separated by less than 3o, correlated phase changes can occur between the pulsars which are important to model. Lastly I show that the detection of GWs from individual supermassive black hole binary systems can yield direct information about the masses and spins of the black holes, provided that the GW-induced timing fluctuations both at the pulsar and at Earth are detected. This in turn provides a map of the nonlinear dynamics of the gravitational field and a new avenue to tackle open problems in astrophysics connected to the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes.

  14. PSR J1906+0722: An Elusive Gamma-Ray Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, C. J.; Pletsch, H. J.; Wu, J.; Guillemot, L.; Ackermann, M.; Allen, B.; de Angelis, A.; Aulbert, C.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bellazzini, R.; Bissaldi, E.; Bock, O.; Bonino, R.; Bottacini, E.; Brandt, T. J.; Bregeon, J.; Bruel, P.; Buson, S.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Caragiulo, M.; Caraveo, P. A.; Cecchi, C.; Champion, D. J.; Charles, E.; Chekhtman, A.; Chiang, J.; Chiaro, G.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Cuéllar, A.; Cutini, S.; D'Ammando, F.; Desiante, R.; Drell, P. S.; Eggenstein, H. B.; Favuzzi, C.; Fehrmann, H.; Ferrara, E. C.; Focke, W. B.; Franckowiak, A.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Giglietto, N.; Giordano, F.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Grenier, I. A.; Grove, J. E.; Guiriec, S.; Harding, A. K.; Hays, E.; Hewitt, J. W.; Hill, A. B.; Horan, D.; Hou, X.; Jogler, T.; Johnson, A. S.; Jóhannesson, G.; Kramer, M.; Krauss, F.; Kuss, M.; Laffon, H.; Larsson, S.; Latronico, L.; Li, J.; Li, L.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Machenschalk, B.; Manfreda, A.; Marelli, M.; Mayer, M.; Mazziotta, M. N.; Michelson, P. F.; Mizuno, T.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nuss, E.; Ohsugi, T.; Orienti, M.; Orlando, E.; de Palma, F.; Paneque, D.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Pivato, G.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Reimer, A.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Schaal, M.; Schulz, A.; Sgrò, C.; Siskind, E. J.; Spada, F.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Suson, D. J.; Takahashi, H.; Thayer, J. B.; Tibaldo, L.; Torne, P.; Torres, D. F.; Tosti, G.; Troja, E.; Vianello, G.; Wood, K. S.; Wood, M.; Yassine, M.

    2015-08-01

    We report the discovery of PSR J1906+0722, a gamma-ray pulsar detected as part of a blind survey of unidentified Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources being carried out on the volunteer distributed computing system, Einstein@Home. This newly discovered pulsar previously appeared as the most significant remaining unidentified gamma-ray source without a known association in the second Fermi-LAT source catalog (2FGL) and was among the top 10 most significant unassociated sources in the recent third catalog (3FGL). PSR J1906+0722 is a young, energetic, isolated pulsar, with a spin frequency of 8.9 Hz, a characteristic age of 49 kyr, and spin-down power 1.0× {10}36 erg s-1. In 2009 August it suffered one of the largest glitches detected from a gamma-ray pulsar ({{Δ }}f/f≈ 4.5× {10}-6). Remaining undetected in dedicated radio follow-up observations, the pulsar is likely radio-quiet. An off-pulse analysis of the gamma-ray flux from the location of PSR J1906+0722 revealed the presence of an additional nearby source, which may be emission from the interaction between a neighboring supernova remnant and a molecular cloud. We discuss possible effects which may have hindered the detection of PSR J1906+0722 in previous searches and describe the methods by which these effects were mitigated in this survey. We also demonstrate the use of advanced timing methods for estimating the positional, spin and glitch parameters of difficult-to-time pulsars such as this.

  15. The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Astrometric Measurements of 37 Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, Allison M.; Nice, David J.; Fonseca, Emmanuel; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Crowter, Kathryn; Demorest, Paul B.; Dolch, Timothy; Ellis, Justin A.; Ferdman, Robert D.; Gonzalez, Marjorie E.; Jones, Glenn; Jones, Megan L.; Lam, Michael T.; Levin, Lina; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Pennucci, Timothy T.; Ransom, Scott M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Stovall, Kevin; Swiggum, Joseph K.; Zhu, Weiwei

    2016-02-01

    Using the nine-year radio-pulsar timing data set from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), collected at Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope, we have measured the positions, proper motions, and parallaxes for 37 millisecond pulsars. We report twelve significant parallax measurements and distance measurements, and eighteen lower limits on distance. We compare these measurements to distances predicted by the NE2001 interstellar electron density model and find them to be in general agreement. We use measured orbital-decay rates and spin-down rates to confirm two of the parallax distances and to place distance upper limits on other sources; these distance limits agree with the parallax distances with one exception, PSR J1024-0719, which we discuss at length. Using the proper motions of the 37 NANOGrav pulsars in combination with other published measurements, we calculate the velocity dispersion of the millisecond pulsar population in Galactocentric coordinates. We find the radial, azimuthal, and perpendicular dispersions to be 46, 40, and 24 {km} {{{s}}}-1, respectively, in a model that allows for high-velocity outliers; or 81, 58, and 62 {km} {{{s}}}-1 for the full population. These velocity dispersions are far smaller than those of the canonical pulsar population, and are similar to older Galactic disk populations. This suggests that millisecond pulsar velocities are largely attributable to their being an old population rather than being artifacts of their birth and evolution as neutron star binary systems. The components of these velocity dispersions follow similar proportions to other Galactic populations, suggesting that our results are not biased by selection effects.

  16. A CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATION OF THE BINARY MILLISECOND PULSAR PSR J1023+0038

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Archibald, Anne M.; Kaspi, Victoria M.; Hessels, Jason W. T.; Lorimer, Duncan; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.

    2011-12-01

    We present a Chandra X-Ray Observatory ACIS-S variability, spectroscopy, and imaging study of the peculiar binary containing the millisecond pulsar J1023+0038. The X-ray emission from the system exhibits highly significant (12.5{sigma}) large-amplitude (factor of two to three) orbital variability over the five consecutive orbits covered by the observation, with a pronounced decline in the flux at all energies at superior conjunction. This can be naturally explained by a partial geometric occultation by the secondary star of an X-ray-emitting intrabinary shock, produced by the interaction of outflows from the two stars. The depth and duration of the eclipse imply that the intrabinary shock is localized near or at the surface of the companion star and close to the inner Lagrangian point. The energetics of the shock favor a magnetically dominated pulsar wind that is focused into the orbital plane, requiring close alignment of the pulsar spin and orbital angular momentum axes. The X-ray spectrum consists of a dominant non-thermal component and at least one thermal component, likely originating from the heated pulsar polar caps, although a portion of this emission may be from an optically thin 'corona'. We find no evidence for extended emission due to a pulsar wind nebula or bow shock down to a limiting luminosity of L{sub X} {approx}< 3.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 29} erg s{sup -1} (0.3-8 keV), {approx}< 7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} of the pulsar spin-down luminosity, for a distance of 1.3 kpc and an assumed power-law spectrum with photon index {Gamma} = 1.5.

