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Sample records for accreting millisecond pulsar

  1. Gravitational Radiation from Accreting Millisecond Pulsars

    Vigelius, Matthias; Melatos, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    It is widely assumed that the observed reduction of the magnetic field of millisecond pulsars can be connected to the accretion phase during which the pulsar is spun up by mass accretion from a companion. A wide variety of reduction mechanisms have been proposed, including the burial of the field by a magnetic mountain, formed when the accreted matter is confined to the poles by the tension of the stellar magnetic field. A magnetic mountain effectively screens the magnetic dipole moment. On the other hand, observational data suggests that accreting neutron stars are sources of gravitational waves, and magnetic mountains are a natural source of a time-dependent quadrupole moment. We show that the emission is sufficiently strong to be detectable by current and next generation long-baseline interferometers. Preliminary results from fully three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations are presented. We find that the initial axisymmetric state relaxes into a nearly axisymmetric configuration via toroidal ...

  2. Electromagnetic Spindown of a Transient Accreting Millisecond Pulsar During Quiescence

    Melatos, A.; Mastrano, A.

    2016-02-01

    The measured spindown rates in quiescence of the transient accreting millisecond pulsars IGR J00291+5934, XTE J1751-305, SAX J1808.4-3658, and Swift J1756.9-2508 have been used to estimate the magnetic moments of these objects assuming standard magnetic dipole braking. It is shown that this approach leads to an overestimate if the amount of residual accretion is enough to distort the magnetosphere away from a force-free configuration through magnetospheric mass loading or crushing, so that the lever arm of the braking torque migrates inside the light cylinder. We derive an alternative spindown formula and calculate the residual accretion rates where the formula is applicable. As a demonstration we apply the alternative spindown formula to produce updated magnetic moment estimates for the four objects above. We note that based on current uncertain observations of quiescent accretion rates, magnetospheric mass loading and crushing are neither firmly indicated nor ruled out in these four objects. Because quiescent accretion rates are not measured directly (only upper limits are placed), without more data it is impossible to be confident about whether the thresholds for magnetospheric mass loading or crushing are reached or not.

  3. Improved methods for modeling pulse shapes of accreting millisecond pulsars

    Leahy, D; Cadeau, C

    2006-01-01

    Raytracing computations for light emitted from the surface of a rapidly rotating neutron star are carried out in order to construct light curves for accreting millisecond pulsars. These calculations are for realistic models of rapidly rotating neutron stars which take into account both the correct exterior metric and the oblate shape of the star. We find that the most important effect, comparing the full raytracing computations with simpler approximations currently in use, arises from the oblate shape of the rotating star. Approximating a rotating neutron star as a sphere introduces serious errors in fitted values of the star's radius and mass if the rotation rate is very large. However, for lower rotation rates acceptable mass and radius values can be obtained using the spherical approximation.

  4. Simulations of the magnetospheres of accreting millisecond pulsars

    Parfrey, Kyle; Beloborodov, Andrei M

    2016-01-01

    Accreting pulsars power relativistic jets, and display a complex spin phenomenology. These behaviours may be closely related to the large-scale configuration of the star's magnetic field. The total torque experienced by the pulsar comprises spin-up and spin-down contributions from different bundles of magnetic field lines; the spin-down `braking' torque is applied both by closed stellar field lines which enter the disc beyond the corotation radius, and those which are open and not loaded with disc material. The rates of energy and angular momentum extraction on these open field lines have lower bounds in the relativistic, magnetically dominated limit, due to the effective inertia of the electromagnetic field itself. Here we present the first relativistic simulations of the interaction of a pulsar magnetosphere with an accretion flow. Our axisymmetric simulations, with the pseudospectral PHAEDRA code, treat the magnetospheric, or coronal, regions using a resistive extension of force-free electrodynamics. The m...

  5. Timing and spectral properties of the accreting millisecond pulsar SWIFT J1756.9-2508

    M. Linares; R. Wijnands; M. van der Klis; H. Krimm; C.B. Markwardt; D. Chakrabarty

    2008-01-01

    SWIFT J1756.9-2508 is one of the few accreting millisecond pulsars (AMPs) discovered to date. We report here the results of our analysis of its aperiodic X-ray variability, as measured with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer during the 2007 outburst of the source. We detect strong (~35%) flat-topped br

  6. Accretion, Ablation and Propeller Evolution in Close Millisecond Pulsar Binary Systems

    Kiel, P D

    2013-01-01

    A model for the formation and evolution of binary millisecond radio pulsars in systems with low mass companions (< 0.1 Msun) is investigated using a binary population synthesis technique. Taking into account the non conservative evolution of the system due to mass loss from an accretion disk as a result of propeller action and from the companion via ablation by the pulsar, the transition from the accretion powered to rotation powered phase is investigated. It is shown that the operation of the propeller and ablation mechanisms can be responsible for the formation and evolution of black widow millisecond pulsar systems from the low mass X-ray binary phase at an orbital period of ~0.1 day. For a range of population synthesis input parameters, the results reveal that a population of black widow millisecond pulsars characterized by orbital periods as long as ~0.4 days and companion masses as low as ~0.005 Msun can be produced. The orbital periods and minimum companion mass of this radio millisecond pulsar popu...

  7. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto, A; Bozzo, E; Rea, N

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of IGR J18245-2452, the first millisecond pulsar observed to swing between a rotation-powered, radio pulsar state, and an accretion-powered X-ray pulsar state (Papitto et al. 2013, Nature, 501, 517). This transitional source represents the most convincing proof of the evolutionary link shared by accreting neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries, and radio millisecond pulsars. It demonstrates that swings between these two states take place on the same time-scales of luminosity variations of X-ray transients, and are therefore most easily interpreted in terms of changes in the rate of mass in-flow. While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245-2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of th...

  8. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934: evidence for a long timescale spin evolution

    A. Patruno

    2010-01-01

    Accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because they can be used to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility of constraining gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra-dense matter. Particularly crucia

  9. Possible Fermi Detection of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar Binary SAX J1808.4-3658

    Xing, Yi; Wang, Zhongxiang; Jithesh, V.

    2015-01-01

    We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detection of a $\\gamma$-ray source at the position of SAX J1808.4$-$3658. This transient low-mass X-ray binary contains an accreting millisecond puslar, which is only seen during its month-long outbursts and likely switches to be rotation powered during its quiescent state. Emission from the $\\gamma$-ray source can be described by a power law with an exponential cutoff, the characteristic form for pulsar emission. Folding the source's 2.0--300 Ge...

  10. SAX J1808.4-3658, an accreting millisecond pulsar shining in gamma rays?

    Wilhelmi, E de Ona; Li, J; Rea, N; Torres, D F; Burderi, L; Di Salvo, T; Iaria, R; Riggio, A; Sanna, A

    2015-01-01

    We report the detection of a possible gamma-ray counterpart of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658. The analysis of ~6 years of data from the Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi-LAT) within a region of 15deg radius around the position of the pulsar reveals a point gamma-ray source detected at a significance of ~6 sigma (Test Statistic TS = 32), with position compatible with that of SAX J1808.4-3658 within 95% Confidence Level. The energy flux in the energy range between 0.6 GeV and 10 GeV amounts to (2.1 +- 0.5) x 10-12 erg cm-2 s-1 and the spectrum is well-represented by a power-law function with photon index 2.1 +- 0.1. We searched for significant variation of the flux at the spin frequency of the pulsar and for orbital modulation, taking into account the trials due to the uncertainties in the position, the orbital motion of the pulsar and the intrinsic evolution of the pulsar spin. No significant deviation from a constant flux at any time scale was found, ...

  11. Electromagnetic spin down of a transient accreting millisecond pulsar during quiescence

    Melatos, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The measured spin-down rates in quiescence of the transient accreting millisecond pulsars IGR J00291+5934, XTE J1751-305, SAX J1808.4-3658, and Swift J1756.9-2508 have been used to estimate the magnetic moments of these objects assuming standard magnetic dipole braking. It is shown that this approach leads to an overestimate, if the amount of residual accretion is enough to distort the magnetosphere away from a force-free configuration, through magnetospheric mass loading or crushing, so that the lever arm of the braking torque migrates inside the light cylinder. We derive an alternative spin-down formula and calculate the residual accretion rates where the formula is applicable. As a demonstration, we apply the alternative spin-down formula to produce updated magnetic moment estimates for the four objects above. We note that, based on current uncertain observations of quiescent accretion rates, magnetospheric mass loading and crushing are neither firmly indicated nor ruled out in these four objects. Because ...

  12. Evidence of Fast Magnetic Field Evolution in an Accreting Millisecond Pulsar

    Patruno, A

    2012-01-01

    The large majority of neutron stars (NSs) in low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) have never shown detectable pulsations despite several decades of intense monitoring. The reason for this remains an unsolved problem that hampers our ability to measure the spin frequency of most accreting NSs. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) HETE J1900.1--2455 is an intermittent pulsar that exhibited pulsations at about 377 Hz for the first 2 months and then turned in a non-pulsating source. Understanding why this happened might help to understand why most LMXBs do not pulsate. We present a 7 year long coherent timing analysis of data taken with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We discover new sporadic pulsations that are detected on a baseline of about 2.5 years. We find that the pulse phases anti-correlate with the X-ray flux as previously discovered in other AMXPs. We place stringent upper limits of 0.05% rms on the pulsed fraction when pulsations are not detected and identify an enigmatic pulse phase drift of ~180...

  13. Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsars

    Freire, Paulo C C

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we review the recent discovery of several millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in eccentric binary systems. Timing these MSPs we were able to estimate (and in one case precisely measure) their masses. These results suggest that, as a class, MSPs have a much wider range of masses (1.3 to > 2 solar masses) than the normal and mildly recycled pulsars found in double neutron star (DNS) systems (1.25 < Mp < 1.44 solar masses). This is very likely to be due to the prolonged accretion episode that is thought to be required to form a MSP. The likely existence of massive MSPs makes them a powerful probe for understanding the behavior of matter at densities larger than that of the atomic nucleus; in particular, the precise measurement of the mass of PSR J1903+0327 ($1.67 +/- 0.01 solar masses) excludes several "soft" equations of state for dense matter.

  14. Binary and Millisecond Pulsars

    Lorimer Duncan R.

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available We review the main properties, demographics and applications of binary and millisecond radio pulsars. Our knowledge of these exciting objects has greatly increased in recent years, mainly due to successful surveys which have brought the known pulsar population to over 1800. There are now 83 binary and millisecond pulsars associated with the disk of our Galaxy, and a further 140 pulsars in 26 of the Galactic globular clusters. Recent highlights include the discovery of the young relativistic binary system PSR J1906+0746, a rejuvination in globular cluster pulsar research including growing numbers of pulsars with masses in excess of 1.5M_⊙, a precise measurement of relativistic spin precession in the double pulsar system and a Galactic millisecond pulsar in an eccentric (e = 0.44 orbit around an unevolved companion.

  15. Binary and Millisecond Pulsars

    Lorimer, D R

    2008-01-01

    We review the main properties, demographics and applications of binary and millisecond radio pulsars. Our knowledge of these exciting objects has greatly increased in recent years, mainly due to successful surveys which have brought the known pulsar population to over 1800. There are now 83 binary and millisecond pulsars associated with the disk of our Galaxy, and a further 140 pulsars in 26 of the Galactic globular clusters. Recent highlights include the discovery of the young relativistic binary system PSR J1906+0746, a rejuvination in globular cluster pulsar research including growing numbers of pulsars with masses in excess of 1.5 solar masses, a precise measurement of relativistic spin precession in the double pulsar system and a Galactic millisecond pulsar in an eccentric (e=0.44) orbit around an unevolved companion.

  16. The binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038 during its accretion state - I. Optical variability

    Shahbaz, T; Nevado, S P; Rodríguez-Gil, P; Casares, J; Dhillon, V S; Marsh, T R; Littlefair, S; Leckngam, A; Poshyachinda, S

    2015-01-01

    We present time-resolved optical photometry of the binary millisecond `redback' pulsar PSR J1023+0038 (=AY Sex) during its low-mass X-ray binary phase. The light curves taken between 2014 January and April show an underlying sinusoidal modulation due to the irradiated secondary star and accretion disc. We also observe superimposed rapid flaring on time-scales as short as ~20 s with amplitudes of ~0.1-0.5 mag and additional large flare events on time-scales of ~5-60 min with amplitudes ~0.5-1.0 mag. The power density spectrum of the optical flare light curves is dominated by a red-noise component, typical of aperiodic activity in X-ray binaries. Simultaneous X-ray and UV observations by the Swift satellite reveal strong correlations that are consistent with X-ray reprocessing of the UV light, most likely in the outer regions of the accretion disc. On some nights we also observe sharp-edged, rectangular, flat-bottomed dips randomly distributed in orbital phase, with a median duration of ~250 s and a median ingr...

  17. Timing of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 during its 2015 outburst

    Sanna, A; Riggio, A; Pintore, F; Di Salvo, T; Gambino, A F; Iaria, R; Matranga, M; Scarano, F

    2016-01-01

    We report on the timing analysis of the 2015 outburst of the intermittent accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 observed on March 4 by the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton. By phase-connecting the time of arrivals of the observed pulses, we derived the best-fit orbital solution for the 2015 outburst. We investigated the energy pulse profile dependence finding that the pulse fractional amplitude increases with energy while no significant time lags are detected. Moreover, we investigated the previous outbursts from this source, finding previously undetected pulsations in some intervals during the 2010 outburst of the source. Comparing the updated set of orbital parameters, in particular the value of the time of passage from the ascending node, with the orbital solutions reported from the previous outbursts, we estimated for the first time the orbital period derivative corresponding with $\\dot{P}_{orb}=(1.1\\pm0.3)\\times 10^{-10}$ s/s. We note that this value is significant at 3.5 sigma confidence level, ...

  18. Quasi-periodic X-ray brightness fluctuations in an accreting millisecond pulsar

    Wijnands, R; Homan, J; Chakraborty, D; Markwardt, C B; Morgan, E H; Wijnands, Rudy; Klis, Michiel van der; Homan, Jeroen; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Markwardt, Craig B.; Morgan, Ed H.

    2003-01-01

    The relativistic plasma flows onto neutron stars that are accreting material from stellar companions can be used to probe strong-field gravity as well as the physical conditions in the supranuclear-density interiors of neutron stars. Plasma inhomogeneities orbiting a few kilometres above the stars are observable as X-ray brightness fluctuations on the millisecond dynamical timescale of the flows. Two frequencies in the kilohertz range dominate these fluctuations: the twin kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs). Competing models for the origins of these oscillations (based on orbital motions) all predict that they should be related to the stellar spin frequency, but tests have been difficult because the spins were not unambiguously known. Here we report the detection of kHz QPOs from a pulsar whose spin frequency is known. Our measurements establish a clear link between kHz QPOs and stellar spin, but one not predicted by any current model. A new approach to understanding kHz QPOs is now required. We ...

  19. The Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar IGR J00291+5934: Evidence for a Long Timescale Spin Evolution

    Patruno, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because it is possible to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility to constrain gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra dense matter. Particularly crucial to our understanding is the measurement of the long term spin evolution of the accreting neutron star. An open question is whether these accreting pulsars are spinning up during an outburst and spinning down in quiescence as predicted by the recycling scenario. Until now it has been very difficult to measure torques, due to the presence of fluctuations in the pulse phases that compromise their measurements with standard coherent timing techniques. By applying a new method, I am now able to measure a spin up during an outburst and a spin down during quiescence. I ascribe the spin up (Fdot=5.1(3)x10^{-13}\\Hz/s) to accretion torques and the spin down (Fdot=-3.0(8)x10^{-15} Hz/s) to magneto dipole torques, as those observ...

  20. DISCOVERY OF BURST OSCILLATIONS IN THE INTERMITTENT ACCRETION-POWERED MILLISECOND PULSAR HETE J1900.1-2455

    We report the discovery of burst oscillations from the intermittent accretion-powered millisecond pulsar (AMP) HETE J1900.1-2455, with a frequency ∼1 Hz below the known spin frequency. The burst oscillation properties are far more similar to those of the non-AMPs and Aql X-1 (an intermittent AMP with a far lower duty cycle), than those of the AMPs SAX J1808.4-3658 and XTE J1814-338. We discuss the implications for models of the burst oscillation and intermittency mechanisms.

  1. Constraints on Compact Star Parameters from Burst Oscillation Light Curves of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar XTE J1814-338

    Bhattacharya, S; Miller, M C; Markwardt, C B; Bhattacharyya, Sudip; Strohmayer, Tod E.; Markwardt, Craig B.

    2004-01-01

    Detailed modeling of the millisecond brightness oscillations from low mass X-ray binaries during thermonuclear bursts can provide us with important information about compact star parameters. Until now the implementation of this idea has not been entirely successful, largely because of the negligible amount of harmonic content in burst oscillation lightcurves. However, the recent discovery of unique, non-sinusoidal burst oscillation lightcurves from the accreting millisecond pulsar XTE J1814-338 has changed this situation. We, therefore, for the first time, make use of this opportunity to constrain compact star structure parameters effectively. In our detailed study of the lightcurves of 22 bursts we fit the burst oscillation lightcurves with fully general relativistic models that include light-bending and frame-dragging for lightcurve calculation, and compute numerically the structure of compact stars using realistic equations of state. We find that the 90% confidence interval of the dimensionless radius to m...

  2. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto A.

    2014-01-01

    While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245–2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of the newly established class of transitional pulsars are also briefly discussed.

  3. Spin frequency distributions of binary millisecond pulsars

    A. Papitto; D.F. Torres; N. Rea; T.M. Tauris

    2014-01-01

    Rotation-powered millisecond radio pulsars have been spun up to their present spin period by a 108−109 yr long X-ray-bright phase of accretion of matter and angular momentum in a low-to-intermediate mass binary system. Recently, the discovery of transitional pulsars that alternate cyclically between

  4. Broad-band spectral analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021

    Pintore, F.; Sanna, A.; Di Salvo, T.; Del Santo, M.; Riggio, A.; D'Aì, A.; Burderi, L.; Scarano, F.; Iaria, R.

    2016-04-01

    We analysed a 115-ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 d of INTEGRAL observations, taken during the raise of the 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. The source showed numerous type-I burst episodes during the XMM-Newton observation, and for this reason we studied separately the persistent and burst epochs. We described the persistent emission with a combination of two soft thermal components, a cold thermal Comptonization component (˜2 keV) and an additional hard X-ray emission described by a power law (Γ ˜ 2.3). The continuum components can be associated with an accretion disc, the neutron star (NS) surface and a thermal Comptonization emission coming out of an optically thick plasma region, while the origin of the high-energy tail is still under debate. In addition, a number of broad (σ = 0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated with reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity of the source is ˜5 × 1037 erg s-1, about 25 per cent of the Eddington limit assuming a 1.4 M⊙ NS. We suggest that the spectral properties of SAX J1748.9-2021 are consistent with a soft state, differently from many other accreting X-ray millisecond pulsars which are usually found in the hard state. Moreover, none of the observed type-I burst reached the Eddington luminosity. Assuming that the burst ignition and emission are produced above the whole NS surface, we estimate an NS radius of ˜7-8 km, consistent with previous results.

  5. Discovery of the Accretion-Powered Millisecond Pulsar SWIFT 51756.9-2508 with a Low-Mass Companion

    Krimm, H.A.; Markwardt, C.B.; Deloye, C.J.; Romano, P.; Chakrabarty, S.; Campana. S.; Cummings, J.C.; Galloway, D.K.; Gehrels, N.; Hartman, J.M.; Kaaret, P.; Morgan, E.H.; Tueller, J

    2007-01-01

    We report on the discovery by the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer of the eighth known transient accretion-powered millisecond pulsar: SWIFT J1756.9-2508, as part of routine observations with the Swift Burst Alert Telescope hard X-ray transient monitor. The pulsar was subsequently observed by both the X-Ray Telescope on Swift and the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array. It has a spin frequency of 182 Hz (5.5 ms) and an orbital period of 54.7 minutes. The minimum companion mass is between 0.0067 and 0.0086 Solar Mass, depending on the mass of the neutron star, and the upper limit on the mass is 0.030 Solar Mass (95% confidence level). Such a low mass is inconsistent with brown dwarf models. and comparison with white dwarf models suggests that the companion is a He-dominated donor whose thermal cooling has been at least modestly slowed by irradiation from the accretion flux. No X-ray bursts. dips, eclipses or quasi-periodic oscillations were detected. The current outburst lasted approx. 13 days and no earlier outbursts were found in archival data.

  6. Application of the relativistic precession model to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Stefanov, I. Zh.

    2016-03-01

    The observation of a pair of simultaneous twin kHz QPOs in the power density spectrum of a neutron star or a black hole allows its mass-angular-momentum relation to be constrained. Situations in which the observed simultaneous pairs are more than one allow the different models of the kHz QPOs to be falsified. Discrepancy between the estimates coming from the different pairs would call the used model into question. In the current paper, the relativistic precession model is applied to the twin kHz QPOs that appear in the light curves of three groups of observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057. It was found that the predictions of one of the groups are practically in conflict with the other two. Another interesting result is that the region in which the kHz QPOs have been born is rather broad and extends quite far from the ISCO.

  7. Application of the relativistic precession model to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Stefanov, Ivan Zh

    2015-01-01

    The observation of a pair of simultaneous twin kHz QPOs in the power density spectrum of a neutron star or a black hole allows its mass-angular-momentum relation to be constrained. Situations in which the observed simultaneous pairs are more than one allow the different models of the kHz QPOs to be falsified. Discrepancy between the estimates coming from the different pairs would call the used model into question. In the current paper the relativistic precession model is applied to the twin kHz QPOs that appear in the light curves of three groups of observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057. It was found that the predictions of one of the groups are practically in conflict with the other two. Another interesting result is that the region in which the kHz QPOs have been born is rather broad and extends quite far from the ISCO.

  8. The Luminosity and Energy Dependence of Pulse Phase Lags in the Accretion-powered Millisecond Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

    Hartman, Jacob M; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2008-01-01

    Soft phase lags, in which X-ray pulses in lower energy bands arrive later than pulses in higher energy bands, have been observed in nearly all accretion-powered millisecond pulsars, but their origin remains an open question. In a study of the 2.5 ms accretion-powered pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658, we report that the magnitude of these lags is strongly dependent on the accretion rate. During the brightest stage of the outbursts from this source, the lags increase in magnitude as the accretion rate drops; when the outbursts enter their dimmer flaring-tail stage, the relationship reverses. We evaluate this complex dependence in the context of two theoretical models for the lags, one relying on the scattering of photons by the accretion disk and the other invoking a two-component model for the photon emission. In both cases, the turnover suggests that we are observing the source transitioning into the "propeller" accretion regime.

  9. X-ray coherent pulsations during a sub-luminous accretion disk state of the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859

    Papitto, A; Belloni, T M; Burgay, M; Pellizzoni, A; Possenti, A; Torres, D F

    2014-01-01

    Radio millisecond pulsars in binary systems are spun up to their present period by a Gyr-long phase of accretion of the mass transferred from a low-mass companion star. Recently, three such systems have been observed to switch between an accretion disk state and a radio pulsar regime over time-scales ranging from weeks to years, and were dubbed transitional millisecond pulsars. These sources have been often found in a sub-luminous accretion disk state, characterized by a lower X-ray luminosity (~1E33-1E34 erg/s) than the level usually attained by similar sources during X-ray outbursts (~1E36 erg/s), and by a bright radio and gamma-ray emission. The physical mechanism acting in this enigmatic state is still unclear. Here, we present the first detection of X-ray pulsations from the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859. Pulsations were detected by XMM-Newton during an observation performed while the source was in a sub-luminous accretion disk state. They had an rms amplitude of (7.7+/-0.5)% with a sec...

  10. Formation of Binary Millisecond Pulsars by Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs under Wind-Driven Evolution

    Ablimit, Iminhaji

    2014-01-01

    Accretion-induced collapse of massive white dwarfs (WDs) has been proposed to be an important channel to form binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Recent investigations on thermal timescale mass transfer in WD binaries demonstrate that the resultant MSPs are likely to have relatively wide orbit periods ($\\gtrsim 10$ days). Here we calculate the evolution of WD binaries taking into account the excited wind from the companion star induced by X-ray irradiation of the accreting WD, which may drive rapid mass transfer even when the companion star is less massive than the WD. This scenario can naturally explain the formation of the strong-field neutron star in the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1822$-$37. After AIC the mass transfer resumes when the companion star refills its Roche lobe, and the neutron star is recycled due to mass accretion. A large fraction of the binaries will evolve to become binary MSPs with a He WD companion, with the orbital periods distributed between $\\gtrsim 0.1$ day and $\\lesssim 30$ days, while...

  11. The X-ray spectrum of the newly discovered accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Papitto, A; Di Salvo, T; Burderi, L; D'Aì, A; Iaria, R; Bozzo, E; Menna, M T

    2010-01-01

    We report on an XMM-Newton observation of the accreting millisecond pulsar, IGR J17511-3057. Pulsations at 244.8339512(1) Hz are observed with an RMS pulsed fraction of 14.4(3)%. A precise solution for the P_orb=12487.51(2)s binary system is derived. The measured mass function indicates a main sequence companion with a mass between 0.15 and 0.44 Msun. The XMM-Newton spectrum of the source can be modelled by at least three components, multicoloured disc emission, thermal emission from the NS surface and thermal Comptonization emission. Spectral fit of the XMM-Newton data and of the RXTE data, taken in a simultaneous temporal window, constrain the Comptonization parameters: the electron temperature, kT_e=51(+6,-4) keV, is rather high, while the optical depth (tau=1.34(+0.03,-0.06)) is moderate. The energy dependence of the pulsed fraction supports the interpretation of the cooler thermal component as coming from the accretion disc, and indicates that the Comptonizing plasma surrounds the hot spots on the NS sur...

  12. Broad-band spectral analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021

    Pintore, Fabio; Di Salvo, Tiziana; Del Santo, Melania; Riggio, Alessandro; D'Aì, Antonino; Burderi, Luciano; Scarano, Fabiana; Iaria, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed a 115 ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 days of INTEGRAL observations, taken during the raise of the 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. The source showed numerous type-I burst episodes during the XMM-Newton observation, and for this reason we studied separately the persistent and burst epochs. We described the persistent emission with a combination of two soft thermal components, a cold thermal Comptonization component (~2 keV) and an additional hard X-ray emission described by a power-law (photon index ~2.3). The continuum components can be associated with an accretion disc, the neutron star (NS) surface and a thermal Comptonization emission coming out of an optically thick plasma region, while the origin of the high energy tail is still under debate. In addition, a number of broad (~0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated to reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity ...

  13. Millisecond Pulsars in Close Binaries

    Tauris, Thomas M

    2015-01-01

    In this Habilitationsschrift (Habilitation thesis) I present my research carried out over the last four years at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy (AIfA) and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR). The thesis summarizes my main findings and has been written to fulfill the requirements for the Habilitation qualification at the University of Bonn. Although my work is mainly focused on the topic of millisecond pulsars (MSPs), there is a fairly broad spread of research areas ranging from the formation of neutron stars (NSs) in various supernova (SN) events, to their evolution, for example, via accretion processes in binary and triple systems, and finally to their possible destruction in merger events. The thesis is organized in the following manner: A general introduction to neutron stars and millisecond pulsars is given in Chapter 1. A selection of key papers published in 2011-2014 are presented in Chapters 2-10, ordered within five main research areas (ultra-stripped SNe in close binaries, ma...

  14. The origin of planets orbiting millisecond pulsars

    Tavani, Marco; Brookshaw, Leigh

    1992-01-01

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

  15. Orbital Evolution Measurement of the Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658

    Chetana Jain; Anjan Dutta; Biswajit Paul

    2007-12-01

    We present results from a pulse timing analysis of the accretion-powered millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658 using X-ray data obtained during four outbursts of this source. Extensive observations were made with the proportional counter array of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) during the four outbursts that occurred in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005. Instead of measuring the arrival times of individual pulses or the pulse arrival time delay measurement that is commonly used to determine the orbital parameters of binary pulsars, we have determined the orbital ephemeris during each observation by optimizing the pulse detection against a range of trial ephemeris values. The source exhibits a significant pulse shape variability during the outbursts. The technique used by us does not depend on the pulse profile evolution, and is therefore, different from the standard pulse timing analysis. Using 27 measurements of orbital ephemerides during the four outbursts spread over more than 7 years and more than 31,000 binary orbits, we have derived an accurate value of the orbital period of 7249.156862(5) s (MJD = 50915) and detected an orbital period derivative of (3.14 ± 0.21) × 10-12 s s-1. We have included a table of the 27 mid-eclipse time measurements of this source that will be valuable for further studies of the orbital evolution of the source, especially with ASTROSAT. We point out that the measured rate of orbital period evolution is considerably faster than the most commonly discussed mechanisms of orbital period evolution like mass transfer, mass loss from the companion star and gravitational wave radiation. The present time scale of orbital period change, 73 Myr is therefore likely to be a transient high value of period evolution and similar measurements during subsequent outbursts of SAX J1808.4–3658 will help us to resolve this.

  16. Millisecond pulsars: Timekeepers of the cosmos

    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.

  17. Formation of Millisecond Pulsars in Globular Clusters

    Ivanova, Natalia; Rasio, Frederic A

    2007-01-01

    In this contribution we discuss how neutron stars are produced and retained in globular clusters, outlining the most important dynamical channels and evolutionary events that affect thepopulation of mass-transferring binaries with neutron stars and result in the formation of recycled pulsars. We confirm the importance of electron-capture supernovae in globular clusters as the major supplier of retained neutron stars.By comparing the observed millisecond pulsar population and the results obtained from simulations, we discuss several constraints on the evolution of mass-transferring systems.In particular, we find that in our cluster model the following mass-gaining events create populations of MSPs that do not match the observations (with respect to binary periods and companion masses or the number of produced systems) and therefore likely do not lead to NSs spun up to millisecond periods: (i) accretion during a common envelope event with a NS formed through accretion-induced collapse, and (ii) mass transfer fr...

  18. Identification of the High-Energy Gamma-Ray Source 3FGL J1544.6-1125 as a Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Binary in an Accreting State

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    We present X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical observations of 1RXS J154439.4-112820, the most probable counterpart of the unassociated Fermi LAT source 3FGL J1544.6-1125. The optical data reveal rapid variability, which is a feature of accreting systems. The X-ray data exhibit large-amplitude flux variations in the form of fast switching (within ~10 s) between two distinct flux levels that differ by a factor of $\\approx$10. The detailed optical and X-ray behavior is virtually identical to that seen in the accretion-disk-dominated states of the transitional millisecond pulsar binaries PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859, which are also associated with $\\gamma$-ray sources. Based on the available observational evidence, we conclude that 1RXS J154439.4-112820 and 3FGL J1544.6-1125 are the same object, with the X-rays arising from intermittent low-luminosity accretion onto a millisecond pulsar and the $\\gamma$-rays originating from an accretion-driven outflow. 1RXS J154439.4-112820 is only the fourth $\\gamma$-ray emi...

