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Modeling of Interstellar Scintillation Arcs from Pulsar B1133+16

By Frank S. Trang and Barney J. Rickett


The parabolic arc phenomenon visible in the Fourier analysis of the scintillation spectra of pulsars provides a new method of investigating the small scale structure in the ionized interstellar medium (ISM). We report archival observations of the pulsar B1133+16 showing both forward and reverse parabolic arcs sampled over 14 months. These features can be understood as the mutual interference between an assembly of discrete features in the scattered brightness distribution. By model-fitting to the observed arcs at one epoch we obtain a “snap-shot ” estimate of the scattered brightness, which we show to be highly anisotropic (axial ratio> 10: 1), to be centered significantly off axis and to have a small number of discrete maxima, which are coarser the speckle expected from a Kolmogorov spectrum of interstellar plasma density. The results suggest the effects of highly localized discrete scattering regions which subtend 0.1-1 mas, but can scatter (or refract) the radiation by angles that are five or more times larger. Subject headings: ISM: general — scattering — plasmas — pulsars: individual (B1133+16) 1

Year: 2007
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