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13th of September 2021
Parkes Pulsar Timing Array Data Release 2
by Reardon et al.
The main goal of pulsar timing array experiments is to detect correlated signals, such as those expected from nanohertz-frequency gravitational waves. Pulsar timing data collected in dense monitoring campaigns can also be used to study the stars themselves, their binary companions, and the intervening ionised interstellar medium. Timing observations are extraordinarily sensitive to changes in path length between the pulsar and the Earth, enabling precise measurements of the pulsar positions, distances and velocities, and the shapes of their orbits. Reardon et al. have recently presented a timing analysis of 25 pulsars observed as part of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project over time spans of up to 24 yr. The data are from the second data release (DR2) of the PPTA, which has been extended by including legacy data. The figure above shows the distribution in right ascension (horizontal) and declination of the PPTA pulsars. Pulsars in blue are in an extended DR2, while pulsars in red have no legacy data and are only present in the main DR2. The cross marks PSR J0437−4715, which is in PPTA-DR2e. The arrows indicate the direction and relative magnitude (proportional to the arrow length) of our measurement of the pulsar proper motion. The marker size is inversely proportional to the weighted rms residual after subtracting dispersion measure variations. The dark and light grey bands show the regions within 5 and 10 degrees of the Galactic plane respectively, and the yellow star marks the Galactic centre.

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