  19. Formation of millisecond pulsars with CO white dwarf companions - II. Accretion, spin-up, true ages and comparison to MSPs with He white dwarf companions

    Tauris, Thomas M; Kramer, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are mainly characterised by their spin periods, B-fields and masses - quantities which are largely affected by previous interactions with a companion star in a binary system. In this paper, we investigate the formation mechanism of MSPs by considering the pulsar recycling process in both intermediate-mass X-ray binaries (IMXBs) and low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). The IMXBs mainly lead to the formation of binary MSPs with a massive carbon-oxygen (CO) or an oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf (ONeMg WD) companion, whereas the LMXBs form recycled pulsars with a helium white dwarf (He WD) companion. We discuss the accretion physics leading to the spin-up line in the PPdot-diagram and demonstrate that such a line cannot be uniquely defined. We derive a simple expression for the amount of accreted mass needed for any given pulsar to achieve its equilibrium spin and apply this to explain the observed differences of the spin distributions of recycled pulsars with different types of companion...

  20. Birth and evolution of neutron stars: Issues raised by millisecond pulsars; Proceedings of the eighth workshop, Green Bank, WV, June 6-8, 1984

    Observations of millisecond pulsars are discussed, taking into account a review of millisecond pulsars, arrival time observations of the 1.6 millisecond pulsar 1937 + 214, a 6.1 millisecond binary pulsar, polarimetry of the two fastest pulsars, an optical synchrotron nebula around the X-ray pulsar 0540-693, optical observations of the millisecond pulsars PSR 1937 + 214 and PSR 1935 + 29, and a single pulse study of the millisecond pulsar 1937 + 214. The life history of millisecond pulsars is examined, giving attention to the origin of neutron stars, models for the formation of binary and millisecond radio pulsars, isolated and binary millisecond pulsars and accretion spun-up neutron stars, the period distribution of fast pulsars, the origin of pulsar velocities, a model of radio emission of the millisecond pulsar 1937 + 214, and a study of pulsar luminosities. Other subjects investigated are related to the physics of rapidly rotating neutron stars, a summary of general theoretical issues, and searches

  1. Cosmic-ray positrons from millisecond pulsars

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

    2015-01-01

    Observations by the Fermi Large Area Telescope of gamma-ray millisecond pulsar light curves imply copious pair production in their magnetospheres, and not exclusively in those of younger pulsars. Such pair cascades may be a primary source of Galactic electrons and positrons, contributing to the observed enhancement in positron flux above ~10 GeV. Fermi has also uncovered many new millisecond pulsars, impacting Galactic stellar population models. We investigate the contribution of Galactic millisecond pulsars to the flux of terrestrial cosmic-ray electrons and positrons. Our population synthesis code predicts the source properties of present-day millisecond pulsars. We simulate their pair spectra invoking an offset-dipole magnetic field. We also consider positrons and electrons that have been further accelerated to energies of several TeV by strong intrabinary shocks in black widow and redback systems. Since millisecond pulsars are not surrounded by pulsar wind nebulae or supernova shells, we assume that the p...

  2. Wideband Timing of Millisecond Pulsars

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

    2015-01-01

    The use of backend instrumentation capable of real-time coherent dedispersion of relatively large fractional bandwidths has become commonplace in pulsar astronomy. However, along with the desired increase in sensitivity to pulsars' broadband signals, a larger instantaneous bandwidth brings a number of potentially aggravating effects that can lead to degraded timing precision. In the case of high-precision timing experiments, such as the one being carried out by the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), subtle effects such as unmodeled intrinsic profile evolution with frequency, interstellar scattering, and dispersion measure variation are potentially capable of reducing the experiment's sensitivity to a gravitational wave signal. In order to account for some of these complications associated with wideband observations, we augmented the traditional algorithm by which the fundamental timing quantities are measured. Our new measurement algorithm accommodates an arbitrary two-dimensional model ``portrait'' of a pulsar's total intensity as a function of observing frequency and rotational phase, and simultaneously determines the time-of-arrival (TOA), the dispersion measure (DM), and per-frequency-channel amplitudes that account for interstellar scintillation. Our publicly available python code incorporates a Gaussian-component modeling routine that allows for independent component evolution with frequency, a ``fiducial component'', and the inclusion of scattering. Here, we will present results from the application of our wideband measurement scheme to the suite of NANOGrav millisecond pulsars, which aimed to determine the level at which the experiment is being harmed by unmodeled profile evolution. We have found thus far, and expect to continue to find, that our new measurements are at least as good as those from traditional techniques. At a minimum, by largely reducing the volume of TOAs we will decrease the computational demand

  3. Binary Millisecond Pulsar Discovery via Gamma-Ray Pulsations

    Pletsch, H J; Fehrmann, H; Allen, B; Kramer, M; Aulbert, C; Ackermann, M; Ajello, M; de Angelis, A; Atwood, W B; Baldini, L; Ballet, J; Barbiellini, G; Bastieri, D; Bechtol, K; Bellazzini, R; Borgland, A W; Bottacini, E; Brandt, T J; Bregeon, J; Brigida, M; Bruel, P; Buehler, R; Buson, S; Caliandro, G A; Cameron, R A; Caraveo, P A; Casandjian, J M; Cecchi, C; Celik, Ö; Charles, E; Chaves, R C G; Cheung, C C; Chiang, J; Ciprini, S; Claus, R; Cohen-Tanugi, J; Conrad, J; Cutini, S; D'Ammando, F; Dermer, C D; Digel, S W; Drell, P S; Drlica-Wagner, A; Dubois, R; Dumora, D; Favuzzi, C; Ferrara, E C; Franckowiak, A; Fukazawa, Y; Fusco, P; Gargano, F; Gehrels, N; Germani, S; Giglietto, N; Giordano, F; Giroletti, M; Godfrey, G; Grenier, I A; Grondin, M -H; Grove, J E; Guiriec, S; Hadasch, D; Hanabata, Y; Harding, A K; Hartog, P R den; Hayashida, M; Hays, E; Hill, A B; Hou, X; Hughes, R E; Johannesson, G; Jackson, M S; Jogler, T; Johnson, A S; Johnson, W N; Kataoka, J; Kerr, M; Knödlseder, J; Kuss, M; Lande, J; Larsson, S; Latronico, L; Lemoine-Goumard, M; Longo, F; Loparco, F; Lovellette, M N; Lubrano, P; Massaro, F; Mayer, M; Mazziotta, M N; McEnery, J E; Mehault, J; Michelson, P F; Mitthumsiri, W; Mizuno, T; Monzani, M E; Morselli, A; Moskalenko, I V; Murgia, S; Nakamori, T; Nemmen, R; Nuss, E; Ohno, M; Ohsugi, T; Omodei, N; Orienti, M; Orlando, E; de Palma, F; Paneque, D; Perkins, J S; Piron, F; Pivato, G; Porter, T A; Raino, S; Rando, R; Ray, P S; Razzano, M; Reimer, A; Reimer, O; Reposeur, T; Ritz, S; Romani, R W; Romoli, C; Sanchez, D A; Parkinson, P M Saz; Schulz, A; Sgro, C; Silva, E do Couto e; Siskind, E J; Smith, D A; Spandre, G; Spinelli, P; Suson, D J; Takahashi, H; Tanaka, T; Thayer, J B; Thayer, J G; Thompson, D J; Tibaldo, L; Tinivella, M; Troja, E; Usher, T L; Vandenbroucke, J; Vasileiou, V; Vianello, G; Vitale, V; Waite, A P; Winer, B L; Wood, K S; Wood, M; Yang, Z; Zimmer, S; 10.1126/science.1229054

    2012-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs), old neutron stars spun-up by accreting matter from a companion star, can reach high rotation rates of hundreds of revolutions per second. Until now, all such "recycled" rotation-powered pulsars have been detected by their spin-modulated radio emission. In a computing-intensive blind search of gamma-ray data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (with partial constraints from optical data), we detected a 2.5-millisecond pulsar, PSR J1311-3430. This unambiguously explains a formerly unidentified gamma-ray source that had been a decade-long enigma, confirming previous conjectures. The pulsar is in a circular orbit with an orbital period of only 93 minutes, the shortest of any spin-powered pulsar binary ever found.

  4. On Low Mass X-ray Binaries and Millisecond Pulsar

    Burderi, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    The detection, in 1998, of the first Accreting Millisecond Pulsar, started an exciting season of continuing discoveries in the fashinating field of compact binary systems harbouring a neutron star. Indeed, in these last three lustres, thanks to the extraordinary performances of astronomical detectors, on ground as well as on board of satellites, mainly in the Radio, Optical, X-ray, and Gamma-ray bands, astrophysicists had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the so-called Recycling Scenario: the evolutionary path leading to the formation of a Millisecond Radio Pulsar. The most intriguing phase is certainly the spin-up stage during which, because of the accretion of matter and angular momentum, the neutron star accumulates an extraordinary amount of mechanical rotational energy, up to one percent of its whole rest-mass energy. These millisecond spinning neutron stars are truly extreme physical objects: General and Special Relativity are fully in action, since their surfaces, attaining speeds close to one ...

  5. Stokes tomography of radio pulsar magnetospheres. II. Millisecond pulsars

    Chung, C T Y

    2011-01-01

    The radio polarization characteristics of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) differ significantly from those of non-recycled pulsars. In particular, the position angle (PA) swings of many MSPs deviate from the S-shape predicted by the rotating vector model, even after relativistic aberration is accounted for, indicating that they have non-dipolar magnetic geometries, likely due to a history of accretion. Stokes tomography uses phase portraits of the Stokes parameters as a diagnostic tool to infer a pulsar's magnetic geometry and orientation. This paper applies Stokes tomography to MSPs, generalizing the technique to handle interpulse emission. We present an atlas of look-up tables for the Stokes phase portraits and PA swings of MSPs with current-modified dipole fields, filled core and hollow cone beams, and two empirical linear polarization models. We compare our look-up tables to data from 15 MSPs and find that the Stokes phase portraits for a current-modified dipole approximately match several MSPs whose PA swings ...

  6. The disturbance of a millisecond pulsar magnetosphere

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

    2016-01-01

    Pulsar timing has enabled some of the strongest tests of fundamental physics. Central to the technique is the assumption that the detected radio pulses can be used to accurately measure the rotation of the pulsar. Here we report on a broad-band variation in the pulse profile of the millisecond pulsar J1643-1224. A new component of emission suddenly appears in the pulse profile, decays over 4 months, and results in a permanently modified pulse shape. Profile variations such as these may be the origin of timing noise observed in other millisecond pulsars. The sensitivity of pulsar-timing observations to gravitational radiation can be increased by accounting for this variability.

  7. A Search for Radio Millisecond Pulsars

    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.

  8. The neutron star transient and millisecond pulsar in M28: from sub-luminous accretion to rotation-powered quiescence

    Linares, Manuel; Heinke, Craig; Wijnands, Rudy; Patruno, Alessandro; Altamirano, Diego; Homan, Jeroen; Bogdanov, Slavko; Pooley, David

    2013-01-01

    The X-ray transient IGR J18245-2452 in the globular cluster M28 contains the first neutron star (NS) seen to switch between rotation-powered and accretion-powered pulsations. We analyse its 2013 March-April 25d-long outburst as observed by Swift, which had a peak bolometric luminosity of ~6% of the Eddington limit (L$_{E}$), and give detailed properties of the thermonuclear burst observed on 2013 April 7. We also present a detailed analysis of new and archival Chandra data, which we use to study quiescent emission from IGR J18245-2452 between 2002 and 2013. Together, these observations cover almost five orders of magnitude in X-ray luminosity (L$_X$, 0.5-10 keV). The Swift spectrum softens during the outburst decay (photon index $\\Gamma$ from 1.3 above L$_X$/L$_{E}$=10$^{-2}$ to ~2.5 at L$_X$/L$_{E}$=10$^{-4}$), similar to other NS and black hole (BH) transients. At even lower luminosities, deep Chandra observations reveal hard ($\\Gamma$=1-1.5), purely non-thermal and highly variable X-ray emission in quiesce...

  9. Formation of black widows and redbacks -- two distinct populations of eclipsing binary millisecond pulsars

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Tauris, Thomas M; Han, Zhanwen

    2013-01-01

    Eclipsing binary millisecond pulsars (the so-called black widows and redbacks) can provide important information about accretion history, pulsar irradiation of their companion stars and the evolutionary link between accreting X-ray pulsars and isolated millisecond pulsars. However, the formation of such systems is not well understood, nor the difference in progenitor evolution between the two populations of black widows and redbacks. Whereas both populations have orbital periods between $0.1-1.0\\;{\\rm days}$ their companion masses differ by an order of magnitude. In this paper, we investigate the formation of these systems via evolution of converging low-mass X-ray binaries by employing the MESA stellar evolution code. Our results confirm that one can explain the formation of most of these eclipsing binary millisecond pulsars using this scenario. More notably, we find that the determining factor for producing either black widows or redbacks is the efficiency of the irradiation process, such that the redbacks ...

  10. A millisecond pulsar timing array

    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.

  11. Gemini optical observations of binary millisecond-pulsars

    Testa, V; Pallanca, C; Corongiu, A; Ferraro, F R

    2015-01-01

    Milli-second pulsars (MSPs) are rapidly spinning neutron stars, with spin periods P_s <= 10 ms, which have been most likely spun up after a phase of matter accretion from a companion star. In this work we present the results of the search for the companion stars of four binary milli-second pulsars, carried out with archival data from the Gemini South telescope. Based upon a very good positional coincidence with the pulsar radio coordinates, we likely identified the companion stars to three MSPs, namely PSRJ0614-3329 (g=21.95 +- 0.05), J1231-1411 (g=25.40 +-0.23), and J2017+0603 (g=24.72 +- 0.28). For the last pulsar (PSRJ0613-0200) the identification was hampered by the presence of a bright star (g=16 +- 0.03) at \\sim 2" from the pulsar radio coordinates and we could only set 3-sigma upper limits of g=25.0, r= 24.3, and i= 24.2 on the magnitudes of its companion star. The candidate companion stars to PSRJ0614-3329, J1231-1411, and J2017+0603 can be tentatively identified as He white dwarfs (WDs) on the bas...

  12. ASSESSING THE ROLE OF SPIN NOISE IN THE PRECISION TIMING OF MILLISECOND PULSARS

    We investigate rotational spin noise (referred to as timing noise) in non-accreting pulsars: millisecond pulsars, canonical pulsars, and magnetars. Particular attention is placed on quantifying the strength and non-stationarity of timing noise in millisecond pulsars because the long-term stability of these objects is required to detect nanohertz gravitational radiation. We show that a single scaling law is sufficient to characterize timing noise in millisecond and canonical pulsars while the same scaling law underestimates the levels of timing noise in magnetars. The scaling law, along with a detailed study of the millisecond pulsar B1937+21, leads us to conclude that timing noise is latent in most millisecond pulsars and will be measurable in many objects when better arrival time estimates are obtained over long data spans. The sensitivity of a pulsar timing array to gravitational radiation is strongly affected by any timing noise. We conclude that detection of proposed gravitational wave backgrounds will require the analysis of more objects than previously suggested over data spans that depend on the spectra of both the gravitational wave background and of the timing noise. It is imperative to find additional millisecond pulsars in current and future surveys in order to reduce the effects of timing noise.

  13. Phase Coherent Observations and Millisecond Pulsar Searches

    Shrauner, Jay Arthur

    1997-07-01

    new pulsars and detected 14 that were previously known. One of these new pulsars, PSR J0621+1002, is a millisecond pulsar with a relatively large mass companion. This system is of special interest because the relativistic advance of periastron should be measurable within a few years.

  14. Implications of the PSR 1257+12 Planetary System for Isolated Millisecond Pulsars

    Miller, M C; Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2000-01-01

    The first extrasolar planets were discovered in 1992 around the millisecond pulsar PSR 1257+12. We show that recent developments in the study of accretion onto magnetized stars, plus the existence of the innermost, moon-sized planet in the PSR 1257+12 system, suggest that the pulsar was born with approximately its current rotation frequency and magnetic moment. If so, this has important implications for the formation and evolution of neutron star magnetic fields as well as for the formation of planets around pulsars. In particular, it suggests that some and perhaps all isolated millisecond pulsars may have been born with high spin rates and low magnetic fields instead of having been recycled by accretion.

  15. Neutron Star Population Dynamics; 1, Millisecond Pulsars

    Cordes, J M; Chernoff, David F.

    1997-01-01

    We study the field millisecond pulsar (MSP) population to infer its intrinsic distribution in spin period and luminosity and to determine its spatial distribution within the Galaxy. Our likelihood analysis on data from extant surveys (22 pulsars with periods 0.65 ms (99% confidence), a period distribution proportional to P^{-2.0 +- 0.33} and a pseudo-luminosity distribution proportional to L_p^{-2.0 +- 0.2} (where L_p = flux density times distance^2, for L_p >= 1.1 mJy kpc^2). We find a vertical scale height 0.65{+0.16,-0.12} kpc. We use our results to estimate the total number and birthrate of MSPs in the disk of the Galaxy. We limit the density contribution of a diffuse halo-like component to <1% of the midplane value. The MSP velocity dispersion is smaller that that of young, long-period pulsars by about a factor of 5. Our best estimate of the 1D velocity kick that is unique to MSP evolution is approximately 40 km s^-1. We discuss the evolutionary relationship of MSPs and low-mass X-ray binaries and pr...

  16. The 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17511-3057 as seen by INTEGRAL, Swift and XMM-Newton

    Papitto, A; Sanchez-Fernandez, C; Romano, P; Torres, D F; Ferrigno, C; Kajava, J J E; Kuulkers, E

    2016-01-01

    We report on INTEGRAL, Swift and XMM-Newton observations of IGR J17511-3057 performed during the outburst that occurred between March 23 and April 25, 2015. The source reached a peak flux of 0.7(2)E-9 erg/cm$^2$/s and decayed to quiescence in approximately a month. The X-ray spectrum was dominated by a power-law with photon index between 1.6 and 1.8, which we interpreted as thermal Comptonization in an electron cloud with temperature > 20 keV . A broad ({\\sigma} ~ 1 keV) emission line was detected at an energy (E = 6.9$^{+0.2}_{-0.3}$ keV) compatible with the K{\\alpha} transition of ionized Fe, suggesting an origin in the inner regions of the accretion disk. The outburst flux and spectral properties shown during this outburst were remarkably similar to those observed during the previous accretion event detected from the source in 2009. Coherent pulsations at the pulsar spin period were detected in the XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL data, at a frequency compatible with the value observed in 2009. Assuming that the so...

  17. X-ray bounds on the r-mode amplitude in millisecond pulsars

    Schwenzer, Kai; Güver, Tolga; Vurgun, Eda

    2016-01-01

    r-mode astroseismology provides a unique way to study the internal composition of compact stars. Due to their precise timing, recycled millisecond radio pulsars present a particularly promising class of sources. Although their thermal properties are still poorly constrained, X-ray data is very useful for astroseismology since r-modes could strongly heat a star. Using known and new upper bounds on the temperatures and luminosities of several non-accreting millisecond radio pulsars we derive bounds on the r-mode amplitude as low as $\\alpha\\lesssim10^{-8}$ and discuss the impact on scenarios for their internal composition.

  18. Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

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

  19. A LOFAR Census of Millisecond Pulsars

    Kondratiev, V I; Hessels, J W T; Bilous, A V; Stappers, B W; Kramer, M; Keane, E F; Noutsos, A; Osłowski, S; Breton, R P; Hassall, T E; Alexov, A; Cooper, S; Falcke, H; Grießmeier, J -M; Karastergiou, A; Kuniyoshi, M; Pilia, M; Sobey, C; ter Veen, S; Weltevrede, P; Bell, M E; Broderick, J W; Corbel, S; Eislöffel, J; Markoff, S; Rowlinson, A; Swinbank, J D; Wijers, R A M J; Wijnands, R; Zarka, P

    2016-01-01

    We report the detection of 48 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) out of 75 observed thus far using the LOFAR in the frequency range 110-188 MHz. We have also detected three MSPs out of nine observed in the frequency range 38-77 MHz. This is the largest sample of MSPs ever observed at these low frequencies, and half of the detected MSPs were observed for the first time at frequencies below 200 MHz. We present the average pulse profiles of the detected MSPs, their effective pulse widths and flux densities, and compare these with higher observing frequencies. The LOFAR pulse profiles will be publicly available via the EPN Database of Pulsar Profiles. We also present average values of dispersion measures (DM) and discuss DM and profile variations. About 35% of the MSPs show strong narrow profiles, another 25% exhibit scattered profiles, and the rest are only weakly detected. A qualitative comparison of the LOFAR MSP profiles with those at higher radio frequencies shows constant separation between profile components. Simi...

  20. Cosmic-ray Positrons from Millisecond Pulsars

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    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

  2. An eccentric binary millisecond pulsar in the Galactic plane

    D.J. Champion; S.M. Ransom; P. Lazarus; F. Camilo; C. Bassa; V.M. Kaspi; D.J. Nice; P.C.C. Freire; I.H. Stairs; J. van Leeuwen; B.W. Stappers; J.M. Cordes; J.W.T. Hessels; D.R. Lorimer; Z. Arzoumanian; D.C. Backer; N.D.R. Bhat; S. Chatterjee; I. Cognard; J.S. Deneva; C.A. Faucher-Giguère; B.M. Gaensler; J. Han; F.A. Jenet; L. Kasian; V.I. Kondratiev; M. Kramer; J. Lazio; M.A. McLaughlin; A. Venkataraman; W. Vlemmings

    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

  3. Observations of Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory

    Jingbo Wang; Na Wang; Jianping Yuan; Zhiyong Liu

    2014-09-01

    We present the first results of radio timing observations of binary and millisecond pulsars in China. We have timed four binary pulsars for 9 years, using Nanshan 25-m radio telescope. The long time span has enabled us to determine their rotation and orbital parameters.

  4. The Aid of Optical Studies in Understanding Millisecond Pulsar Binaries

    Wadiasingh, Zorawar; Venter, Christo; Boettcher, Markus

    2016-01-01

    A large number of new "black widow" and "redback" energetic millisecond pulsars with irradiated stellar companions have been discovered through radio and optical searches of unidentified \\textit{Fermi} sources. Synchrotron emission, from particles accelerated up to several TeV in the intrabinary shock, exhibits modulation at the binary orbital period. Our simulated double-peaked X-ray light curves modulated at the orbital period, produced by relativistic Doppler-boosting along the intrabinary shock, are found to qualitatively match those observed in many sources. In this model, redbacks and transitional pulsar systems where the double-peaked X-ray light curve is observed at inferior conjunction have intrinsically different shock geometry than other millisecond pulsar binaries where the light curve is centered at superior conjunction. We discuss, and advocate, how current and future optical observations may aid in constraining the emission geometry, intrabinary shock and the unknown physics of pulsar winds.

  5. An Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsar in the Galactic Plane

    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.

  6. Was the millisecond pulsar in SN1987A spun up or born spinning fast?

    The discovery of an optical pulsar in SN1987A with a period of 1,968.629 Hz raises many interesting issues, chief among them being the question of how the pulsar came to acquire such a rapid rotation rate. Here we argue that this millisecond pulsar, like others observed previously, has been spun up by accretion. In this case the accreted angular momentum comes from the mixed mantle and helium core of the ejecta, of which roughly 0.1 Msolar fell back during the first day after the explosion. This sizeable mass, and hence angular momentum, of the re-imploded material is at least partly a consequence of the blue supergiant nature of the progenitor star. (author)

  7. Statistical Analysis of I Stokes Parameter of Millisecond Pulsars

    Panahi, Hossein; Eghdami, Issa; Monadi, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Using Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) and box counting method, we test spacial correlation and fractality of Polarization Pulse Profiles (PPPs) of 24 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) which were observed in Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project. DFA analysis indicates that MSPs' PPPs are persistent and the results of box counting method confirm the fractality in the majority of PPPs. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test indicates that isolated MSPs have more complex PPPs than binary ones. Then we appl...

  8. Cosmic-Lab: Optical companions to binary Millisecond Pulsars

    Pallanca, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond Pulsars (MSPs) are fast rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars. According to the "canonical recycling scenario", MSPs form in binary systems containing a neutron star which is spun up through mass accretion from the evolving companion. Therefore, the final stage consists of a binary made of a MSP and the core of the deeply peeled companion. In the last years, however an increasing number of systems deviating from these expectations has been discovered, thus strongly indicating that our understanding of MSPs is far to be complete. The identification of the optical companions to binary MSPs is crucial to constrain the formation and evolution of these objects. In dense environments such as Globular Clusters (GCs), it also allows us to get insights on the cluster internal dynamics. By using deep photometric data, acquired both from space and ground-based telescopes, we identified 5 new companions to MSPs. Three of them being located in GCs and two in the Galactic Field. The three new identification...

  9. Statistical Analysis of I Stokes Parameter of Millisecond Pulsars

    Panahi, Hossein; Monadi, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Using Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) and box counting method, we test spacial correlation and fractality of Polarization Pulse Profiles (PPPs) of 24 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) which were observed in Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project. DFA analysis indicates that MSPs' PPPs are persistent and the results of box counting method confirm the fractality in the majority of PPPs. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test indicates that isolated MSPs have more complex PPPs than binary ones. Then we apply our analysis on a random sample of normal pulsars. Comparing the results of our analysis on MSPs and normal pulsars shows that MSPs have more complex PPPs which is resulted from smaller angular half-width of the emission cone and more peaks in MSPs PPPs. On the other hand, high values of Hurst exponent in MSPs confirm compact emission regions in these pulsars.

  10. A glitch in the millisecond pulsar J0613-0200

    McKee, J W; 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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 ${-1.6(39) \\times 10^{-19}\\,\\text{Hz} \\ \\text{s}^{-1}}$ 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 ${\\Delta \

  11. Modelling the light curves of Fermi LAT millisecond pulsars

    Venter, C; Harding, AK; Grove, JE

    2014-01-01

    We modelled the radio and gamma-ray light curves of millisecond pulsars using outer gap, two-pole caustic, low-altitude slot gap, and pair-starved polar cap geometric models, combined with a semi-empirical conal radio model. We find that no model fits all cases, with the outer gap and two-pole caustic models providing best fits for comparable numbers of millisecond pulsar light curves. We find a broad distribution of best-fit inclination angles as well as a clustering at large observer angles. The outer gap model furthermore seems to require relatively larger inclination angles, while the two-pole caustic model hints at an inverse trend between inclination angle and pulsar spin-down luminosity.

  12. Progenitor neutron stars of the lightest and heaviest millisecond pulsars

    Fortin, M.; Bejger, M.; Haensel, P.; Zdunik, J. L.

    2016-02-01

    Context. The recent mass measurements of two binary millisecond pulsars, PSR J1614-2230 and PSR J0751+1807 with a mass M = 1.97 ± 0.04 M⊙ and M = 1.26 ± 0.14 M⊙, respectively, indicate a wide range of masses for such objects and possibly also a broad spectrum of masses of neutron stars born in core-collapse supernovae. Aims: Starting from the zero-age main sequence binary stage, we aim at inferring the birth masses of PSR J1614-2230 and PSR J0751+1807 by taking the differences in the evolutionary stages preceding their formation into account. Methods: Using simulations for the evolution of binary stars, we reconstruct the evolutionary tracks leading to the formation of PSR J1614-2230 and PSR J0751+1807. We analyse in detail the spin evolution due to the accretion of matter from a disk in the intermediate-mass/low-mass X-ray binary. We consider two equations of state of dense matter, one for purely nucleonic matter and the other one including a high-density softening due to the appearance of hyperons. Stationary and axisymmetric stellar configurations in general relativity are used, together with a recent magnetic torque model and observationally-motivated laws for the decay of magnetic field. Results: The estimated birth mass of the neutron stars PSR J0751+1807 and PSR J1614-2230 could be as low as 1.0 M⊙ and as high as 1.9 M⊙, respectively. These values depend weakly on the equation of state and the assumed model for the magnetic field and its accretion-induced decay. Conclusions: The masses of progenitor neutron stars of recycled pulsars span a broad interval from 1.0 M⊙ to 1.9 M⊙. Including the effect of a slow Roche-lobe detachment phase, which could be relevant for PSR J0751+1807, would make the lower mass limit even lower. A realistic theory for core-collapse supernovæ should account for this wide range of mass.

  13. A propeller model for the sub-luminous disk state of the transitional millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038

    Papitto, A

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of millisecond pulsars switching between states powered either by the rotation of their magnetic field or by the accretion of matter, has recently proved the tight link shared by millisecond radio pulsars and neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries. Transitional millisecond pulsars also show an enigmatic intermediate state in which the neutron star is surrounded by an accretion disk, it emits coherent X-ray pulsations, but is sub-luminous in X-rays with respect to accreting neutron stars, and is brighter in gamma-rays than millisecond pulsars in the rotation-powered state. Here, we model the X-ray and gamma-ray emission observed from PSR J1023+0038 in such a state based on the assumption that most of the disk in-flow is propelled away by the rapidly rotating neutron star magnetosphere, and that electrons can be accelerated to energies of a few GeV at the turbulent disk-magnetosphere boundary. We show that the synchrotron and self-synchrotron Compton emission coming from such a region, together ...

  14. Discovery of a Redback Millisecond Pulsar Candidate: 3FGL J0212.1+5320

    Li, Kwan-Lok; Hou, Xian; Mao, Jirong; Strader, Jay; Chomiuk, Laura; Tremou, Evangelia

    2016-01-01

    We present a multi-wavelength study of the unidentified Fermi object, 3FGL J0212.1+5320. Within the 95% error ellipse, Chandra detects a bright X-ray source, which has a low-mass optical counterpart (M 64% of the Roche-lobe. Spectroscopic data taken in 2015 from the Lijiang observatory show no evidence of strong emission lines, revealing the accretion is currently inactive (the pulsar state). While the X-ray luminosity and the X-ray-to-gamma-ray flux ratio are both high that are comparable to that of the two known gamma-ray transitional millisecond pulsars, 3FGL J0212.1+5320 could be a promising target to search for future transition to the accretion active state.

  15. On Detecting Millisecond Pulsars at the Galactic Center

    Macquart, Jean-Pierre; Kanekar, Nissim

    2015-06-01

    The lack of detected pulsars at the Galactic Center (GC) region is a long-standing mystery. We argue that the high stellar density in the central parsec around the GC is likely to result in a pulsar population dominated by millisecond pulsars (MSPs), similar to the situation in globular cluster environments. Earlier GC pulsar searches have been largely insensitive to such an MSP population, accounting for the lack of pulsar detections. We estimate the best search frequency for such an MSP population with present and upcoming broad-band radio telescopes for two possible scattering scenarios, the “weak-scattering” case suggested by the recent detection of a magnetar close to the GC, and the “strong-scattering” case, with the scattering screen located close to the GC. The optimal search frequencies are ≈8 GHz (weak-scattering) and ≈25 GHz (strong-scattering), for pulsars with periods 1-20 ms, assuming that GC pulsars have a luminosity distribution similar to that those in the rest of the Milky Way. We find that 10-30 hr integrations with the Very Large Array and the Green Bank Telescope would be sufficient to detect MSPs at the GC distance in the weak-scattering case. However, if the strong-scattering case is indeed applicable to the GC, observations with the full Square Kilometre Array would be needed to detect the putative MSP population.