  17. Fastest Pulsar Speeding Out of Galaxy, Astronomers Discover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-08-01

    any firm conclusions," said Wouter Vlemmings of the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK and Cornell University in the U.S. The observations of B1508+55 were part of a larger project to use the VLBA to measure the distances and motions of numerous pulsars. "This is the first result of this long-term project, and it's pretty exciting to have something so spectacular come this early," Brisken said. The VLBA observations were made at radio frequencies between 1.4 and 1.7 GigaHertz. Chatterjee, Vlemmings and Brisken worked with Joseph Lazio of the Naval Research Laboratory, James Cordes of Cornell University, Miller Goss of NRAO, Stephen Thorsett of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Edward Fomalont of NRAO, Andrew Lyne and Michael Kramer, both of Jodrell Bank Observatory. The scientists presented their findings in the September 1 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The VLBA is a system of ten radio-telescope antennas, each with a dish 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter and weighing 240 tons. From Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the VLBA spans more than 5,000 miles, providing astronomers with the sharpest vision of any telescope on Earth or in space. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  18. Constraining Gamma-Ray Pulsar Gap Models with a Simulated Pulsar Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierbattista, Marco; Grenier, I. A.; Harding, A. K.; Gonthier, P. L.

    2012-01-01

    With the large sample of young gamma-ray pulsars discovered by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), population synthesis has become a powerful tool for comparing their collective properties with model predictions. We synthesised a pulsar population based on a radio emission model and four gamma-ray gap models (Polar Cap, Slot Gap, Outer Gap, and One Pole Caustic). Applying gamma-ray and radio visibility criteria, we normalise the simulation to the number of detected radio pulsars by a select group of ten radio surveys. The luminosity and the wide beams from the outer gaps can easily account for the number of Fermi detections in 2 years of observations. The wide slot-gap beam requires an increase by a factor of 10 of the predicted luminosity to produce a reasonable number of gamma-ray pulsars. Such large increases in the luminosity may be accommodated by implementing offset polar caps. The narrow polar-cap beams contribute at most only a handful of LAT pulsars. Using standard distributions in birth location and pulsar spin-down power (E), we skew the initial magnetic field and period distributions in a an attempt to account for the high E Fermi pulsars. While we compromise the agreement between simulated and detected distributions of radio pulsars, the simulations fail to reproduce the LAT findings: all models under-predict the number of LAT pulsars with high E , and they cannot explain the high probability of detecting both the radio and gamma-ray beams at high E. The beaming factor remains close to 1.0 over 4 decades in E evolution for the slot gap whereas it significantly decreases with increasing age for the outer gaps. The evolution of the enhanced slot-gap luminosity with E is compatible with the large dispersion of gamma-ray luminosity seen in the LAT data. The stronger evolution predicted for the outer gap, which is linked to the polar cap heating by the return current, is apparently not supported by the LAT data. The LAT sample of gamma-ray pulsars

  19. PSR J1930-1852: a Pulsar in the Widest Known Orbit Around Another Neutron Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swiggum, Joe K.; Rosen, Rachel; McLaughlin, Maura; Lorimer, Duncan; Heatherly, Sue Ann; Lynch, Ryan S.; Scoles, Sarah A.; Barlow, Brad; Pulsar Search Collaboratory

    2015-01-01

    In the summer of 2012, during a Pulsar Search Collaboratory workshop, two high-school students discovered J1930-1852, a pulsar in a double neutron star (DNS) system. Most DNS systems are characterized by short orbital periods, rapid spin periods and eccentric orbits. However, J1930-1852 has the longest spin period (Pspin~185 ms) and orbital period (Porb~45 days) yet measured among known, recycled pulsars in DNS systems, implying a shorter than average and/or inefficient recycling period before its companion went supernova. We measure a relativistic advance of periastron for J1930-1852 of 0.00077(3) deg/yr, which implies a total mass (Mtot=2.54(3) Msun) consistent with other DNS systems. The constraints that advance of periastron places on the pulsar and companion masses (Mp<1.25 Msun and Mc>1.30 Msun respectively) however, imply a unique evolutionary history; given the mass constraints placed on Mp and Mc, J1930-1852 may be the first observed example of a DNS where the primary formed via electron capture supernova and the secondary, via iron core-collapse.

  20. Modelling of the radio spectrum evolution in the binary pulsar B1259-63

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koralewska, Olga

    2016-07-01

    Our model of the radio waves absorption in the binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 supports the hypothesis that the external factors have a significant impact on the observed radio emission of a pulsar. The model can also contribute to our understanding of the origin of some non-typical spectral shapes.

  1. Chandra Examines a Quadrillion-Volt Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-09-01

    The high-voltage environment of one of the most energetic and strongly magnetized pulsars known has been surveyed by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. A team of astronomers found a powerful jet of high-energy particles extending over a distance of 20 light years and bright arcs believed to be due to particles of matter and anti-matter generated by the pulsar. The team of US, Canadian, and Japanese scientists pointed Chandra at the rapidly spinning neutron star B1509-58, located 19,000 light years away in the constellation of Circinus, for over five hours. These results were announced at the "Two Years of Science with Chandra" symposium in Washington, DC. "Jets and arcs on this vast scale have never been seen in any other pulsar," said Bryan Gaensler of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. "The spectacular images we have obtained of this source are letting us test theories as to how pulsars unleash so much energy." The features seen with Chandra give the scientists insight into the process by which voltages of more than 7000 trillion volts are created around rotating neutron stars (the dense remnants of supernova explosions) and how these extreme voltages affect their environment. B1509-58 is of particular interest because it has a much stronger magnetic field than the Crab Nebula pulsar, which exhibits similar features on a much smaller scale. The general picture emerging from these results is that high-energy particles of matter and antimatter are streaming away from the neutron star along its poles and near its equator. The particles leaving the poles produce the jets; astronomers speculate that only one side of the jet is apparent in B1509-58, indicating that this one side is beamed in our direction, while the other is rushing away. "Until this observation, no one knew for sure whether such tremendous voltages and energy outputs were a trademark of all pulsars, or if the Crab was an oddball," said Vicky Kaspi of McGill University in Montreal. "Now thanks

  2. Comparing supernova remnants around strongly magnetized and canonical pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, J.; Rea, N.; Torres, D. F.; Papitto, A.

    2014-11-01

    The origin of the strong magnetic fields measured in magnetars is one of the main uncertainties in the neutron star field. On the other hand, the recent discovery of a large number of such strongly magnetized neutron stars is calling for more investigation on their formation. The first proposed model for the formation of such strong magnetic fields in magnetars was through alpha-dynamo effects on the rapidly rotating core of a massive star. Other scenarios involve highly magnetic massive progenitors that conserve their strong magnetic moment into the core after the explosion, or a common envelope phase of a massive binary system. In this work, we do a complete re-analysis of the archival X-ray emission of the supernova remnants (SNRs) surrounding magnetars, and compare our results with all other bright X-ray emitting SNRs, which are associated with compact central objects (which are proposed to have magnetar-like B-fields buried in the crust by strong accretion soon after their formation), high-B pulsars and normal pulsars. We find that emission lines in SNRs hosting highly magnetic neutron stars do not differ significantly in elements or ionization state from those observed in other SNRs, neither averaging on the whole remnants, nor studying different parts of their total spatial extent. Furthermore, we find no significant evidence that the total X-ray luminosities of SNRs hosting magnetars, are on average larger than that of typical young X-ray SNRs. Although biased by a small number of objects, we found that for a similar age, there is the same percentage of magnetars showing a detectable SNR than for the normal pulsar population.

  3. Do asteroids evaporate near pulsars? Induction heating by pulsar waves revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotera, Kumiko; Mottez, Fabrice; Voisin, Guillaume; Heyvaerts, Jean

    2016-07-01

    Aims: We investigate the evaporation of close-by pulsar companions, such as planets, asteroids, and white dwarfs, by induction heating. Methods: Assuming that the outflow energy is dominated by a Poynting flux (or pulsar wave) at the location of the companions, we calculate their evaporation timescales, by applying the Mie theory. Results: Depending on the size of the companion compared to the incident electromagnetic wavelength, the heating regime varies and can lead to a total evaporation of the companion. In particular, we find that inductive heating is mostly inefficient for small pulsar companions, although it is generally considered the dominant process. Conclusions: Small objects like asteroids can survive induction heating for 104 yr at distances as small as 1 R⊙ from the neutron star. For degenerate companions, induction heating cannot lead to evaporation and another source of heating (likely by kinetic energy of the pulsar wind) has to be considered. It was recently proposed that bodies orbiting pulsars are the cause of fast radio bursts; the present results explain how those bodies can survive in the pulsar's highly energetic environment.

