93 research outputs found

    Radio detection prospects for a bulge population of millisecond pulsars as suggested by Fermi LAT observations of the inner Galaxy

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    Analogously to globular clusters, the dense stellar environment of the Galactic center has been proposed to host a large population of as-yet undetected millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Recently, this hypothesis found support in the analysis of gamma rays from the inner Galaxy seen by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi satellite, which revealed a possible excess of diffuse GeV photons in the inner 15 deg about the Galactic center (Fermi GeV excess). The excess can be interpreted as the collective emission of thousands of MSPs in the Galactic bulge, with a spherical distribution that strongly peaks towards the Galactic center. In order to fully establish the MSP interpretation, it is essential to find corroborating evidence in multi-wavelength searches, most notably through the detection of radio pulsation from individual bulge MSPs. Based on globular cluster observations and the gamma-ray emission from the inner Galaxy, we investigate the prospects for detecting MSPs in the Galactic bulge. While previous pulsar surveys failed to identify this population, we demonstrate that, in the upcoming years, new large-area surveys with focus on regions a few degrees north or south of the Galactic center should lead to the detection of dozens of bulge MSPs. Additionally, we show that, in the near future, deep targeted searches of unassociated Fermi sources should be able to detect the first few MSPs in the bulge. The prospects for these deep searches are enhanced by a tentative gamma-ray/radio correlation that we infer from high-latitude gamma-ray MSPs. Such detections would constitute the first clear discoveries of field MSPs in the Galactic bulge, with far-reaching implications for gamma-ray observations, the formation history of the central Milky Way and strategy optimization for future radio observations.Comment: 24 pages, 17 figures, 5 tables. Minor clarifications. Matches version published in Ap

    A Massive Neutron Star in the Globular Cluster M5

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    We report the results of 19 years of Arecibo timing for two pulsars in the globular cluster NGC 5904 (M5), PSR B1516+02A (M5A) and PSR B1516+02B (M5B). This has resulted in the measurement of the proper motions of these pulsars and, by extension, that of the cluster itself. M5B is a 7.95-ms pulsar in a binary system with a > 0.13 solar mass companion and an orbital period of 6.86 days. In deep HST images, no optical counterpart is detected within ~2.5 sigma of the position of the pulsar, implying that the companion is either a white dwarf or a low-mass main-sequence star. The eccentricity of the orbit (e = 0.14) has allowed a measurement of the rate of advance of periastron: (0.0142 +/-0.0007) degrees per year. We argue that it is very likely that this periastron advance is due to the effects of general relativity, the total mass of the binary system then being 2.29 +/-0.17 solar masses. The small measured mass function implies, in a statistical sense, that a very large fraction of this total mass is contained in the pulsar: 2.08 +/- 0.19 solar masses (1 sigma); there is a 5% probability that the mass of this object is < 1.72 solar masses and a 0.77% probability that is is between 1.2 and 1.44 solar masses. Confirmation of the median mass for this neutron star would exclude most ``soft'' equations of state for dense neutron matter. Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) appear to have a much wider mass distribution than is found in double neutron star systems; about half of these objects are significantly more massive than 1.44 solar masses. A possible cause is the much longer episode of mass accretion necessary to recycle a MSP, which in some cases corresponds to a much larger mass transfer.Comment: 10 pages in ApJ emulate format, 2 tables, 6 figures. Added February 2008 data, slightly revised mass limits. Accepted for publication in Ap