  16. On Detecting Millisecond Pulsars at the Galactic Center

    Macquart, Jean-Pierre

    2015-01-01

    The lack of detected pulsars at the Galactic Center (GC) region is a long-standing mystery. We argue that the high stellar density in the central parsec around the GC is likely to result in a pulsar population dominated by millisecond pulsars (MSPs), similar to the situation in globular cluster environments. Earlier GC pulsar searches have been largely insensitive to such an MSP population, accounting for the lack of pulsar detections. We estimate the best search frequency for such an MSP population with present and upcoming broad-band radio telescopes for two possible scattering scenarios, the "weak-scattering" case suggested by the recent detection of a magnetar close to the GC, and the "strong-scattering" case, with the scattering screen located close to the GC. The optimal search frequencies are $\\approx 8$ GHz (weak-scattering) and $\\approx 25$ GHz (strong-scattering), for pulsars with periods 1-20 ms, assuming that GC pulsars have a luminosity distribution similar to that those in the rest of the Milky ...

  17. An eclipsing millisecond pulsar in the globular cluster Terzan 5

    We have discovered an eclipsing binary millisecond pulsar in the globular cluster Terzan 5. This, the second known eclipsing binary pulsar after PSR1957+20, has a pulse period of 11.56 ms and a very short orbital period of 1.8 hours. In contrast to PSR1957+20, where the eclipses occupy about 10 per cent of the orbital period, the eclipse duration in this pulsar is very variable and never less than one-third of the orbital period. The pulsar is in a circular orbit of radius 0.11 light seconds, which implies a minimum companion mass of 0.089 solar masses, about four times the companion mass of PSR1957+20. Timing observations suggest an identification of the pulsar with a variable continuum source located about 30 arcsec west of the cluster centre. These observations and the variable eclipse duration show that the eclipse is due to absorption or scattering in a tenuous wind which flows from the companion star. We have also detected a second pulsar in the direction of Terzan 5. This pulsar, which has a period of 442 ms, may also be a cluster member, but is more likely to be a foreground object. (author)

  18. Millisecond newly born pulsars as efficient accelerators of electrons

    Zaza Osmanov; Swadesh Mahajan; George Machabeli; Nino Chkheidze

    2015-01-01

    The newly born millisecond pulsars are investigated as possible energy sources for creating ultra-high energy electrons. The transfer of energy from the star rotation to high energy electrons takes place through the Landau damping of centrifugally driven (via a two stream instability) electrostatic Langmuir waves. Generated in the bulk magnetosphere plasma, such waves grow to high amplitudes, and then damp, very effectively, on relativistic electrons driving them to even higher energies. We s...

  19. Microarcsecond VLBI pulsar astrometry with PSRPI I. Two binary millisecond pulsars with white dwarf companions

    Deller, A T; Kaplan, D L; Goss, W M; Brisken, W F; Chatterjee, S; Cordes, J M; Janssen, G H; Lazio, T J W; Petrov, L; Stappers, B W; Lyne, A

    2016-01-01

    Model-independent distance constraints to binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are of great value to both the timing observations of the radio pulsars, and multiwavelength observations of their companion stars. Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) astrometry can be employed to provide these model-independent distances with very high precision via the detection of annual geometric parallax. Using the Very Long Baseline Array, we have observed two binary millisecond pulsars, PSR J1022+1001 and J2145-0750, over a two-year period and measured their distances to be 700 +14 -10 pc and 613 +16 -14 pc respectively. We use the well-calibrated distance in conjunction with revised analysis of optical photometry to tightly constrain the nature of their massive (M ~ 0.85 Msun) white dwarf companions. Finally, we show that several measurements of their parallax and proper motion obtained by pulsar timing array projects are incorrect, and investigate possible causes for the discrepancy.

  20. A millisecond pulsar in a stellar triple system

    Ransom, S M; 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

    2014-01-01

    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, B1620-26 (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 multi-wavelength 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 (1.4378(13) Msun, where Msun is the solar mass and the parentheses contain the uncertainty in the final decimal places) and the two white dwarf companions (0.19751(15) Msun and 0.4101(3) Msun), as well ...

  1. A millisecond pulsar in an extremely wide binary system

    Bassa, C G; 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; Oslowski, S; Perrodin, D; Sanidas, S; Shaifullah, G; Smits, R; Theureau, G; Tiburzi, C; Zhu, W W

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

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

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

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Long-term timing of four millisecond pulsars

    Janssen, G H; Bassa, C G; Cognard, I; Kramer, M; Theureau, G

    2010-01-01

    We have timed four millisecond pulses, PSRs J1721-2457, J1745-0952, J1810-2005, and J1918-0642, for up to a total of 10.5 years each using multiple telescopes in the European Pulsar Timing Array network: the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in The Netherlands, the Nancay Radio Telescope in France and the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank in the UK. The long time span has enabled us to measure the proper motions of J1745-0952 and J1918-0642, indicating that they have transverse velocities of 200(50) and 54(7) km/s respectively. We have obtained upper limits on the proper motion of J1721-2457 and J1810-2005, which imply that they have transverse velocities less than 140 and 400 km/s respectively. In all cases, the velocities lie in the range typical of millisecond pulsars. We present pulse profiles for each pulsar taken from observations at multiple frequencies in the range of 350 to 2600 MHz, and show that J1810-2005 shows significant profile evolution in this range. Using our multi-frequency observations, ...

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. BOOK REVIEW: Rotation and Accretion Powered Pulsars

    Kaspi, V. M.

    2008-03-01

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

  7. Detections of millisecond pulsars with the FERMI Large Area Telescope

    The Fermi observatory was launched on June 11, 2008. It hosts the Large Area Telescope (LAT), sensitive to gamma-ray photons from 20 MeV to over 300 GeV. When the LAT began its activity, nine young and energetic pulsars were known in gamma ray range. At least several tens of pulsar detections by the LAT were predicted before launch. The LAT also allowed the study of millisecond pulsars (MSPs), never firmly detected in gamma ray range before Fermi. This thesis first presents the pulsar timing campaign for the LAT, in collaboration with large radio telescopes and X-ray telescopes, allowing for high sensitivity pulsed searches. Furthermore, it lead to quasi-homogeneous coverage of the galactic MSPs, so that the search for pulsations in LAT data for this population of stars was not affected by an a-priori bias. We present a search for pulsations from these objects in LAT data. For the first time, eight galactic MSPs have been detected as sources of pulsed gamma-ray emission over 100 MeV. In addition, a couple of good candidates for future detection are seen. A similar search for globular cluster MSPs was not successful so far. Comparison of the phase-aligned gamma-ray and radio light curves, as well as the spectral shapes, leads to the conclusion that their gamma-ray emission is similar to that of normal pulsars, and is probably produced in the outer-magnetosphere. This discovery suggests that many unresolved gamma-ray sources are unknown MSPs. (author)

  8. On the formation of eccentric millisecond pulsars with helium white-dwarf companions

    Antoniadis, John

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) orbiting helium white-dwarfs (WD) in eccentric orbits challenge the established binary-evolution paradigm that predicts efficient orbital circularization during the mass-transfer episode that spins up the pulsar. Freire and Tauris (2014) recently proposed that these binary MSPs may instead form from the rotationally-delayed accretion-induced collapse of a massive WD. This scenario predicts that eccentric systems preferably host low-mass pulsars and travel with small systemic velocities -- in tension with new observational constraints. Here, I show that a substantial growth in eccentricity may alternatively arise from the dynamical interaction of the binary with a circumbinary disk. Such a disk may form from ejected donor material during hydrogen flash episodes, when the neutron star is already an active radio pulsar and tidal forces can no longer circularize the binary. I demonstrate that a short-lived (10^4-10^5 yrs disk can result to eccentricities of e ~ 0.01-0.15 for orbital per...

  9. Timing of five millisecond pulsars discovered in the PALFA survey

    Scholz, P; Lyne, A G; Stappers, B W; Bogdanov, S; Cordes, J M; Crawford, F; Ferdman, R D; Freire, P C C; Hessels, J W T; Lorimer, D R; Stairs, I H; Allen, B; Brazier, A; Camilo, F; Cardoso, R F; Chatterjee, S; Deneva, J S; Jenet, F A; Karako-Argaman, C; Knispel, B; Lazarus, P; Lee, K J; van Leeuwen, J; Lynch, R; Madsen, E C; McLaughlin, M A; Ransom, S M; Siemens, X; Spitler, L G; Stovall, K; Swiggum, J K; Venkataraman, A; Zhu, W W

    2015-01-01

    We present the discovery of five millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from the PALFA Galactic plane survey using Arecibo. Four of these (PSRs J0557+1551, J1850+0244, J1902+0300, and J1943+2210) are binary pulsars whose companions are likely white dwarfs, and one (PSR J1905+0453) is isolated. Phase-coherent timing solutions, ranging from $\\sim$1 to $\\sim$3 years in length, and based on observations from the Jodrell Bank and Arecibo telescopes, provide precise determinations of spin, orbital, and astrometric parameters. All five pulsars have large dispersion measures ($>100$ pc cm$^{-3}$, within the top 20% of all known Galactic field MSPs) and are faint (1.4 GHz flux density < 0.1 mJy, within the faintest 5% of all known Galactic field MSPs), illustrating PALFA's ability to find increasingly faint, distant MSPs in the Galactic plane. In particular, PSR J1850+0244 has a dispersion measure of 540 pc cm$^{-3}$, the highest of all known MSPs. Such distant, faint MSPs are important input for accurately modeling the total ...

  10. Ultraviolet Emission from the Millisecond Pulsar J0437-4715

    Kargaltsev, O; Romani, R W

    2004-01-01

    We observed PSR J0437-4715 with the FUV-MAMA detector of the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer (STIS) to measure the pulsar's spectrum and pulsations. For the first time, UV emission from a millisecond pulsar is detected. The measured flux, $(2.0\\pm 0.2)\\times 10^{-15}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ in the 1150-1700 \\AA range, corresponds to the luminosity $L_{\\rm FUV}=(4.7\\pm 0.5)\\times 10^{27}$ erg s$^{-1}$, for the distance of 140 pc and negligible interstellar extinction. The shape of the observed spectrum suggests thermal emission from the neutron star surface with a surprisingly high temperature of about $1\\times 10^5$ K, above the upper limit on the surface temperature of the younger ``ordinary'' pulsar J0108-1431. For the few-Gyr-old J0437-4715, such a temperature requires a heating mechanism to operate. The spectrum of J0437-4715 shows marginal evidence of an emission line at 1372 \\AA, which might be a gravitationally redshifted Zeeman component of the Hydrogen Ly$\\alpha$ line in a magnetic field ...

  11. Cyclic spectroscopy of the millisecond pulsar, B1937+21

    Walker, Mark A. [Manly Astrophysics, 3/22 Cliff Street, Manly 2095 (Australia); Demorest, Paul B. [National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Van Straten, Willem, E-mail: Mark.Walker@manlyastrophysics.org, E-mail: pdemores@nrao.edu, E-mail: willem@swin.edu.au [Swinburne University of Technology, Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Hawthorn 3122 (Australia)

    2013-12-20

    Cyclic spectroscopy is a signal processing technique that was originally developed for engineering applications and has recently been introduced into the field of pulsar astronomy. It is a powerful technique with many attractive features, not least of which is the explicit rendering of information about the relative phases in any filtering imposed on the signal, thus making holography a more straightforward proposition. Here we present methods for determining optimum estimates of both the filter itself and the statistics of the unfiltered signal, starting from a measured cyclic spectrum. In the context of radio pulsars these quantities tell us the impulse response of the interstellar medium (ISM) and the intrinsic pulse profile. We demonstrate our techniques by application to 428 MHz Arecibo data on the millisecond pulsar B1937+21, obtaining the pulse profile free from the effects of interstellar scattering. As expected, the intrinsic profile exhibits main- and inter-pulse components that are narrower than they appear in the scattered profile; it also manifests some weak, but sharp, features that are revealed for the first time at low frequency. We determine the structure of the received electric field envelope as a function of delay and Doppler shift. Our delay Doppler image has a high dynamic range and displays some pronounced, low-level power concentrations at large delays. These concentrations imply strong clumpiness in the ionized ISM, on AU-size scales, which must adversely affect the timing of B1937+21.

  12. Timing of Five PALFA-Discovered Millisecond Pulsars

    Stovall, K; Bogdanov, S; Brazier, A; Camilo, F; Cardoso, F; Chatterjee, S; Cordes, J M; Crawford, F; Deneva, J S; Ferdman, R; Freire, P C C; Hessels, J W T; Jenet, F; Kaplan, D L; Karako-Argaman, C; Kaspi, V M; Knispel, B; Kotulla, R; Lazarus, P; Lee, K J; van Leeuwen, J; Lynch, R; Lyne, A G; Madsen, E; McLaughlin, M A; Patel, C; Ransom, S M; Scholz, P; Siemens, X; Stairs, I H; Stappers, B W; Swiggum, J; Zhu, W W; Venkataraman, A

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery and timing results for five millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from the Arecibo PALFA survey: PSRs J1906+0055, J1914+0659, J1933+1726, J1938+2516, and J1957+2516. Timing observations of the 5 pulsars were conducted with the Arecibo and Lovell telescopes for time spans ranging from 1.5 to 3.3 yr. All of the MSPs except one (PSR J1914+0659) are in binary systems with low eccentricities. PSR J1957+2516 is likely a redback pulsar, with a ~0.1 $M_\\odot$ companion and possible eclipses that last ~10% of the orbit. The position of PSR J1957+2516 is also coincident with a NIR source. All 5 MSPs are distant (>3.1 kpc) as determined from their dispersion measures, and none of them show evidence of $\\gamma$-ray pulsations in a search of Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope data. These 5 MSPs bring the total number of MSPs discovered by the PALFA survey to 26 and further demonstrate the power of this survey in finding distant, highly dispersed MSPs deep in the Galactic plane.

  13. The Parkes multibeam pulsar survey: VII. Timing of four millisecond pulsars and the underlying spin period distribution of the Galactic millisecond pulsar population

    Lorimer, D R; Manchester, R N; Possenti, A; Lyne, A G; McLaughlin, M A; Kramer, M; Hobbs, G; Stairs, I H; Burgay, M; Eatough, R P; Keith, M J; Faulkner, A J; D'Amico, N; Camilo, F; Corongiu, A; Crawford, F

    2015-01-01

    We present timing observations of four millisecond pulsars discovered in the Parkes 20-cm multibeam pulsar survey of the Galactic plane. PSRs J1552-4937 and J1843-1448 are isolated objects with spin periods of 6.28 and 5.47 ms respectively. PSR J1727-2946 is in a 40-day binary orbit and has a spin period of 27 ms. The 4.43-ms pulsar J1813-2621 is in a circular 8.16-day binary orbit around a low-mass companion star with a minimum companion mass of 0.2 solar masses. Combining these results with detections from five other Parkes multibeam surveys, gives a well-defined sample of 56 pulsars with spin periods below 20 ms. We develop a likelihood analysis to constrain the functional form which best describes the underlying distribution of spin periods for millisecond pulsars. The best results were obtained with a log-normal distribution. A gamma distribution is less favoured, but still compatible with the observations. Uniform, power-law and Gaussian distributions are found to be inconsistent with the data. Galactic...

  14. Rotation-induced deep crustal heating of millisecond pulsars

    Gusakov, M E; Reisenegger, A

    2015-01-01

    The spin-down of a neutron star, e.g. due to magneto-dipole losses, results in compression of the stellar matter and induces nuclear reactions at phase transitions between different nuclear species in the crust. We show that this mechanism is effective in heating recycled pulsars, in which the previous accretion process has already been compressing the crust, so it is not in nuclear equilibrium. We calculate the corresponding emissivity and confront it with available observations, showing that it might account for the likely thermal ultraviolet emission of PSR J0437-4715.

  15. Millisecond newly born pulsars as efficient accelerators of electrons

    Osmanov, Z; Machabeli, G; Chkheidze, N

    2015-01-01

    The newly born millisecond pulsars are investigated as possible energy sources for creating ultra-high energy electrons. The transfer of energy from the star rotation to high energy electrons takes place through the Landau damping of centrifugally driven (via a two stream instability) electrostatic Langmuir waves. Generated in the bulk magnetosphere plasma, such waves grow to high amplitudes, and then damp, very effectively, on relativistic electrons driving them to even higher energies. We show that the rate of transfer of energy is so efficient that no energy losses might affect the mechanism of particle acceleration; the electrons might achieve energies of the order of 10^{18}eV for parameters characteristic of a young star.

  16. Searches for millisecond pulsar candidates among the unidentified Fermi objects

    Hui, C Y; Hu, C P; Lin, L C C; Li, K L; Kong, A K H; Tam, P H T; Takata, J; Cheng, K S; Jin, Ruolan; Yen, T -C; Kim, Chunglee

    2015-01-01

    Here we report the results of searching millisecond pulsar (MSP) candidates from the Fermi LAT second source catalog (2FGL). Seven unassociated $\\gamma-$ray sources in this catalog are identified as promising MSP candidates based on their $\\gamma$-ray properties. Through the X-ray analysis, we have detected possible X-ray counterparts, localized to an arcsecond accuracy. We have systematically estimated their X-ray fluxes and compared with the corresponding $\\gamma$-ray fluxes. The X-ray to $\\gamma$-ray flux ratios for 2FGL J1653.6-0159 and 2FGL J1946.4-5402 are comparable with the typical value for pulsars. For 2FGL J1625.2-0020, 2FGL J1653.6-0159 and 2FGL J1946.4-5402, their candidate X-ray counterparts are bright enough for performing a detailed spectral and temporal analysis to discriminate their thermal/non thermal nature and search for the periodic signal. We have also searched for possible optical/IR counterparts at the X-ray positions. For the optical/IR source coincident with the brightest X-ray obje...

  17. Cool white dwarf companions to four millisecond pulsars

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

    2015-01-01

    We report on photometric and spectroscopic observations of white dwarf companions to four binary radio millisecond pulsars, leading to the discovery of companions to PSRs J0614-3329, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We place limits on the brightness of the companion to PSR J0613-0200. Optical spectroscopy of the companion to PSR J0614-3329 identifies it as a DA type white dwarf with a temperature of Teff=6460+-80 K, a surface gravity log g=7.0+-0.2 cgs and a mass of Mwd=0.24+-0.04 Msun. We find that the distance to PSR J0614-3329 is smaller than previously estimated, removing the need for the pulsar to have an unrealistically high gamma-ray efficiency. Comparing the photometry with predictions from white dwarf cooling models allows us to estimate temperatures and cooling ages of the companions to PSRs J0613-0200, J1231-1411 and J2017+0603. We find that the white dwarfs in these systems are cool Teff5 Gyr. Thin Hydrogen envelopes are required for these white dwarfs to cool to the observed temperatures, and we sugges...

  18. The millisecond pulsar contribution to the rising positron fraction

    Venter, Christo; Harding, Alice K; Gonthier, Peter L; Buesching, Ingo

    2015-01-01

    Pair cascades from millisecond pulsars (MSPs) may be a primary source of Galactic electrons and positrons that contribute to the increase in positron flux above 10 GeV as observed by PAMELA and AMS-02. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has increased the number of detected gamma-ray MSPs tremendously. Light curve modelling furthermore favours abundant pair production in MSP magnetospheres, so that models of primary cosmic-ray positrons from pulsars should include the contribution from the larger numbers of MSPs and their potentially higher positron output per source. We model the contribution of Galactic MSPs to the terrestrial cosmic-ray electron / positron flux by using a population synthesis code to predict the source properties of present-day MSPs. We simulate pair spectra assuming an offset-dipole magnetic field which boosts pair creation rates. We also consider positrons and electrons that have additionally been accelerated to very high energies in the strong intrabinary shocks in black widow (BW) and...

  19. Population synthesis of radio and gamma-ray millisecond pulsars using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques

    Gonthier, Peter L.; Koh, Yew-Meng; Kust Harding, Alice

    2016-04-01

    We present preliminary results of a new population synthesis of millisecond pulsars (MSP) from the Galactic disk using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques to better understand the model parameter space. We include empirical radio and gamma-ray luminosity models that are dependent on the pulsar period and period derivative with freely varying exponents. The magnitudes of the model luminosities are adjusted to reproduce the number of MSPs detected by a group of thirteen radio surveys as well as the MSP birth rate in the Galaxy and the number of MSPs detected by Fermi. We explore various high-energy emission geometries like the slot gap, outer gap, two pole caustic and pair starved polar cap models. The parameters associated with the birth distributions for the mass accretion rate, magnetic field, and period distributions are well constrained. With the set of four free parameters, we employ Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations to explore the model parameter space. We present preliminary comparisons of the simulated and detected distributions of radio and gamma-ray pulsar characteristics. We estimate the contribution of MSPs to the diffuse gamma-ray background with a special focus on the Galactic Center.We express our gratitude for the generous support of the National Science Foundation (RUI: AST-1009731), Fermi Guest Investigator Program and the NASA Astrophysics Theory and Fundamental Program (NNX09AQ71G).

  20. How to get the reduced B fields of millisecond pulsars: Flux expulsion by spindown before the LMXB phase

    Alpar, Mehmet Ali; Gügercinoǧlu, Erbil

    2016-07-01

    The physical interaction between quantized flux lines of the Type II proton superconductor and the quantized vortex lines of the neutron superfluid is re-visited. Srinivasan et al. (1990) had proposed that this interaction led to reduction of the magnetic field to the B ˜10^9 G range as the flux lines were expelled together with vortex lines during the spindown of the neutron star in an early epoch of binary evolution. The model is discussed with reference to spindown by the wind from the companion prior to the Roche lobe filling LMXB phase. An evolutionary model for the magnetic field and the rotation rate is presented, with application to the 11 Hz accreting pulsar in the LMXB IGR J17480-2446 in Terzan 5 (Patruno et al 2012) as well as 'standard' accreting and radio millisecond pulsar evolution.

  1. The Contribution of Millisecond Pulsars to the Galactic Cosmic-Ray Lepton Spectrum

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

    2014-01-01

    Pulsars are believed to be sources of relativistic electrons and positrons. The abundance of detections of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars by Fermi Large Area Telescope coupled with their light curve characteristics that imply copious pair production in their magnetospheres, motivated us to investigate this old pulsar population as a source of Galactic electrons and positrons and their contribution to the enhancement in cosmic-ray positron flux at GeV energies. We use a population synthesis code to predict the source properties (number, position, and power) of the present-day Galactic millisecond pulsars, taking into account the latest Fermi and radio observations to calibrate the model output. Next, we simulate pair cascade spectra from these pulsars using a model that invokes an offset-dipole magnetic field. We assume free escape of the pairs from the pulsar environment. We then compute the cumulative spectrum of transported electrons and positrons at Earth, following their diffusion and energy losses as they...

  2. Identification of Candidate Millisecond Pulsars from Fermi LAT Observations

    Dai, Xuejie; Jithesh, V; Xing, Yi

    2016-01-01

    We report our detailed data analysis for 39 $\\gamma$-ray sources selected from the 992 unassociated sources in the \\textit{Fermi} Large Area Telescope (LAT) third source catalog. The selection criteria, which were set for finding candidate millisecond pulsars (MSPs), are non-variables with curved spectra and $>$5$^{\\circ}$ Galactic latitudes. From our analysis, 24 sources were found to be point-like sources not contaminated by background or nearby unknown sources. Three of them, J1544.6$-$1125, J1625.1$-$0021, and J1653.6$-$0158, have been previously studied, indicating that they are likely MSPs. The spectra of J0318.1+0252 and J2053.9+2922 do not have properties similar to that of known $\\gamma$-ray MSPs, and we thus suggest that they are not MSPs. Analysis of archival X-ray data for most of the 24 sources were also conducted. Four sources were found with X-ray objects in their error circles, and 16 with no detection. The ratios between the $\\gamma$-ray fluxes and X-ray fluxes or flux upper limits are genera...

  3. Identification of candidate millisecond pulsars from Fermi LAT observations

    Dai, Xue-Jie; Wang, Zhong-Xiang; Vadakkumthani, Jithesh; Xing, Yi

    2016-06-01

    We report our detailed data analysis of 39 γ-ray sources selected from the 992 unassociated sources in the third Fermi Large Area Telescope Third Source Catalog. The selection criteria, which were set for finding candidate millisecond pulsars (MSPs), are non-variables with curved spectra and >5° Galactic latitudes. From our analysis, 24 sources were found to be point-like sources not contaminated by background or nearby unknown sources. Three of them, J1544.6–1125, J1625.1–0021 and J1653.6–0158, have been previously studied, indicating that they are likely MSPs. The spectra of J0318.1+0252 and J2053.9+2922 do not have properties similar to known γ-ray MSPs, and we thus suggest that they are not MSPs. Analysis of archival X-ray data for most of the 24 sources was also conducted. Four sources were found with X-ray objects in their error circles, and 16 with no detection. The ratios between the γ-ray fluxes and X-ray fluxes or flux upper limits are generally lower than those of known γ-ray MSPs, suggesting that if the γ-ray sources are MSPs, none of the X-ray objects are their counterparts. Deep X-ray or radio observations of these sources are needed in order to identify their MSP nature.

  4. NuSTAR Observations of the State Transition of Millisecond Pulsar Binary PSR J1023+0038

    Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Yang, Chengwei; An, Hongjun;

    2014-01-01

    We report NuSTAR observations of the millisecond pulsar-low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) transition system PSR J1023+0038 from 2013 June and October, before and after the formation of an accretion disk around the neutron star. Between June 10 and 12, a few days to two weeks before the radio disappear...... state changes in the similar transition systems PSR J1824-2452I and XSS J1227.0-4859 and discuss possible interpretations based on the transitions in the inner disk....

  5. High-precision timing of 42 millisecond pulsars with the European Pulsar Timing Array

    Desvignes, G; Lentati, L; Verbiest, J P W; Champion, D J; Stappers, B W; Janssen, G H; Lazarus, P; Osłowski, S; Babak, S; Bassa, C G; Brem, P; Burgay, M; Cognard, I; Gair, J R; Graikou, E; Guillemot, L; Hessels, J W T; Jessner, A; Jordan, C; Karuppusamy, R; Kramer, M; Lassus, A; Lazaridis, K; Lee, K J; Liu, K; Lyne, A G; McKee, J; Mingarelli, C M F; Perrodin, D; Petiteau, A; Possenti, A; Purver, M B; Rosado, P A; Sanidas, S; Sesana, A; Shaifullah, G; Smits, R; Taylor, S R; Theureau, G; Tiburzi, C; van Haasteren, R; Vecchio, A

    2016-01-01

    We report on the high-precision timing of 42 radio millisecond pulsars (MSPs) observed by the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). This EPTA Data Release 1.0 extends up to mid-2014 and baselines range from 7-18 years. It forms the basis for the stochastic gravitational-wave background, anisotropic background, and continuous-wave limits recently presented by the EPTA elsewhere. The Bayesian timing analysis performed with TempoNest yields the detection of several new parameters: seven parallaxes, nine proper motions and, in the case of six binary pulsars, an apparent change of the semi-major axis. We find the NE2001 Galactic electron density model to be a better match to our parallax distances (after correction from the Lutz-Kelker bias) than the M2 and M3 models by Schnitzeler (2012). However, we measure an average uncertainty of 80\\% (fractional) for NE2001, three times larger than what is typically assumed in the literature. We revisit the transverse velocity distribution for a set of 19 isolated and 57 bina...

  6. An eclipsing millisecond pulsar with a possible main-sequence companion in NGC 6397

    D'Amico, N; Manchester, R N; Sarkissian, J M; Lyne, A G; Camilo, F M

    2001-01-01

    We present the results of one year of pulse timing observations of PSR J1740-5340, an eclipsing millisecond pulsar located in the globular cluster NGC 6397. We have obtained detailed orbital parameters and a precise position for the pulsar. The radio pulsar signal shows frequent interactions with the atmosphere of the companion, and suffers significant and strongly variable delays and intensity variations over a wide range of orbital phases. These characteristics and the binary parameters indicate that the companion may be a bloated main-sequence star or the remnant (still filling its Roche lobe) of the star that spun up the pulsar. In both cases, this would be the first binary millisecond pulsar system with such a companion.

  7. High-precision timing of 42 millisecond pulsars with the European Pulsar Timing Array

    Desvignes, G.; Caballero, R. N.; Lentati, L.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Champion, D. J.; Stappers, B. W.; Janssen, G. H.; Lazarus, P.; Osłowski, S.; Babak, S.; Bassa, C. G.; Brem, P.; Burgay, M.; Cognard, I.; Gair, J. R.; Graikou, E.; Guillemot, L.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Jessner, A.; Jordan, C.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kramer, M.; Lassus, A.; Lazaridis, K.; Lee, K. J.; Liu, K.; Lyne, A. G.; McKee, J.; Mingarelli, C. M. F.; Perrodin, D.; Petiteau, A.; Possenti, A.; Purver, M. B.; Rosado, P. A.; Sanidas, S.; Sesana, A.; Shaifullah, G.; Smits, R.; Taylor, S. R.; Theureau, G.; Tiburzi, C.; van Haasteren, R.; Vecchio, A.

    2016-05-01

    We report on the high-precision timing of 42 radio millisecond pulsars (MSPs) observed by the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). This EPTA Data Release 1.0 extends up to mid-2014 and baselines range from 7-18 yr. It forms the basis for the stochastic gravitational-wave background, anisotropic background, and continuous-wave limits recently presented by the EPTA elsewhere. The Bayesian timing analysis performed with TEMPONEST yields the detection of several new parameters: seven parallaxes, nine proper motions and, in the case of six binary pulsars, an apparent change of the semimajor axis. We find the NE2001 Galactic electron density model to be a better match to our parallax distances (after correction from the Lutz-Kelker bias) than the M2 and M3 models by Schnitzeler. However, we measure an average uncertainty of 80 per cent (fractional) for NE2001, three times larger than what is typically assumed in the literature. We revisit the transverse velocity distribution for a set of 19 isolated and 57 binary MSPs and find no statistical difference between these two populations. We detect Shapiro delay in the timing residuals of PSRs J1600-3053 and J1918-0642, implying pulsar and companion masses m_p=1.22_{-0.35}^{+0.5} M_{⊙}, m_c = 0.21_{-0.04}^{+0.06} M_{⊙} and m_p=1.25_{-0.4}^{+0.6} M_{⊙}, m_c = 0.23_{-0.05}^{+0.07} M_{⊙}, respectively. Finally, we use the measurement of the orbital period derivative to set a stringent constraint on the distance to PSRs J1012+5307 and J1909-3744, and set limits on the longitude of ascending node through the search of the annual-orbital parallax for PSRs J1600-3053 and J1909-3744.

