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28th of July 2016
Detecting Pulsars with Interstellar Scintillation in Variance Images
by Shi Dai (CASS)
Pulsars are the only cosmic radio sources known to be sufficiently compact to show diffractive interstellar scintillations. Images of the variance of radio signals in both time and frequency can be used to detect pulsars in large-scale continuum surveys using the next generation of synthesis radio telescopes. This technique allows a search over the full field of view while avoiding the need for expensive pixel-by-pixel high time resolution searches. In our paper accepted for publication in MNRAS, we investigated the sensitivity of detecting pulsars in variance images. We also demonstrated the technique with Murchision Widefield Array data. In the figure, the left panel shows the Stokes I image made using the full 30.72MHz bandwidth with PSR J0953+0755 in the center, while the right panel shows the variance image made with 1MHz channel bandwidth. We can see that variance images can indeed lead to the detection of pulsars by distinguishing them from other radio sources.

Reference: Dai, S., Johnston, S., Bell, M., Coles, W.A., Hobbs, G., Ekers, R., Lenc, E. 2016, MNRAS, in press

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