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22nd of May 2020
The intermittent pulsar J1841-0500
by Wang et al.
Pulsars are rapdily rotating, highly magnetised neutron stars which generate beams of radio emission. While most pulsars are always "on", some pulsars display pulse nulling, in which the pulsed emission ceases suddenly and then remains "off" for timescales of seconds to hours or even days. The extreme case is intermittent pulsars, which have "on" or "off" timescales which can last for years. Studies of the first discovered intermittent pulsar, PSR B1931+24, indicated that the pulsar rotation slows down more slowly when it is in the "off" state than when it is in the "on" state. Wang et al. present long-term observations of two intermittent pulsars, PSRs J1832+0029 and J1841−0500 using the Parkes 64 m radio telescope. The new observations have improved the determination of the on-off timescales and the spin down rates during those emission states. An unexpected signature was seen in the J1842-0500 data: a quasi-periodic fluctuation was identified in the intensities of the detectable single pulses, with a modulation period between 21 and 36 pulse periods.

The image above shows the pulse frequency versus time (MJD = Modified Julian Day) for J1841-0500. The solid lines represent the pulse frequencies measured by phase-connected timing solutions. The dotted lines are the extrapolated pulse frequency when the pulsar was not detected. The lower panel is split into two. In the top the MJDs of the observations in which the pulsar was detected are shown. The bottom shows the MJDs for the new observations of this pulsar. The paper is accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

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