  8. DISCOVERY OF TWO MILLISECOND PULSARS IN FERMI SOURCES WITH THE NANCAY RADIO TELESCOPE

    We report the discovery of two millisecond pulsars in a search for radio pulsations at the positions of Fermi-Large Area Telescope sources with no previously known counterparts, using the Nancay Radio Telescope. The two millisecond pulsars, PSRs J2017+0603 and J2302+4442, have rotational periods of 2.896 and 5.192 ms and are both in binary systems with low-eccentricity orbits and orbital periods of 2.2 and 125.9 days, respectively, suggesting long recycling processes. Gamma-ray pulsations were subsequently detected for both objects, indicating that they power the associated Fermi sources in which they were found. The gamma-ray light curves and spectral properties are similar to those of previously detected gamma-ray millisecond pulsars. Detailed modeling of the observed radio and gamma-ray light curves shows that the gamma-ray emission seems to originate at high altitudes in their magnetospheres. Additionally, X-ray observations revealed the presence of an X-ray source at the position of PSR J2302+4442, consistent with thermal emission from a neutron star. These discoveries along with the numerous detections of radio-loud millisecond pulsars in gamma rays suggest that many Fermi sources with no known counterpart could be unknown millisecond pulsars.

  9. The accretion flow to the intermittent accreting ms pulsar, HETE J1900.1-2455, as observed by XMM-Newton and RXTE

    Papitto, A.; D'Aì, A.; T. Di Salvo; Egron, E.; Bozzo, E.; Burderi, L.; Iaria, R.; Riggio, A.; Menna, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    We present a study of the accretion flow to the intermittent accreting millisecond pulsar, HETE J1900.1-2455, based on observations performed simultaneously by XMM-Newton and RXTE. The 0.33-50 keV spectrum is described by the sum of a hard Comptonized component originated in an optically thin {\\tau}~1 corona, a soft kTin~0.2 keV component interpreted as accretion disc emission, and of disc reflection of the hard component. Two emission features are detected at energies of 0.98(1) and 6.58(7) ...

  10. The noise properties of 42 millisecond pulsars from the European Pulsar Timing Array and their impact on gravitational wave searches

    Caballero, R N; Lentati, L; Desvignes, G; Champion, D J; Verbiest, J P W; Janssen, G H; Stappers, B W; Kramer, M; Lazarus, P; Possenti, A; Tiburzi, C; Perrodin, D; Osłowski, S; Babak, S; Bassa, C G; Brem, P; Burgay, M; Cognard, I; Gair, J R; Graikou, E; Guillemot, L; Hessels, J W T; Karuppusamy, R; Lassus, A; Liu, K; McKee, J; Mingarelli, C M F; Petiteau, A; Purver, M B; Rosado, P A; Sanidas, S; Sesana, A; Shaifullah, G; Smits, R; Taylor, S R; Theureau, G; van Haasteren, R; Vecchio, A

    2015-01-01

    The sensitivity of Pulsar Timing Arrays to gravitational waves depends critically on the noise present in the individual pulsar timing data. Noise may be either intrinsic or extrinsic to the pulsar. Intrinsic sources of noise might come from rotational instabilities, for example. Extrinsic sources of noise include contributions from physical processes which are not sufficiently well modelled, for example, dispersion and scattering effects, analysis errors and instrumental instabilities. We present the results from a noise analysis for 42 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) observed with the European Pulsar Timing Array. For characterising the low-frequency, stochastic and achromatic noise component, or "timing noise", we employ two methods, based on Bayesian and frequentist statistics. For 25 MSPs, we achieve statistically significant measurements of their timing noise parameters and find that the two methods give consistent results. For the remaining 17 MSPs, we place upper limits on the timing noise amplitude at the...

  11. Prospects for Neutron Star Equation of State Constraints using "Recycled" Millisecond Pulsars

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    Rotation-powered "recycled" millisecond pulsars are a variety of rapidly-spinning neutron stars that typically show thermal X-ray radiation due to the heated surface of their magnetic polar caps. Detailed numerical modeling of the rotation-induced thermal X-ray pulsations observed from recycled millisecond pulsars, including all relevant relativistic and stellar atmospheric effects, has been identified as a promising approach towards an astrophysical determination of the true neutron star mass-radius relation, and by extension the state of cold matter at densities exceeding those of atomic nuclei. Herein, I review the basic model and methodology commonly used to extract information regarding neutron star structure from the pulsed X-ray radiation observed from millisecond pulsars. I also summarize the results of past X-ray observations of these objects and the prospects for precision neutron star mass-radius measurements with the upcoming Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) X-ray timing mission.

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

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

    2009-08-14

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

  13. A Population of Gamma-Ray Millisecond Pulsars Seen with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

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

  14. Detection and Flux Density Measurements of the Millisecond Pulsar J2145-0750 below 100 MHz

    Dowell, J; Taylor, G B; Blythe, J N; Clarke, T; Craig, J; Ellingson, S W; Helmboldt, J F; Henning, P A; Lazio, T J W; Schinzel, F; Stovall, K; Wolfe, C N

    2013-01-01

    We present flux density measurements and pulse profiles for the millisecond pulsar PSR J2145-0750 spanning 37 to 81 MHz using data obtained from the first station of the Long Wavelength Array. These measurements represent the lowest frequency detection of pulsed emission from a millisecond pulsar to date. We find that the pulse profile is similar to that observed at 102 MHz. We also find that the flux density spectrum between ~40 MHz to 5 GHz is suggestive of a break and may be better fit by a model that includes spectral curvature with a rollover around 730 MHz rather than a single power law.

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

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

    2013-01-01

    In the last few years, over 43 millisecond radio pulsars have been discovered by targeted searches of unidentified gamma-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 modelling 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 irra...

  16. Optical and Infrared Lightcurve Modeling of the Gamma-ray Millisecond Pulsar 2FGL J2339.6-0532

    Yen, Tzu-Ching; Kong, Albert Kwok-Hing; Yatsu, Yoichi; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Nagayama, Takahiro; Oister

    2013-09-01

    We report the detection of a quasi-sinusoidally modulated optical flux with a period of 4.6343 hour in the optical and infrared band of the Fermi source 2FGL J2339.7-0531. Comparing the multi-wavelength observations, we suggest that 2FGL J2339.7- 0531 is a γ-ray emitting millisecond pulsar (MSP) in a binary system with an optically visible late-type companion accreted by the pulsar, where the MSP is responsible for the γ-ray emission while the optical and infrared emission originate from the heated side of the companion. Based on the optical properties, the companion star is believed to be heated by the pulsar and reaches peak magnitude when the heated side faces the observer. We conclude that 2FGL J2339.7-0531 is a member of a subclass of γ-ray emitting pulsars -the "black widows"- recently revealed to be evaporating their companions in the late-stage of recycling as a prominent group of these newly revealed Fermi sources.

  17. Do we see accreting magnetars in X-ray pulsars?

    Postnov K.A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Strong magnetic field of accreting neutron stars (1014 G is hard to probe by Xray spectroscopy but can be indirectly inferred from spin-up/spin-down measurement in X-ray pulsars. The existing observations of slowly rotating X-ray pulsars are discussed. It is shown that magnetic fields of neutron stars derived from these observations (or lower limits in some cases fall within the standard 1012-1013 G range. Claims about the evidence for accreting magnetars are critically discussed in the light of recent progress in understanding of accretion onto slowly rotating neutron stars in the subsonic regime.

  18. Optical Identification of He White Dwarfs Orbiting Four Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

    Cadelano, M.; Pallanca, C.; Ferraro, F. R.; Salaris, M.; Dalessandro, E.; Lanzoni, B.; Freire, P. C. C.

    2015-10-01

    We used ultra-deep UV observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope to search for optical companions to binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. We identified four new counterparts (to MSPs 47TucQ, 47TucS, 47TucT, and 47TucY) and confirmed those already known (to MSPs 47TucU and 47TucW). In the color-magnitude diagram, the detected companions are located in a region between the main sequence and the CO white dwarf (WD) cooling sequences, consistent with the cooling tracks of He WDs with masses between 0.15 M⊙ and 0.20 M⊙. For each identified companion, mass, cooling age, temperature, and pulsar mass (as a function of the inclination angle) have been derived and discussed. For 47TucU we also found that the past accretion history likely proceeded at a sub-Eddington rate. The companion to the redback 47TucW is confirmed to be a non-degenerate star, with properties particularly similar to those observed for black widow systems. Two stars have been identified within the 2σ astrometric uncertainty from the radio positions of 47TucH and 47TucI, but the available data prevent us from firmly assessing whether they are the true companions of these two MSPs. Based on observations collected with the NASA/ESA HST (Prop. 12950), obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  19. One blind and three targeted searches for (sub)millisecond pulsars

    Davoust, E.; Petit, G.; Fayard, T.

    2011-10-01

    Context. Millisecond pulsars are very useful for determining the properties of neutron stars, for testing General Relativity and for detecting gravitational waves. However, the number of known millisecond pulsars is very small compared to that of ordinary pulsars. Aims: We conducted one blind and three targeted searches for millisecond and submillisecond pulsars at radio frequencies. Methods: The blind search was conducted within 3° of the Galactic plane and at longitudes between 20° and 110°. It takes 22 073 pointings to cover this region, and 5487 different positions in the sky (i.e. 25% of the total) were actually observed. The first targeted search was aimed at Galactic globular clusters, the second one at 24 bright polarized and pointlike radiosources with steep spectra, and the third at 65 faint polarized and pointlike radiosources. The observations were conducted at the large radiotelescope of Nançay Observatory, at a frequency near 1400 MHz, the exact value depending on the backend. Two successive backends were used, first a VLBI S2 system, second a digital acquisition board and a PC with large storage capacity sampling the signal at 50 Mb/s on one bit, over a 24-MHz band and in one polarization. The bandwidth of acquisition of the second backend was later increased to 48 MHz and the sampling rate to 100 Mb/s. The survey used the three successive setups, with respective sensitivities of 3.5, 2.2, and 1.7 mJy. The targeted-search data were obtained with the third setup and reduced with a method based on the Hough transform, yielding a sensitivity of 0.9 mJy. The processing of the data was done in slightly differed time by soft-correlation in all cases. Results: No new short-period millisecond pulsars were discovered in the different searches. To better understand the null result of the blind survey, we estimate the probability of detecting one or more short-period pulsars among a given Galactic population of synthetic pulsars with our setup: 25% for the

  20. What the Timing of Millisecond Pulsars Can Teach us about Their Interior

    Alford, Mark G.; Schwenzer, Kai

    2014-12-01

    The cores of compact stars reach the highest densities in nature and therefore could consist of novel phases of matter. We demonstrate via a detailed analysis of pulsar evolution that precise pulsar timing data can constrain the star's composition, through unstable global oscillations (r modes) whose damping is determined by microscopic properties of the interior. If not efficiently damped, these modes emit gravitational waves that quickly spin down a millisecond pulsar. As a first application of this general method, we find that ungapped interacting quark matter is consistent with both the observed radio and x-ray data, whereas for ordinary nuclear matter some additional enhanced damping mechanism is required.

  1. Limitations in timing precision due to single-pulse shape variability in millisecond pulsars

    Shannon, R M; Dai, S; Bailes, M; Hobbs, G; Manchester, R N; van Straten, W; Raithel, C A; Ravi, V; Toomey, L; Bhat, N D R; Burke-Spolaor, S; Coles, W A; Keith, M J; Kerr, M; Levin, Y; Sarkissian, J M; Wang, J -B; Wen, L; Zhu, X -J

    2014-01-01

    High-sensitivity radio-frequency observations of millisecond pulsars usually show stochastic, broadband, pulse-shape variations intrinsic to the pulsar emission process. These variations induce jitter noise in pulsar timing observations; understanding the properties of this noise is of particular importance for the effort to detect gravitational waves with pulsar timing arrays. We assess the short-term profile and timing stability of 22 millisecond pulsars that are part of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array sample by examining intra-observation arrival time variability and single-pulse phenomenology. In 7 of the 22 pulsars, in the band centred at approximately 1400MHz, we find that the brightest observations are limited by intrinsic jitter. We find consistent results, either detections or upper limits, for jitter noise in other frequency bands. PSR J1909-3744 shows the lowest levels of jitter noise, which we estimate to contribute $\\sim$10 ns root mean square error to the arrival times for hour-duration observati...

  2. The contribution of millisecond pulsars to the Galactic cosmic-ray lepton spectrum

    Venter, Christo; Kopp, Andreas; Harding, Alice K.; Gonthier, Peter L.; Büsching, Ingo

    2015-03-01

    Pulsars are believed to be sources of relativistic electrons and positrons. The abundance of detections of γ -ray millisecond pulsars by Fermi Large Area Telescope coupled with their light curve characteristics that imply copious pair production in their magnetospheres, motivated us to investigate this old pulsar population as a source of Galactic electrons and positrons and their contribution to the enhancement in cosmic-ray positron flux at GeV energies. We use a population synthesis code to predict the source properties (number, position, and power) of the present-day Galactic millisecond pulsars, taking into account the latest Fermi and radio observations to calibrate the model output. Next, we simulate pair cascade spectra from these pulsars using a model that invokes an offset-dipole magnetic field. We assume free escape of the pairs from the pulsar environment. We then compute the cumulative spectrum of transported electrons and positrons at Earth, following their diffusion and energy losses as they propagate through the Galaxy. Our results indicate that the predicted particle flux increases for non-zero offsets of the magnetic polar caps. Comparing our predicted local interstellar spectrum and positron fraction to measurements by AMS-02, PAMELA, and Fermi, we find that millisecond pulsars are only modest contributors at a few tens of GeV, after which this leptonic spectral component cuts off. The positron fraction is therefore only slightly enhanced above 10 GeV relative to a background flux model. This implies that alternative sources such as young, nearby pulsars and supernova remnants should contribute additional primary positrons within the astrophysical scenario.

  3. The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Astrometric Measurements of 37 Millisecond Pulsars

    Matthews, Allison M; Fonseca, Emmanuel; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Crowter, Kathryn; Demorest, Paul B; Dolch, Timothy; Ellis, Justin A; Ferdman, Robert D; Gonzalez, Marjorie E; Jones, Glenn; Jones, Megan L; Lam, Michael T; Levin, Lina; McLaughlin, Maura A; Pennucci, Timothy T; Ransom, Scott M; Stairs, Ingrid H; Stovall, Kevin; Swiggum, Joseph K; Zhu, Weiwei

    2015-01-01

    Using the nine-year radio-pulsar timing data set from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), collected at Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope, we have measured the positions, proper motions, and parallaxes for 37 millisecond pulsars. We report eleven significant parallax measurements and distance measurements, and nineteen lower limits on distance. We compare these measurements to distances predicted by the NE2001 interstellar electron density model and find them to be in general agreement. We use measured orbital-decay rates and spin-down rates to confirm two of the parallax distances and to place distance upper limits on other sources; these distance limits agree with the parallax distances with one exception, PSR J1024-0719, which we discuss at length. Using our measurements in combination with other published measurements, we calculate the velocity dispersion of the millisecond pulsar population in Galactocentric coordinates. We find the radial, azimuthal...

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-ray-emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4–112820

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2016-07-01

    I present a 40 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4‑112820, which is associated with the high-energy γ-ray source 3FGL J1544.6‑1125. The system is detected up to ∼30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270‑4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosity. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and γ-ray light curves covering approximately the past decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that it has not experienced prolonged episodes of a non-accreting radio pulsar state but may spontaneously undergo such events in the future.

  6. The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Astrometric Measurements of 37 Millisecond Pulsars

    Matthews, Allison M.; Nice, David J.; Fonseca, Emmanuel; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Crowter, Kathryn; Demorest, Paul B.; Dolch, Timothy; Ellis, Justin A.; Ferdman, Robert D.; Gonzalez, Marjorie E.; Jones, Glenn; Jones, Megan L.; Lam, Michael T.; Levin, Lina; McLaughlin, Maura A.; Pennucci, Timothy T.; Ransom, Scott M.; Stairs, Ingrid H.; Stovall, Kevin; Swiggum, Joseph K.; Zhu, Weiwei

    2016-02-01

    Using the nine-year radio-pulsar timing data set from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), collected at Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope, we have measured the positions, proper motions, and parallaxes for 37 millisecond pulsars. We report twelve significant parallax measurements and distance measurements, and eighteen lower limits on distance. We compare these measurements to distances predicted by the NE2001 interstellar electron density model and find them to be in general agreement. We use measured orbital-decay rates and spin-down rates to confirm two of the parallax distances and to place distance upper limits on other sources; these distance limits agree with the parallax distances with one exception, PSR J1024-0719, which we discuss at length. Using the proper motions of the 37 NANOGrav pulsars in combination with other published measurements, we calculate the velocity dispersion of the millisecond pulsar population in Galactocentric coordinates. We find the radial, azimuthal, and perpendicular dispersions to be 46, 40, and 24 {km} {{{s}}}-1, respectively, in a model that allows for high-velocity outliers; or 81, 58, and 62 {km} {{{s}}}-1 for the full population. These velocity dispersions are far smaller than those of the canonical pulsar population, and are similar to older Galactic disk populations. This suggests that millisecond pulsar velocities are largely attributable to their being an old population rather than being artifacts of their birth and evolution as neutron star binary systems. The components of these velocity dispersions follow similar proportions to other Galactic populations, suggesting that our results are not biased by selection effects.

  7. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, Nikolai I.; Postnov, Konstantin A.; Kochetkova, A. Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2013-04-01

    A theoretical model is considered for quasispherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars. In this regime, the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasistatic shell. Angular momentum transfer in the shell occurs via large-scale convective motions resulting, for observed pulsars, in an almost iso-angular-momentum \\omega \\sim 1/R^2 rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, with allowance for cooling. A settling accretion regime is possible for moderate accretion rates \\dot M \\lesssim \\dot M_* \\simeq 4\\times 10^{16} g s ^{-1}. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and the accretion becomes highly nonstationary. Observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasispherically wind accreting equilibrium X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods (e.g., GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable us to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate surface magnetic field of the neutron star. For equilibrium pulsars, the independent measurements of the neutron star magnetic field allow for an estimate of the stellar wind velocity of the optical companion without using complicated spectroscopic measurements. For nonequilibrium pulsars, a maximum value is shown to exist for the spin-down rate of the accreting neutron star. From observations of the spin-down rate and the X-ray luminosity in such pulsars (e.g., GX 1+4, SXP 1062, and 4U 2206+54), a lower limit can be put on the neutron star magnetic field, which in all cases turns out to be close to the standard value and which agrees with cyclotron line measurements. Furthermore, both explains the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and also accounts for the irregular short

  8. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    A theoretical model is considered for quasispherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars. In this regime, the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasistatic shell. Angular momentum transfer in the shell occurs via large-scale convective motions resulting, for observed pulsars, in an almost iso-angular-momentum ω∼1/R2 rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, with allowance for cooling. A settling accretion regime is possible for moderate accretion rates .M∼*≅4×1016 g s-1. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and the accretion becomes highly nonstationary. Observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasispherically wind accreting equilibrium X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods (e.g., GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable us to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate surface magnetic field of the neutron star. For equilibrium pulsars, the independent measurements of the neutron star magnetic field allow for an estimate of the stellar wind velocity of the optical companion without using complicated spectroscopic measurements. For nonequilibrium pulsars, a maximum value is shown to exist for the spin-down rate of the accreting neutron star. From observations of the spin-down rate and the X-ray luminosity in such pulsars (e.g., GX 1+4, SXP 1062, and 4U 2206+54), a lower limit can be put on the neutron star magnetic field, which in all cases turns out to be close to the standard value and which agrees with cyclotron line measurements. Furthermore, both explains the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and also accounts for the irregular short-term frequency fluctuations, which may correlate or

  9. Discovery of an Unidentified Fermi Object as a Black Widow-Like Millisecond Pulsar

    Kong, A. K. H.; Huang, R. H. H.; Cheng, K. S.; Takata, J.; Yatsu, Y.; Cheung, C. C.; Donato, D.; Lin, L. C. C.; Kataoka, J.; Takahashi, Y.; Maeda, K.; Hui, C. Y.; Tam, P. H. T.

    2012-01-01

    The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has revolutionized our knowledge of the gamma-ray pulsar population, leading to the discovery of almost 100 gamma-ray pulsars and dozens of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Although the outer-gap model predicts different sites of emission for the radio and gamma-ray pulsars, until now all of the known gamma-ray MSPs have been visible in the radio. Here we report the discovery of a radio-quiet" gamma-ray emitting MSP candidate by using Fermi, Chandra, Swift, and optical observations. The X-ray and gamma-ray properties of the source are consistent with known gamma-ray pulsars. We also found a 4.63-hr orbital period in optical and X-ray data. We suggest that the source is a black widow-like MSP with a approx. 0.1 Stellar Mass late-type companion star. Based on the profile of the optical and X-ray light-curves, the companion star is believed to be heated by the pulsar while the X-ray emissions originate from pulsar magnetosphere and/or from intra-binary shock. No radio detection of the source has been reported yet and although no gamma-ray/radio pulsation has been found, we estimated that the spin period of the MSP is approx. 3-5 ms based on the inferred gamma-ray luminosity.

  10. Quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    Quasi-spherical accretion in wind-fed X-ray pulsars is discussed. At X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s, a hot convective shell is formed around the neutron star magnetosphere, and subsonic settling accretion regime sets in. In this regime, accretion rate onto neutron star is determined by the ability of plasma to enter magnetosphere via Rayleigh-Taylor instability. A gas-dynamic theory of settling accretion is constructed taking into account anisotropic turbulence. The angular momentum can be transferred through the quasi-static shell via large-scale convective motions initiating turbulence cascade. The angular velocity distribution in the shell is found depending on the turbulent viscosity prescription. Comparison with observations of long-period X-ray wind-fed pulsars shows that an almost iso-angular-momentum distribution is most likely realized in their shells. The theory explains long-term spin-down in wind- fed accreting pulsars (e.g. GX 1+4) and properties of short-term torque-luminosity correlatio...

  11. The evolution of helium white dwarfs: III. On the ages of millisecond pulsar systems

    Schoenberner, D.; Driebe, T.; Bloecker, T.

    2000-01-01

    We employed recently computed evolutionary white-dwarf models with helium cores, supplemented by heavier models with carbon-oxygen cores, in order to investigate the ages of millisecond pulsar systems based on the cooling properties of the compact companions. Contrary to the behaviour of more massive white dwarfs, the evolutionary speed of low-mass white-dwarf models is substantially slowed down by ongoing hydrogen burning. By comparing the cooling ages of these models with the spin-down ages...

  12. Discovery of two millisecond pulsars in Fermi sources with the Nancay Radio Telescope

    Cognard, I; Johnson, T J; Smith, D A; Venter, C; Harding, A K; Wolff, M T; Cheung, C C; Donato, D; Abdo, A A; Ballet, J; Camilo, F; Desvignes, G; Dumora, D; Ferrara, E C; Freire, P C C; Grove, J E; Keith, M; Kramer, M; Lyne, A G; Michelson, P F; Parent, D; Ransom, S M; Ray, P S; Romani, R W; Parkinson, P M Saz; Stappers, B W; Theureau, G; Thompson, D J; Weltevrede, P; Wood, K S

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of two millisecond pulsars in a search for radio pulsations at the positions of \\emph{Fermi Large Area Telescope} sources with no previously known counterparts, using the Nan\\c{c}ay radio telescope. The two millisecond pulsars, PSRs J2017+0603 and J2302+4442, have rotational periods of 2.896 and 5.192 ms and are both in binary systems with low-eccentricity orbits and orbital periods of 2.2 and 125.9 days respectively, suggesting long recycling processes. Gamma-ray pulsations were subsequently detected for both objects, indicating that they power the associated \\emph{Fermi} sources in which they were found. The gamma-ray light curves and spectral properties are similar to those of previously-detected gamma-ray millisecond pulsars. Detailed modeling of the observed radio and gamma-ray light curves shows that the gamma-ray emission seems to originate at high altitudes in their magnetospheres. Additionally, X-ray observations revealed the presence of an X-ray source at the position of PSR ...

  13. PSR J1723-2837: An Eclipsing Binary Radio Millisecond Pulsar

    Crawford, F; Stairs, I H; Kaplan, D L; McLaughlin, M A; Freire, P C C; Burgay, M; Camilo, F; D'Amico, N; Faulkner, A; Kramer, M; Lorimer, D R; Manchester, R N; Possenti, A; Steeghs, D

    2013-01-01

    We present a study of PSR J1723-2837, an eclipsing, 1.86 ms millisecond binary radio pulsar discovered in the Parkes Multibeam survey. Radio timing indicates that the pulsar has a circular orbit with a 15 hr orbital period, a low-mass companion, and a measurable orbital period derivative. The eclipse fraction of ~15% during the pulsar's orbit is twice the Roche lobe size inferred for the companion. The timing behavior is significantly affected by unmodeled systematics of astrophysical origin, and higher-order orbital period derivatives are needed in the timing solution to account for these variations. We have identified the pulsar's (non-degenerate) companion using archival ultraviolet, optical, and infrared survey data and new optical photometry. Doppler shifts from optical spectroscopy confirm the star's association with the pulsar and indicate a pulsar-to-companion mass ratio of 3.3 +/- 0.5, corresponding to a companion mass range of 0.4 to 0.7 Msun and an orbital inclination angle range of between 30 and ...

  14. Young and Millisecond Pulsar GeV Gamma-ray Fluxes from the Galactic Center and Beyond

    O'Leary, Ryan M; Kerr, Matthew; Dexter, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-ray observations have shown pulsars to be efficient converters of rotational energy into GeV photons and it is of wide-ranging interest to determine their contribution to the gamma-ray background. We arrive at flux predictions from both the young (<~ Myr) and millisecond (~Gyr) Galactic pulsar populations. We find that unresolved pulsars can yield both a significant fraction of the excess GeV gamma rays near the Galactic Center and an inverse Compton flux in the inner kpc similar to that inferred by Fermi. We compare models of the young pulsar population and millisecond pulsar population to constraints from gamma-ray and radio observations. Overall, we find that the young pulsars should outnumber millisecond pulsars as unassociated gamma-ray point sources in this region. The number of young radio pulsars discovered near the Galactic Center is in agreement with our model of the young pulsar population. Deeper radio observations at higher latitudes can constrain the total gamma-ray emission from both y...

  15. NuSTAR Observations of the State Transition of Millisecond Pulsar Binary PSR J1023+0038

    Tendulkar, Shriharsh P; An, Hongjun; Kaspi, Victoria M; Archibald, Anne M; Bassa, Cees; Bellm, Eric; Bogdanov, Slavko; Harrison, Fiona A; Hessels, Jason W T; Janssen, Gemma H; Lyne, Andrew G; Patruno, Alessandro; Stappers, Benjamin; Stern, Daniel; Tomsick, John A; Boggs, Steven E; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Christensen, Finn E; Craig, William W; Hailey, Charles A; Zhang, William

    2014-01-01

    We report NuSTAR observations of the millisecond pulsar - low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) transition system PSR J1023+0038 from June and October 2013, before and after the formation of an accretion disk around the neutron star. Between June 10-12, a few days to two weeks before the radio disappearance of the pulsar, the 3-79 keV X-ray spectrum was well fit by a simple power law with a photon index of Gamma=1.17 +/-0.08 (at 90% confidence) with a 3-79 keV luminosity of 7.4+/-0.4 x 10^32 erg/s. Significant orbital modulation was observed with a modulation fraction of 36+/-10%. During the October 19-21 observation, the spectrum is described by a softer power law (Gamma=1.66+/-0.06) with an average luminosity of 5.8+/-0.2 x 10^33 erg/s and a peak luminosity of ~1.2 x 10^34 erg/s observed during a flare. No significant orbital modulation was detected. The spectral observations are consistent with previous and current multi-wavelength observations and show the hard X-ray power law extending to 79 keV without a spectra...

  16. The gamma-ray millisecond pulsar deathline, revisited - New velocity and distance measurements

    Guillemot, L; Laffon, H; Janssen, G H; Cognard, I; Theureau, G; Desvignes, G; Ferrara, E C; Ray, P S

    2016-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) represent nearly half of the more than 160 currently known $\\gamma$-ray pulsars detected by the Large Area Telescope on the \\textit{Fermi} satellite, and a third of all known MSPs are seen in $\\gamma$ rays. The least energetic $\\gamma$-ray MSPs enable us to probe the so-called deathline for high-energy emission, i.e., the spin-down luminosity limit under which pulsars (PSRs) cease to produce detectable high-energy radiation. Characterizing the MSP luminosity distribution helps to determine their contribution to the Galactic diffuse $\\gamma$-ray emission. We made use of the high-quality pulsar timing data recorded at the Nan\\c{c}ay Radio Telescope over several years to characterize the properties of a selection of MSPs. For one of the pulsars, the dataset was complemented with Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope observations. The rotation ephemerides derived from this analysis were also used to search the LAT data for new $\\gamma$-ray MSPs. For the MSPs considered in this study, we ...

  17. High-Precision Timing of 5 Millisecond Pulsars: Space Velocities, Binary Evolution and Equivalence Principles

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

    2011-01-01

    We present high-precision timing of five millisecond pulsars (MSPs) carried out for more than seven years; four pulsars are in binary systems and one is isolated. We are able to measure the pulsars' proper motions and derive an estimate for their space velocities. The measured two-dimensional velocities are in the range 70-210 km/s, consistent with those measured for other MSPs. We also use all the available proper motion information for isolated and binary MSPs to update the known velocity distribution for these populations. As found by earlier works, we find that the velocity distribution of binary and isolated MSPs are indistinguishable with the current data. Four of the pulsars in our observing program are highly recycled with low-mass white dwarf companions and we are able to derive accurate binary parameters for these systems. For three of these binary systems we are able to place initial constraints on the pulsar masses with best-fit values in the range 1.0-1.6 M_sun. The implications of the results pr...