  4. Flux Density Variations in the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiewak, Renée; Shannon, Ryan; Hobbs, George; Kerr, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Precise timing of an ensemble of pulsars spread across the sky (a pulsar timing array, PTA) can be used to search for gravitational waves. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project (PPTA) currently observes 23 pulsars with the Parkes Radio Telescope, largely in the southern sky, with the primary goal of searching for gravitational waves. The pulsars in the sample show large variations in flux density due to refractive scintillation in the interstellar medium (ISM). These flux variations cause timing uncertainty to vary by more than an order of magnitude. A better understanding of flux-density variations associated with the interstellar medium (ISM) is crucial for optimizing observing strategy and increase the sensitivity of the PPTA to gravitational waves. Flux-density variations can also potentially be caused by magnetospheric state changes. We use flux density time series and structure functions to examine both the properties of the ISM and search for intrinsic flux variation in these pulsars. We present intriguing features of the datasets and general implications of the results.

  5. Multi-wavelength studies of Redback and Black Widow pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, Roberto; Salvetti, David; Pallanca, Cristina; Marelli, Martino; De Luca, Andrea; Belfiore, Andrea Mario

    2016-07-01

    The unexpected Fermi discovery of more than 70 gamma-ray milli-second pulsars (MSPs) outside globular clusters, spurred the scientific interest on these objects, and opened new horizons in MSP astronomy and on the study of the evolution of neutron stars in compact binary systems, including the ablation process of the companion star in the so-called Black Widow (BW) and Redback (RB) systems. It is thought that an important fraction of the tens of unidentified pulsar-like Fermi sources at high latitude are MSPs, yet unidentified, owing to their extremely elusive radio emission. As shown in a few recent cases, optical observations have been instrumental to spot binary MSP candidates through the discovery of periodic modulations in the flux of their putative companions. In this contribution, we report on the recent follow-ups of several candidate binary MSPs carried out with optical and X-ray facilities, e.g. GROND and XMM-Newton, Swift. This program already lead to identification of the Fermi source 3FGL 2036.6-5618 as candidate RB system, through the detection of periodic (orbital) modulation of its X/optical flux (Salvetti et al. 2015).

  6. Discovery of a Millisecond Pulsar in the 5.4 day Binary 3FGL J1417.5-4402: Observing the Late Phase of Pulsar Recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camilo, F.; Reynolds, J. E.; Ransom, S. M.; Halpern, J. P.; Bogdanov, S.; Kerr, M.; Ray, P. S.; Cordes, J. M.; Sarkissian, J.; Barr, E. D.; Ferrara, E. C.

    2016-03-01

    In a search of the unidentified Fermi gamma-ray source 3FGL J1417.5-4402 with the Parkes radio telescope, we discovered PSR J1417-4402, a 2.66 ms pulsar having the same 5.4 day orbital period as the optical and X-ray binary identified by Strader et al. The existence of radio pulsations implies that the neutron star is currently not accreting. Substantial outflows from the companion render the radio pulsar undetectable for more than half of the orbit, and may contribute to the observed Hα emission. Our initial pulsar observations, together with the optically inferred orbit and inclination, imply a mass ratio of 0.171 ± 0.002, a companion mass of {M}2=0.33+/- 0.03 M⊙, and a neutron star mass in the range 1.77≤slant {M}1≤slant 2.13 M⊙. However, there remains a discrepancy between the distance of 4.4 kpc inferred from the optical properties of the companion and the smaller radio dispersion measure distance of 1.6 kpc. The smaller distance would reduce the inferred Roche-lobe filling factor, increase the inferred inclination angle, and decrease the masses. As a wide binary, PSR J1417-4402 differs from the radio-eclipsing black widow and redback pulsars being discovered in large numbers by Fermi. It is probably a system that began mass transfer onto the neutron star after the companion star left the main sequence. The companion should end its evolution as a He white dwarf in a 6-20 day orbit, i.e., as a typical binary millisecond pulsar companion.

  7. Pulsar J1823-3021A

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video shows the on and off state of gamma rays from pulsar J1823-3021A as seen by Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT). The object pulses 183.8 times a second and has a spin period of 5.44 milli...

  8. Pulsars at the Center of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid A.; Prince, Thomas A.

    2016-06-01

    Over the past few years, a number of groups using data from NASA’s space-borne Fermi LAT instrument have identified excess gamma-ray flux toward the inner degree of the Galactic Center (GC), with an even larger significant excess within 0.2 degrees. At present there are two leading candidates for this excess: dark matter annihilation and a population of unresolved millisecond pulsars (MSPs). We are currently developing dedicated instrumentation to carry out a sensitive search for the pulsars in this region of the galaxy using a newly developed front end and receiver on a Deep Space Network large diameter antenna in Australia. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the challenges encountered with pulsar searches at the GC region and a summary of previous and ongoing efforts to survey this region with radio telescopes. We will also provide preliminary results from our recent observations of the GC region at 2 and 8 GHz and will conclude with prospects for detection of perhaps hundreds of pulsars in this region with new generations of radio telescopes now under construction.

  9. Pulsars at the Center of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid A.

    2016-04-01

    Over the past few years, a number of groups using data from NASA’s space-borne Fermi LAT instrument have identified excess gamma-ray flux toward the inner few degrees of the Galactic Center (GC), with an even larger significant excess within 1 degree of this region. At present there are two leading candidates for this excess: dark matter annihilation and a population of unresolved millisecond pulsars (MSPs). We are currently developing dedicated instrumentation to carry out a sensitive search for the pulsars in this region of the galaxy using a newly developed front end and receiver on a Deep Space Network large diameter antenna in Australia. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the challenges encountered with pulsar searches at the GC region and a summary of previous and ongoing efforts to survey this region with radio telescopes. We will also provide preliminary results from our recent observations of the GC region at 2 and 8 GHz and will conclude with prospects for detection of perhaps hundreds of pulsars in this region with new generations of radio telescopes now under construction.

  10. Pulsars at the Center of the Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, Walid

    2016-07-01

    Over the past few years, a number of groups using data from NASA's space-borne Fermi LAT instrument have identified excess gamma-ray flux toward the inner 1º of the Galactic Center (GC), with an even larger significant excess within 0.2º degrees. At present there are two leading candidates for this excess: dark matter annihilation and a population of unresolved millisecond pulsars (MSPs). We are currently developing dedicated instrumentation to carry out a sensitive search for the pulsars in this region of the galaxy using a newly developed front end and receiver on a Deep Space Network large diameter antenna in Australia. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the challenges encountered with pulsar searches at the GC region and a summary of previous and ongoing efforts to survey this region with radio telescopes. We will also provide preliminary results from our recent observations of the GC region at 2 and 8 GHz and will conclude with prospects for detection of perhaps hundreds of pulsars in this region with new generations of radio telescopes now under construction.

