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23rd of December 2019
Discovery of Millisecond Pulsars in the Globular Cluster Omega Centauri
by Shi Dai
The globular cluster Omega Centauri is the most massive and luminous cluster in the Galaxy. The Fermi gamma-ray source FL8Y J1326.7-4729 is coincident with the core of the cluster, leading to speculation that hitherto unknown radio pulsars or annihilating dark matter may be present in the cluster core. Dai et al. have recently discovered five millisecond pulsars in Omega Centauri with the Parkes radio telescope. Four of these pulsars are isolated with spin periods of 4.1, 4.2, 4.6 and 6.8 ms. The fifth has a spin period of 4.8 ms and is in an eclipsing binary system with an orbital period of 2.1 hours. It is considered highly likely that the millisecond pulsars are the source of the gamma-ray emission. The long-term timing of these pulsars opens up opportunities to explore the dynamics and interstellar medium of the cluster. The figure above shows deep ATCA 2.1 GHz images of the cluster centre (yellow circle), overlaid with two pulsars with timing solutions (blue stars), unidentified X-ray sources (red circles) and the Fermi source (blue circle). More details are given in the preprint of the paper which will be published in the Astrophysical Journl.

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