  18. Properties and Evolution of the Redback Millisecond Pulsar Binary PSR J2129-0429

    Bellm, Eric C; Breton, Rene P; Phinney, E Sterl; Bhalerao, Varun B; Camilo, Fernando; Dahal, Sumit; Djorgovski, S G; Drake, Andrew J; Hessels, J W T; Laher, Russ R; Levitan, David B; Lewis, Fraser; Mahabal, Ashish A; Ofek, Eran O; Prince, Thomas A; Ransom, Scott M; Roberts, Mallory S E; Russell, David M; Sesar, Branimir; Surace, Jason A; Tang, Sumin

    2015-01-01

    PSR J2129-0429 is a "redback" eclipsing millisecond pulsar binary with an unusually long 15.2 hour orbit. It was discovered by the Green Bank Telescope in a targeted search of unidentified Fermi gamma-ray sources. The pulsar companion is optically bright (mean $m_R = 16.6$ mag), allowing us to construct the longest baseline photometric dataset available for such a system. We present ten years of archival and new photometry of the companion from LINEAR, CRTS, PTF, the Palomar 60-inch, and LCOGT. Radial velocity spectroscopy using the Double-Beam Spectrograph on the Palomar 200-inch indicates that the pulsar is massive: $1.74\\pm0.18 M_\\odot$. The G-type pulsar companion has mass $0.44\\pm0.04 M_\\odot$, one of the heaviest known redback companions. It is currently 95\\% Roche-lobe filling and only mildly irradiated by the pulsar. We identify a clear 13.1 mmag yr$^{-1}$ secular decline in the mean magnitude of the companion as well as smaller-scale variations in the optical lightcurve shape. This behavior may indic...

  19. Four Highly Dispersed Millisecond Pulsars Discovered in the Arecibo PALFA Galactic Plane Survey

    Crawford, F; Lyne, A G; Stappers, B W; Nice, D J; Stairs, I H; Lazarus, P; Hessels, J W T; Freire, P C C; Allen, B; Bhat, N D R; Bogdanov, S; Brazier, A; Camilo, F; Champion, D J; Chatterjee, S; Cognard, I; Cordes, J M; Deneva, J S; Desvignes, G; Jenet, F A; Kaspi, V M; Knispel, B; Kramer, M; van Leeuwen, J; Lorimer, D R; Lynch, R; McLaughlin, M A; Ransom, S M; Scholz, P; Siemens, X; Venkataraman, A

    2012-01-01

    We present the discovery and phase-coherent timing of four highly dispersed millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from the Arecibo PALFA Galactic plane survey: PSRs J1844+0115, J1850+0124, J1900+0308, and J1944+2236. Three of the four pulsars are in binary systems with low-mass companions, which are most likely white dwarfs, and which have orbital periods on the order of days. The fourth pulsar is isolated. All four pulsars have large dispersion measures (DM > 100 pc cm-3), are distant (> 3.4 kpc), faint at 1.4 GHz (< 0.2 mJy), and are fully recycled (with spin periods P between 3.5 and 4.9 ms). The three binaries also have very small orbital eccentricities, as expected for tidally circularized, fully recycled systems with low-mass companions. These four pulsars have DM/P ratios that are among the highest values for field MSPs in the Galaxy. These discoveries bring the total number of confirmed MSPs from the PALFA survey to fifteen. The discovery of these MSPs illustrates the power of PALFA for finding weak, distant ...

  20. CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF 12 MILLISECOND PULSARS IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER M28

    We present a Chandra X-ray Observatory investigation of the millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). In what is one of the deepest X-ray observations of a globular cluster, we firmly detect seven and possibly detect two of the 12 known M28 pulsars. With the exception of PSRs B1821-24 and J1824-2452H, the detected pulsars have relatively soft spectra, with X-ray luminosities 1030-1031 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), similar to most recycledpulsars in 47 Tucanae and the field of the Galaxy, implying thermal emission from the pulsar magnetic polar caps. We present the most detailed X-ray spectrum to date of the energetic PSR B1821-24. It is well described by a purely non-thermal spectrum with spectral photon index Γ = 1.23 and luminosity 1.4 x 1033Θ(D/5.5 kpc)2 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), where Θ is the fraction of the sky covered by the X-ray emission beam(s). We find no evidence for the previously reported line emission feature around 3.3 keV, most likely as a consequence of improvements in instrument calibration. The X-ray spectrum and pulse profile of PSR B1821-24 suggest that the bulk of unpulsed emission from this pulsar is not of thermal origin, and is likely due to low-level non-thermal magnetospheric radiation, an unresolved pulsar wind nebula, and/or small-angle scattering of the pulsed X-rays by interstellar dust grains. The peculiar binary PSR J1824-2452H shows a relatively hard X-ray spectrum and possible variability at the binary period, indicative of an intrabinary shock formed by interaction between the relativistic pulsar wind and matter from its non-degenerate companion star.

  1. Strong Support for the Millisecond Pulsar Origin of the Galactic Center GeV Excess.

    Bartels, Richard; Krishnamurthy, Suraj; Weniger, Christoph

    2016-02-01

    Using γ-ray data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope, various groups have identified a clear excess emission in the Inner Galaxy, at energies around a few GeV. This excess resembles remarkably well a signal from dark-matter annihilation. One of the most compelling astrophysical interpretations is that the excess is caused by the combined effect of a previously undetected population of dim γ-ray sources. Because of their spectral similarity, the best candidates are millisecond pulsars. Here, we search for this hypothetical source population, using a novel approach based on wavelet decomposition of the γ-ray sky and the statistics of Gaussian random fields. Using almost seven years of Fermi-LAT data, we detect a clustering of photons as predicted for the hypothetical population of millisecond pulsar, with a statistical significance of 10.0σ. For plausible values of the luminosity function, this population explains 100% of the observed excess emission. We argue that other extragalactic or Galactic sources, a mismodeling of Galactic diffuse emission, or the thick-disk population of pulsars are unlikely to account for this observation. PMID:26894696

  2. A parallax distance and mass estimate for the transitional millisecond pulsar system J1023+0038

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

    2012-01-01

    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. By combining our results with previous optical observations, we are able to use the parallax distance of 1368+42-39 pc to estimate the mass of the pulsar as 1.71 +/- 0.16 solar masses, and we are also able to measure the 3D space velocity of the system as 126 +/- 5 km/s. Despite the precise nature of the VLBA measurements, the remaining ~3% distance uncertainty dominates the 0...

  3. "Hiccup" accretion in the swinging pulsar IGR J18245-2452

    Ferrigno, C; Papitto, A; Rea, N; Pavan, L; Campana, S; Wieringa, M; Filipovic, M; Falanga, M

    2013-01-01

    IGR J18245-2452 is the fifteenth discovered accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar and the first source of this class showing direct evidence for transition between accretion and rotational powered emission states. These "swings" provided the strongest confirmation of the pulsar recycling scenario available so far. During the two XMM-Newton observations that were carried out while the source was in outburst in April 2013, IGR J18245-2452 displayed a unique and peculiar variability of its X-ray emission. In this work, we report on a detailed analysis of the XMM- Newton data and focus in particular on the timing and spectral variability of the source. IGR J18245-2452 continuously switches between lower and higher intensity states, with typical variations in flux up to a factor of about 100 in time scales as short as few seconds. These variations in the source intensity are sometimes associated to a dramatic spectral hardening, during which the power-law photon index of the source changes from Gamma=1.7 to Gamma=0.7...

  4. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-Ray-Emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4-112820

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    I present a 40 kilosecond Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4-112820, which is associated with the high-energy gamma-ray source 3FGL J1544.6--1125. The system is detected up to ~30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4-112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosities. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4-112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and $\\gamma$-ray light curves covering the past $\\sim$decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that ...

  5. Evacuation of gas from globular clusters by winds from millisecond pulsars

    Why is so little gas observed within globular clusters? A typical globular cluster contains ∼ 103 post-turnoff stars, each of which will lose ∼0.2 solar masses before its asymptotic giant branch phase of evolution, and ∼0.1 solar masses during this phase, and so should accumulate 102-103 solar masses of gas in the 108-year interval between passages of the globular cluster through the galactic disk. (At each disk passage, gas ram pressure will remove the accumulated material.) But observational searches show that there is scant intracluster gas; in many clusters, there is less than 1 solar mass of gas, orders of magnitude less than theoretical predictions. The recent discovery of multiple millisecond pulsars in globular clusters may resolve this long-standing problem: the relativistic wind from these pulsars is enough to drive gas from stellar mass loss out of the globular cluster. (author)

  6. Rotochemical heating of millisecond and classical pulsars with anisotropic and density-dependent superfluid gap models

    González-Jiménez, Nicolás; Reisenegger, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    When a rotating neutron star loses angular momentum, the progressive reduction of the centrifugal force makes it contract. This perturbs each fluid element, raising the local pressure and originating deviations from beta equilibrium, inducing reactions that release heat (rotochemical heating). This effect has previously been studied by Fern\\'andez & Reisenegger (2005) for non-superfluid neutron stars and by Petrovich & Reisenegger (2010) for superfluid millisecond pulsars. Both studies found that pulsars reach a quasi-steady state in which the compression driving the matter out of beta equilibrium is balanced by the reactions trying to restore the equilibrium. We extend previous studies by considering the effect of density-dependence and anisotropy of the superfluid energy gaps, for the case in which the dominant reactions are the modified Urca processes, the protons are non-superconducting, and the neutron superfluidity is parametrized by models proposed in the literature. By comparing our prediction...

  7. PSR J1024-0719: A Millisecond Pulsar in an Unusual Long-Period Orbit

    Kaplan, D L; Nice, D J; Irrgang, A; Heber, U; Arzoumanian, Z; Beklen, E; Crowter, K; DeCesar, M E; Demorest, P B; Dolch, T; Lynch, R S; McLaughlin, M A; Miller, A A; Ng, C; Pennucci, T T; Ellis, J A; Ferdman, R D; Ferrara, E C; Fonseca, E; Gentile, P A; Jones, G; Jones, M L; Kreuzer, S; Lam, M T; Levin, L; Lorimer, D R; Prince, T A; Ransom, S M; Ray, P S; Spiewak, R; Stairs, I H; Stovall, K; Swiggum, J; Zhu, W

    2016-01-01

    PSR J1024$-$0719 is a millisecond pulsar that was long thought to be isolated. However, puzzling results concerning its velocity, distance, and low rotational period derivative have led to reexamination of its properties. We present updated radio timing observations along with new and archival optical data that show PSR J1024$-$0719 is most likely in a long period (2$-$20 kyr) binary system with a low-mass ($\\approx 0.4\\,M_\\odot$) low-metallicity ($Z \\approx -0.9\\,$ dex) main sequence star. Such a system can explain most of the anomalous properties of this pulsar. We suggest that this system formed through a dynamical exchange in a globular cluster that ejected it into a halo orbit, consistent with the low observed metallicity for the stellar companion. Further astrometric and radio timing observations such as measurement of the third period derivative could strongly constrain the range of orbital parameters.

  8. Preparing GLAST LAT studies of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0218+4232 and the blazar 3C 66A

    Millisecond pulsars have weaker magnetic fields than normal pulsars, but their rapid rotation implies open field line voltages similar to those of young pulsars and they are therefore candidates for accelerating particles to the high energies required to emit in the GeV energy domain. PSR J0218+4232 was the only millisecond pulsar detected by EGRET. Its detection was rendered difficult by the powerful BL Lacertae 3C 66A a degree away, in spite of the low background (b= -16.8 degrees). Pulsations were detected at the 4.9 σ level, reinforcing the expectation that millisecond pulsars are a promising class for detection by the forthcoming high-energy mission GLAST. To estimate the GLAST LAT performance for both PSR J0218+4232 and 3C 66A, we have simulated LAT data using predictions for the 'polar cap' and the 'outer gap' pulsar models along with spectral energy distribution estimates for the blazar, normalizing to the EGRET observed fluxes. We demonstrate that GLAST is able to separate unambiguously the two objects in a few weeks. The spectral parameters of the pulsar derived in this context could be used to discriminate between the polar cap and outer gap models

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

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

  10. Properties and Evolution of the Redback Millisecond Pulsar Binary PSR J2129-0429

    Bellm, Eric C.; Kaplan, David L.; Breton, Rene P.; Phinney, E. Sterl; Bhalerao, Varun B.; Camilo, Fernando; Dahal, Sumit; Djorgovski, S. G.; Drake, Andrew J.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Laher, Russ R.; Levitan, David B.; Lewis, Fraser; Mahabal, Ashish A.; Ofek, Eran O.; Prince, Thomas A.; Ransom, Scott M.; Roberts, Mallory S. E.; Russell, David M.; Sesar, Branimir; Surace, Jason A.; Tang, Sumin

    2016-01-01

    PSR J2129-0429 is a “redback” eclipsing millisecond pulsar binary with an unusually long 15.2 hr orbit. It was discovered by the Green Bank Telescope in a targeted search of unidentified Fermi gamma-ray sources. The pulsar companion is optically bright (mean mR = 16.6 mag), allowing us to construct the longest baseline photometric data set available for such a system. We present 10 years of archival and new photometry of the companion from the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research Survey, the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey, the Palomar Transient Factory, the Palomar 60 inch, and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope. Radial velocity spectroscopy using the Double-Beam Spectrograph on the Palomar 200 inch indicates that the pulsar is massive: 1.74 ± 0.18 {M}⊙ . The G-type pulsar companion has mass 0.44 ± 0.04 {M}⊙ , one of the heaviest known redback companions. It is currently 95 ± 1% Roche-lobe filling and only mildly irradiated by the pulsar. We identify a clear 13.1 mmag yr-1 secular decline in the mean magnitude of the companion as well as smaller-scale variations in the optical light curve shape. This behavior may indicate that the companion is cooling. Binary evolution calculations indicate that PSR J2129-0429 has an orbital period almost exactly at the bifurcation period between systems that converge into tighter orbits as black widows and redbacks and those that diverge into wider pulsar-white dwarf binaries. Its eventual fate may depend on whether it undergoes future episodes of mass transfer and increased irradiation.

  11. Probing millisecond pulsar emission geometry using light curves from the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    Venter, C; Guillemot, L

    2009-01-01

    An interesting new high-energy pulsar sub-population is emerging following early discoveries of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars (MSPs) by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). We present results from 3D emission modeling, including the Special Relativistic effects of aberration and time-of-flight delays and also rotational sweepback of B-field lines, in the geometric context of polar cap (PC), outer gap (OG), and two-pole caustic (TPC) pulsar models. In contrast to the general belief that these very old, rapidly-rotating neutron stars (NSs) should have largely pair-starved magnetospheres due to the absence of significant pair production, we find that most of the light curves are best fit by TPC and OG models, which indicates the presence of narrow accelerating gaps limited by robust pair production -- even in these pulsars with very low spin-down luminosities. The gamma-ray pulse shapes and relative phase lags with respect to the radio pulses point to high-altitude emission being dominant for all geometries. We...

  12. Parkes Radio Searches of Fermi Gamma-Ray Sources and Millisecond Pulsar Discoveries

    Camilo, F.; Kerr, M.; Ray, P. S.; Ransom, S. M.; Sarkissian, J.; Cromartie, H. T.; Johnston, S.; Reynolds, J. E.; Wolff, M. T.; Freire, P. C. C.; Bhattacharyya, B.; Ferrara, E. C.; Keith, M.; Michelson, P. F.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Wood, K. S.

    2015-09-01

    In a search with the Parkes radio telescope of 56 unidentified Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) gamma-ray sources, we have detected 11 millisecond pulsars (MSPs), 10 of them discoveries, of which five were reported by Kerr et al. We did not detect radio pulsations from six other pulsars now known in these sources. We describe the completed survey, which included multiple observations of many targets conducted to minimize the impact of interstellar scintillation, acceleration effects in binary systems, and eclipses. We consider that 23 of the 39 remaining sources may still be viable pulsar candidates. We present timing solutions and polarimetry for five of the MSPs and gamma-ray pulsations for PSR J1903-7051 (pulsations for five others were reported in the second Fermi-LAT catalog of gamma-ray pulsars). Two of the new MSPs are isolated and five are in \\gt 1 day circular orbits with 0.2-0.3 {M}⊙ presumed white dwarf companions. PSR J0955-6150, in a 24 day orbit with a ≈ 0.25 {M}⊙ companion but eccentricity of 0.11, belongs to a recently identified class of eccentric MSPs. PSR J1036-8317 is in an 8 hr binary with a \\gt 0.14 {M}⊙ companion that is probably a white dwarf. PSR J1946-5403 is in a 3 hr orbit with a \\gt 0.02 {M}⊙ companion with no evidence of radio eclipses.

  13. Parkes radio searches of Fermi gamma-ray sources and millisecond pulsar discoveries

    Camilo, F; Ray, P S; Ransom, S M; Sarkissian, J; Cromartie, H T; Johnston, S; Reynolds, J E; Wolff, M T; Freire, P C C; Bhattacharyya, B; Ferrara, E C; Keith, M; Michelson, P F; Parkinson, P M Saz; Wood, K S

    2015-01-01

    In a search with the Parkes radio telescope of 56 unidentified Fermi-LAT gamma-ray sources, we have detected 11 millisecond pulsars (MSPs), 10 of them discoveries, of which five were reported in Kerr et al. (2012). We did not detect radio pulsations from another six pulsars now known in these sources. We describe the completed survey, which included multiple observations of many targets done to minimize the impact of interstellar scintillation, acceleration effects in binary systems, and eclipses. We consider that 23 of the 39 remaining sources may still be viable pulsar candidates. We present timing solutions and polarimetry for five of the MSPs, and gamma-ray pulsations for PSR J1903-7051 (pulsations for five others were reported in the second Fermi-LAT catalog of gamma-ray pulsars). Two of the new MSPs are isolated and five are in >1 d circular orbits with 0.2-0.3 Msun presumed white dwarf companions. PSR J0955-6150, in a 24 d orbit with a ~0.25 Msun companion but eccentricity of 0.11, belongs to a recentl...

  14. The Contribution of Millisecond Pulsars to the Local Electron / Positron Spectrum

    Venter, Christo; Buesching, Ingo; Harding, Alice; Kopp, Andreas; Gonthier, Peter

    The high energies of gamma-ray photons (as well as the presence of lower-energy photons) coupled with the intense magnetic fields characterizing younger pulsars enable formation of electron-positron pair cascades which fills the pulsar magnetosphere with plasma and also feeds an outflowing particle wind that may create a surrounding pulsar wind nebula (PWN). Although this scenario was originally thought to be unique to the younger pulsar population, Fermi LAT demonstrated that the light curves of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are generally very similar to those of younger pulsars, requiring copious pair production even for this older class with much lower surface magnetic fields and spin-down power. These pair cascades may thus be a primary source of Galactic electrons and positrons, and may present an astrophysical explanation for the observed enhancement in positron flux in the high-energy band. We investigate Galactic MSPs contribution to the flux of local cosmic-ray electrons and positrons. We use a population synthesis code to predict the source properties (number, position, and power) of the present-day Galactic MSPs, taking into account the latest Fermi observations to calibrate the model output. Next, we simulate pair cascade spectra from these MSPs using a model that invokes an offset-dipole magnetic field, as this increases the pair production rate relative to a standard dipole field geometry. The model source pair spectra may extend to several TeV, depending on pulsar properties, neutron star equation of state, and magnetic polar cap offset. Since MSPs are not surrounded by PWNe or supernova shells, we can assume that the pairs escape from the pulsar environment without energy loss and undergo losses only in the intergalactic medium. We lastly compute the spectrum of the transported electrons and positrons at Earth, following their diffusion and energy loss through the Galaxy. We will compare our results with the observed local interstellar spectrum and

  15. Prospects for neutron star equation of state constraints using ''recycled'' millisecond pulsars

    ''Recycled'' millisecond pulsars are a variety of rapidly spinning neutron stars that typically show thermal X-ray radiation due to the heated surface of their magnetic polar caps. Detailed numerical modeling of the rotation-induced thermal X-ray pulsations observed from recycled millisecond pulsars, including all relevant relativistic and stellar atmospheric effects, has been identified as a promising approach towards an astrophysical determination of the true neutron star mass-radius relation, and by extension the state of cold matter at densities exceeding those of atomic nuclei. Herein, I review the basic model and methodology commonly used to extract information regarding neutron star structure from the pulsed X-ray radiation observed from millisecond pulsars. I also summarize the results of past X-ray observations of these objects and the prospects for precision neutron star mass-radius measurements with the upcoming Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) X-ray timing mission. (orig.)

  16. Prospects for neutron star equation of state constraints using ''recycled'' millisecond pulsars

    Bogdanov, Slavko [Columbia University, Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, New York, NY (United States)

    2016-02-15

    ''Recycled'' millisecond pulsars are a variety of rapidly spinning neutron stars that typically show thermal X-ray radiation due to the heated surface of their magnetic polar caps. Detailed numerical modeling of the rotation-induced thermal X-ray pulsations observed from recycled millisecond pulsars, including all relevant relativistic and stellar atmospheric effects, has been identified as a promising approach towards an astrophysical determination of the true neutron star mass-radius relation, and by extension the state of cold matter at densities exceeding those of atomic nuclei. Herein, I review the basic model and methodology commonly used to extract information regarding neutron star structure from the pulsed X-ray radiation observed from millisecond pulsars. I also summarize the results of past X-ray observations of these objects and the prospects for precision neutron star mass-radius measurements with the upcoming Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) X-ray timing mission. (orig.)

  17. Discovery of near-ultraviolet counterparts to millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae

    Rivera-Sandoval, L E; Heinke, C O; Cohn, H N; Lugger, P M; Freire, P; Anderson, J; Serenelli, A M; Althaus, L G; Cool, A M; Grindlay, J E; Edmonds, P D; Wijnands, R; Ivanova, N

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery of the likely white dwarf companions to radio millisecond pulsars 47 Tuc Q and 47 Tuc S in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. These blue stars were found in near-ultraviolet images from the Hubble Space Telescope for which we derived accurate absolute astrometry, and are located at positions consistent with the radio coordinates to within 0.016 arcsec (0.2sigma). We present near-ultraviolet and optical colours for the previously identified companion to millisecond pulsar 47 Tuc U, and we unambiguously confirm the tentative prior identifications of the optical counterparts to 47 Tuc T and 47 Tuc Y. For the latter, we present its radio-timing solution for the first time. We find that all five near-ultraviolet counterparts have U300-B390 colours that are consistent with He white dwarf cooling models for masses ~0.16-0.3 Msun and cooling ages within ~0.1-6 Gyr. The Ha-R625 colours of 47 Tuc U and 47 Tuc T indicate the presence of a strong Ha absorption line, as expected for white dwarfs with...

  18. Probing Millisecond Pulsar Emission Geometry Using Light Curves From the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    Venter, Christo; Harding, Alice; Guillemot, L.

    2009-01-01

    An interesting new high-energy pulsar sub-population is emerging following early discoveries of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars (MSPs) by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). We present results from 3D emission modeling, including the Special Relativistic effects of aberration and time-of-flight delays and also rotational sweepback of 13-field lines, in the geometric context of polar cap (PC), slot gap (SG), outer gap (OG), and two-pole caustic (TPC) pulsar models. In contrast to the general belief that these very old, rapidly-rotating neutron stars (NSs) should have largely pair-starved magnetospheres due to the absence of significant pair production, we find that most of the light curves are best fit by SG and OG models, which indicates the presence of narrow accelerating gaps limited by robust pair production -- even in these pulsars with very low spin-down luminosities. The gamma-ray pulse shapes and relative phase lags with respect to the radio pulses point to high-altitude emission being dominant for all geometries. We also find exclusive differentiation of the current gamma-ray MSP population into two MSP sub-classes: light curve shapes and lags across wavebands impose either pair-starved PC (PSPC) or SG / OG-type geometries. In the first case, the radio pulse has a small lag with respect to the single gamma-ray pulse, while the (first) gamma-ray peak usually trails the radio by a large phase offset in the latter case. Finally, we find that the flux correction factor as a function of magnetic inclination and observer angles is typically of order unity for all models. Our calculation of light curves and flux correction factor f(_, _, P) for the case of MSPs is therefore complementary to the "ATLAS paper" of Watters et al. for younger pulsars.

  19. The High Time Resolution Universe Pulsar Survey - VII: discovery of five millisecond pulsars and the different luminosity properties of binary and isolated recycled pulsars

    Burgay, M; Bates, S D; Bhat, N D R; Burke-Spolaor, S; Champion, D J; Coster, P; D'Amico, N; Johnston, S; Keith, M J; Kramer, M; Levin, L; Lyne, A G; Milia, S; Ng, C; Possenti, A; Stappers, B W; Thornton, D; Tiburzi, C; van Straten, W; Bassa, C G

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the discovery and timing parameters for five millisecond pulsars (MSPs), four in binary systems with probable white dwarf companions and one isolated, found in ongoing processing of the High Time Resolution Universe Pulsar Survey (HTRU). We also present high quality polarimetric data on four of them. These further discoveries confirm the high potential of our survey in finding pulsars with very short spin periods. At least two of these five MSPs are excellent candidates to be included in the Pulsar Timing Array projects. Thanks to the wealth of MSP discoveries in the HTRU survey, we revisit the question of whether the luminosity distributions of isolated and binary MSPs are different. Using the Cordes and Lazio distance model and our new and catalogue flux density measurements, we find that 41 of the 42 most luminous MSPs in the Galactic disk are in binaries and a statistical analysis suggests that the luminosity functions differ with 99.9% significance. We conclude that the formation proc...

  20. Two Millisecond Pulsars Discovered by the PALFA Survey and a Shapiro Delay Measurement

    Deneva, J S; Cordes, J M; Lyne, A G; Ransom, S M; Cognard, I; Camilo, F; Nice, D J; Stairs, I H; Allen, B; Bhat, N D R; Bogdanov, S; Brazier, A; Champion, D J; Chatterjee, S; Crawford, F; Desvignes, G; Hessels, J W T; Jenet, F A; Kaspi, V M; Knispel, B; Kramer, M; Lazarus, P; van Leeuwen, J; Lorimer, D R; Lynch, R S; McLaughlin, M A; Scholz, P; Siemens, X; Stappers, B W; Stovall, K; Venkataraman, A

    2012-01-01

    We present two millisecond pulsar discoveries from the PALFA survey of the Galactic plane with the Arecibo telescope. PSR J1955+2527 is an isolated pulsar with a period of 4.87 ms, and PSR J1949+3106 has a period of 13.14 ms and is in a 1.9-day binary system with a massive companion. Their timing solutions, based on 4 years of timing measurements with the Arecibo, Green Bank, Nan\\c{c}ay and Jodrell Bank telescopes, allow precise determination of spin and astrometric parameters, including precise determinations of their proper motions. For PSR J1949+3106, we can clearly detect the Shapiro delay. From this we measure the pulsar mass to be 1.47(+0.43/-0.31) solar masses, the companion mass to be 0.85(+0.14/-0.11) solar masses and the orbital inclination to be i = 79.9(+1.6/-1.9) degrees, where uncertainties correspond to +/- 1-\\sigma\\ confidence levels. With continued timing, we expect to also be able to detect the advance of periastron for the J1949+3106 system. This effect, combined with the Shapiro delay, wil...

  1. SDSS J102347.6+003841: A Millisecond Radio Pulsar Binary That Had A Hot Disk

    Wang, Zhongxiang; Thorstensen, John R; Kaspi, Victoria M; Lorimer, Duncan R; Stairs, Ingrid; Ransom, Scott M

    2009-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) source J102347.6+003841 is a binary star with a 4.75 hr orbital period. A recent radio pulsar survey showed that its primary is a millisecond pulsar (MSP). Here we analyze the SDSS spectrum of the source in detail. The spectrum was taken on 2001 February 1, when the source was in a bright state and showed broad, double-peaked hydrogen and helium lines -- dramatically different from the G-type absorption spectrum seen from 2003 onward. The lines are consistent with emission from a disk around the compact primary. We derive properties of the disk by fitting the SDSS continuum with a simple disk model, and find a temperature range of 2000--34000 K from the outer to inner edge of the disk. The disk inner and outer radii were approximately 10^9 and 5.7x10^10 cm, respectively. These results further emphasize the unique feature of the source: it is evidently a system at the beginning of its life as a recycled radio pulsar. The disk mass is estimated to have been ~10^23 g, most of ...

  2. Discovery of the Optical/Ultraviolet/Gamma-ray Counterpart to the Eclipsing Millisecond Pulsar J1816+4510

    Kaplan, D L; Ransom, S M; Roberts, M S E; Kotulla, R; Archibald, A M; Biwer, C M; Boyles, J; Dartez, L; Day, D F; Ford, A J; Garcia, A; Hessels, J W T; Jenet, F A; Karako, C; Kaspi, V M; Kondratiev, V I; Lorimer, D R; Lynch, R S; McLaughlin, M A; Rohr, M D W; Siemens, X; Stairs, I H; van Leeuwen, J

    2012-01-01

    The energetic, eclipsing millisecond pulsar J1816+4510 was recently discovered in a low-frequency radio survey with the Green Bank Telescope. With an orbital period of 8.7 hr and minimum companion mass of 0.16 Msun it appears to belong to an increasingly important class of pulsars that are ablating their low-mass companions. We report the discovery of the gamma-ray counterpart to this pulsar, and present a likely optical/ultraviolet counterpart as well. Using the radio ephemeris we detect pulsations in the unclassified gamma-ray source 2FGL J1816.5+4511, implying an efficiency of ~25% in converting the pulsar's spin-down luminosity into gamma-rays and adding PSR J1816+4510 to the large number of millisecond pulsars detected by Fermi. The likely optical/UV counterpart was identified through position coincidence (15,000 K it would be among the brightest and hottest of low-mass pulsar companions, and appears qualitatively different from other eclipsing pulsar systems. In particular, current data suggest that it ...

  3. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    Hailang, Dai

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars (MRPs) in this paper. We consider intermediate-mass and low-mss X-ray binaries (I/LMXBs) as the progenitors of MRPs, and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate (SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically. With typical value (~1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime, one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs, but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than observed in the Galaxy. Instead, we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint rather bright LMXBs. The former may have a population of ~ 104 in the Galaxy.

  4. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries(LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars(MRPs) in this paper.We consider intermediate-mass and low-mass X-ray binaries(I/LMXBs) to be the progenitors of MRPs,and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate(SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically.With a typical value(1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime,one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs,but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than that observed in the Galaxy.Instead,we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint to rather than bright LMXBs.The former may have a population of-104 in the Galaxy.

  5. Properties and observability of glitches and anti-glitches in accreting pulsars

    Ducci, L; Doroshenko, V; Santangelo, A; Mereghetti, S; Ferrigno, C

    2015-01-01

    Several glitches have been observed in young, isolated radio pulsars, while a clear detection in accretion-powered X-ray pulsars is still lacking. We use the "snowplow" model for pulsar glitches of Pizzochero (2011) and starquake models to determine for the first time the expected properties of glitches in accreting pulsars and their observability. Since some accreting pulsars show accretion-induced long-term spin-up, we also investigate the possibility that anti-glitches occur in these stars. We find that glitches caused by quakes in a slow accreting neutron star are very rare and their detection extremely unlikely. On the contrary, glitches and anti-glitches caused by a transfer of angular momentum between the superfluid neutron vortices and the non-superfluid component may take place in accreting pulsars more often. We calculate the maximum jump in angular velocity of an anti-glitch and we find that it is expected to be about 1E-5 - 1E-4 rad/s. We also note that since accreting pulsars usually have rotatio...

