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Title: Arecibo pulsar survey using ALFA. III. Precursor survey and population synthesis

Abstract

The Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) Survey uses the ALFA 7-beam receiver to search both inner and outer Galactic sectors visible from Arecibo (32° ≲ ℓ ≲ 77° and 168° ≲ ℓ ≲ 214°) close to the Galactic plane (|b| ≲ 5°) for pulsars. The PALFA survey is sensitive to sources fainter and more distant than have previously been seen because of Arecibo's unrivaled sensitivity. In this paper we detail a precursor survey of this region with PALFA, which observed a subset of the full region (slightly more restrictive in ℓ and |b| ≲ 1°) and detected 45 pulsars. Detections included 1 known millisecond pulsar and 11 previously unknown, long-period pulsars. In the surveyed part of the sky that overlaps with the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey (36° ≲ ℓ ≲ 50°), PALFA is probing deeper than the Parkes survey, with four discoveries in this region. For both Galactic millisecond and normal pulsar populations, we compare the survey's detections with simulations to model these populations and, in particular, to estimate the number of observable pulsars in the Galaxy. We place 95% confidence intervals of 82,000 to 143,000 on the number of detectable normal pulsars and 9000 to 100,000 on themore » number of detectable millisecond pulsars in the Galactic disk. These are consistent with previous estimates. Given the most likely population size in each case (107,000 and 15,000 for normal and millisecond pulsars, respectively), we extend survey detection simulations to predict that, when complete, the full PALFA survey should have detected 1000{sub −230}{sup +330} normal pulsars and 30{sub −20}{sup +200} millisecond pulsars. Identical estimation techniques predict that 490{sub −115}{sup +160} normal pulsars and 12{sub −5}{sup +70} millisecond pulsars would be detected by the beginning of 2014; at the time, the PALFA survey had detected 283 normal pulsars and 31 millisecond pulsars, respectively. We attribute the deficiency in normal pulsar detections predominantly to the radio frequency interference environment at Arecibo and perhaps also scintillation—both effects that are currently not accounted for in population simulation models.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3]; ; ;  [4];  [5];  [6]; ;  [7];  [8]; ;  [9];  [10];  [11] more »; « less
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506 (United States)
  2. Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
  3. NRAO, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States)
  4. Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
  5. ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo (Netherlands)
  6. Department of Physics, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042 (United States)
  7. Physics Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee WI 53211 (United States)
  8. Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 (Australia)
  9. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  10. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003 (United States)
  11. Arecibo Observatory, HC3 Box 53995, Arecibo, PR 00612 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356753
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 787; 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; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DETECTION; GALAXIES; INTERFERENCE; PRECURSOR; PULSARS; RADIOWAVE RADIATION; SCINTILLATIONS; SENSITIVITY; SIMULATION; SYNTHESIS

Citation Formats

Swiggum, J. K., Lorimer, D. R., McLaughlin, M. A., Bates, S. D., Senty, T. R., Champion, D. J., Lazarus, P., Ransom, S. M., Brazier, A., Chatterjee, S., Cordes, J. M., Hessels, J. W. T., Nice, D. J., Ellis, J., Allen, B., Bhat, N. D. R., Bogdanov, S., Camilo, F., Crawford, F., Deneva, J. S., and and others. Arecibo pulsar survey using ALFA. III. Precursor survey and population synthesis. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/2/137.
Swiggum, J. K., Lorimer, D. R., McLaughlin, M. A., Bates, S. D., Senty, T. R., Champion, D. J., Lazarus, P., Ransom, S. M., Brazier, A., Chatterjee, S., Cordes, J. M., Hessels, J. W. T., Nice, D. J., Ellis, J., Allen, B., Bhat, N. D. R., Bogdanov, S., Camilo, F., Crawford, F., Deneva, J. S., & and others. Arecibo pulsar survey using ALFA. III. Precursor survey and population synthesis. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/2/137.
Swiggum, J. K., Lorimer, D. R., McLaughlin, M. A., Bates, S. D., Senty, T. R., Champion, D. J., Lazarus, P., Ransom, S. M., Brazier, A., Chatterjee, S., Cordes, J. M., Hessels, J. W. T., Nice, D. J., Ellis, J., Allen, B., Bhat, N. D. R., Bogdanov, S., Camilo, F., Crawford, F., Deneva, J. S., and and others. 2014. "Arecibo pulsar survey using ALFA. III. Precursor survey and population synthesis". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/2/137.
