skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Gigahertz-peaked Spectra Pulsars and Thermal Absorption Model

Abstract

We present the results of our radio interferometric observations of pulsars at 325 and 610 MHz using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. We used the imaging method to estimate the flux densities of several pulsars at these radio frequencies. The analysis of the shapes of the pulsar spectra allowed us to identify five new gigahertz-peaked spectra (GPS) pulsars. Using the hypothesis that the spectral turnovers are caused by thermal free–free absorption in the interstellar medium, we modeled the spectra of all known objects of this kind. Using the model, we were able to put some observational constraints on the physical parameters of the absorbing matter, which allows us to distinguish between the possible sources of absorption. We also discuss the possible effects of the existence of GPS pulsars on future search surveys, showing that the optimal frequency range for finding such objects would be from a few GHz (for regular GPS sources) to possibly 10 GHz for pulsars and radio magnetars exhibiting very strong absorption.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Janusz Gil Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, ul. Z. Szafrana 2, PL-65-516 Zielona Góra (Poland)
  2. DLR Institute of Space Systems, Robert-Hooke-Str. 7 D-28359 Bremen (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663603
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 840; 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; ABSORPTION; FLUX DENSITY; GHZ RANGE; LIMITING VALUES; LINEAR ABSORPTION MODELS; MHZ RANGE; NEUTRON STARS; PULSARS; RADIO TELESCOPES; RADIOWAVE RADIATION; SPECTRA; SUPERNOVA REMNANTS