  6. Dynamic effects on cyclotron scattering in pulsar accretion columns

    Brainerd, J. J.; Meszaros, P.

    1991-01-01

    A resonant scattering model for photon reprocessing in a pulsar accretion column is presented. The accretion column is optically thin to Thomson scattering and optically thick to resonant scattering at the cyclotron frequency. Radiation from the neutron star surface propagates freely through the column until the photon energy equals the local cyclotron frequency, at which point the radiation is scattered, much of it back toward the star. The radiation pressure in this regime is insufficient to stop the infall. Some of the scattered radiation heats the stellar surface around the base of the column, which adds a softer component to the spectrum. The partial blocking by the accretion column of X-rays from the surface produces a fan beam emission pattern. X-rays above the surface cyclotron frequency freely escape and are characterized by a pencil beam. Gravitational light bending produces a pencil beam pattern of column-scattered radiation in the antipodal direction, resulting in a strongly angle-dependent cyclotron feature.

  7. New limits on the population of normal and millisecond pulsars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds

    Ridley, J P

    2010-01-01

    We model the potentially observable populations of normal and millisecond radio pulsars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) where the known population currently stands at 19 normal radio pulsars. Taking into account the detection thresholds of previous surveys, and assuming optimal period and luminosity distributions based on studies of Galactic pulsars, we estimate there are (1.79 +/- 0.20) x 10^4 and (1.09 +/- 0.16) x 10^4 normal pulsars in the LMC and SMC respectively. When we attempt to correct for beaming effects, and the fraction of high-velocity pulsars which escape the clouds, we estimate birth rates in both the LMC and SMC to be comparable and in the range 0.5--1 pulsar per century. Although higher than estimates for the rate of core-collapse supernovae in the clouds, these pulsar birth rates are consistent with historical supernova observations in the past 300 yr. A substantial population of active radio pulsars (of order a few hundred thousand) have escaped the LMC and SMC and po...

  8. Six New Millisecond Pulsars from Arecibo Searches of Fermi Gamma-Ray Sources

    Cromartie, H T; Kerr, M; Deneva, J S; Ransom, S M; Ray, P S; Ferrara, E C; Michelson, P F; Wood, K S

    2016-01-01

    We have discovered six radio millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in a search with the Arecibo telescope of 34 unidentified gamma-ray sources from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) 4-year point source catalog. Among the 34 sources, we also detected two MSPs previously discovered elsewhere. Each source was observed at a center frequency of 327 MHz, typically at three epochs with individual integration times of 15 minutes. The new MSP spin periods range from 1.99 to 4.66 ms. Five of the six pulsars are in interacting compact binaries (period < 8.1 hr), while the sixth is a more typical neutron star-white dwarf binary with an 83-day orbital period. This is a higher proportion of interacting binaries than for equivalent Fermi-LAT searches elsewhere. The reason is that Arecibo's large gain afforded us the opportunity to limit integration times to 15 minutes, which significantly increased our sensitivity to these highly accelerated systems. Seventeen of the remaining 26 gamma-ray sources are still categorized as strong...

  9. Einstein@Home Discovery of a PALFA Millisecond Pulsar in an Eccentric Binary Orbit

    Knispel, B; Stappers, B W; Freire, P C C; Lazarus, P; Allen, B; Aulbert, C; Bock, O; Bogdanov, S; Brazier, A; Camilo, F; Cardoso, F; Chatterjee, S; Cordes, J M; Crawford, F; Deneva, J S; Eggenstein, H -B; Fehrmann, H; Ferdman, R; Hessels, J W T; Jenet, F A; Karako-Argaman, C; Kaspi, V M; van Leeuwen, J; Lorimer, D R; Lynch, R; Machenschalk, B; Madsen, E; McLaughlin, M A; Patel, C; Ransom, S M; Scholz, P; Siemens, X; Spitler, L G; Stairs, I H; Stovall, K; Swiggum, J K; Venkataraman, A; Wharton, R S; Zhu, W W

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery of the millisecond pulsar (MSP) PSR J1950+2414 ($P=4.3$ ms) in a binary system with an eccentric ($e=0.08$) orbit in Pulsar ALFA survey observations with the Arecibo telescope. Its companion star has a median mass of 0.3 $M_\\odot$ and is most likely a white dwarf. Fully recycled MSPs like this one are thought to be old neutron stars spun-up by mass transfer from a companion star. This process should circularize the orbit, as is observed for the vast majority of binary MSPs, which predominantly have orbital eccentricities $e < 0.001$. However, four recently discovered binary MSPs have orbits with larger eccentricities ($0.03 < e < 0.4$); PSR J1950+2414 is only the fifth such system to be discovered. The upper limits for the the intrinsic spin period derivative and inferred surface magnetic field strength are comparable to those of the general MSP population. The large eccentricities of these systems are not compatible with the predictions of the standard recycling scenario: som...

  10. Formation of the planet around the millisecond pulsar J1719-1438

    van Haaften, L M; Voss, R; Jonker, P G

    2012-01-01

    Context. Recently the discovery of PSR J1719-1438, a 5.8 ms pulsar with a companion in a 2.2 hr orbit, was reported. The combination of this orbital period and the very low mass function is unique. The discoverers, Bailes et al., proposed an ultracompact X-ray binary (UCXB) as the progenitor system. However, the standard UCXB scenario would not produce this system as the time required to reach this orbital period exceeds the current estimate of the age of the Universe. The detached state of the system aggravates the problem. Aims. We want to understand the evolutionary history of PSR J1719-1438, and determine under which circumstances it could have evolved from an UCXB. Methods. We model UCXB evolution varying the donor size and investigate the effect of a wind mass loss from the donor, and compare the results with the observed characteristics of PSR J1719-1438. Results. An UCXB can reach a 2.2 hr orbit within the age of the Universe, provided that 1) the millisecond pulsar can significantly heat and expand t...

  11. Thermal X-rays from Millisecond Pulsars: Constraining the Fundamental Properties of Neutron Stars

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Rybicki, George B

    2008-01-01

    (Abridged) We model the X-ray properties of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) by considering hot spot emission from a weakly magnetized rotating neutron star (NS) covered by an optically-thick hydrogen atmosphere. We investigate the limitations of using the thermal X-ray pulse profiles of MSPs to constrain the mass-to-radius ($M/R$) ratio of the underlying NS. The accuracy is strongly dependent on the viewing angle and magnetic inclination. For certain systems, the accuracy is ultimately limited only by photon statistics implying that future X-ray observatories could, in principle, achieve constraints on $M/R$ and hence the NS equation of state to better than $\\sim$5%. We demonstrate that valuable information regarding the basic properties of the NS can be extracted even from X-ray data of fairly limited photon statistics through modeling of archival spectroscopic and timing observations of the nearby isolated PSRs J0030+0451 and J2124--3358. The X-ray emission from these pulsars is consistent with the presence of a...

  12. Formation of the planet orbiting the millisecond pulsar J1719-1438

    van Haaften, L M; Voss, R; Jonker, P G

    2012-01-01

    In 2011, Bailes et al. reported on the discovery of a detached companion in a 131 minute orbit around PSR J1719-1438, a 173 Hz millisecond pulsar. The combination of the very low mass function and such a short orbital period is unique. The discoverers suggested that the progenitor system could be an ultracompact X-ray binary (UCXB), which is a binary with a sub-hour orbital period in which a (semi-)degenerate donor fills its Roche lobe and transfers mass to a neutron star. The standard gravitational-wave driven UCXB scenario, however, cannot produce a system like PSR J1719-1438 as it would take longer than the age of the Universe to reach an orbital period of 131 min. We investigate two modifications to the standard UCXB evolution that may resolve this discrepancy. The first involves significant heating and bloating of the donor by pulsar irradiation, and in the second modification the system loses orbital angular momentum via a fast stellar wind from the irradiated donor, additional to the losses via the usu...

  13. A Highly Eccentric 3.9-Millisecond Binary Pulsar in the Globular Cluster NGC 6652

    DeCesar, Megan E; Kaplan, David L; Ray, Paul S; Geller, Aaron M

    2015-01-01

    We present the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope discovery of the highly eccentric binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1835$-$3259A in the Fermi Large Area Telescope-detected globular cluster NGC 6652. Timing over one orbit yields the pulse period 3.89 ms, orbital period 9.25 d, eccentricity $\\sim 0.95$, and an unusually high companion mass of $0.74\\,M_{\\odot}$ assuming a $1.4\\,M_{\\odot}$ pulsar. We caution that the lack of data near periastron prevents a precise measurement of the eccentricity, and that further timing is necessary to constrain this and the other orbital parameters. From tidal considerations, we find that the companion must be a compact object. This system likely formed through an exchange encounter in the dense cluster environment. Our initial timing results predict the measurements of at least two post-Keplerian parameters with long-term phase-connected timing: the rate of periastron advance $\\dot{\\omega} \\sim 0.1^{\\circ}\\,$yr$^{-1}$, requiring 1 yr of phase connection; and the Einstein delay ...

  14. Radio Detection of the Fermi-LAT Blind Search Millisecond Pulsar J1311-3430

    Ray, P. S.; Ransom, S. M.; Cheung, C. C.; Giroletti, M.; Cognard, I.; Camilo, F.; Bhattacharyya, B.; Roy, J.; Romani, R. W.; Ferrara, E. C.; Guillemot, L.; Johnston, S.; Keith, M.; Kerr, M.; Kramer, M.; Pletsch, H. J.; Parkinson, P. M. Saz

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection of radio emission from PSR J1311.3430, the first millisecond pulsar (MSP) discovered in a blind search of Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) gamma-ray data. We detected radio pulsations at 2 GHz, visible for less than 10% of approximately 4.5 hr of observations using the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Observations at 5 GHz with the GBT and at several lower frequencies with Parkes, Nan cay, and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope resulted in non-detections. We also report the faint detection of a steep spectrum continuum radio source (0.1 mJy at 5 GHz) in interferometric imaging observations with the Jansky Very Large Array. These detections demonstrate that PSR J1311.3430 is not radio quiet and provide additional evidence that radio-quiet MSPs are rare. The radio dispersion measure of 37.8 pc cm(exp -3) provides a distance estimate of 1.4 kpc for the system, yielding a gamma-ray efficiency of 30%, typical of LAT-detected MSPs. We see apparent excess delay in the radio pulses as the pulsar appears from eclipse and we speculate on possible mechanisms for the non-detections of the pulse at other orbital phases and observing frequencies.

  15. Constraints on the Emission Geometries and Spin Evolution of Gamma-ray Millisecond Pulsars

    Johnson, T J; Harding, A K; Guillemot, L; Smith, D A; Kramer, M; Celik, O; Hartog, P R den; Ferrara, E C; Hou, X; Lande, J; Ray, P S

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are a growing class of gamma-ray emitters. Pulsed gamma-ray signals have been detected from more than 40 MSPs with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The wider radio beams and more compact magnetospheres of MSPs enable studies of emission geometries over a broader range of phase space than non-recycled radio-loud gamma-ray pulsars. We have modeled the gamma-ray light curves of 40 LAT-detected MSPs using geometric emission models assuming a vacuum retarded-dipole magnetic field. We modeled the radio profiles using a single-altitude hollow-cone beam, with a core component when indicated by polarimetry; however, for MSPs with gamma-ray and radio light curve peaks occurring at nearly the same rotational phase we assume that the radio emission is co-located with the gamma rays and caustic in nature. The best-fit parameters and confidence intervals are determined using a maximum likelihood technique. We divide the light curves into three model classes, with gamma-ray peaks trailing (Cl...

  16. The noise properties of 42 millisecond pulsars from the European Pulsar Timing Array and their impact on gravitational-wave searches

    Caballero, R. N.; Lee, K. J.; Lentati, L.; Desvignes, G.; Champion, D. J.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Janssen, G. H.; Stappers, B. W.; Kramer, M.; Lazarus, P.; Possenti, A.; Tiburzi, C.; Perrodin, D.; Osłowski, S.; Babak, S.; Bassa, C. G.; Brem, P.; Burgay, M.; Cognard, I.; Gair, J. R.; Graikou, E.; Guillemot, L.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Karuppusamy, R.; Lassus, A.; Liu, K.; McKee, J.; Mingarelli, C. M. F.; Petiteau, A.; Purver, M. B.; Rosado, P. A.; Sanidas, S.; Sesana, A.; Shaifullah, G.; Smits, R.; Taylor, S. R.; Theureau, G.; van Haasteren, R.; Vecchio, A.

    2016-04-01

    The sensitivity of Pulsar Timing Arrays to gravitational waves (GWs) depends on the noise present in the individual pulsar timing data. Noise may be either intrinsic or extrinsic to the pulsar. Intrinsic sources of noise will include rotational instabilities, for example. Extrinsic sources of noise include contributions from physical processes which are not sufficiently well modelled, for example, dispersion and scattering effects, analysis errors and instrumental instabilities. We present the results from a noise analysis for 42 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) observed with the European Pulsar Timing Array. For characterizing the low-frequency, stochastic and achromatic noise component, or `timing noise', we employ two methods, based on Bayesian and frequentist statistics. For 25 MSPs, we achieve statistically significant measurements of their timing noise parameters and find that the two methods give consistent results. For the remaining 17 MSPs, we place upper limits on the timing noise amplitude at the 95 per cent confidence level. We additionally place an upper limit on the contribution to the pulsar noise budget from errors in the reference terrestrial time standards (below 1 per cent), and we find evidence for a noise component which is present only in the data of one of the four used telescopes. Finally, we estimate that the timing noise of individual pulsars reduces the sensitivity of this data set to an isotropic, stochastic GW background by a factor of >9.1 and by a factor of >2.3 for continuous GWs from resolvable, inspiralling supermassive black hole binaries with circular orbits.

  17. The accretion flow to the intermittent accreting ms pulsar, HETE J1900.1-2455, as observed by XMM-Newton and RXTE

    Papitto, A; Di Salvo, T; Egron, E; Bozzo, E; Burderi, L; Iaria, R; Riggio, A; Menna, M T

    2012-01-01

    We present a study of the accretion flow to the intermittent accreting millisecond pulsar, HETE J1900.1-2455, based on observations performed simultaneously by XMM-Newton and RXTE. The 0.33-50 keV spectrum is described by the sum of a hard Comptonized component originated in an optically thin {\\tau}~1 corona, a soft kTin~0.2 keV component interpreted as accretion disc emission, and of disc reflection of the hard component. Two emission features are detected at energies of 0.98(1) and 6.58(7) keV, respectively. The latter is identified as K{\\alpha} transition of Fe XXIII-XXV. A simultaneous detection in EPIC-pn, EPIC-MOS2, and RGS spectra favours an astrophysical origin also for the former, which has an energy compatible with Fe-L{\\alpha} and helium-like Ne-K{\\alpha} transitions. Broadness of the two features suggests a common origin, resulting from reflection in an accretion disc with inclination of (30+4{\\deg}), and extending down to Rin=25(+16,-11) gravitational radii from the compact object. However, the s...

  18. CONSTRAINTS ON THE EMISSION GEOMETRIES AND SPIN EVOLUTION OF GAMMA-RAY MILLISECOND PULSARS

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are a growing class of gamma-ray emitters. Pulsed gamma-ray signals have been detected from more than 40 MSPs with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The wider radio beams and more compact magnetospheres of MSPs enable studies of emission geometries over a broader range of phase space than non-recycled radio-loud gamma-ray pulsars. We have modeled the gamma-ray light curves of 40 LAT-detected MSPs using geometric emission models assuming a vacuum retarded-dipole magnetic field. We modeled the radio profiles using a single-altitude hollow-cone beam, with a core component when indicated by polarimetry; however, for MSPs with gamma-ray and radio light curve peaks occurring at nearly the same rotational phase, we assume that the radio emission is co-located with the gamma rays and caustic in nature. The best-fit parameters and confidence intervals are determined using a maximum likelihood technique. We divide the light curves into three model classes, with gamma-ray peaks trailing (Class I), aligned (Class II), or leading (Class III) the radio peaks. Outer gap and slot gap (two-pole caustic) models best fit roughly equal numbers of Class I and II, while Class III are exclusively fit with pair-starved polar cap models. Distinguishing between the model classes based on typical derived parameters is difficult. We explore the evolution of the magnetic inclination angle with period and spin-down power, finding possible correlations. While the presence of significant off-peak emission can often be used as a discriminator between outer gap and slot gap models, a hybrid model may be needed

  19. CONSTRAINTS ON THE EMISSION GEOMETRIES AND SPIN EVOLUTION OF GAMMA-RAY MILLISECOND PULSARS

    Johnson, T. J. [National Research Council Research Associate, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC 20001 (United States); Venter, C. [Centre for Space Research, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X6001, 2520 Potchefstroom (South Africa); Harding, A. K.; Çelik, Ö.; Ferrara, E. C. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Guillemot, L. [Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l' Environnement, LPCE UMR 6115 CNRS, F-45071 Orléans Cedex 02 (France); Smith, D. A.; Hou, X. [Centre d' Études Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan, IN2P3/CNRS, Université Bordeaux 1, BP120, F-33175 Gradignan Cedex (France); Kramer, M. [Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn (Germany); Den Hartog, P. R. [W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Lande, J. [Twitter Inc., 1355 Market Street 900, San Francisco, CA 94103 (United States); Ray, P. S., E-mail: tyrel.j.johnson@gmail.com, E-mail: Christo.Venter@nwu.ac.za, E-mail: ahardingx@yahoo.com [Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are a growing class of gamma-ray emitters. Pulsed gamma-ray signals have been detected from more than 40 MSPs with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The wider radio beams and more compact magnetospheres of MSPs enable studies of emission geometries over a broader range of phase space than non-recycled radio-loud gamma-ray pulsars. We have modeled the gamma-ray light curves of 40 LAT-detected MSPs using geometric emission models assuming a vacuum retarded-dipole magnetic field. We modeled the radio profiles using a single-altitude hollow-cone beam, with a core component when indicated by polarimetry; however, for MSPs with gamma-ray and radio light curve peaks occurring at nearly the same rotational phase, we assume that the radio emission is co-located with the gamma rays and caustic in nature. The best-fit parameters and confidence intervals are determined using a maximum likelihood technique. We divide the light curves into three model classes, with gamma-ray peaks trailing (Class I), aligned (Class II), or leading (Class III) the radio peaks. Outer gap and slot gap (two-pole caustic) models best fit roughly equal numbers of Class I and II, while Class III are exclusively fit with pair-starved polar cap models. Distinguishing between the model classes based on typical derived parameters is difficult. We explore the evolution of the magnetic inclination angle with period and spin-down power, finding possible correlations. While the presence of significant off-peak emission can often be used as a discriminator between outer gap and slot gap models, a hybrid model may be needed.

  20. Constraints On the Emission Geometries and Spin Evolution Of Gamma-Ray Millisecond Pulsars

    Johnson, T. J.; Venter, C.; Harding, A. K.; Guillemot, L.; Smith, D. A.; Kramer, M.; Celik, O.; den Hartog, P. R.; Ferrara, E. C.; Hou, X.; Lande, J.; Ray, P. S.

    2014-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are a growing class of gamma-ray emitters. Pulsed gamma-ray signals have been detected from more than 40 MSPs with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The wider radio beams and more compact magnetospheres of MSPs enable studies of emission geometries over a broader range of phase space than non-recycled radio-loud gamma-ray pulsars. We have modeled the gamma-ray light curves of 40 LAT-detected MSPs using geometric emission models assuming a vacuum retarded-dipole magnetic field. We modeled the radio profiles using a single-altitude hollow-cone beam, with a core component when indicated by polarimetry; however, for MSPs with gamma-ray and radio light curve peaks occurring at nearly the same rotational phase, we assume that the radio emission is co-located with the gamma rays and caustic in nature. The best-fit parameters and confidence intervals are determined using amaximum likelihood technique.We divide the light curves into three model classes, with gamma-ray peaks trailing (Class I), aligned (Class II), or leading (Class III) the radio peaks. Outer gap and slot gap (two-pole caustic) models best fit roughly equal numbers of Class I and II, while Class III are exclusively fit with pair-starved polar cap models. Distinguishing between the model classes based on typical derived parameters is difficult. We explore the evolution of the magnetic inclination angle with period and spin-down power, finding possible correlations. While the presence of significant off-peak emission can often be used as a discriminator between outer gap and slot gap models, a hybrid model may be needed.

  1. Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Ray Acceleration by Magnetic Reconnection in Newborn Accretion Induced Collapse Pulsars

    De Gouveia dal Pino, E M

    2000-01-01

    We here investigate the possibility that the ultra-high energy cosmic ray(UHECR) events observed above the GZK limit are mostly protons accelerated inreconnection sites just above the magnetosphere of newborn millisecond pulsarswhich are originated by accretion induced collapse (AIC). We find thatAIC-pulsars with surface magnetic fields $10^{12} G < B_{\\star} \\lesssim10^{15}$ G and spin periods $1 ms \\lesssim P_{\\star} < 60 ms$, are able toaccelerate particles to energies $\\geq 10^{20}$ eV. Because the expected rateof AIC sources in our Galaxy is very small (\\sim 10^{-5} yr^{-1}), thecorresponding contribution to the flux of UHECRs is neglegible, and the totalflux is given by the integrated contribution from AIC sources produced by thedistribution of galaxies located within the distance which is unaffected by theGZK cutoff ($\\sim 50 $ Mpc). We find that the reconnection efficiency factorneeds to be only $ \\xi \\gtrsim 3.6 \\times 10^{-3}$ in order to reproduce theobserved flux of UHECRs.

  2. Scintillation Arcs in Low-frequency Observations of the Timing-array Millisecond Pulsar PSR J0437-4715

    Bhat, N. D. R.; Ord, S. M.; Tremblay, S. E.; McSweeney, S. J.; Tingay, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Low-frequency observations of pulsars provide a powerful means for probing the microstructure in the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM). Here we report on high-resolution dynamic spectral analysis of our observations of the timing-array millisecond pulsar PSR J0437-4715 with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), enabled by our recently commissioned tied-array beam processing pipeline for voltage data recorded from the high time resolution mode of the MWA. A secondary spectral analysis reveals faint parabolic arcs akin to those seen in high-frequency observations of pulsars with the Green Bank and Arecibo telescopes. Data from Parkes observations at a higher frequency of 732 MHz reveal a similar parabolic feature with a curvature that scales approximately as the square of the observing wavelength (λ2) to the MWA's frequency of 192 MHz. Our analysis suggests that scattering toward PSR J0437-4715 predominantly arises from a compact region about 115 pc from the Earth, which matches well with the expected location of the edge of the Local Bubble that envelopes the local Solar neighborhood. As well as demonstrating new and improved pulsar science capabilities of the MWA, our analysis underscores the potential of low-frequency pulsar observations for gaining valuable insights into the local ISM and for characterizing the ISM toward timing-array pulsars.

  3. Modeling Light Curves of the Phase-Aligned Gamma-ray Millisecond Pulsar Subclass

    Venter, C; Harding, A K

    2011-01-01

    The gamma-ray population of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has been steadily increasing. A number of the more recent detections, including PSR J0034-0534, PSR J1939+2134 (B1937+21; the first MSP ever discovered), PSR J1959+2048 (B1957+20; the first black widow system), and PSR J2214+3000 exhibit an unusual phenomenon: nearly phase-aligned radio and gamma-ray light curves (LCs). To account for the phase alignment, we explore geometric models where both the radio and gamma-ray emission originate either in the outer magnetosphere near the light cylinder (R_LC) or near the polar caps (PCs). We obtain reasonable fits for the first three of these MSPs in the context of "altitude-limited" outer gap (alOG) and two-pole caustic (alTPC) geometries. The outer magnetosphere phase-aligned models differ from the standard outer gap (OG) / two-pole caustic (TPC) models in two respects: first, the radio emission originates in caustics at relatively high altitudes compared to the us...

  4. Estimating the GeV Emission of Millisecond Pulsars in Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

    Winter, Miles; Bechtol, Keith; Vandenbroucke, Justin

    2016-01-01

    We estimate the conventional astrophysical emission intrinsic to dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies (dSphs) of the Milky Way, focusing on millisecond pulsars (MSPs), and evaluate the potential for confusion with dark matter (DM) annihilation signatures at GeV energies. In low-density stellar environments, such as dSphs, the abundance of MSPs is expected to be proportional to stellar mass. Accordingly, we construct the $\\gamma$-ray luminosity function of MSPs in the Milky Way disk, where $>90$ individual MSPs have been detected with the $\\textit{Fermi}$ Large Area Telescope (LAT), and scale this luminosity function to the stellar masses of 30 dSphs to estimate the cumulative emission from their MSP populations. We predict that MSPs in the highest stellar mass dSphs, Fornax and Sculptor, produce a $\\gamma$-ray flux $>500$ MeV of $\\sim10^{-11}$~ph~cm$^{-2}$~s$^{-1}$, which is a factor $\\sim10$ below the current LAT sensitivity at high Galactic latitudes. The MSP emission in ultra-faint dSphs, including targets ...

  5. High-fidelity radio astronomical polarimetry using a millisecond pulsar as a polarized reference source

    van Straten, W

    2012-01-01

    A new method of polarimetric calibration is presented in which the instrumental response is derived from regular observations of PSR J0437-4715 based on the assumption that the mean polarized emission from this millisecond pulsar remains constant over time. The technique is applicable to any experiment in which high-fidelity polarimetry is required over long time scales; it is demonstrated by calibrating 7.2 years of high-precision timing observations of PSR J1022+1001 made at the Parkes Observatory. Application of the new technique followed by arrival time estimation using matrix template matching yields post-fit residuals with an uncertainty-weighted standard deviation of 880 ns, two times smaller than that of arrival time residuals obtained via conventional methods of calibration and arrival time estimation. The precision achieved by this experiment yields the first significant measurements of the secular variation of the projected semi-major axis, the precession of periastron, and the Shapiro delay; it al...

  6. One blind and three targeted searches for (sub)millisecond pulsars

    Davoust, E; Fayard, T

    2011-01-01

    We conducted one blind and three targeted searches for millisecond and submillisecond pulsars. The blind search was conducted within 3deg of the Galactic plane and at longitudes between 20 and 110deg. It takes 22073 pointings to cover this region, and 5487 different positions in the sky. The first targeted search was aimed at Galactic globular clusters, the second one at 24 bright polarized and pointlike radiosources with steep spectra, and the third at 65 faint polarized and pointlike radiosources. The observations were conducted at the large radiotelescope of Nancay Observatory, at a frequency near 1400 MHz. Two successive backends were used, first a VLBI S2 system, second a digital acquisition board and a PC with large storage capacity sampling the signal at 50 Mb/s on one bit, over a 24-MHz band and in one polarization. The bandwidth of acquisition of the second backend was later increased to 48 MHz and the sampling rate to 100 Mb/s. The survey used the three successive setups, with respective sensitiviti...

  7. The millisecond pulsar mass distribution: Evidence for bimodality and constraints on the maximum neutron star mass

    Antoniadis, John; Ozel, Feryal; Barr, Ewan; Champion, David J; Freire, Paulo C C

    2016-01-01

    The mass function of neutron stars (NSs) contains information about the late evolution of massive stars, the supernova explosion mechanism, and the equation-of-state of cold, nuclear matter beyond the nuclear saturation density. A number of recent NS mass measurements in binary millisecond pulsar (MSP) systems increase the fraction of massive NSs (with $M > 1.8$ M$_{\\odot}$) to $\\sim 20\\% $ of the observed population. In light of these results, we employ a Bayesian framework to revisit the MSP mass distribution. We find that a single Gaussian model does not sufficiently describe the observed population. We test alternative empirical models and infer that the MSP mass distribution is strongly asymmetric. The diversity in spin and orbital properties of high-mass NSs suggests that this is most likely not a result of the recycling process, but rather reflects differences in the NS birth masses. The asymmetry is best accounted for by a bimodal distribution with a low mass component centred at $1.393_{-0.029}^{+0.0...

  8. A millisecond pulsar candidate in a 21-hr orbit: 3FGL J0212.1+5320

    Linares, Manuel; Rodríguez-Gil, Pablo; Shahbaz, Tariq; Casares, Jorge; Fariña, Cecilia; Karjalainen, Raine

    2016-01-01

    We present the discovery of a variable optical counterpart to the unidentified gamma-ray source 3FGL J0212.1+5320, and argue this is a new compact binary millisecond pulsar (MSP) candidate. We show 3FGL J0212.1+5320 hosts a semi-detached binary with a 0.86955$\\pm$0.00015 d orbital period and a F6-type companion star at an estimated distance of D=1.1$\\pm$0.2 kpc, with a radial velocity curve semi-amplitude K$_2$=214.1$\\pm$5.0 km s$^{-1}$ and a projected rotational velocity of Vsin(i)=73.2$\\pm$1.6 km s$^{-1}$. We find a hard X-ray source at the same location with a 0.5$-$10 keV luminosity L$_\\mathrm{X}$=2.6$\\times$10$^{32}$ (D/1.1 kpc)$^2$ erg s$^{-1}$, which strengthens the MSP identification. Our results imply a mass ratio q=M$_2$/M$_1$=0.26$^{+0.02}_{-0.03}$ if the companion star fills its Roche lobe, and q$\\gtrsim$0.23 in any case. This classifies 3FGL J0212.1+5320 as a "redback" binary MSP; if its MSP nature is confirmed, this will be the brightest compact binary MSP in the optical band (r'$\\simeq$14.3 mag...

  9. An eccentric binary millisecond pulsar with a helium white dwarf companion in the Galactic Field

    Antoniadis, John; Stovall, Kevin; Freire, Paulo C; Deneva, Julia S; Koester, Detlev; Jenet, Frederick; Martinez, Jose

    2016-01-01

    Low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs) are believed to be exclusive products of binary evolution, as the Universe is not yet old enough to produce them from single stars. Because of the strong tidal forces operating during the binary interaction phase, the remnant host systems observed today are expected to have negligible eccentricities. Here, we report on the first unambiguous identification of a LMWD in an eccentric (e=0.13) orbit with a millisecond pulsar, which directly contradicts this picture. We use our spectra and radio-timing solution (derived elsewhere) to infer the WD temperature T_eff = 8600 +/- 190 K) and 3D systemic velocity (179.5 km\\s). We also place model-independent constraints on the WD radius (R_WD = 0.024+/- 0.004/0.002 R_sun) and surface gravity (log g = 7.11 +/- 0.08/0.16 dex). The WD and kinematic properties are consistent with the expectations for low-mass X-ray binary evolution and disfavour a three-body formation channel. In the case of the high eccentricity being the result of a spontaneou...

