1,659 research outputs found

    A Search for Supernova-Remnant Masers Toward Unidentified EGRET Sources

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    Supernova remnants expanding into adjacent molecular clouds are believed to be sites of cosmic ray acceleration and sources of energetic gamma-rays. Under certain environmental conditions, such interactions also give rise to unusual OH masers in which the 1720 MHz satellite line dominates over the more common 1665/7 MHz emission. Motivated by the apparent coincidence of a handful of EGRET sources with OH(1720 MHz) maser-producing supernova remnants, we have carried out a search using the Very Large Array for new OH(1720 MHz) masers within the error regions of 11 unidentified EGRET sources at low Galactic latitude. While a previously known maser associated with an HII region was serendipitously detected, initial results indicate that no new masers were found down to a limiting flux of, typically, 50 mJy. We discuss the implications of this result on the nature of the unidentified Galactic EGRET sources.Comment: 5 pages, 1 figure. To appear in Proceedings, GAMMA2001 (Baltimore, MD, April 4-6, 2001), eds. N. Gehrels, C. Shrader, and S. Rit

    Orbital Variability in the Eclipsing Pulsar Binary PSR B1957+20

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    We have conducted timing observations of the eclipsing millisecond binary pulsar PSR~B1957+20, extending the span of data on this pulsar to more than five years. During this time the orbital period of the system has varied by roughly ΔPb/Pb=1.6×107\Delta P_b/P_b = 1.6 \times 10^{-7}, changing quadratically with time and displaying an orbital period second derivative P¨b=(1.43±0.08)×1018\ddot P_b = (1.43 \pm 0.08) \times 10^{-18}\,s1^{-1}. The previous measurement of a large negative orbital period derivative reflected only the short-term behavior of the system during the early observations; the orbital period derivative is now positive and increasing rapidly. If, as we suspect, the PSR~B1957+20 system is undergoing quasi-cyclic orbital period variations similar to those found in other close binaries such as Algol and RS CVn, then the 0.025M0.025\,M{_\odot} companion to PSR~B1957+20 is most likely non-degenerate, convective, and magnetically active.Comment: 9 pages, 3 figures, LaTeX, submitted ApJL 13 Dec. 1993, arz-00

    Measuring Neutron Star Radii via Pulse Profile Modeling with NICER

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    The Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is an X-ray astrophysics payload that will be placed on the International Space Station. Its primary science goal is to measure with high accuracy the pulse profiles that arise from the non-uniform thermal surface emission of rotation-powered pulsars. Modeling general relativistic effects on the profiles will lead to measuring the radii of these neutron stars and to constraining their equation of state. Achieving this goal will depend, among other things, on accurate knowledge of the source, sky, and instrument backgrounds. We use here simple analytic estimates to quantify the level at which these backgrounds need to be known in order for the upcoming measurements to provide significant constraints on the properties of neutron stars. We show that, even in the minimal-information scenario, knowledge of the background at a few percent level for a background-to-source countrate ratio of 0.2 allows for a measurement of the neutron star compactness to better than 10% uncertainty for most of the parameter space. These constraints improve further when more realistic assumptions are made about the neutron star emission and spin, and when additional information about the source itself, such as its mass or distance, are incorporated.Comment: Submitted to Ap