@article{osti_22356753,
title = {Arecibo pulsar survey using ALFA. III. Precursor survey and population synthesis},
author = {Swiggum, J. K. and Lorimer, D. R. and McLaughlin, M. A. and Bates, S. D. and Senty, T. R. and Champion, D. J. and Lazarus, P. and Ransom, S. M. and Brazier, A. and Chatterjee, S. and Cordes, J. M. and Hessels, J. W. T. and Nice, D. J. and Ellis, J. and Allen, B. and Bhat, N. D. R. and Bogdanov, S. and Camilo, F. and Crawford, F. and Deneva, J. S. and and others},
abstractNote = {The Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) Survey uses the ALFA 7-beam receiver to search both inner and outer Galactic sectors visible from Arecibo (32° ≲ ℓ ≲ 77° and 168° ≲ ℓ ≲ 214°) close to the Galactic plane (|b| ≲ 5°) for pulsars. The PALFA survey is sensitive to sources fainter and more distant than have previously been seen because of Arecibo's unrivaled sensitivity. In this paper we detail a precursor survey of this region with PALFA, which observed a subset of the full region (slightly more restrictive in ℓ and |b| ≲ 1°) and detected 45 pulsars. Detections included 1 known millisecond pulsar and 11 previously unknown, long-period pulsars. In the surveyed part of the sky that overlaps with the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey (36° ≲ ℓ ≲ 50°), PALFA is probing deeper than the Parkes survey, with four discoveries in this region. For both Galactic millisecond and normal pulsar populations, we compare the survey's detections with simulations to model these populations and, in particular, to estimate the number of observable pulsars in the Galaxy. We place 95% confidence intervals of 82,000 to 143,000 on the number of detectable normal pulsars and 9000 to 100,000 on the number of detectable millisecond pulsars in the Galactic disk. These are consistent with previous estimates. Given the most likely population size in each case (107,000 and 15,000 for normal and millisecond pulsars, respectively), we extend survey detection simulations to predict that, when complete, the full PALFA survey should have detected 1000{sub −230}{sup +330} normal pulsars and 30{sub −20}{sup +200} millisecond pulsars. Identical estimation techniques predict that 490{sub −115}{sup +160} normal pulsars and 12{sub −5}{sup +70} millisecond pulsars would be detected by the beginning of 2014; at the time, the PALFA survey had detected 283 normal pulsars and 31 millisecond pulsars, respectively. We attribute the deficiency in normal pulsar detections predominantly to the radio frequency interference environment at Arecibo and perhaps also scintillation—both effects that are currently not accounted for in population simulation models.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/787/2/137},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 787,
place = {United States},
year = 2014,
month = 6
}
  • We present radio transient search algorithms, results, and statistics from the ongoing Arecibo Pulsar ALFA (PALFA) survey of the Galactic plane. We have discovered seven objects through a search for isolated dispersed pulses. All of these objects are Galactic and have measured periods between 0.4 and 4.7 s. One of the new discoveries has a duty cycle of 0.01%, smaller than that of any other radio pulsar. We discuss the impact of selection effects on the detectability and classification of intermittent sources, and compare the efficiencies of periodicity and single-pulse (SP) searches for various pulsar classes. For some cases wemore » find that the apparent intermittency is likely to be caused by off-axis detection or a short time window that selects only a few bright pulses and favors detection with our SP algorithm. In other cases, the intermittency appears to be intrinsic to the source. No transients were found with DMs large enough to require that they originate from sources outside our Galaxy. Accounting for the on-axis gain of the ALFA system, as well as the low gain but large solid-angle coverage of far-out sidelobes, we use the results of the survey so far to place limits on the amplitudes and event rates of transients of arbitrary origin.« less
  • Recent work has exploited pulsar survey data to identify temporally isolated, millisecond-duration radio bursts with large dispersion measures (DMs). These bursts have been interpreted as arising from a population of extragalactic sources, in which case they would provide unprecedented opportunities for probing the intergalactic medium; they may also be linked to new source classes. Until now, however, all so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been detected with the Parkes radio telescope and its 13-beam receiver, casting some concern about the astrophysical nature of these signals. Here we present FRB 121102, the first FRB discovery from a geographic location other thanmore » Parkes. FRB 121102 was found in the Galactic anti-center region in the 1.4 GHz Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFA) survey with the Arecibo Observatory with a DM = 557.4 ± 2.0 pc cm{sup –3}, pulse width of 3.0 ± 0.5 ms, and no evidence of interstellar scattering. The observed delay of the signal arrival time with frequency agrees precisely with the expectation of dispersion through an ionized medium. Despite its low Galactic latitude (b = –0.°2), the burst has three times the maximum Galactic DM expected along this particular line of sight, suggesting an extragalactic origin. A peculiar aspect of the signal is an inverted spectrum; we interpret this as a consequence of being detected in a sidelobe of the ALFA receiver. FRB 121102's brightness, duration, and the inferred event rate are all consistent with the properties of the previously detected Parkes bursts.« less