  10. Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries, Millisecond Radio Pulsars, and the Cosmic Star Formation Rate

    White, N E; White, Nicholas E.; Ghosh, Pranab

    1998-01-01

    We report on the implications of the peak in the cosmic star-formation rate (SFR) at redshift z ~ 1.5 for the resulting population of low-mass X-ray binaries(LMXB) and for that of their descendants, the millisecond radio pulsars (MRP). Since the evolutionary timescales of LMXBs, their progenitors, and their descendants are thought be significant fractions of the time-interval between the SFR peak and the present epoch, there is a lag in the turn-on of the LMXB population, with the peak activity occurring at z ~ 0.5 - 1.0. The peak in the MRP population is delayed further, occurring at z < 0.5. We show that the discrepancy between the birthrate of LMXBs and MRPs, found under the assumption of a stead-state SFR, can be resolved for the population as a whole when the effects of a time-variable SFR are included. A discrepancy may persist for LMXBs with short orbital periods, although a detailed population synthesis will be required to confirm this. Further, since the integrated X-ray luminosity distribution of...

  11. Statistical and polarization properties of giant pulses of the millisecond pulsar B1937+21

    Zhuravlev, V I; Soglasnov, V A; Kondrat'ev, V I; Kovalev, Y Y; Bartel, N; Ghigo, F

    2013-01-01

    We have studied the statistical and polarization properties of giant pulses (GPs) emitted by the millisecond pulsar B1937+21, with high sensitivity and time resolution. The observations were made in June 2005 with the 100-m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope at S-band (2052-2116 MHz) using the Mk5A VLBI recording system, with formal time resolution of 16 ns. The total observing time was about 4.5 hours; the rate of detection of GPs was about 130 per hour at the average longitudes of the main pulse (MPGPs) and 60 per hour at the interpulse (IPGPs). While the average profile shows well-defined polarization behavior, with regular evolution of the linear polarization position angle (PA), GPs exhibit random properties, occasionally having high linear or circular polarization. Neither MPGPs nor IPGPs show a preferred PA. The cumulative probability distribution (CPD) of GP pulse energy was constructed down to the level where GPs merge with regular pulses and noise. For both MPGPs and IPGPs, the CPD follows a power ...

  12. A 24-Hour Global Campaign To Assess Precision Timing of the Millisecond Pulsar J1713+0747

    Dolch, T; Cordes, J M; Chatterjee, S; Bassa, C; Bhattacharyya, B; Champion, D J; Cognard, I; Crowter, K; Demorest, P B; Hessels, J W T; Janssen, G H; Jenet, F A; Jones, G; Jordan, C; Karuppusamy, R; Keith, M; Kondratiev, V I; Kramer, M; Lazarus, P; Lazio, T J W; Lee, K J; McLaughlin, M A; Roy, J; Shannon, R M; Stairs, I H; Stovall, K; Verbiest, J P W; Madison, D R; Palliyaguru, N; Perrodin, D; Ransom, S M; Stappers, B W; Zhu, W W; Dai, S; Desvignes, G; Guillemot, L; Liu, K; Lyne, A G; Perera, B B P; Petroff, E; Rankin, J M; Smits, R

    2014-01-01

    The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky, and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration undertook a 24-hour global observation of PSR J1713+0747 in an effort to better quantify sources of timing noise in this pulsar, particularly on intermediate (1 - 24 hr) timescales. We observed the pulsar continuously over 24 hr with the Arecibo, Effelsberg, GMRT, Green Bank, LOFAR, Lovell, Nancay, Parkes, and WSRT radio telescopes. The combined pulse times-of-arrival presented here provide an estimate of what sources of timing noise, excluding DM variations, would be present as compared to an idealized root-N improvement in timing precision, where N is the number of pulses analyzed. In the case of this particular pulsar, we find that intrinsic pulse phase jitter dominates arrival time precision when the S/N of single pulses exceeds unity, as measured using the eight telescopes that ob...

  13. A 24 hr global campaign to assess precision timing of the millisecond pulsar J1713+0747

    The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array Collaboration undertook a 24 hr global observation of PSR J1713+0747 in an effort to better quantify sources of timing noise in this pulsar, particularly on intermediate (1-24 hr) timescales. We observed the pulsar continuously over 24 hr with the Arecibo, Effelsberg, GMRT, Green Bank, LOFAR, Lovell, Nançay, Parkes, and WSRT radio telescopes. The combined pulse times-of-arrival presented here provide an estimate of what sources of timing noise, excluding DM variations, would be present as compared to an idealized √N improvement in timing precision, where N is the number of pulses analyzed. In the case of this particular pulsar, we find that intrinsic pulse phase jitter dominates arrival time precision when the signal-to-noise ratio of single pulses exceeds unity, as measured using the eight telescopes that observed at L band/1.4 GHz. We present first results of specific phenomena probed on the unusually long timescale (for a single continuous observing session) of tens of hours, in particular interstellar scintillation, and discuss the degree to which scintillation and profile evolution affect precision timing. This paper presents the data set as a basis for future, deeper studies.

  14. Statistical and polarization properties of giant pulses of the millisecond pulsar B1937+21

    Zhuravlev, V. I.; Popov, M. V.; Soglasnov, V. A.; Kondrat'ev, V. I.; Kovalev, Y. Y.; Bartel, N.; Ghigo, F.

    2013-04-01

    We have studied the statistical and polarization properties of giant pulses (GPs) emitted by the millisecond pulsar B1937+21, with high sensitivity and time resolution. The observations were made in 2005 June with the 100-m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope at S-band (2052-2116 MHz) using the Mk5A Very Long Baseline Interferometry recording system, with formal time resolution of 16 ns. The total observing time was about 4.5 h; the rate of detection of GPs was about 130 per hour at the average longitudes of the main pulse (MPGPs) and 60 per hour at the interpulse (IPGPs). While the average profile shows well-defined polarization behaviour, with regular evolution of the linear polarization position angle (PA), GPs exhibit random properties, occasionally having high linear or circular polarization. Neither MPGPs nor IPGPs show a preferred PA. The cumulative probability distribution (CPD) of GP pulse energy was constructed down to the level where GPs merge with regular pulses and noise. For both MPGPs and IPGPs, the CPD follows a power law with a break, the power index changing from -2.4 at high energy to -1.6 for low energy. Pulse smearing due to scattering masks the intrinsic shape and duration of the detected GPs. The smearing time varied during the observing session within a range of a few hundred nanoseconds. The measured polarization and statistical properties of GPs impose strong constraints on physical models of GPs. Some of these properties support a model in which GPs are generated by the electric discharge caused by magnetic reconnection of field lines connecting the opposite magnetic poles of a neutron star.

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

    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.

  16. Evidence for Magneto-Levitation Accretion in Long-Period X-ray Pulsars

    Ikhsanov, Nazar; Likh, Yury

    2014-01-01

    Study of observed spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars challenges quasi-spherical and Keplerian disk accretion scenarios. It suggests that the magnetospheric radius of the neutron stars is substantially smaller than Alfven radius and the spin-down torque applied to the star from accreting material significantly exceeds the value predicted by the theory. We show that these problems can be avoided if the fossil magnetic field of the accretion flow itself is incorporated into the accretion model. The initially spherical flow in this case decelerates by its own magnetic field and converts into a non-Keplerian disk (magnetic slab) in which the material is confined by its intrinsic magnetic field ("levitates") and slowly moves towards the star on a diffusion timescale. Parameters of pulsars expected within this magneto-levitation accretion scenario are evaluated.

  17. The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Observations, Arrival Time Measurements, and Analysis of 37 Millisecond Pulsars

    Arzoumanian, Z; Burke-Spolaor, S; Chamberlin, S; Chatterjee, S; Christy, B; Cordes, J M; Cornish, N; Crowter, K; Demorest, P B; Dolch, T; Ellis, J A; Ferdman, R D; Fonseca, E; Garver-Daniels, N; Gonzalez, M E; Jenet, F A; Jones, G; Jones, M; Kaspi, V M; Koop, M; Lazio, T J W; Lam, M T; Levin, L; Lommen, A N; Lorimer, D R; Luo, J; Lynch, R S; Madison, D; McLaughlin, M A; McWilliams, S T; Nice, D J; Palliyaguru, N; Pennucci, T T; Ransom, S M; Siemens, X; Stairs, I H; Stinebring, D R; Stovall, K; Swiggum, J K; Vallisneri, M; van Haasteren, R; Wang, Y; Zhu, W

    2015-01-01

    We present high-precision timing observations spanning up to nine years for 37 millisecond pulsars monitored with the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We describe the observational and instrumental setups used to collect the data, and methodology applied for calculating pulse times of arrival; these include novel methods for measuring instrumental offsets and characterizing low signal-to-noise ratio timing results. The time of arrival data are fit to a physical timing model for each source, including terms that characterize time-variable dispersion measure and frequency-dependent pulse shape evolution. In conjunction with the timing model fit, we have performed a Bayesian analysis of a parameterized timing noise model for each source, and detect evidence for time-correlated "red" signals in 10 of the pulsars. Subsequent papers in this series will present further analysis of this data set aimed at detecting o...

  18. A Shapiro delay detection in the binary system hosting the millisecond pulsar PSR J1910-5959A

    Corongiu, A; 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

    2012-01-01

    PSR J1910-5959A is a binary pulsar with a helium white dwarf companion located about 6 arcmin from the center of the globular cluster NGC6752. 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+/-0.018Msun (1sigma) implying that the pulsar mass lies in the range 1.1Msun <= Mp <= 1.5Msun. 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 helium white dwarfs 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 helium white dwarf 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 co...

  19. Pulsed Gamma-Rays From the Millisecond Pulsar J0030+0451 with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    We report the discovery of gamma-ray pulsations from the nearby isolated millisecond pulsar PSR J0030+0451 with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST). This discovery makes PSR J0030+0451 the second millisecond pulsar to be detected in gamma-rays after PSR J0218+4232, observed by the EGRET instrument on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The spin-down power (dot E) = 3.5 x 1033 ergs s-1 is an order of magnitude lower than the empirical lower bound of previously known gamma-ray pulsars. The emission profile is characterized by two narrow peaks, respectively 0.07 ± 0.01 and 0.08 ± 0.02 wide, separated by 0.44 ± 0.02 in phase. The first gamma-ray peak falls 0.15 ± 0.01 after the main radio peak. The pulse shape is similar to that of the 'normal' gamma-ray pulsars. An exponentially cut-off power-law fit of the emission spectrum leads to an integral photon flux above 100 MeV of (6.76 ± 1.05 ± 1.35) x 10-8 cm-2 s-1 with cut-off energy (1.7 ± 0.4 ± 0.5) GeV. Based on its parallax distance of (300 ± 90) pc, we obtain a gamma-ray efficiency Lγ/(dot E) ≅ 15% for the conversion of spin-down energy rate into gamma-ray radiation, assuming isotropic emission.

  20. The Helium White Dwarf orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar in the halo of the Globular Cluster NGC 6752

    Ferraro, F R; Sabbi, E; D'Amico, N; Ferraro, Francesco R.; Possenti, Andrea; Sabbi, Elena; Amico, Nichi D'

    2003-01-01

    We have used deep high-resolution multiband images taken at the ESO Very Large Telescope to identify the optical binary companion to the millisecond pulsar (PSR J1911-5958A) located in the halo of the Galactic Globular Cluster NGC6752. The object turns out to be a blue star whose position in the Color Magnitude Diagram is consistent with the cooling sequence of a low mass (M~0.17-0.20Mo), low metallicity Helium white dwarf (He-WD) at the cluster distance. This is the second He-WD which has been found to orbit a millisecond pulsar in GGCs. Curiously both objects have been found to lie on the same mass He-WD cooling sequence. The anomalous position of PSR J1911-5958A with respect to the globular cluster center (~6') suggested that this system has recently (<1 Gyr) been ejected from the cluster core as the result of a strong dynamical interaction. The data presented here allows to constrain the cooling age of the companion within a fairly narrow range (~1.2-2.8 Gyr), therefore suggesting that such dynamical e...

  1. THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715

    I present an analysis of the deepest X-ray exposure of a radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) to date, an X-ray Multi Mirror-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera spectroscopic and timing observation of the nearest known MSP, PSR J0437-4715. The timing data clearly reveal a secondary broad X-ray pulse offset from the main pulse by ∼0.55 in rotational phase. In the context of a model of surface thermal emission from the hot polar caps of the neutron star, this can be plausibly explained by a magnetic dipole field that is significantly displaced from the stellar center. Such an offset, if commonplace in MSPs, has important implications for studies of the pulsar population, high energy pulsed emission, and the pulsar contribution to cosmic-ray positrons. The continuum emission shows evidence for at least three thermal components, with the hottest radiation most likely originating from the hot magnetic polar caps and the cooler emission from the bulk of the surface. I present pulse phase-resolved X-ray spectroscopy of PSR J0437-4715, which for the first time properly accounts for the system geometry of a radio pulsar. Such an approach is essential for unbiased measurements of the temperatures and emission areas of polar cap radiation from pulsars. Detailed modeling of the thermal pulses, including relativistic and atmospheric effects, provides a constraint on the redshift-corrected neutron star radius of R > 11.1 km (at 3σ conf.) for the current radio timing mass measurement of 1.76 M ☉. This limit favors 'stiff' equations of state.

  2. DISCOVERY OF PSR J1227−4853: A TRANSITION FROM A LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARY TO A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR

    XSS J12270−4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9−4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disk disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227−4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm−3 associated with this source, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that, post-transition, the system hosts an active radio MSP. This is the third system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824−2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary states. We report timing observations of PSR J1227−4853 with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of the rotational and orbital parameters of the system. The companion mass measurement of 0.17–0.46 M⊙ suggests that this is a redback system. PSR J1227−4853 is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz with additional short-duration eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of ∼1035 erg s−1. We report simultaneous imaging and timing observations with the GMRT, which suggests that eclipses are caused by absorption rather than dispersion smearing or scattering

  3. DISCOVERY OF PSR J1227−4853: A TRANSITION FROM A LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARY TO A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR

    Roy, Jayanta; Bhattacharyya, Bhaswati; Stappers, Ben [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Ray, Paul S.; Wolff, Michael; Wood, Kent S. [Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States); Chengalur, Jayaram N. [National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune 411 007 (India); Deneva, Julia [NRC Research Associate, resident at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States); Camilo, Fernando [Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Johnson, Tyrel J. [College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA, resident at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Hessels, Jason W. T.; Bassa, Cees G. [ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo (Netherlands); Keane, Evan F. [Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Mail H30, P.O. Box 218, VIC 3122 (Australia); Ferrara, Elizabeth C.; Harding, Alice K. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2015-02-10

    XSS J12270−4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9−4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disk disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227−4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm{sup −3} associated with this source, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that, post-transition, the system hosts an active radio MSP. This is the third system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824−2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary states. We report timing observations of PSR J1227−4853 with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of the rotational and orbital parameters of the system. The companion mass measurement of 0.17–0.46 M{sub ⊙} suggests that this is a redback system. PSR J1227−4853 is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz with additional short-duration eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of ∼10{sup 35} erg s{sup −1}. We report simultaneous imaging and timing observations with the GMRT, which suggests that eclipses are caused by absorption rather than dispersion smearing or scattering.

  4. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N.; Postnov, K.; Kochetkova, A.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2012-02-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion on to slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model, the accreting matter subsonically settles down on to the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere. The settling regime of accretion can be realized for moderate accretion rates ? g s-1. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of the spin-up/spin-down rates (the angular rotation frequency derivative ?, and ? near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods, it is possible to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate the magnetic field of the neutron star. We illustrate the model by determining these parameters for three wind-fed X-ray pulsars GX 301-2, Vela X-1 and GX 1+4. The model explains both the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and the irregular short-term frequency fluctuations, which can correlate or anticorrelate with the X-ray flux fluctuations in different systems. It is shown that in real pulsars an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law with ω˜ 1/R2, due to strongly anisotropic radial turbulent motions sustained by large-scale convection, is preferred.

  5. Timing, polarimetry and physics of the bright, nearby millisecond pulsar PSR J0437-4715 - a single-pulse perspective

    Osłowski, S; Bailes, M; Jameson, A; Hobbs, G

    2014-01-01

    Single pulses from radio pulsars contain a wealth of information about emission and propagation in the magnetosphere and insight into their timing properties. It was recently demonstrated that single-pulse emission is responsible for limiting the timing stability of the brightest of millisecond pulsars. We report on an analysis of more than a million single-pulses from PSR J0437-4715 and present various statistical properties such as the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) distribution, timing and polarimetry of average profiles integrated from subpulses with chosen S/N cut-offs, modulation properties of the emission, phase-resolved statistics of the S/N, and two dimensional spherical histograms of the polarization vector orientation. The last of these indicates the presence of orthogonally polarised modes (OPMs). Combined with the dependence of the polarisation fraction on the S/N and polarimetry of the brightest pulses, the existence of OPMs constrains pulsar emission mechanisms and models for the plasma physics in...

  6. Scintillation arcs in low-frequency observations of the timing-array millisecond pulsar J0437-4715

    Bhat, N D R; Tremblay, S E; McSweeney, S J; Tingay, S J

    2015-01-01

    Low-frequency observations of pulsars provide a powerful means for probing the microstructure in the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM). Here we report on high-resolution dynamic spectral analysis of our observations of the timing-array millisecond pulsar J0437-4715 with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), enabled by our recently commissioned tied-array beam processing pipeline for voltage data recorded from the high time resolution mode of the MWA. A secondary spectral analysis reveals faint parabolic arcs, akin to those seen in high-frequency observations of pulsars with the Green Bank and Arecibo telescopes. Data from Parkes observations at a higher frequency of 732 MHz reveal a similar parabolic feature, with a curvature that scales approximately as the square of the observing wavelength ($\\lambda^2$) to the MWA's frequency of 192 MHz. Our analysis suggests that scattering toward PSR J0437-4715 predominantly arises from a compact region about 115 pc from the Earth, which matches well with the expected l...

  7. The Nearest Millisecond Pulsar Revisited with XMM-Newton: Improved Mass-Radius Constraints for PSR J0437-4715

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2012-01-01

    I present an analysis of the deepest X-ray exposure of a radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) to date, an X-ray Multi Mirror-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera spectroscopic and timing observation of the nearest known MSP, PSR J0437--4715. The timing data clearly reveal a secondary broad X-ray pulse offset from the main pulse by $\\sim$0.55 in rotational phase. In the context of a model of surface thermal emission from the hot polar caps of the neutron star, this can be plausibly explained by a magnetic dipole field that is significantly displaced from the stellar center. Such an offset, if commonplace in MSPs, has important implications for studies of the pulsar population, high energy pulsed emission, and the pulsar contribution to cosmic ray positrons. The continuum emission shows evidence for at least three thermal components, with the hottest radiation most likely originating from the hot magnetic polar caps and the cooler emission from the bulk of the surface. I present pulse phase-resolved X-ray spectrosco...

  8. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N. I.; Postnov, K. A.; Kochetkova, A. Yu.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter ...

  9. Application of a physical continuum model to recent X-ray observations of accreting pulsars

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana Monica; Pottschmidt, Katja; Wolff, Michael Thomas; Becker, Peter A.; Wood, Kent S.; Wilms, Joern; Britton Hemphill, Paul; Gottlieb, Amy; Fuerst, Felix; Schwarm, Fritz-Walter; Ballhausen, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    We present a uniform spectral analysis in the 0.5-50 keV energy range of a sample of accreting pulsars by applying an empirical broad-band continuum cut-off power-law model. We also apply the newly implemented physical continuum model developed by Becker and Wolff (2007, ApJ 654, 435) to a number of high-luminosity sources. The X-ray spectral formation process in this model consists of the Comptonization of bremsstrahlung, cyclotron, and black body photons emitted by the hot, magnetically channeled, accreting plasma near the neutron star surface. This model describes the spectral formation in high-luminosity accreting pulsars, where the dominant deceleration mechanism is via a radiation-dominated radiative shock. The resulting spectra depend on five physical parameters: the mass accretion rate, the radius of the accretion column, the electron temperature and electron scattering cross-sections inside the column, and the magnetic field strength. The empirical model is fitted to Suzaku data of a sample of high-mass X-ray binaries covering a broad luminosity range (0.3-5 x 10 37 erg/s). The physical model is fitted to Suzaku data from luminous sources: LMC X-4, Cen X-3, GX 304-1. We compare the results of the two types of modeling and summarize how they can provide new insight into the process of accretion onto magnetized neutron stars.

  10. Discovery of a millisecond pulsar in the 5.4 day binary 3FGL J1417.5-4402: observing the late phase of pulsar recycling

    Camilo, F; Ransom, S M; Halpern, J P; Bogdanov, S; Kerr, M; Ray, P S; Cordes, J M; Sarkissian, J; Barr, E D; Ferrara, E C

    2016-01-01

    In a search of the unidentified Fermi gamma-ray source 3FGL J1417.5-4402 with the Parkes radio telescope, we discovered PSR J1417-4402, a 2.66 ms pulsar having the same 5.4 day orbital period as the optical and X-ray binary identified by Strader et al. The existence of radio pulsations implies that the neutron star is currently not accreting. Substantial outflows from the companion render the radio pulsar undetectable for more than half of the orbit, and may contribute to the observed Halpha emission. Our initial pulsar observations, together with the optically inferred orbit and inclination, imply a mass ratio of 0.171+/-0.002, a companion mass of M_2=0.33+/-0.03 Msun, and a neutron star mass in the range 1.77

  11. A new model for the X-ray continuum of the magnetized accreting pulsars

    Farinelli, R; Bozzo, E; Becker, P A

    2016-01-01

    Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high statistical quality broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray observations are available, the spectral energy distribution of these sources is usually investigated by adopting pure phenomenological models, rather than models linked to the physics of accretion. In this paper, a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission recorded from the high-mass X-ray binary pulsars Cen X-3, 4U 0115+63, and Her X-1 is carried out by using BeppoSAX and joined Suzaku+NuStar data, together with an advanced version of the compmag model. The latter provides a physical description of the high energy emission from accreting pulsars, including the thermal and bulk Comptonization of cyclotron and bremsstrahlung seed photons along the neutron star accretion column. The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been impr...

  12. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N I; Kochetkova, A Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instability while taking cooling into account. The settling regime of accretion is possible for moderate X-ray luminosities L <4 10^36 erg/s. At higher luminosities a free-fall gap above the NS magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of wind accreting equilibrium XPSRs with known orbital periods (GX 301-2, Vela X-1), the main dimensionless parameters of the model and be determin...

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

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

  14. Nustar Detection of Hard X-Ray Phase Lags from the Accreting Pulsar GS 0834-430

    Miyasaka, Hiromasa; Bachetti, Matteo; Harrison, Fiona A.; Fu¨rst, Felix; Barret, Didier; Bellm, Eric C.; Boggs, Steven E.; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chenevez, Jérôme; Christensen, Finn Erland; Craig, William W.; Grefenstette, Brian W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Madsen, Kristin K.; Natalucci, Lorenzo; Pottschmidt, Katja; Stern, Daniel; Tomsick, John A.; Walton, Dominic J.; Wilms, Jo¨rn; Zhang, William

    2013-01-01

    V with high statistical significance. We find the phase-averaged spectrum to be consistent with that observed in many other magnetized, accreting pulsars. We fail to detect cyclotron resonance scattering features that would allow us to constrain the pulsar's magnetic field in either phase-averaged or...

  15. Constraints on the Emission Geometries of Gamma-ray Millisecond Pulsars Observed with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    Johnson, T J

    2012-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have been established as a class of high-energy ($\\geq$0.1 GeV) emitters with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the \\emph{Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope}. Most MSP gamma-ray light curves display sharp peaks indicative of thin accelerating gaps, suggesting copious pair-creation in the open volume. MSP gamma-ray and radio light curves have been simulated using geometric outer-gap (OG), slot-gap/two-pole caustic (TPC), and pair-starved polar cap gamma-ray models and either a hollow-cone beam or altitude-limited, outer-magnetospheric gap radio model, all assuming a vacuum retarded dipolar magnetic field geometry. A Markov chain Monte Carlo maximum likelihood technique has been developed to find the best-fit model parameters for nineteen MSPs using data from the LAT and various radio observatories. The best-fit viewing angles follow a uniform, angular distribution. The distribution of magnetic inclination angles favors all angles equally, contrary to analyses of non-recycled pulsars...

  16. Timing and Fermi LAT Analysis of Four Millisecond Pulsars Discovered in Parkes Radio Searches of Gamma-ray Sources

    Ray, Paul S.; Ransom, Scott M.; Camilo, Fernando M.; Kerr, Matthew; Reynolds, John; Sarkissian, John; Freire, Paulo; Thankful Cromartie, H.; Barr, Ewan D.

    2016-01-01

    We present phase-connected timing solutions for four binary millisecond pulsars discovered in searches of Fermi LAT gamma-ray sources using the Parkes radio telescope. Follow-up timing observations of PSRs J0955-6150, J1012-4235, J1036-8317, and J1946-5403 have yielded timing models with precise orbital and astrometric parameters. For each pulsar, we also did a gamma-ray spectral analysis using LAT Pass 8 data and generated photon probabilities for use in a weighted H-test pulsation test. In all 4 cases, we detect significant gamma-ray pulsations, confirming the identification with the gamma-ray source originally targeted in the discovery observations. We describe the results of the pulse timing and gamma-ray spectral and timing analysis and the characteristics of each of the systems. The Fermi-LAT Collaboration acknowledges support for LAT development, operation and data analysis from NASA and DOE (United States), CEA/Irfu and IN2P3/CNRS (France), ASI and INFN (Italy), MEXT, KEK, and JAXA (Japan), and the K.A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and the National Space Board (Sweden). Science analysis support in the operations phase from INAF (Italy) and CNES (France) is also gratefully acknowledged. NRL participation was funded by NASA.

  17. Multi-wavelength Observations of 3FGL J2039.6-5618: A Candidate Redback Millisecond Pulsar

    Salvetti, D.; Mignani, R. P.; De Luca, A.; Delvaux, C.; Pallanca, C.; Belfiore, A.; Marelli, M.; Breeveld, A. A.; Greiner, J.; Becker, W.; Pizzocaro, D.

    2015-12-01

    We present multi-wavelength observations of the unassociated γ-ray source 3FGL J2039.6-5618 detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. The source γ-ray properties suggest that it is a pulsar, most likely a millisecond pulsar, for which neither radio nor γ-ray pulsations have been detected. We observed 3FGL J2039.6-5618 with XMM-Newton and discovered several candidate X-ray counterparts within/close to the γ-ray error box. The brightest of these X-ray sources is variable with a period of 0.2245 ± 0.0081 days. Its X-ray spectrum can be described by a power law with photon index ΓX = 1.36 ± 0.09, and hydrogen column density NH star. The light curve profile of the companion star, which has two asymmetric peaks, suggests that the optical emission comes from two regions with different temperatures on its tidally distorted surface. Based upon its X-ray and optical properties, we consider this source as the most likely X-ray counterpart to 3FGL J2039.6-5618, which we propose to be a new redback system.

  18. Multi-wavelength observations of 3FGL J2039.6-5618: a candidate redback millisecond pulsar

    Salvetti, D; De Luca, A; Delvaux, C; Pallanca, C; Belfiore, A; Marelli, M; Breeveld, A A; Greiner, J; Becker, W; Pizzoccaro, D

    2015-01-01

    We present multi-wavelength observations of the unassociated gamma-ray source 3FGL J2039.6-5618 detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. The source gamma-ray properties suggest that it is a pulsar, most likely a millisecond pulsar, for which neither radio nor $\\gamma$-ray pulsations have been detected yet. We observed 3FGL J2039.6-5618 with XMM-Newton and discovered several candidate X-ray counterparts within/close to the gamma-ray error box. The brightest of these X-ray sources is variable with a period of 0.2245$\\pm$0.0081 d. Its X-ray spectrum can be described by a power law with photon index $\\Gamma_X =1.36\\pm0.09$, and hydrogen column density $N_{\\rm H} < 4 \\times 10^{20}$ cm$^{-2}$, which gives an unabsorbed 0.3--10 keV X-ray flux of $1.02 \\times 10^{-13}$ erg cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$. Observations with the Gamma-Ray Burst Optical/Near-Infrared Detector (GROND) discovered an optical counterpart to this X-ray source, with a time-average magnitude $g'\\sim 19.5$. The counterpart features a flux modulation ...

  19. PULSED GAMMA RAYS FROM THE MILLISECOND PULSAR J0030+0451 WITH THE FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE

    We report the discovery of gamma-ray pulsations from the nearby isolated millisecond pulsar (MSP) PSR J0030+0451 with the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST). This discovery makes PSR J0030+0451 the second MSP to be detected in gamma rays after PSR J0218+4232, observed by the EGRET instrument on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. The spin-down power E-dot=3.5x1033 erg s-1 is an order of magnitude lower than the empirical lower bound of previously known gamma-ray pulsars. The emission profile is characterized by two narrow peaks, 0.07 ± 0.01 and 0.08 ± 0.02 wide, respectively, separated by 0.44 ± 0.02 in phase. The first gamma-ray peak falls 0.15 ± 0.01 after the main radio peak. The pulse shape is similar to that of the 'normal' gamma-ray pulsars. An exponentially cutoff power-law fit of the emission spectrum leads to an integral photon flux above 100 MeV of (6.76 ± 1.05 ± 1.35) x 10-8 cm-2 s-1 with cutoff energy (1.7 ± 0.4 ± 0.5) GeV. Based on its parallax distance of (300 ± 90) pc, we obtain a gamma-ray efficiency Lγ/E-dot≅15 percent for the conversion of spin-down energy rate into gamma-ray radiation, assuming isotropic emission.

  20. TeV gamma-ray emission initiated by the population or individual millisecond pulsars within globular clusters

    Bednarek, W.; Sitarek, J.; Sobczak, T.

    2016-05-01

    Two energetic millisecond pulsars (MSPs) within globular clusters (GCs), J1823-3021A in NGC 6624 and PSR B1821-24 in M28, have been recently discovered to emit pulsed GeV γ-rays. These MSPs are expected to eject energetic leptons. Therefore, GCs have been proposed to produce GeV-TeV γ-rays as a result of the Comptonization process of the background radiation within a GC. We develop this general scenario by taking into account not only the diffusion process of leptons within a GC but also their advection with the wind from the GC. Moreover, we consider distribution of MSP within a GC and the effects related to the non-central location of the dominating, energetic MSP. Such more complete scenario is considered for the modelling of the GeV-TeV γ-ray emission from the core-collapsed GC M15 and also for GCs which contain recently discovered energetic MSPs within NGC 6624 and M28. The confrontation of the modelling of the γ-ray emission with the observations with the present Cherenkov telescopes and the future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) allows us to constrain more reliably the efficiency of lepton production within the inner magnetosphere of the MSPs and re-accelerated in their vicinity. We discuss the expected limits on this parameter in the context of expectations from the pulsar models. We conclude that deep observations of GCs, even with the present sensitivity of Cherenkov telescopes (the High Energy Stereoscopic System, the Major Atmospheric Gamma-Ray Imaging Cherenkov, the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), should start to constrain the models for the acceleration and radiation processes of leptons within the inner pulsar magnetosphere and its surrounding.

