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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

    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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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}}}.

  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

    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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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..

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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).

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  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

    2011-10-01

    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).

  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

    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).

  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

    2013-04-01

    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).

  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

    2012-10-01

    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).

  8. 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).

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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,…

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  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

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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.