  11. DETECTING MASSIVE GRAVITONS USING PULSAR TIMING ARRAYS

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Kejia; Kramer, Michael; Jenet, Fredrick A.; Price, Richard H.; Wex, Norbert

    2010-10-20

    At the limit of weak static fields, general relativity becomes Newtonian gravity with a potential field that falls off as inverse distance rather than a theory of Yukawa-type fields with a finite range. General relativity also predicts that the speed of disturbances of its waves is c, the vacuum light speed, and is non-dispersive. For these reasons, the graviton, the boson for general relativity, can be considered to be massless. Massive gravitons, however, are features of some alternatives to general relativity. This has motivated experiments and observations that, so far, have been consistent with the zero-mass graviton of general relativity, but further tests will be valuable. A basis for new tests may be the high sensitivity gravitational wave (GW) experiments that are now being performed and the higher sensitivity experiments that are being planned. In these experiments, it should be feasible to detect low levels of dispersion due to non-zero graviton mass. One of the most promising techniques for such a detection may be the pulsar timing program that is sensitive to nano-Hertz GWs. Here, we present some details of such a detection scheme. The pulsar timing response to a GW background with the massive graviton is calculated, and the algorithm to detect the massive graviton is presented. We conclude that, with 90% probability, massless gravitons can be distinguished from gravitons heavier than 3 x 10{sup -22} eV (Compton wavelength {lambda}{sub g} = 4.1 x 10{sup 12} km), if bi-weekly observation of 60 pulsars is performed for 5 years with a pulsar rms timing accuracy of 100 ns. If 60 pulsars are observed for 10 years with the same accuracy, the detectable graviton mass is reduced to 5 x 10{sup -23} eV ({lambda}{sub g} = 2.5 x 10{sup 13} km); for 5 year observations of 100 or 300 pulsars, the sensitivity is respectively 2.5 x 10{sup -22} ({lambda}{sub g} = 5.0 x 10{sup 12} km) and 10{sup -22} eV ({lambda}{sub g} = 1.2 x 10{sup 13} km). Finally, a 10 year

  12. High-Energy Emission From Millisecond Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, Alice K.; Usov, Vladimir V.; Muslimov, Alex G.

    2004-01-01

    The X-ray and gamma-ray spectrum of rotation-powered millisecond pulsars is investigated in a model for acceleration and pair cascades on open field lines above the polar caps. Although these pulsars have low surface magnetic fields, their short periods allow them to have large magnetospheric potential drops, but the majority do not produce sufficient pairs to completely screen the accelerating electric field. In these sources, the primary and secondary electrons continue to accelerate to high altitude and their Lorentz factors are limited by curvature and synchrotron radiation reaction. The accelerating particles maintain high Lorentz factors and undergo cyclotron resonant absorption of radio emission, that produces and maintains a large pitch angle, resulting in a strong synchrotron component. The resulting spectra consist of several distinct components: curvature radiation from primary electrons dominating from 1 - 100 GeV, synchrotron radiation from primary and secondary electrons dominating up to about 100 MeV, and much weaker inverse-Compton radiation from primary electrons a t 0.1 - 1 TeV. We find that the relative size of these components depends on pulsar period, period derivative, and neutron star mass and radius with the level of the synchrotron component also depending sensitively on the radio emission properties. This model is successful in describing the observed X-ray and gamma-ray spectrum of PSR J0218+4232 as synchrotron radiation, peaking around 100 MeV and extending up to a turnover around several GeV. The predicted curvature radiation components from a number of millisecond pulsars, as well as the collective emission from the millisecond pulsars in globular clusters, should be detectable with AGILE and GLAST. We also discuss a hidden population of X-ray-quiet and radio-quiet millisecond pulsars which have evolved below the pair death line, some of which may be detectable by telescopes sensitive above 1 GeV. Subject headings: pulsars: general

  13. Pulsars "Lying About Their Ages," Astronomers Say, Throwing Theories Into Doubt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-07-01

    -24, to have travelled from the center of the supernova remnant to its present position in 16,000 years, it would have to have moved at about 1,000 miles per second, a particularly high speed compared to other pulsars. Gaensler and Frail compared a 1993 VLA image of the region to one they made last year to measure the pulsar's change in position over a known time, and thus to calculate its speed. They were surprised to find the pulsar moved at a maximum of about 350 miles per second. "This means the pulsar took much longer to reach its current position, and so it is a much older object than we had believed," said Frail. Columbia University astronomer David Helfand, who, with Robert Becker of the University of California-Davis, first drew attention to the unusual nature of "The Duck" in 1985, said he was "secretly delighted" with the new VLA measurements. "I was skeptical of the high velocity" attributed to the object earlier, he said. The new work, he said, "clearly cautions us that a present snapshot of a system does not always give a full picture of its history." For years, astronomers have estimated the age of a pulsar by measuring the rotation period of its neutron star and the tiny amount by which that rotation slows down over time. The neutron star's powerful magnetic field acts as a giant dynamo, emitting electromagnetic radiation as the star rotates. That loss of energy slows the star's rotation, according to the standard theory used for nearly three decades. A calculation based on the neutron star's rotation period and its rate of slowing produces what astronomers call its "characteristic age," which has been presumed to be the true age. That presumption now is called into question. With the large difference between B1757-24's "characteristic age" and the age required by the new VLA measurements, "this pulsar has been lying to us about its age," said Frail. The discrepancy could require astronomers to re-examine many of their previous conclusions about neutron

  14. Multi-wavelength analysis of young pulsars: an overview.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maritz, J. M.; Meintjes, P. J.; Buchner, S. J.

    Young pulsars emit a broad spectrum of radiation that range from radio to gamma ray energies. These pulsars are considered as rotation powered pulsars that spin rapidly and are strongly magnetized. Following the discovery of pulsars nearly four decades ago, the population of known pulsars already reached a number of roughly two thousand. This known population of pulsars includes both millisecond and normal pulsars that were discovered by several telescopes. We analyze both HartRAO radio data and Fermi gamma ray data of the Vela pulsar. We also explore a proposed method of probing the electron column density of the instellar gas through analyzing the gamma ray diffuse data associated with the Fermi two-year observation. This paper serves as an overview of gamma ray and radio timing analysis of bright young pulsars with respect to the use of open source timing analysis tools (Tempo2, Psrchive, Enrico and the Fermi tools). We reason that the multi-wavelength picture of pulsars can help clarify questions regarding the origin of pulsed radiation emission mechanisms in several energy bands, but that radio observations will prove adequate for timing noise analysis, given the accurate and long radio data sets. The process of identifying gravitational waves in timing data, rests on gaining a deeper insight into the timing noise phenomena.

  15. Developing gamma-ray pulsar simulation tools for GLAST

    SciTech Connect

    Razzano, Massimiliano

    2007-07-12

    Pulsars are among the most intriguing sources in the gamma-ray Universe and their high-energy emission remains today quite mysterious. The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) will study the pulsar gamma-ray emission in great detail and will discover a great number of new gamma-ray pulsars. Here are presented the latest developments of the tools that have been created for producing accurate simulations of gamma-ray pulsars emission. The main simulator is called PulsarSpectrum and can reproduce gamma-ray emission with great detail, taking also into account advanced timing effects, e.g. period increase with time, barycentric corrections and higher-order timing noise currently under development. Detailed spectral features can also be simulated with PulsarSpectrum, such as phase-dependent spectra. A suite of ancillary tools have also been built to provide a realistic pulsar population with related timing solutions. Anyway PulsarSpectrum can also simulate pulsar populations coming from external synthesis codes. All these tools are presently used within the GLAST collaboration for testing the LAT Science Analysis Environment tools and for better study of LAT capabilities for pulsar science.