  1. The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Mass and Geometric Measurements of Binary Millisecond Pulsars

    Fonseca, Emmanuel; Ellis, Justin A; Stairs, Ingrid H; Nice, David J; Ransom, Scott M; Demorest, Paul B; Arzoumanian, Zaven; Crowter, Kathryn; Dolch, Timothy; Ferdman, Robert D; Gonzalez, Marjorie E; Jones, Glenn; Jones, Megan L; Lam, Michael T; Levin, Lina; McLaughlin, Maura A; Stovall, Kevin; Swiggum, Joseph K; Zhu, Weiwei

    2016-01-01

    We analyse 24 binary radio pulsars in the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) nine-year data set. We made fourteen significant measurements of Shapiro delay, including new detections in four pulsar-binary systems (PSRs J0613$-$0200, J2017+0603, J2302+4442, and J2317+1439), and derive estimates of the binary-component masses and orbital inclination for these MSP-binary systems. We find a wide range of binary pulsar masses, with values as low as $m_{\\rm p} = 1.18^{+0.10}_{-0.09}\\text{ M}_{\\odot}$ for PSR J1918$-$0642 and as high as $m_{\\rm p} = 1.928^{+0.017}_{-0.017}\\text{ M}_{\\odot}$ for PSR J1614$-$2230 (both 68.3\\% confidence). We make an improved measurement of the Shapiro timing delay in the PSR J1918$-$0642 and J2043+1711 systems, measuring the pulsar mass in the latter system to be $m_{\\rm p} = 1.41^{+0.21}_{-0.18}\\text{ M}_{\\odot}$ (68.3\\% confidence) for the first time. We measure secular variations of one or more orbital elements in many systems, and use these meas...

  2. Multiwavelength Observations of the Redback Millisecond Pulsar J1048+2339

    Deneva, J. S.; Ray, P. S.; Camilo, F.; Halpern, J. P.; Wood, K.; Cromartie, H. T.; Ferrara, E.; Kerr, M.; Ransom, S. M.; Wolff, M. T.; Chambers, K. C.; Magnier, E. A.

    2016-06-01

    We report on radio timing and multiwavelength observations of the 4.66 ms redback pulsar J1048+2339, which was discovered in an Arecibo search targeting the Fermi-Large Area Telescope source 3FGL J1048.6+2338. Two years of timing allowed us to derive precise astrometric and orbital parameters for the pulsar. PSR J1048+2339 is in a 6 hr binary and exhibits radio eclipses over half the orbital period and rapid orbital period variations. The companion has a minimum mass of 0.3 M ⊙, and we have identified a V ∼ 20 variable optical counterpart in data from several surveys. The phasing of its ∼1 mag modulation at the orbital period suggests highly efficient and asymmetric heating by the pulsar wind, which may be due to an intrabinary shock that is distorted near the companion, or to the companion’s magnetic field channeling the pulsar wind to specific locations on its surface. We also present gamma-ray spectral analysis of the source and preliminary results from searches for gamma-ray pulsations using the radio ephemeris.

  3. Multiwavelength Observations of the Redback Millisecond Pulsar J1048+2339

    Deneva, J S; Camilo, F; Halpern, J P; Wood, K; Cromartie, H T; Ferrara, E; Kerr, M; Ransom, S M; Wolff, M T; Chambers, K C; Magnier, E A

    2016-01-01

    We report on radio timing and multiwavelength observations of the 4.66 ms redback pulsar J1048+2339, which was discovered in an Arecibo search targeting the Fermi-LAT source 3FGLJ1048.6+2338. Two years of timing allowed us to derive precise astrometric and orbital parameters for the pulsar. PSR J1048+2339 is in a 6-hour binary, and exhibits radio eclipses over half the orbital period and rapid orbital period variations. The companion has a minimum mass of 0.3 solar masses, and we have identified a $V \\sim 20$ variable optical counterpart in data from several surveys. The phasing of its $\\sim 1$~mag modulation at the orbital period suggests highly efficient and asymmetric heating by the pulsar wind, which may be due to an intrabinary shock that is distorted near the companion, or to the companion's magnetic field channeling the pulsar wind to specific locations on its surface. We also present gamma-ray spectral analysis of the source and preliminary results from searches for gamma-ray pulsations using the radi...

  4. Pulsar spins from an instability in the accretion shock of supernovae.

    Blondin, John M; Mezzacappa, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    Rotation-powered radio pulsars are born with inferred initial rotation periods of order 300 ms (some as short as 20 ms) in core-collapse supernovae. In the traditional picture, this fast rotation is the result of conservation of angular momentum during the collapse of a rotating stellar core. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that pulsar spin is directly correlated with the rotation of the progenitor star. So far, however, stellar theory has not been able to explain the distribution of pulsar spins, suggesting that the birth rotation is either too slow or too fast. Here we report a robust instability of the stalled accretion shock in core-collapse supernovae that is able to generate a strong rotational flow in the vicinity of the accreting proto-neutron star. Sufficient angular momentum is deposited on the proto-neutron star to generate a final spin period consistent with observations, even beginning with spherically symmetrical initial conditions. This provides a new mechanism for the generation of neutron star spin and weakens, if not breaks, the assumed correlation between the rotational periods of supernova progenitor cores and pulsar spin. PMID:17203055

  5. Thermonuclear Burning on the Accreting X-Ray Pulsar GRO J1744-28

    Bildsten, L; Bildsten, Lars; Brown, Edward F.

    1996-01-01

    We investigate the thermal stability of nuclear burning on the accreting X-ray pulsar GRO J1744-28. The neutron star's dipolar magnetic field is 50 years. We also discuss the nature of the binary and point out that a velocity measurement of the stellar companion (most likely a Roche-lobe filling giant with m_K>17) will constrain the neutron star mass.

  6. Soft X-Ray Properties of the Binary Millisecond Pulsar J0437-4715

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman, L.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We obtained a light curve for the 5.75 ms pulsar J0437-4715 in the 65-120 A range with 0.5 ms time resolution using the Deep Survey instrument on the EUVE satellite. The single-peaked profile has a pulsed fraction of 0.27 +/- 0.05, similar to the ROSAT data in the overlapping energy band. A combined analysis of the EUVE and ROSAT data is consistent with a power-law spectrum of energy index alpha = 1.2 - 1.5, intervening column density N(sub H) = (5 - 8) x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, and luminosity 5.0 x 10(exp 30) ergs/s in the 0.1 - 2.4 keV band. We also use a bright EUVE/ROSAT source only 4.2 min. from the pulsar, the Seyfert galaxy RX J0437.4-4711 (= EUVE J0437-471 = IES 0435-472), to obtain an independent upper limit on the intervening absorption to the pulsar, N(sub H) less than 1.2 x 10(exp 20)/sq cm. Although a blackbody spectrum fails to fit the ROSAT data, two-component spectral fits to the combined EUVE/ROSAT data are used to limit the temperatures and surface areas of thermal emission that might make partial contributions to the flux. A hot polar cap of radius 50 - 600 m and temperature (1.0 - 3.3) x 10(exp 6) K could be present. Alternatively, a larger region with T = (4 - 12) x 10(exp 5) K and area less than 200 sq km, might contribute most of the EUVE and soft X-ray flux, but only if a hotter component were present as well. Any of these temperatures would require some mechanism(s) of surface reheating to be operating in this old pulsar, the most plausible being the impact of accelerated electrons and positrons onto the polar caps. The kinematically corrected spin-down power of PSR J0437-4715 is only 4 x 10(exp 33) ergs/s, which is an order of magnitude less than that of the lowest-luminosity gamma-ray pulsars Geminga and PSR B1055-52. The absence of high-energy gamma-rays from PSR J0437-4715 might signify an inefficient or dead outer gap accelerator, which in turn accounts for the lack of a more luminous reheated surface such as those intermediate-age gamma

  7. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model the accreting matter subsonically settles down onto the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere. The settling regime of accretion can be realized for moderate accretion rates $\\dot M< \\dot M_*\\simeq 4\\times 10^{16}$ g/s. At higher accretion rates a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of the spin-up/spin-down rates (the angular rotation frequency derivative $\\dot \\omega^*$, and $\\partial\\dot\\omega^*/\\partial\\dot M$ near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital perio...

  8. Quasi-spherical accretion in low-luminosity X-ray pulsars: Theory vs. observations

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2012-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion can be realized in slowly rotating wind-fed X-ray pulsars (XPSRs) at X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s. In this regime the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating NS magnetosphere by shear turbulent viscosity in the boundary layer or via large-scale convective motions. In the last case the differential rotation law in the shell is close to iso-angular-momentum rotation. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities while taking cooling into account. Measurements of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasi-spherically wind accreting XPSRs in equilibrium with known orbital periods (like e.g. GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable determination of the main dimensionless parameters of the model and the NS magnetic field. For equilibrium pulsars with indep...

  9. A new model for the X-ray continuum of the magnetized accreting pulsars

    Farinelli, Ruben; Ferrigno, Carlo; Bozzo, Enrico; Becker, Peter A.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high-quality broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray observations are available, the spectral energy distribution of these sources is usually investigated by adopting pure phenomenological models rather than models linked to the physics of accretion. Aims: In this paper, a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission recorded from the high-mass X-ray binary pulsars Cen X-3, 4U 0115+63, and Her X-1 is carried out by using BeppoSAX and joined Suzaku +NuStar data, together with an advanced version of the compmag model, which provides a physical description of the high-energy emission from accreting pulsars, including the thermal and bulk Comptonization of cyclotron and bremsstrahlung seed photons along the neutron star accretion column. Methods: The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been improved and consolidated during the preparation of this paper. Results: Our analysis shows that the broad-band X-ray continuum of all considered sources can be self-consistently described by the compmag model. The cyclotron absorption features (not included in the model) can be accounted for by using Gaussian components. From the fits of the compmag model to the data we inferred the physical properties of the accretion columns in all sources, finding values reasonably close to those theoretically expected according to our current understanding of accretion in highly magnetized neutron stars. Conclusions: The updated version of the compmag model has been tailored to the physical processes that are known to occur in the columns of highly magnetized accreting neutron stars and it can thus provide a better understanding of the high-energy radiation from these sources. The availability of broad-band high-quality X-ray data, such as those provided by BeppoSAX in

  10. Spectral formation in accreting X-ray pulsars: bimodal variation of the cyclotron energy with luminosity

    Becker, P. A.; Klochkov, D.; Schönherr, G.; Nishimura, O.; Ferrigno, C.; Caballero, I.; Kretschmar, P.; Wolff, M. T.; Wilms, J.; Staubert, R.

    2012-08-01

    Context. Accretion-powered X-ray pulsars exhibit significant variability of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature (CRSF) centroid energy on pulse-to-pulse timescales, and also on much longer timescales. Two types of spectral variability are observed. For sources in group 1, the CRSF energy is negatively correlated with the variable source luminosity, and for sources in group 2, the opposite behavior is observed. The physical basis for this bimodal behavior is currently not well understood. Aims: We explore the hypothesis that the accretion dynamics in the group 1 sources is dominated by radiation pressure near the stellar surface, and that Coulomb interactions decelerate the gas to rest in the group 2 sources. Methods: We derive a new expression for the critical luminosity, Lcrit, such that radiation pressure decelerates the matter to rest in sources with X-ray luminosity LX > Lcrit. The formula for Lcrit is based on a simple physical model for the structure of the accretion column in luminous X-ray pulsars that takes into account radiative deceleration, the energy dependence of the cyclotron cross section, the thermodynamics of the accreting gas, the dipole structure of the pulsar magnetosphere, and the diffusive escape of radiation through the column walls. We show that for typical neutron star parameters, Lcrit = 1.5 × 1037 B1216/15 erg s-1, where B12 is the surface magnetic field strength in units of 1012 G. Results: The formula for the critical luminosity is evaluated for five sources, using the maximum value of the CRSF centroid energy to estimate the surface magnetic field strength B12. The results confirm that the group 1 sources are supercritical (LX > Lcrit) and the group 2 sources are subcritical (LX function of LX for both the group 1 (supercritical) and the group 2 (subcritical) sources as a result of the variation of the emission height in the column.

  11. Signs of Magnetic Accretion in the X-ray Pulsar Binary GX 301-2

    Ikhsanov, N R

    2012-01-01

    Observations of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature in the X-ray spectrum of GX 301-2 suggest that the surface field of the neutron star is B_CRSF ~ 4 x 10^{12}G. The same value has been derived in modelling the rapid spin-up episodes in terms of the Keplerian disk accretion scenario. However, the spin-down rate observed during the spin-down trends significantly exceeds the value expected in currently used spin-evolution scenarios. This indicates that either the surface field of the star exceeds 50 x B_CRSF, or a currently used accretion scenario is incomplete. We show that the above discrepancy can be avoided if the accreting material is magnetized. The magnetic pressure in the accretion flow increases more rapidly than its ram pressure and, under certain conditions, significantly affects the accretion picture. The spin-down torque applied to the neutron star in this case is larger than that evaluated within a non-magnetized accretion scenario. We find that the observed spin evolution of the pulsar ca...

  12. Pulsar spins from an instability in the accretion shock of supernovae

    Blondin, J M; Blondin, John M.; Mezzacappa, Anthony

    2006-01-01

    Rotation-powered radio pulsars are born with inferred initial rotation periods of order 300 ms (some as short as 20 ms) in core-collapse supernovae. In the traditional picture, this fast rotation is the result of conservation of angular momentum during the collapse of a rotating stellar core. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that pulsar spin is directly correlated with the rotation of the progenitor star. So far, however, stellar theory has not been able to explain the distribution of pulsar spins, suggesting that the birth rotation is either too slow or too fast. Here we report a robust instability of the stalled accretion shock in core-collapse supernovae that is able to generate a strong rotational flow in the vicinity of the accreting proto-neutron star. Sufficient angular momentum is deposited on the proto-neutron star to generate a final spin period consistent with observations, even beginning with spherically symmetrical initial conditions. This provides a new mechanism for the generation of neu...

  13. New X-ray pulsar with a 67 millisecond period in the constellation Equuleus

    On 1977 November 18 and 19, the large area detector on the HEAO satellite pointed for 96 minutes toward one direction (centered at R. A. 21/sup h/3/sup m/ and decl.+9030'). At that time the 5 ms mode was employed, and 5 ms data accumulations were transmitted. Some 753,000 data points were epoch-folded to search for periods between 10 ms and 100 ms, and one period showed a very low expectation for random occurrences. This period was persistent for a long enough time to permit us to epoch-fold a large body of data and determine it precisely (to 0.1 μs), and see its light curve. All the tests which we performed indicate the existence of a pulsar in this place. The period of this pulsar is 67.5492 ms corrected for heliocentric coordinates (its local period is 67.55328 ms). Its expectation for random occurrence is lower than 5 x 10-9

  14. VizieR Online Data Catalog: ATNF Pulsar Catalogue (Manchester+, 2005)

    Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G. B.; Teoh, A.; Hobbs, M.

    2016-05-01

    The catalogue is a compilation of the principal observed parameters of pulsars, including positions, timing parameters, pulse widths, flux densities, proper motions, distances, and dispersion, rotation, and scattering measures. It also lists the orbital elements of binary pulsars, and some commonly used parameters derived from the basic measurements. The catalogue includes all published rotation-powered pulsars, including those detected only at high energies. It also includes Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) and Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters (SGRs) for which coherent pulsations have been detected. However, it excludes accretion-powered pulsars such as Her X-1 and the recently discovered X-ray millisecond pulsars. (2 data files).

  15. Neutron star crustal plate tectonics. I. Magnetic dipole evolution in millisecond pulsars and low-mass X-ray binaries

    Crust lattices in spinning-up or spinning-down neutron stars have growing shear stresses caused by neutron superfluid vortex lines pinned to lattice nuclei. For the most rapidly spinning stars, this stress will break and move the crust before vortex unpinning occurs. In spinning-down neutron stars, crustal plates will move an equatorial subduction zone in which the plates are forced into the stellar core below the crust. The opposite plate motion occurs in spinning-up stars. Magnetic fields which pass through the crust or have sources in it move with the crust. Spun-up neutron stars in accreting low-mass X-ray binaries LMXBs should then have almost axially symmetric magnetic fields. Spun-down ones with very weak magnetic fields should have external magnetic fields which enter and leave the neutron star surface only near its equator. The lowest field millisecond radiopulsars seem to be orthogonal rotators implying that they have not previously been spun-up in LMXBs but are neutron stars initially formed with periods near 0.001 s that subsequently spin down to their present periods. Accretion-induced white dwarf collapse is then the most plausible genesis for them. 29 refs

  16. Testing the millisecond pulsar scenario of the Galactic center gamma-ray excess with very high energy gamma-rays

    Yuan, Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The recent analyses of the Fermi Large Area Telescope data show an extended GeV $\\gamma$-ray excess on top of the expected diffuse background in the Galactic center region, which can be explained with annihilating dark matter or a population of millisecond pulsars (MSPs). We propose to observe the very high energy $\\gamma$-rays for distinguishing the MSP scenario from the dark matter scenario. The GeV $\\gamma$-ray MSPs should release most energy to the relativistic $e^{\\pm}$ wind, which will diffuse in the Galaxy and radiate TeV $\\gamma$-rays through inverse Compton scattering and bremsstrahlung processes. By calculating the spectrum and spatial distribution, we show that such emission is detectable with the next generation very high energy $\\gamma$-ray observatory, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), under reasonable model parameters. It is essential to search for the multi-wavelength counterparts to the GeV $\\gamma$-ray excess for solving this mystery in the high energy universe.

  17. Exploring the X-ray and gamma-ray properties of the redback millisecond pulsar PSR J1723-2837

    Hui, C Y; Takata, J; Kong, A K H; Cheng, K S; Wu, J H K; Lin, L C C; Wu, E M H

    2013-01-01

    We have investigated the X-ray and $\\gamma$-ray properties of the redback millisecond pulsar PSR J1723-2837 with XMM-Newton, Chandra and Fermi. We have discovered the X-ray orbital modulation of this binary system with the minimum that coincides with the phases of radio eclipse. The X-ray emission is clearly non-thermal in nature which can be well described by a simple power-law with a photon index of $\\sim1.2$. The phase-averaged luminosity is $\\sim9\\times10^{31}$ erg/s in 0.3-10 keV which consumes $\\sim0.2\\%$ of the spin-down power. We have detected the $\\gamma-$ray emission in $0.1-300$ GeV from this system at a significance of $\\sim6\\sigma$ for the first time. The $\\gamma-$rays in this energy range consumes $\\sim2\\%$ of the spin-down power and can be modeled by a power-law with a photon index of $\\sim2.6$. We discuss the high energy properties of the new redback in the context of a intrabinary shock model.

  18. Radio detection prospects for a bulge population of millisecond pulsars as suggested by Fermi LAT observations of the inner Galaxy

    Calore, Francesca; Donato, Fiorenza; Hessels, Jason W T; Weniger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Analogously to globular clusters, the dense stellar environment of the Galactic center has been proposed to host a large population of as-yet undetected millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Recently, this hypothesis found support in the analysis of gamma rays from the inner Galaxy seen by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi satellite, which revealed a possible excess of diffuse GeV photons in the inner 15 deg about the Galactic center (Fermi GeV excess). The excess can be interpreted as the collective emission of thousands of MSPs in the Galactic bulge, with a spherical distribution that strongly peaks towards the Galactic center. In order to fully establish the MSP interpretation, it is essential to find corroborating evidence in multi-wavelength searches, most notably through the detection of radio pulsation from individual bulge MSPs. Based on globular cluster observations and the gamma-ray emission from the inner Galaxy, we investigate the prospects for detecting MSPs in the Galactic bulge. While previ...

  19. TeV gamma-ray emission initiated by the population or individual millisecond pulsars within globular clusters

    Bednarek, W; Sobczak, T

    2016-01-01

    Two energetic millisecond pulsars (MSPs) within globular clusters (GC), J1823-3021A in NGC 6624 and PSR B1821-24 in M28, have been recently discovered to emit pulsed GeV gamma-rays. These MSPs are expected to eject energetic leptons. Therefore, GCs have been proposed to produce GeV-TeV gamma-rays as a result of the comptonization process of the background radiation within a GC. We develop this general scenario by taking into account not only the diffusion process of leptons within a GC but also their advection with the wind from the GC. Moreover, we consider distribution of MSP within a GC and the effects related to the non-central location of the dominating, energetic MSP. Such more complete scenario is considered for the modelling of the GeV-TeV gamma-ray emission from the core collapsed GC M15 and also for GCs which contain recently discovered energetic MSPs within NGC 6624 and M28. The confrontation of the modelling of the gamma-ray emission with the observations with the present Cherenkov telescopes and ...

  20. A radiation-hydrodynamic model of accretion columns for ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars

    Kawashima, Tomohisa; Ohsuga, Ken; Ogawa, Takumi

    2016-01-01

    Prompted by the recent discovery of pulsed emission from an ultra-luminous X-ray source, M82 X-2 ("ULX-pulsar"), we perform a two-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic simulation of a super-critical accretion flow onto a neutron star through a narrow accretion column. We set an accretion column with a cone shape filled with tenuous gas with density of $10^{-4} {\\rm g}~ {\\rm cm}^{-3}$ above a neutron star and solve the two dimensional gas motion and radiative transfer within the column. The side boundaries are set such that radiation can freely escape, while gas cannot. Since the initial gas layer is not in a hydrostatic balance, the column gas falls onto the neutron-star surface, thereby a shock being generated. As a result, the accretion column is composed of two regions: an upper, nearly free-fall region and a lower settling region, as was noted by Basko \\& Sunyaev (1976). The average accretion rate is very high; ${\\dot M}\\sim 10^{2-3} L_{\\rm E}/c^2$ (with $L_{\\rm E}$ being the Eddington luminosity), and s...

  1. Hard X-ray Detection and Timing of Accretion-Powered Pulsars with BATSE

    Chakrabarty, Deepto; Prince, Thomas A.

    1996-01-01

    The BATSE all-sky monitor on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is a superb tool for the study of accretion-powered pulsars. In the first part of this thesis, I describe its capabilities for hard X-ray observations above 20 keV, present techniques for timing analysis of the BATSE data, and discuss general statistical issues for the detection of pulsed periodic signals in both the time and frequency domains. BATSE’s 1-day pulsed sensitivity in the 20–60 keV ...

  2. Discovery and study of the accreting pulsar 2RXP J130159.6-635806

    Chernyakova, M.; Lutovinov, A.; Rodriguez, J.; Revnivtsev, M.

    2005-01-01

    We report on analysis of the poorly studied source 2RXP J130159.6-635806 at different epochs with ASCA, Beppo-SAX, XMM-Newton, and INTEGRAL. The source shows coherent X-ray pulsations at a period ~700s with an average spin up rate of about dnu/dt ~ 2x10^{-13} Hz/s. A broad band (1-60 keV) spectral analysis of 2RXP J130159.6-635806 based on almost simultaneous XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL data demonstrates that the source has a spectrum typical of an accretion powered X-ray pulsar, i.e. an absorbed...

  3. Fermi Study of gamma-ray Millisecond Pulsars: the Spectral Shape and Pulsed 25--200 GeV Emission from J0614-3329

    Xing, Yi

    2016-01-01

    We report our analysis of the Fermi Large Area Telescope data for 39 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) listed in the second $\\gamma$-ray pulsar catalog. Spectra of the pulsars are obtained. We fit the spectra with a function of a power law with exponential cutoff, and find the best-fit parameters of photon index $\\Gamma = 1.54^{+0.10}_{-0.11}$ and cutoff energy $E_{c} = 3.70^{+0.95}_{-0.70}$ GeV. This spectral shape, which includes the intrinsic differences in the spectra of the MSPs, can be used for finding candidate MSPs and unidentified types of sources detected by Fermi at high Galactic latitudes. In one of the MSPs PSR J0614-3329, we find significant pulsed emission upto 200 GeV. The result has thus added this MSP to the group of the Crab and Vela pulsars that have been detected with >50 GeV pulsed emission. Comparing the $\\gamma$-ray spectrum of PSR J0614-3329 with those of the Crab and Vela pulsars, we discuss possible emission mechanisms for the very high-energy component.

  4. Pulse-to-pulse variations in accreting X-ray pulsars

    Kretschmar Peter

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In most accreting X-ray pulsars, the periodic signal is very clear and easily shows up as soon as data covering sufficient pulse periods (a few ten are available. The mean pulse profile is often quite typical for a given source and with minor variations repeated and recognisable across observations done years or even decades apart. At the time scale of individual pulses, significant pulse-to-pulse variations are commonly observed. While at low energies some of these variations might be explained by absorption, in the hard X-rays they will reflect changes in the accretion and subsequent emission. The amount of these variations appears to be quite different between sources and contains information about the surrounding material as well ass possibly interactions at the magnetosphere. We investigate such variations for a sample of well-known sources.

  5. Formation of millisecond pulsars with CO white dwarf companions - I. PSR J1614-2230: Evidence for a neutron star born massive

    Tauris, Thomas M.; Langer, Norbert; Kramer, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The recent discovery of a 2 M_sun binary millisecond pulsar (Demorest et al. 2010) has not only important consequences for the equation-of-state of nuclear matter at high densities but also raises the interesting question if the neutron star PSR J1614-2230 was born massive. The answer is vital for understanding neutron star formation in core collapse supernovae. Furthermore, this system raises interesting issues about the nature of the progenitor binary and how it evolved during its mass exch...

  6. NuSTAR detection of 4s Hard X-ray Lags from the Accreting Pulsar GS 0834-430

    Bachetti, Matteo; Miyasaka, Hiromasa; Harrison, Fiona; Fürst, Felix; Barret, Didier; Bellm, Eric C.; Boggs, Steven E.; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Chenevez, Jérôme; Christensen, Finn Erland; Craig, William W.; Grefenstette, Brian W.; Hailey, Charles J.; Madsen, Kristin K.; Natalucci, Lorenzo; Pottschmidt, Katja; Stern, Daniel; Tomsick, John A.; Walton, Dominic J.; Wilms, Jörn; Zhang, William

    2014-01-01

    consistent with that observed in many other magnetized accreting pulsars. We fail to detect cyclotron resonance scattering features in either phase-averaged nor phase-resolved spectra that would allow us to constrain the pulsar’s magnetic field. We detect a pulse period of ∼ 12.29 s in all energy bands. The...

  7. Ordinary X-rays from Three Extraordinary Millisecond Pulsars: XMM-Newton Observations of PSRs J0337+1715, J0636+5129, and J0645+5158

    Spiewak, Renée; Archibald, Anne; Gentile, Peter; Hessels, Jason; Lorimer, Duncan; Lynch, Ryan; McLaughlin, Maura; Ransom, Scott; Stairs, Ingrid; Stovall, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    We present the first X-ray observations of three recently discovered millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with interesting characteristics: PSR J0337+1715, PSR J0636+5129, and PSR J0645+5158. PSR J0337+1715 is a fast-spinning, bright, and so-far unique MSP in a hierarchical triple system with two white dwarf (WD) companions. PSR J0636+5129 is a MSP in a very tight 96-min orbit with a low-mass, 8 $M_J$ companion. PSR J0645+5158 is a nearby, isolated MSP with a very small duty cycle (1-2%), which has led to its inclusion in high-precision pulsar timing programs. Using data from XMM-Newton, we have analyzed X-ray spectroscopy for these three objects, as well as optical/ultraviolet photometry for PSR J0337+1715. The X-ray data for each are largely consistent with expectations for most MSPs with regards to the ratios of thermal and non-thermal emission. We discuss the implications of these data on the pulsar population, and prospects for future observations of these pulsars.

  8. Ordinary X-Rays from Three Extraordinary Millisecond Pulsars: XMM-Newton Observations of PSRs J0337+1715, J0636+5129, and J0645+5158

    Spiewak, Renée; Kaplan, David L.; Archibald, Anne; Gentile, Peter; Hessels, Jason; Lorimer, Duncan; Lynch, Ryan; McLaughlin, Maura; Ransom, Scott; Stairs, Ingrid; Stovall, Kevin

    2016-05-01

    We present the first X-ray observations of three recently discovered millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with interesting characteristics: PSR J0337+1715, PSR J0636+5129, and PSR J0645+5158. PSR J0337+1715 is a fast-spinning, bright, and so-far unique MSP in a hierarchical triple system with two white dwarf companions. PSR J0636+5129 is an MSP in a very tight 96-minute orbit with a low-mass, 8 M J companion. PSR J0645+5158 is a nearby, isolated MSP with a very small duty cycle (1%-2%), which has led to its inclusion in high-precision pulsar timing programs. Using data from XMM-Newton, we have analyzed X-ray spectroscopy for these three objects, as well as optical/ultraviolet photometry for PSR J0337+1715. The X-ray data for each are largely consistent with expectations for most MSPs with regards to the ratios of thermal and non-thermal emission. We discuss the implications of these data on the pulsar population, and prospects for future observations of these pulsars.

  9. A Search for Rapidly Spinning Pulsars and Fast Transients in Unidentified Radio Sources with the NRAO 43-Meter Telescope

    Schmidt, Deborah; Langston, Glen; Gilpin, Claire

    2013-01-01

    We have searched 75 unidentified radio sources selected from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS) catalog for the presence of rapidly spinning pulsars and short, dispersed radio bursts. The sources are radio bright, have no identifications or optical source coincidences, are more than 5% linearly polarized, and are spatially unresolved in the catalog. If these sources are fast-spinning pulsars (e.g. sub-millisecond pulsars), previous large-scale pulsar surveys may have missed detection due to instrumental and computational limitations, eclipsing effects, or diffractive scintillation. The discovery of a sub-millisecond pulsar would significantly constrain the neutron star equation of state and would have implications for models predicting a rapid slowdown of highly recycled X-ray pulsars to millisecond periods from, e.g., accretion disk decoupling. These same sources were previously searched unsuccessfully for pulsations at 610 MHz with the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. This new search was conducted at a differe...

  10. SPIN-DOWN OF THE LONG-PERIOD ACCRETING PULSAR 4U 2206+54

    4U 2206+54 is a high-mass X-ray binary which has been suspected to contain a neutron star accreting from the wind of its companion, BD +530 2790. Reig et al. have recently detected 5560 s period pulsations in both Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and International Gamma-ray Astrophysics Laboratory observations which they conclude are due to the spin of the neutron star. We present observations made with Suzaku which are contemporaneous with their RXTE observation of this source. We find strong pulsations at a period of 5554 ± 9 s in agreement with their results. We also present a reanalysis of BeppoSAX observations of 4U 2206+54 made in 1998, in which we find strong pulsations at a period of 5420 ± 28 s, revealing a spin-down trend in this long-period accreting pulsar. Analysis of these data suggests that the neutron star in this system is an accretion-powered magnetar.