  • Making use of H I 21 cm line measurements from the ALFALFA survey ({alpha}.40) and photometry from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), we investigate the global scaling relations and fundamental planes linking stars and gas for a sample of 9417 common galaxies: the {alpha}.40-SDSS-GALEX sample. In addition to their H I properties derived from the ALFALFA data set, stellar masses (M{sub *}) and star formation rates (SFRs) are derived from fitting the UV-optical spectral energy distributions. 96% of the {alpha}.40-SDSS-GALEX galaxies belong to the blue cloud, with the average gas fraction f{sub HI} {identical_to}more » M{sub HI}/M{sub *} {approx} 1.5. A transition in star formation (SF) properties is found whereby below M{sub *} {approx} 10{sup 9.5} M{sub Sun }, the slope of the star-forming sequence changes, the dispersion in the specific star formation rate (SSFR) distribution increases, and the star formation efficiency (SFE) mildly increases with M{sub *}. The evolutionary track in the SSFR-M{sub *} diagram, as well as that in the color-magnitude diagram, is linked to the H I content; below this transition mass, the SF is regulated strongly by the H I. Comparison of H I and optically selected samples over the same restricted volume shows that the H I-selected population is less evolved and has overall higher SFR and SSFR at a given stellar mass, but lower SFE and extinction, suggesting either that a bottleneck exists in the H I-to-H{sub 2} conversion or that the process of SF in the very H I-dominated galaxies obeys an unusual, low-efficiency SF law. A trend is found that, for a given stellar mass, high gas fraction galaxies reside preferentially in dark matter halos with high spin parameters. Because it represents a full census of H I-bearing galaxies at z {approx} 0, the scaling relations and fundamental planes derived for the ALFALFA population can be used to assess the H I detection rate by future blind H I surveys and intensity mapping experiments at higher redshift.« less
  • The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) survey has completed source extraction for 40% of its total sky area, resulting in the largest sample of H I-selected galaxies to date. We measure the H I mass function from a sample of 10,119 galaxies with 6.2 < log (M{sub H{sub i}}/M{sub sun}) < 11.0 and with well-described mass errors that accurately reflect our knowledge of low-mass systems. We characterize the survey sensitivity and its dependence on profile velocity width, the effect of large-scale structure, and the impact of radio frequency interference in order to calculate the H I mass function with bothmore » the 1/V{sub max} and 2DSWML methods. We also assess a flux-limited sample to test the robustness of the methods applied to the full sample. These measurements are in excellent agreement with one another; the derived Schechter function parameters are {phi}{sub *} (h {sup 3}{sub 70} Mpc{sup -3} dex{sup -1}) = 4.8 {+-} 0.3 x 10{sup -3}, log (M{sub *}/M{sub sun}) + 2 log h{sub 70} = 9.96 {+-} 0.02, and {alpha} = -1.33 {+-} 0.02. We find {Omega}{sub H{sub i}}= 4.3 {+-} 0.3 x10{sup -4} h {sup -1}{sub 70}, 16% larger than the 2005 HIPASS result, and our Schechter function fit extrapolated to log (M{sub H{sub i}}/M{sub sun}) = 11.0 predicts an order of magnitude more galaxies than HIPASS. The larger values of {Omega}{sub H{sub i}} and of M{sub *} imply an upward adjustment for estimates of the detection rate of future large-scale H I line surveys with, e.g., the Square Kilometer Array. A comparison with simulated galaxies from the Millennium Run and a treatment of photoheating as a method of baryon removal from H I-selected halos indicate that the disagreement between dark matter mass functions and baryonic mass functions may soon be resolved.« less
  • We present the catalog of H I sources extracted from the ongoing Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) extragalactic H I line survey, found within the sky region bounded by 9{sup h}36{sup m} < {alpha} < 11{sup h}36{sup m} and +08{sup 0} < {delta} < +12{sup 0}. The H I catalog presented here for this 118 deg{sup 2} region is combined with the ones derived from surrounding regions also covered by the ALFALFA survey to examine the large-scale structure in the complex Leo region. Because of the combination of wide sky coverage and superior sensitivity, spatial and spectral resolution, the ALFALFAmore » H I catalog of the Leo region improves significantly on the numbers of low H I mass sources as compared with those found in previous H I surveys. The H I mass function of the Leo I group presented here is dominated by low-mass objects: 45 of the 65 Leo I members have M{sub H{sub l}}<10{sup 8} M-odot, yielding tight constraints on the low-mass slope of the Leo I H I mass function. The best-fit slope is {alpha} {approx_equal} -1.41 + 0.2 - 0.1. A direct comparison between the ALFALFA H I line detections and an optical search of the Leo I region proves the advantage of the ALFALFA strategy in finding low-mass, gas-rich dwarfs. These results suggest the existence of a significant population of low surface brightness, gas-rich, yet still very low H I mass galaxies, and may reflect the same type of morphological segregation as is seen in the Local Group. While the low-mass end slope of the Leo I H I mass function is steeper than that determined for luminosity functions of the group, the slope still falls short of the values predicted by simulations of structure formation in the lambda cold dark matter paradigm.« less