  16. Recent Progress in Studies of Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slane, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    The synchrotron-emitting nebulae formed by energetic winds from young pulsars provide information on a wide range phenomena that contribute to their structure. High resolution X-ray observations reveal jets and toroidal structures in many systems, along with knot-like structures whose emission is observed to be time-variable. Large-scale filaments seen in optical and radio images mark instability regions where the expanding nebulae interact with the surrounding ejecta, and spectral studies reveal the presence of these ejecta in the form of thermal X-ray emission. Infrared studies probe the frequency region where evolutionary and magnetic field effects conspire to change the broadband synchrotron spectrum dramatically, and studies of the innermost regions of the nebulae provide constraints on the spectra of particles entering the nebula. At the highest energies, TeV gamma-ray observations provide a probe of the spectral region that, for low magnetic fields, corresponds to particles with energies just below the X-ray-emitting regime. Here I summarize the structure of pulsar wind nebulae and review several new observations that have helped drive a recent resurgence in theoretical modeling of these systems.

  17. Observations of x ray pulsars from the Kvant module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilfanov, M.; Sunyaev, Rashid A.; Churazov, E.; Loznikov, V.; Efremov, V. V.; Kaniovskiy, A.; Kuznetsov, A. V.; Yamburenko, N.; Melioranskiy, A.; Skinner, G. K.

    1991-01-01

    The Roentgen international x ray observatory on the Kvant module of the Mir space station has been successfully operating since the beginning of June 1987. Many x ray sources were observed and among them were several x ray pulsars. Four telescopes mounted on board the Kvant module cover a wide energy range with good timing resolution. Timing analysis of the Kvant module data suffers from the presence of only short continuous intervals of source observations, separated by 90 min gaps (90 min is the orbital period of the Mir space station around the Earth). The presence of 90 min gaps leads to the appearance of beat frequencies v=v sub 0 + or - n/90 min (n = 1, 2, 3). Special analysis was applied to avoid this difficulty. Results are presented of the pulsation period measurements of the x ray pulsars Her X-1, Cen X-3, SMC X-1, Vela X-1, A0535 + 26 by the instruments on board the Kvant module in 1987 to 1989. The values of the periods are reduced to the solar system barycenter and to the binary system barycenter (excluding A0535 + 26).

  18. The Twisting Jet from the Vela Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teter, M. A.; Pavlov, G. G.; Sanwal, D.; Kargaltsev, O.

    2002-05-01

    Observations of the Vela pulsar-wind nebula (PWN) with Chandra have revealed a long, thin filament -- an extension of the pulsar's jet beyond the bright outer arc confining the PWN in the direction of the pulsar's proper motion. This curved external jet terminates in a region of enhanced emission (a blob) at a distance of about 100'' (0.15 pc) from the pulsar, larger than the size of the PWN. The shape of the jet and its brightness are seen to vary on a timescale as short as a few days, its remote parts move in the sky plane with apparent velocities of up to 0.2 c. The X-ray spectrum of the external jet, including the termination blob, shows no spectral features. It is well described by a power-law model with a photon-index of γ ~= 1.2 (slightly harder than the average spectrum of the PWN, γ ~= 1.5). This indicates that the jet's radiation is due to synchrotron emission of relativistic particles in a magnetic field. The fact that the jet remains confined, although it twists at large distances from the pulsar, suggests a self-confining structure of its magnetic field. The varying shape and intensity of this stream of relativistic particles can be associated with varying local conditions in the Vela SNR and/or large-scale MHD instabilities and internal variations of the magnetic field within the jet. We will present a movie with a sequence of 12 Chandra images over past two years, demonstrating the structure of the twisting jet, and discuss various interpretations of these observations. The work was partially supported by SAO grant GO2-3091X and NASA grant NAG5-10865.

  19. OSCILLATION-DRIVEN MAGNETOSPHERIC ACTIVITY IN PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Meng-Xiang; Xu, Ren-Xin; Zhang, Bing E-mail: r.x.xu@pku.edu.cn

    2015-02-01

    We study the magnetospheric activity in the polar cap region of pulsars under stellar oscillations. The toroidal oscillation of the star propagates into the magnetosphere, which provides additional voltage due to unipolar induction, changes Goldreich-Julian charge density from the traditional value due to rotation, and hence influences particle acceleration. We present a general solution of the effect of oscillations within the framework of the inner vacuum gap model and consider three different inner gap modes controlled by curvature radiation, inverse Compton scattering, and two-photon annihilation, respectively. With different pulsar parameters and oscillation amplitudes, one of three modes would play a dominant role in defining the gap properties. When the amplitude of oscillation exceeds a critical value, mode changing occurs. Oscillations also lead to a change of the size of the polar cap. As applications, we show the inner gap properties under oscillations in both normal pulsars and anomalous X-ray pulsars/soft gamma-ray repeaters (AXPs/SGRs). We interpret the onset of radio emission after glitches/flares in AXPs/SGRs as due to oscillation-driven magnetic activities in these objects, within the framework of both the magnetar model and the solid quark star model. Within the magnetar model, radio activation may be caused by the enlargement of the effective polar cap angle and the radio emission beam due to oscillation, whereas within the solid quark star angle, it may be caused by activation of the pulsar inner gap from below the radio emission death line due to an oscillation-induced voltage enhancement. The model can also explain the glitch-induced radio profile change observed in PSR J1119–6127.

  20. COHERENTLY DEDISPERSED GATED IMAGING OF MILLISECOND PULSARS

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Jayanta; Bhattacharyya, Bhaswati

    2013-03-10

    Motivated by the need for rapid localization of newly discovered faint millisecond pulsars (MSPs), we have developed a coherently dedispersed gating correlator. This gating correlator accounts for the orbital motions of MSPs in binaries while folding the visibilities with a best-fit topocentric rotational model derived from a periodicity search in a simultaneously generated beamformer output. Unique applications of the gating correlator for sensitive interferometric studies of MSPs are illustrated using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) interferometric array. We could unambiguously localize five newly discovered Fermi MSPs in the on-off gated image plane with an accuracy of {+-}1''. Immediate knowledge of such a precise position enables the use of sensitive coherent beams of array telescopes for follow-up timing observations which substantially reduces the use of telescope time ({approx}20 Multiplication-Sign for the GMRT). In addition, a precise a priori astrometric position reduces the effect of large covariances in the timing fit (with discovery position, pulsar period derivative, and an unknown binary model), which in-turn accelerates the convergence to the initial timing model. For example, while fitting with the precise a priori position ({+-}1''), the timing model converges in about 100 days, accounting for the effect of covariance between the position and pulsar period derivative. Moreover, such accurate positions allow for rapid identification of pulsar counterparts at other wave bands. We also report a new methodology of in-beam phase calibration using the on-off gated image of the target pulsar, which provides optimal sensitivity of the coherent array removing possible temporal and spacial decoherences.

  1. Experimental Constraints on γ-Ray Pulsar Gap Models and the Pulsar GeV to Pulsar Wind Nebula TeV Connection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeysekara, A. U.; Linnemann, J. T.

    2015-05-01

    The pulsar emission mechanism in the gamma ray energy band is poorly understood. Currently, there are several models under discussion in the pulsar community. These models can be constrained by studying the collective properties of a sample of pulsars, which became possible with the large sample of gamma ray pulsars discovered by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. In this paper we develop a new experimental multi-wavelength technique to determine the beaming factor ≤ft( {{f}{Ω }} \\right) dependance on spin-down luminosity of a set of GeV pulsars. This technique requires three input parameters: pulsar spin-down luminosity, pulsar phase-averaged GeV flux, and TeV or X-ray flux from the associated pulsar wind nebula (PWN). The analysis presented in this paper uses the PWN TeV flux measurements to study the correlation between {{f}{Ω }} and \\dot{E}. The measured correlation has some features that favor the Outer Gap model over the Polar Cap, Slot Gap, and One Pole Caustic models for pulsar emission in the energy range of 0.1-100 GeV, but one must keep in mind that these simulated models failed to explain many of the most important pulsar population characteristics. A tight correlation between the pulsar GeV emission and PWN TeV emission was also observed, which suggests the possibility of a linear relationship between the two emission mechanisms. In this paper we also discuss a possible mechanism to explain this correlation.