    Investigating Galactic supernova remnant candidates with LOFAR

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    We investigate six supernova remnant (SNR) candidates --- G51.21+0.11, G52.37-0.70, G53.07+0.49, G53.41+0.03, G53.84-0.75, and the possible shell around G54.1-0.3 --- in the Galactic Plane using newly acquired LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) High-Band Antenna (HBA) observations, as well as archival Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and Very Large Array Galactic Plane Survey (VGPS) mosaics. We find that G52.37-0.70, G53.84-0.75, and the possible shell around pulsar wind nebula G54.1+0.3 are unlikely to be SNRs, while G53.07+0.49 remains a candidate SNR. G51.21+0.11 has a spectral index of α=−0.7±0.21\alpha=-0.7\pm0.21, but lacks X-ray observations and as such requires further investigation to confirm its nature. We confirm one candidate, G53.41+0.03, as a new SNR because it has a shell-like morphology, a radio spectral index of α=−0.6±0.2\alpha=-0.6\pm0.2 and it has the X-ray spectral characteristics of a 1000-8000 year old SNR. The X-ray analysis was performed using archival XMM-Newton observations, which show that G53.41+0.03 has strong emission lines and is best characterized by a non-equilibrium ionization model, consistent with an SNR interpretation. Deep Arecibo radio telescope searches for a pulsar associated with G53.41+0.03 resulted in no detection, but place stringent upper limits on the flux density of such a source if it is beamed towards Earth.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures, 1 tabl

    Pulsar Wind Nebulae in EGRET Error Boxes

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    A remarkable number of pulsar wind nebulae (PWN) are coincident with EGRET gamma-ray sources. X-ray and radio imaging studies of unidentified EGRET sources have resulted in the discovery of at least 6 new pulsar wind nebulae (PWN). Stationary PWN (SPWN) appear to be associated with steady EGRET sources with hard spectra, typical for gamma-ray pulsars. Their toroidal morphologies can help determine the geometry of the pulsar which is useful for constraining models of pulsed gamma-ray emission. Rapidly moving PWN (RPWN) with more cometary morphologies seem to be associated with variable EGRET sources in regions where the ambient medium is dense compared to what is typical for the ISM.Comment: 8 pages, 5 figures, to appear in the proceedings of "The Multiwavelength Approach to Unidentified Sources", ed. G. Romero & K.S. Chen

    The Millisecond Pulsars in NGC 6760

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    We present the results of recent Arecibo and Green Bank observations of the globular cluster NGC 6760. Using Arecibo, a phase-coherent timing solution has been obtained for the previously known binary pulsar in this cluster, PSR J1911+0102A. We have also discovered a new millisecond pulsar in NGC 6760, PSR J1911+0101B, an isolated object with a rotational period of 5.38 ms and a dispersion measure DM = 196.7 cm-3 pc. Both pulsars are located within 1.3 core radii of the cluster center and have negative period derivatives. The resulting lower limits for the accelerations of the pulsars are within the range expected given a simple model of the cluster. A search for eclipses in the PSR J1911+0102A binary system using both telescopes yielded negative results. The corresponding limits on the extra gas column density at superior conjunction are consistent with the hypothesis that the observational properties of ultra-low-mass binary pulsars like PSR J1911+0102A are strongly affected by the inclination of the orbital plane of the system. Among globular cluster pulsar populations, that of NGC 6760 exhibits one of the largest known spreads in DM. This quantity seems to be roughly proportional to a cluster's central DM; this suggests that the observed spread is caused by a turbulent interstellar medium at spatial scales of 1 pc.Comment: 10 pages in referee format, 4 figures, one table, re-submitted to the Astrophysical Journa

    Twenty-One Millisecond Pulsars in Terzan 5 Using the Green Bank Telescope

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    We have discovered 21 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster Terzan 5 using the Green Bank Telescope, bringing the total of known MSPs in Terzan 5 to 24. These discoveries confirm fundamental predictions of globular cluster and binary system evolution. Thirteen of the new MSPs are in binaries, of which two show eclipses and two have highly eccentric orbits. The relativistic periastron advance for the two eccentric systems indicates that at least one of these pulsars has a mass >1.68 Msun at 95% confidence. Such large neutron star masses constrain the equation of state of matter at or beyond the nuclear equilibrium density.Comment: 12 pages, 2 figures. Accepted by Science. Published electronically via Science Express 13 Jan 200