Citation Formats

Kijak, J., Basu, R., Lewandowski, W., Rożko, K., and Dembska, M., E-mail: jkijak@astro.ia.uz.zgora.pl. Gigahertz-peaked Spectra Pulsars and Thermal Absorption Model. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6FF2.
Kijak, J., Basu, R., Lewandowski, W., Rożko, K., & Dembska, M., E-mail: jkijak@astro.ia.uz.zgora.pl. Gigahertz-peaked Spectra Pulsars and Thermal Absorption Model. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6FF2.
Kijak, J., Basu, R., Lewandowski, W., Rożko, K., and Dembska, M., E-mail: jkijak@astro.ia.uz.zgora.pl. Wed . "Gigahertz-peaked Spectra Pulsars and Thermal Absorption Model". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA6FF2.
@article{osti_22663603,
title = {Gigahertz-peaked Spectra Pulsars and Thermal Absorption Model},
author = {Kijak, J. and Basu, R. and Lewandowski, W. and Rożko, K. and Dembska, M., E-mail: jkijak@astro.ia.uz.zgora.pl},
abstractNote = {We present the results of our radio interferometric observations of pulsars at 325 and 610 MHz using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. We used the imaging method to estimate the flux densities of several pulsars at these radio frequencies. The analysis of the shapes of the pulsar spectra allowed us to identify five new gigahertz-peaked spectra (GPS) pulsars. Using the hypothesis that the spectral turnovers are caused by thermal free–free absorption in the interstellar medium, we modeled the spectra of all known objects of this kind. Using the model, we were able to put some observational constraints on the physical parameters of the absorbing matter, which allows us to distinguish between the possible sources of absorption. We also discuss the possible effects of the existence of GPS pulsars on future search surveys, showing that the optimal frequency range for finding such objects would be from a few GHz (for regular GPS sources) to possibly 10 GHz for pulsars and radio magnetars exhibiting very strong absorption.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA6FF2},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 840,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed May 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We present a model that explains the observed deviation of the spectra of some pulsars and magnetars from the power-law spectra that are seen in the bulk of the pulsar population. Our model is based on the assumption that the observed variety of pulsar spectra can be naturally explained by the thermal free–free absorption that takes place in the surroundings of the pulsars. In this context, the variety of the pulsar spectra can be explained according to the shape, density, and temperature of the absorbing media and the optical path of the line of sight across it. We have putmore » specific emphasis on the case of the radio magnetar SGR J1745–2900 (also known as the Sgr A* magnetar), modeling the rapid variations of the pulsar spectrum after the outburst of 2013 April as due to the free–free absorption of the radio emission in the electron material ejected during the magnetar outburst. The ejecta expands with time and consequently the absorption rate decreases and the shape of the spectrum changes in such a way that the peak frequency shifts toward the lower radio frequencies. In the hypothesis of an absorbing medium, we also discuss the similarity between the spectral behavior of the binary pulsar B1259–63 and the spectral peculiarities of isolated pulsars.« less
  • We study the radio spectra of two magnetars, PSR J1550-5418 and J1622-4950. We argue that they are good candidates for pulsars with gigahertz-peaked spectra (GPS), as their observed flux density decreases at frequencies below 7 GHz. We suggest that this behavior is due to the influence of the pulsars' environments on radio waves. Both of the magnetars are associated with supernova remnants and thus are surrounded by hot, ionized gas, which can be responsible for the free-free absorption of radio waves. We conclude that the GPS feature of both magnetars and typical pulsars are formed by similar processes in themore » surrounding media rather than by different radio-emission mechanisms. Thus, the radio magnetars PSR J1550-5418 and J1622-4950 can be included in the class of GPS pulsars.« less
  • In a dynamical-radiative model we recently developed to describe the physics of compact, GHz-Peaked-Spectrum (GPS) sources, the relativistic jets propagate across the inner, kpc-sized region of the host galaxy, while the electron population of the expanding lobes evolves and emits synchrotron and inverse-Compton (IC) radiation. Interstellar-medium gas clouds engulfed by the expanding lobes, and photoionized by the active nucleus, are responsible for the radio spectral turnover through free-free absorption (FFA) of the synchrotron photons. The model provides a description of the evolution of the GPS spectral energy distribution (SED) with the source expansion, predicting significant and complex high-energy emission, frommore » the X-ray to the {gamma}-ray frequency domain. Here, we test this model with the broad-band SEDs of a sample of eleven X-ray emitting GPS galaxies with Compact-Symmetric-Object (CSO) morphology, and show that: (i) the shape of the radio continuum at frequencies lower than the spectral turnover is indeed well accounted for by the FFA mechanism; (ii) the observed X-ray spectra can be interpreted as non-thermal radiation produced via IC scattering of the local radiation fields off the lobe particles, providing a viable alternative to the thermal, accretion-disk dominated scenario. We also show that the relation between the hydrogen column densities derived from the X-ray (N{sub H}) and radio (N{sub HI}) data of the sources is suggestive of a positive correlation, which, if confirmed by future observations, would provide further support to our scenario of high-energy emitting lobes.« less
  • In a dynamical-radiative model we recently developed to describe the physics of compact, GHz-peaked-spectrum (GPS) sources, the relativistic jets propagate across the inner, kpc-sized region of the host galaxy, while the electron population of the expanding lobes evolves and emits synchrotron and inverse-Compton (IC) radiation. Interstellar-medium gas clouds engulfed by the expanding lobes, and photoionized by the active nucleus, are responsible for the radio spectral turnover through free-free absorption (FFA) of the synchrotron photons. The model provides a description of the evolution of the spectral energy distribution (SED) of GPS sources with their expansion, predicting significant and complex high-energy emission,more » from the X-ray to the {gamma}-ray frequency domain. Here, we test this model with the broadband SEDs of a sample of 11 X-ray-emitting GPS galaxies with compact-symmetric-object morphology, and show that (1) the shape of the radio continuum at frequencies lower than the spectral turnover is indeed well accounted for by the FFA mechanism and (2) the observed X-ray spectra can be interpreted as non-thermal radiation produced via IC scattering of the local radiation fields off the lobe particles, providing a viable alternative to the thermal, accretion-disk-dominated scenario. We also show that the relation between the hydrogen column densities derived from the X-ray (N {sub H}) and radio (N {sub HI}) data of the sources is suggestive of a positive correlation, which, if confirmed by future observations, would provide further support to our scenario of high-energy emitting lobes.« less