  2. A massive neutron star in the millisecond pulsar PSR J2215+5135

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahbaz, Tariq

    2016-07-01

    Binary evolution may increase neutron masses via accretion. Hence the most massive neutron stars (NSs) are expected to be located amongst the binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) spun-up within X-ray binaries. Most MSPs are found with brown dwarf lookalikes or ˜0.2 M stars in systems called "black widows" and "redbacks", respectively, because these companions are ablated by the pulsar wind. These systems offer some advantages over white dwarf-pulsar binaries: they are typically brighter, they present strongly irradiated hemispheres, and they fill significant fractions of their Roche lobes. As a result, their optical light curves exhibit variability due to a combination of their ellipsoidal shape and irradiation, which can be modelled in order to determine orbital parameters such as the mass ratio and inclination. Combining these with optical spectroscopy and/or pulsar timing enables one to determine a reliable NS masses. Here we present the results of our detailed modelling of the optical lightcurves and radial velocity curves of J2215+5135, which allows us to determine various ystem parameters, including the NS mass.

  3. Discovery of a Highly Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsar in a Gamma-Ray-Detected Globular Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCesar, Megan E.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, P. S.; Kaplan, D. L.; Fermi Large Area Telescope Collaboration

    2014-01-01

    We report on the Green Bank Telescope discovery of a highly eccentric binary millisecond pulsar (MSP) in NGC 6652, the first MSP to be detected in this globular cluster. The pulsar search was guided by the Fermi Large Area Telescope, which detected NGC 6652 at GeV energies, identifying the cluster as a likely host of a population of gamma-ray-emitting MSPs. Initial timing of the MSP yielded an eccentricity of ~0.95 and a minimum companion mass of 0.73 solar masses, assuming a neutron star mass of 1.4 solar masses. These results strongly indicate that the pulsar has undergone one or more companion exchanges in the dense stellar environment of the cluster, and that the current companion is a compact object, likely a massive white dwarf or a neutron star. Further timing of this system will result in a measurement of the post-Keplerian rate of periastron advance and therefore a direct measurement of the total system mass, allowing additional constraints to be placed on both the pulsar and companion masses. The timing solution will also be used to search for gamma-ray pulsations from the MSP.

  4. A test of general relativity from the three-dimensional orbital geometry of a binary pulsar.

    PubMed

    van Straten, W; Bailes, M; Britton, M; Kulkarni, S R; Anderson, S B; Manchester, R N; Sarkissian, J

    2001-07-12

    Binary pulsars provide an excellent system for testing general relativity because of their intrinsic rotational stability and the precision with which radio observations can be used to determine their orbital dynamics. Measurements of the rate of orbital decay of two pulsars have been shown to be consistent with the emission of gravitational waves as predicted by general relativity, but independent verification was not possible. Such verification can in principle be obtained by determining the orbital inclination in a binary pulsar system using only classical geometrical constraints. This would permit a measurement of the expected retardation of the pulse signal arising from the general relativistic curvature of space-time in the vicinity of the companion object (the 'Shapiro delay'). Here we report high-precision radio observations of the binary millisecond pulsar PSR J0437-4715, which establish the three-dimensional structure of its orbit. We see the Shapiro delay predicted by general relativity, and we determine the mass of the neutron star and its white dwarf companion. The determination of such masses is necessary in order to understand the origin and evolution of neutron stars. PMID:11449265

  5. Searching for GW signals from eccentric supermassive black-hole binaries with pulsar-timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stephen; Gair, Jonathan; Huerta, Eliu; McWilliams, Sean

    2015-04-01

    The mergers of massive galaxies leads to the formation of supermassive black-hole binaries in the common merger remnants. Various mechanisms have been proposed to harden these binaries into the adiabatic GW inspiral regime, from interactions with circumbinary disks to stellar scattering. It may be the case that these mechanisms leave the binary with a residual eccentricity, such that the deviation to the time-of-arrival of pulsar signals induced by the emitted GW passing between the Earth and a pulsar will contain a signature of this eccentricity. Current pulsar-timing search pipelines only probe circular binary systems, but much effort is now being devoted to considering the influence of the binary environment on GW signals. We will detail our efforts in constructing a generalised GW search pipeline to constrain the eccentricity of single systems with arrays of precisely-timed pulsars, which may shed light on the influence of various supermassive black-hole binary hardening mechanisms and illuminate the importance of environmental couplings.

  6. PEACE: pulsar evaluation algorithm for candidate extraction - a software package for post-analysis processing of pulsar survey candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, K. J.; Stovall, K.; Jenet, F. A.; Martinez, J.; Dartez, L. P.; Mata, A.; Lunsford, G.; Cohen, S.; Biwer, C. M.; Rohr, M.; Flanigan, J.; Walker, A.; Banaszak, S.; Allen, B.; Barr, E. D.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Bogdanov, S.; Brazier, A.; Camilo, F.; Champion, D. J.; Chatterjee, S.; Cordes, J.; Crawford, F.; Deneva, J.; Desvignes, G.; Ferdman, R. D.; Freire, P.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kaspi, V. M.; Knispel, B.; Kramer, M.; Lazarus, P.; Lynch, R.; Lyne, A.; McLaughlin, M.; Ransom, S.; Scholz, P.; Siemens, X.; Spitler, L.; Stairs, I.; Tan, M.; van Leeuwen, J.; Zhu, W. W.

    2013-07-01

    Modern radio pulsar surveys produce a large volume of prospective candidates, the majority of which are polluted by human-created radio frequency interference or other forms of noise. Typically, large numbers of candidates need to be visually inspected in order to determine if they are real pulsars. This process can be labour intensive. In this paper, we introduce an algorithm called Pulsar Evaluation Algorithm for Candidate Extraction (PEACE) which improves the efficiency of identifying pulsar signals. The algorithm ranks the candidates based on a score function. Unlike popular machine-learning-based algorithms, no prior training data sets are required. This algorithm has been applied to data from several large-scale radio pulsar surveys. Using the human-based ranking results generated by students in the Arecibo Remote Command Center programme, the statistical performance of PEACE was evaluated. It was found that PEACE ranked 68 per cent of the student-identified pulsars within the top 0.17 per cent of sorted candidates, 95 per cent within the top 0.34 per cent and 100 per cent within the top 3.7 per cent. This clearly demonstrates that PEACE significantly increases the pulsar identification rate by a factor of about 50 to 1000. To date, PEACE has been directly responsible for the discovery of 47 new pulsars, 5 of which are millisecond pulsars that may be useful for pulsar timing based gravitational-wave detection projects.

  7. Einstein@Home Finds an Elusive Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-08-01

    Since the release of the second Fermi-LAT catalog in 2012, astronomers have been hunting for 3FGL J1906.6+0720, a gamma-ray source whose association couldn't be identified. Now, personal-computer time volunteered through the Einstein@Home project has resulted in the discovery of a pulsar that has been hiding from observers for years. A Blind Search: Identifying sources detected by Fermi-LAT can be tricky: the instrument's sky resolution is limited, so the position of the source can be hard to pinpoint. The gamma-ray source 3FGL J1906.6+0720 appeared in both the second and third Fermi-LAT source catalogs, but even after years of searching, no associated radio or X-ray source had been found. A team of researchers, led by Colin Clark of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, suspected that the source might be a gamma-ray pulsar. To confirm this, however, they needed to detect pulsed emission — something inherently difficult given the low photon count and the uncertain position of the source. The team conducted a blind search for pulsations coming from the general direction of the gamma-ray source. Two things were needed for this search: clever data analysis and a lot of computing power. The data analysis algorithm was designed to be adaptive: it searched a 4-dimensional parameter space that included a safety margin, allowing the algorithm to wander if the source was at the edge of the parameter space. The computing power was contributed by tens of thousands of personal computers volunteered by participants in the Einstein@Home project, making much shorter work out of a search that would have required dozens of years on a single laptop. The sky region around the newly discovered pulsar. The dotted ellipse shows the 3FGL catalog 95% confidence region for the source. The data analysis algorithm was designed to search an area 50% larger (given by the dashed ellipse), but it was allowed to “walk away” within the gray shaded region if the source seemed to

  8. A NON-RADIAL OSCILLATION MODEL FOR PULSAR STATE SWITCHING

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, R.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Thompson, S. E.

