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4th of May 2022
Discovery of an LMC pulsar as a circularly polarized ASKAP source
by Yuanming Wang
Wang et al. report the discovery of a highly circularly polarized, variable, steep-spectrum pulsar in the ASKAP Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) survey. The pulsar is located about 1 degree from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and has a significant fractional circular polarization of ~20%. Pulsations with a period of 322.5 ms and a dispersion measure of 157.5 pc/cm^3 were discovered using follow-up data from the MeerKAT and the Parkes telescopes. The average flux density of ~1 mJy at 1400 MHz and ~25 mJy at 400 MHz places it among the most luminous radio pulsars known. It most likely evaded previous discovery because of its very steep radio spectrum and broad pulse profile. The result highlights the possibility of identifying pulsars, especially extreme pulsars, from radio continuum images. The image above shows the ASKAP 888 MHz image of the LMC field. The total intensity (Stokes I) image is shown on the left, and the circular polarization (Stokes V) image in the center. On the right zoomed images in total intensity (top) and circular polarization (bottom) centered at the position of the pulsar are shown. The paper is published this week in The Astrophysical Journal, and the authors also give a popular account of their work in an article in The Conversation.

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