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17th of December 2020
Parkes flux density monitoring of 286 radio pulsars
by Shi Dai
The Parkes telescope has been monitoring 286 radio pulsars approximately monthly since 2007. The wide Dispersion Measure range of the pulsar sample and the uniformity of the observing procedure make the data-set extremely valuable for studies of flux density variability and the interstellar medium. In the plot above, Kumamoto et al. show the modulation index (a measure of how variable the pulsar is, defined as the standard deviation of the measured flux densities divided by the mean flux density) as a function of DM, and compare them with theoretical predictions -- see the preprint for more details. Despite a large scatter, the modulation index is inversely correlated with DM, and can be generally described by a power-law with an index of -0.7 covering DMs from 10 to 1000 cm^{-3} pc. These studies also show that local structures and non-Kolmogorov density fluctuations are likely playing important roles in the observed flux density variation of many of these pulsars.

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