    2011-02-10

    Pulsars are unique astrophysical laboratories because of their clock-like timing precision, providing new ways to test general relativity and detect gravitational waves. One impediment to high-precision pulsar timing experiments is timing noise. Recently, Lyne et al. showed that the timing noise in a number of pulsars is due to quasi-periodic fluctuations in the pulsars' spin-down rates and that some of the pulsars have associated changes in pulse profile shapes. Here we show that a non-radial oscillation model based on asteroseismological theory can explain these quasi-periodic fluctuations. Application of this model to neutron stars will increase our knowledge of neutron star emission and neutron star interiors and may improve pulsar timing precision.

  9. Vela-like Pulsars: A Bridge Between Young and Old

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finley, John P.

    1997-01-01

    This grant was in support of a guest observation using the ASCA satellite of the young, spin-powered pulsar PSR B1706-44. The pulsar is interesting for several reasons: 1) it is young and shares many similar characteristics with the Vela pulsar, 2) it is one of a few pulsars which has been detected by the EGRET detector aboard the CGRO satellite, and 3) it is one of the confirmed sources of TeV gamma-rays discovered with ground based telescopes. The goals of the observation were to search for pulsations in the X-ray domain and to study the near stellar environment to determine if the pulsar is embedded within a compact nebula as in the case of the Vela pulsar.

  10. The Multipupil Fiber Spectroscopy of the Crab-pulsar Neighbourhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zharikov, S.; Shibanov, Y.; Koptsevich, A.; Afanas'ev, V.; Dodonov, S.

    2001-03-01

    We present the spatially resolved optical spectroscopy of the 12 arcsec × 24 arcsec Crab pulsar neighbourhood in the range λ λ 4600 - 5700 Å made with the Multipupil Fiber Spectrograph at the 6 m telescope of the SAO RAS. The spectra exhibit blue- and red-shifted strong [O III] and weaker Hβ and He II emission lines with the shifts and intensities varying with the position in the field. They hint the presence of a cone-like rotating structure centered at the pulsar position and oriented along the symmetry axis of the compact, torus-like pulsar nebula seen in optical continuum and soft X-rays. The kinematic structure is most likely associated with the pulsar nebula. If so, the compact nebular rotates counter-clockwise with respect to its symmetry axis, or the pulsar spin axis, and the estimated rotational velocity within cylindrical radii of several thousand AU from the pulsar is ~ 2000-3000 km/s.

  11. Switched magnetospheric regulation of pulsar spin-down.

    PubMed

    Lyne, Andrew; Hobbs, George; Kramer, Michael; Stairs, Ingrid; Stappers, Ben

    2010-07-23

    Pulsars are famed for their rotational clocklike stability and their highly repeatable pulse shapes. However, it has long been known that there are unexplained deviations (often termed timing noise) from the rate at which we predict these clocks should run. We show that timing behavior often results from two different spin-down rates. Pulsars switch abruptly between these states, often quasi-periodically, leading to the observed spin-down patterns. We show that for six pulsars the timing noise is correlated with changes in the pulse shape. Many pulsar phenomena, including mode changing, nulling, intermittency, pulse-shape variability, and timing noise, are therefore linked and are caused by changes in the pulsar's magnetosphere. We consider the possibility that high-precision monitoring of pulse profiles could lead to the formation of highly stable pulsar clocks. PMID:20576852

  12. CONSTRAINING PULSAR MAGNETOSPHERE GEOMETRY WITH {gamma}-RAY LIGHT CURVES

    SciTech Connect

    Romani, Roger W.; Watters, Kyle P. E-mail: kwatters@stanford.ed

    2010-05-01

    We demonstrate a method for quantitatively comparing {gamma}-ray pulsar light curves with magnetosphere beaming models. With the Fermi LAT providing many pulsar discoveries and high-quality pulsar light curves for the brighter objects, such a comparison allows greatly improved constraints on the emission zone geometry and the magnetospheric physics. Here we apply the method to Fermi LAT light curves of a set of bright pulsars known since EGRET or before. We test three approximate models for the magnetosphere structure and two popular schemes for the location of the emission zone, the two pole caustic model and the outer gap (OG) model. We find that OG models and relatively physical B fields approximating force-free dipole magnetospheres are preferred at high statistical significance. An application to the full LAT pulsar sample will allow us to follow the emission zone's evolution with pulsar spindown.

  13. Launching GUPPI: the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DuPlain, Ron; Ransom, Scott; Demorest, Paul; Brandt, Patrick; Ford, John; Shelton, Amy L.

    2008-08-01

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is launching the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (GUPPI), a prototype flexible digital signal processor designed for pulsar observations with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). GUPPI uses field programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware and design tools developed by the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) at the University of California, Berkeley. The NRAO has been concurrently developing GUPPI software and hardware using minimal software resources. The software handles instrument monitor and control, data acquisition, and hardware interfacing. GUPPI is currently an expert-only spectrometer, but supports future integration with the full GBT production system. The NRAO was able to take advantage of the unique flexibility of the CASPER FPGA hardware platform, develop hardware and software in parallel, and build a suite of software tools for monitoring, controlling, and acquiring data with a new instrument over a short timeline of just a few months. The NRAO interacts regularly with CASPER and its users, and GUPPI stands as an example of what reconfigurable computing and open-source development can do for radio astronomy. GUPPI is modular for portability, and the NRAO provides the results of development as an open-source resource.

  14. Galvano-rotational effect induced by electroweak interactions in pulsars

    SciTech Connect

    Dvornikov, Maxim

    2015-05-21

    We study electroweakly interacting particles in rotating matter. The existence of the electric current along the axis of the matter rotation is predicted in this system. This new galvano-rotational effect is caused by the parity violating interaction between massless charged particles in the rotating matter. We start with the exact solution of the Dirac equation for a fermion involved in the electroweak interaction in the rotating frame. This equation includes the noninertial effects. Then, using the obtained solution, we derive the induced electric current which turns out to flow along the rotation axis. We study the possibility of the appearance of the galvano-rotational effect in dense matter of compact astrophysical objects. The particular example of neutron and hypothetical quark stars is discussed. It is shown that, using this effect, one can expect the generation of toroidal magnetic fields comparable with poloidal ones in old millisecond pulsars. We also briefly discuss the generation of the magnetic helicity in these stars. Finally we analyze the possibility to apply the galvano-rotational effect for the description of the asymmetric neutrino emission from a neutron star to explain pulsars kicks.

