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Title: THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715

Abstract

I present an analysis of the deepest X-ray exposure of a radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) to date, an X-ray Multi Mirror-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera spectroscopic and timing observation of the nearest known MSP, PSR J0437-4715. The timing data clearly reveal a secondary broad X-ray pulse offset from the main pulse by {approx}0.55 in rotational phase. In the context of a model of surface thermal emission from the hot polar caps of the neutron star, this can be plausibly explained by a magnetic dipole field that is significantly displaced from the stellar center. Such an offset, if commonplace in MSPs, has important implications for studies of the pulsar population, high energy pulsed emission, and the pulsar contribution to cosmic-ray positrons. The continuum emission shows evidence for at least three thermal components, with the hottest radiation most likely originating from the hot magnetic polar caps and the cooler emission from the bulk of the surface. I present pulse phase-resolved X-ray spectroscopy of PSR J0437-4715, which for the first time properly accounts for the system geometry of a radio pulsar. Such an approach is essential for unbiased measurements of the temperatures and emission areas of polar cap radiation from pulsars. Detailed modelingmore » of the thermal pulses, including relativistic and atmospheric effects, provides a constraint on the redshift-corrected neutron star radius of R > 11.1 km (at 3{sigma} conf.) for the current radio timing mass measurement of 1.76 M {sub Sun }. This limit favors 'stiff' equations of state.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22167281
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 762; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; CAMERAS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; COSMIC PHOTONS; COSMIC POSITRONS; EQUATIONS OF STATE; MAGNETIC DIPOLES; MASS; NEUTRON STARS; PHOTON EMISSION; PULSARS; PULSES; RED SHIFT; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; X RADIATION; X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY

Citation Formats

Bogdanov, Slavko, E-mail: slavko@astro.columbia.edu, and Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8. THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/762/2/96.
Bogdanov, Slavko, E-mail: slavko@astro.columbia.edu, & Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8. THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/762/2/96.
Bogdanov, Slavko, E-mail: slavko@astro.columbia.edu, and Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8. 2013. "THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/762/2/96.
@article{osti_22167281,
title = {THE NEAREST MILLISECOND PULSAR REVISITED WITH XMM-NEWTON: IMPROVED MASS-RADIUS CONSTRAINTS FOR PSR J0437-4715},
author = {Bogdanov, Slavko, E-mail: slavko@astro.columbia.edu and Department of Physics, McGill University, 3600 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2T8},
abstractNote = {I present an analysis of the deepest X-ray exposure of a radio millisecond pulsar (MSP) to date, an X-ray Multi Mirror-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera spectroscopic and timing observation of the nearest known MSP, PSR J0437-4715. The timing data clearly reveal a secondary broad X-ray pulse offset from the main pulse by {approx}0.55 in rotational phase. In the context of a model of surface thermal emission from the hot polar caps of the neutron star, this can be plausibly explained by a magnetic dipole field that is significantly displaced from the stellar center. Such an offset, if commonplace in MSPs, has important implications for studies of the pulsar population, high energy pulsed emission, and the pulsar contribution to cosmic-ray positrons. The continuum emission shows evidence for at least three thermal components, with the hottest radiation most likely originating from the hot magnetic polar caps and the cooler emission from the bulk of the surface. I present pulse phase-resolved X-ray spectroscopy of PSR J0437-4715, which for the first time properly accounts for the system geometry of a radio pulsar. Such an approach is essential for unbiased measurements of the temperatures and emission areas of polar cap radiation from pulsars. Detailed modeling of the thermal pulses, including relativistic and atmospheric effects, provides a constraint on the redshift-corrected neutron star radius of R > 11.1 km (at 3{sigma} conf.) for the current radio timing mass measurement of 1.76 M {sub Sun }. This limit favors 'stiff' equations of state.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/762/2/96},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 762,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 1
}
  • Low-frequency observations of pulsars provide a powerful means for probing the microstructure in the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM). Here we report on high-resolution dynamic spectral analysis of our observations of the timing-array millisecond pulsar PSR J0437–4715 with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), enabled by our recently commissioned tied-array beam processing pipeline for voltage data recorded from the high time resolution mode of the MWA. A secondary spectral analysis reveals faint parabolic arcs akin to those seen in high-frequency observations of pulsars with the Green Bank and Arecibo telescopes. Data from Parkes observations at a higher frequency of 732 MHz revealmore » a similar parabolic feature with a curvature that scales approximately as the square of the observing wavelength (λ{sup 2}) to the MWA's frequency of 192 MHz. Our analysis suggests that scattering toward PSR J0437–4715 predominantly arises from a compact region about 115 pc from the Earth, which matches well with the expected location of the edge of the Local Bubble that envelopes the local Solar neighborhood. As well as demonstrating new and improved pulsar science capabilities of the MWA, our analysis underscores the potential of low-frequency pulsar observations for gaining valuable insights into the local ISM and for characterizing the ISM toward timing-array pulsars.« less
  • We present extensive spectral and photometric observations of the recycled pulsar/white dwarf binary containing PSR J0437-4715, which we analyzed together with archival X-ray and gamma-ray data, to obtain the complete mid-infrared to gamma-ray spectrum. We first fit each part of the spectrum separately, and then the whole multi-wavelength spectrum. We find that the optical-infrared part of the spectrum is well fit by a cool white dwarf atmosphere model with pure hydrogen composition. The model atmosphere (T{sub eff} = 3950 {+-} 150 K, log g = 6.98 {+-} 0.15, R{sub WD} = (1.9 {+-} 0.2) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 9} cm) fits ourmore » spectral data remarkably well for the known mass and distance (M = 0.25 {+-} 0.02 M{sub Sun }, d = 156.3 {+-} 1.3 pc), yielding the white dwarf age ({tau}{sub WD} = 6.0 {+-} 0.5 Gyr). In the UV, we find a spectral shape consistent with thermal emission from the bulk of the neutron star surface, with surface temperature between 1.25 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} and 3.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} K. The temperature of the thermal spectrum suggests that some heating mechanism operates throughout the life of the neutron star. The temperature distribution on the neutron star surface is non-uniform. In the X-rays, we confirm the presence of a high-energy tail which is consistent with a continuation of the cutoff power-law component ({Gamma} = 1.56 {+-} 0.01, E{sub cut} = 1.1 {+-} 0.2 GeV) that is seen in gamma rays and perhaps even extends to the near-UV.« less
  • We report on the detection of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0437–4715 with the Murchison Wide-field Array (MWA) at a frequency of 192 MHz. Our observations show rapid modulations of pulse intensity in time and frequency that arise from diffractive scintillation effects in the interstellar medium (ISM), as well as prominent drifts of intensity maxima in the time-frequency plane that arise from refractive effects. Our analysis suggests that the scattering screen is located at a distance of ∼80-120 pc from the Sun, in disagreement with a recent claim that the screen is closer (∼10 pc). Comparisons with higher frequency data from Parkes reveal a dramaticmore » evolution of the pulse profile with frequency, with the outer conal emission becoming comparable in strength to that from the core and inner conal regions. As well as demonstrating the high time resolution science capabilities currently possible with the MWA, our observations underscore the potential to conduct low-frequency investigations of timing-array millisecond pulsars, which may lead to increased sensitivity in the detection of nanoHertz gravitational waves via the accurate characterization of ISM effects.« less
  • We present deep XMM-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera spectroscopic and timing X-ray observations of the nearby solitary radio millisecond pulsar, PSR J0030+0451. Its emission spectrum in the 0.1-10 keV range is found to be remarkably similar to that of the nearest and best-studied millisecond pulsar, PSR J0437-4715, being well described by a predominantly thermal two-temperature model plus a faint hard tail evident above approx2 keV. The pulsed emission in the 0.3-2 keV band is characterized by two broad pulses with pulsed fraction approx60%-70%, consistent with a mostly thermal origin of the X-rays only if the surface polar cap radiation ismore » from a light-element atmosphere. Modeling of the thermal pulses permits us to place constraints on the neutron star radius of R > 10.7 (95% confidence) and R > 10.4 km (at 99.9% confidence) for M = 1.4 M {sub sun}.« less
  • Context. Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) represent nearly half of the more than 160 currently known γ-ray pulsars detected by the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi satellite, and a third of all known MSPs are seen in rays. The least energetic γ-ray MSPs enable us to probe the so-called deathline for high-energy emission, i.e., the spin-down luminosity limit under which pulsars (PSRs) cease to produce detectable high-energy radiation. Characterizing the MSP luminosity distribution helps to determine their contribution to the Galactic diffuse γ-ray emission. Aims. Because of the Shklovskii effect, precise proper motion and distance measurements are key ingredients for determiningmore » the spindown luminosities of MSPs accurately. Our aim is to obtain new measurements of these parameters for γ-ray MSPs when possible, and clarify the relationship between the γ-ray luminosity of pulsars and their spin-down luminosity. Detecting low spin-down luminosity pulsars in rays and characterizing their spin properties is also particularly interesting for constraining the deathline for high-energy emission. Methods. We made use of the high-quality pulsar timing data recorded at the Nançay Radio Telescope over several years to characterize the properties of a selection of MSPs. For one of the pulsars, the dataset was complemented with Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope observations. The rotation ephemerides derived from this analysis were also used to search the LAT data for new γ-ray MSPs. Results. For the MSPs considered in this study, we obtained new transverse proper motion measurements or updated the existing ones, and placed new distance constraints for some of them, with four new timing parallax measurements. We discovered significant GeV γ-ray signals from four MSPs, i.e., PSRs J0740+6620, J0931-1902, J1455-3330, and J1730-2304. The latter is now the least energetic γ-ray pulsar found to date. Despite the improved ˙E and L estimates, the relationship between these two quantities remains unclear, especially at low ˙E values.« less