  15. DISCOVERY OF THE OPTICAL/ULTRAVIOLET/GAMMA-RAY COUNTERPART TO THE ECLIPSING MILLISECOND PULSAR J1816+4510

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, D. L.; Kotulla, R.; Biwer, C. M.; Day, D. F.; Stovall, K.; Dartez, L.; Ford, A. J.; Garcia, A.; Jenet, F. A.; Ransom, S. M.; Roberts, M. S. E.; Archibald, A. M.; Karako, C.; Kaspi, V. M.; Lynch, R. S.; Boyles, J.; Lorimer, D. R.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Kondratiev, V. I.; and others

    2012-07-10

    The energetic, eclipsing millisecond pulsar J1816+4510 was recently discovered in a low-frequency radio survey with the Green Bank Telescope. With an orbital period of 8.7 hr and a minimum companion mass of 0.16 M{sub Sun }, it appears to belong to an increasingly important class of pulsars that are ablating their low-mass companions. We report the discovery of the {gamma}-ray counterpart to this pulsar and present a likely optical/ultraviolet counterpart as well. Using the radio ephemeris, we detect pulsations in the unclassified {gamma}-ray source 2FGL J1816.5+4511, implying an efficiency of {approx}25% in converting the pulsar's spin-down luminosity into {gamma}-rays and adding PSR J1816+4510 to the large number of millisecond pulsars detected by Fermi. The likely optical/UV counterpart was identified through position coincidence (<0.''1) and unusual colors. Assuming that it is the companion, with R = 18.27 {+-} 0.03 mag and effective temperature {approx}> 15,000 K, it would be among the brightest and hottest of low-mass pulsar companions and appears qualitatively different from other eclipsing pulsar systems. In particular, current data suggest that it is a factor of two larger than most white dwarfs of its mass but a factor of four smaller than its Roche lobe. We discuss possible reasons for its high temperature and odd size, and suggest that it recently underwent a violent episode of mass loss. Regardless of origin, its brightness and the relative unimportance of irradiation make it an ideal target for a mass, and hence a neutron star mass, determination.

  16. AN EXTREME PULSAR TAIL PROTRUDING FROM THE FRYING PAN SUPERNOVA REMNANT

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, C.-Y.; Bouchard, A.; Bucciantini, N.; Gaensler, B. M.; Camilo, F.; Chatterjee, S.

    2012-02-10

    The Frying Pan (G315.9-0.0) is a radio supernova remnant with a peculiar linear feature (G315.78-0.23) extending 10' radially outward from the rim of the shell. We present radio imaging and polarization observations obtained from the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, confirming G315.78-0.23 as a bow-shock pulsar wind nebula (PWN) powered by the young pulsar J1437-5959. This is one of the longest pulsar tails observed in radio and it has a physical extent over 20 pc. We found a bow-shock standoff distance of 0.002 pc, smallest among similar systems, suggesting a large pulsar velocity over 1000 km s{sup -1} and a high Mach number {approx}200. The magnetic field geometry inferred from radio polarimetry shows a good alignment with the tail orientation, which could be a result of high flow speed. There are also hints that the postshock wind has a low magnetization and is dominated by electrons and positrons in energy. This study shows that PWNe can offer a powerful probe of their local environment, particularly for the case of a bow shock where the parent supernova shell is also detected.

  17. TIMING MEASUREMENTS OF THE RELATIVISTIC BINARY PULSAR PSR B1913+16

    SciTech Connect

    Weisberg, J. M.; Nice, D. J.; Taylor, J. H. E-mail: niced@lafayette.ed

    2010-10-20

    We present results of more than three decades of timing measurements of the first known binary pulsar, PSR B1913+16. Like most other pulsars, its rotational behavior over such long timescales is significantly affected by small-scale irregularities not explicitly accounted for in a deterministic model. Nevertheless, the physically important astrometric, spin, and orbital parameters are well determined and well decoupled from the timing noise. We have determined a significant result for proper motion, {mu}{sub {alpha}} = -1.43 {+-} 0.13, {mu}{sub {delta}} = -0.70 {+-} 0.13 mas yr{sup -1}. The pulsar exhibited a small timing glitch in 2003 May, with {Delta}f/f = 3.7 x 10{sup -11}, and a smaller timing peculiarity in mid-1992. A relativistic solution for orbital parameters yields improved mass estimates for the pulsar and its companion, m{sub 1} = 1.4398 {+-} 0.0002 M{sub sun} and m{sub 2} = 1.3886 {+-} 0.0002 M{sub sun}. The system's orbital period has been decreasing at a rate 0.997 {+-} 0.002 times that predicted as a result of gravitational radiation damping in general relativity. As we have shown before, this result provides conclusive evidence for the existence of gravitational radiation as predicted by Einstein's theory.

  18. Discovery of a Second Millesecond Accreting Pulsar: XTE J1751-305

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markwardt, C. B.; Swank, J. H.; Strohmayer, T. E.; intZand, J. J. M.; Marshall, F. E.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We report the discovery by the RXTE PCA of a second transient accreting millisecond pulsar, XTE J1751-305, during regular monitoring observations of the galactic bulge region. The pulsar has a spin frequency of 435 Hz, making it one of the fastest pulsars. The pulsations contain the signature of orbital Doppler modulation, which implies an orbital period of 42 minutes, the shortest orbital period of any known radio or X-ray millisecond pulsar. The mass function, f(sub x) = (1.278 +/- 0.003) x 10 (exp -6) solar mass, yields a minimum mass for the companion of between 0.013 and 0.0017 solar mass depending on the mass of the neutron star. No eclipses were detected. A previous X-ray outburst in June, 1998, was discovered in archival All-Sky Monitor data. Assuming mass transfer in this binary system is driven by gravitational radiation, we constrain the orbital inclination to be in the range 30 deg-85 deg and the companion mass to be 0.013-0.035 solar mass. The companion is most likely a heated helium dwarf. We also present results from the Chandra HRC-S observations which provide the best known position of XTE J1751-305.

  19. A RADIO SEARCH FOR PULSAR COMPANIONS TO SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY LOW-MASS WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Agueeros, Marcel A.; Camilo, Fernando; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Anderson, Scott F.; Kleinman, S. J.; Liebert, James W.

    2009-05-20

    We have conducted a search for pulsar companions to 15 low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs; M <0.4 M {sub sun}) at 820 MHz with the NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT). These LMWDs were spectroscopically identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and do not show the photometric excess or spectroscopic signature associated with a companion in their discovery data. However, LMWDs are believed to evolve in binary systems and to have either a more massive white dwarf (WD) or a neutron star (NS) as a companion. Indeed, evolutionary models of low-mass X-ray binaries, the precursors of millisecond pulsars (MSPs), produce significant numbers of LMWDs, suggesting that the SDSS LMWDs may have NS companions. No convincing pulsar signal is detected in our data. This is consistent with the findings of van Leeuwen et al., who conducted a GBT search for radio pulsations at 340 MHz from unseen companions to eight SDSS WDs (five are still considered LMWDs; the three others are now classified as 'ordinary' WDs). We discuss the constraints our nondetections place on the probability P {sub MSP} that the companion to a given LMWD is a radio pulsar in the context of the luminosity and acceleration limits of our search; we find that P {sub MSP} < 10{sup +4} {sub -2}%.

  20. Constraining the Turbulence Scale and Mixing of a Crushed Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Chi Yung; Ma, Y. K.; Bucciantini, Niccolo; Slane, Patrick O.; Gaensler, Bryan M.; Temim, Tea

    2016-04-01

    Pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) are synchrotron-emitting nebulae resulting from the interaction between pulsars' relativistic particle outflows and the ambient medium. The Snail PWN in supernova remnant G327.1-1.1 is a rare system that has recently been crushed by supernova reverse shock. We carried out radio polarization observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array and found highly ordered magnetic field structure in the nebula. This result is surprising, given the turbulent environment expected from hydrodynamical simulations. We developed a toymodel and compared simple simulations with observations to constrain the characteristic turbulence scale in the PWN and the mixing with supernova ejecta. We estimate that the turbulence scale is about one-eighth to one-sixth of the nebula radius and a pulsar wind filling factor of 50-75%. The latter implies substantial mixing of the pulsar wind with the surrounding supernova ejecta.This work is supported by an ECS grant of the Hong Kong Government under HKU 709713P. The Australia Telescope is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO.