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Title: A Search for Transitions between States in Redbacks and Black Widows Using Seven Years of Fermi -LAT Observations

Abstract

Considering about seven years of Fermi -Large Area Telescope (LAT) data, we present a systematic search for variability that is possibly related to transitions between states in redbacks and black widow systems. The transitions are characterized by sudden and significant changes in the gamma-ray flux that persist on a timescale that is much larger than the orbital period. This phenomenology was already detected in the case of two redback systems, PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227−4853, which we present here. We show the existence of only one transition for each of these systems over the past seven years. We determine their spectra, establishing high-energy cutoffs at a few GeV for the high gamma-ray state of PSR J1023+0038, and for both states of PSR J1227−4853. The surveying capability of the Fermi -LAT allows further study of whether similar phenomenology has occurred in other sources. Although we have not found any evidence of a state transition for most of the studied pulsars, we note two black-widow systems, PSR J2234+0944 and PSR J1446−4701, whose apparent variabilities are reminiscent of the transitions in PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227−4853. For the other systems, we set limits on potential transitions in their measured gamma-ray light curves.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3]
  1. Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Campus UAB, Carrer de Magrans s/n, E-08193 Barcelona (Spain)
  2. Key Laboratory for Particle Astrophysics, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19B Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049 (China)
  3. INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, I-00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Roma (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663847
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 836; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; GAMMA RADIATION; GEV RANGE; PULSARS; STARS; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Torres, Diego F., Li, Jian, Rea, Nanda, Wilhelmi, Emma de Oña, Ji, Long, Zhang, Shu, and Papitto, Alessandro. A Search for Transitions between States in Redbacks and Black Widows Using Seven Years of Fermi -LAT Observations. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/68.
Torres, Diego F., Li, Jian, Rea, Nanda, Wilhelmi, Emma de Oña, Ji, Long, Zhang, Shu, & Papitto, Alessandro. A Search for Transitions between States in Redbacks and Black Widows Using Seven Years of Fermi -LAT Observations. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/68.
Torres, Diego F., Li, Jian, Rea, Nanda, Wilhelmi, Emma de Oña, Ji, Long, Zhang, Shu, and Papitto, Alessandro. Fri . "A Search for Transitions between States in Redbacks and Black Widows Using Seven Years of Fermi -LAT Observations". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/68.
@article{osti_22663847,
title = {A Search for Transitions between States in Redbacks and Black Widows Using Seven Years of Fermi -LAT Observations},
author = {Torres, Diego F. and Li, Jian and Rea, Nanda and Wilhelmi, Emma de Oña and Ji, Long and Zhang, Shu and Papitto, Alessandro},
abstractNote = {Considering about seven years of Fermi -Large Area Telescope (LAT) data, we present a systematic search for variability that is possibly related to transitions between states in redbacks and black widow systems. The transitions are characterized by sudden and significant changes in the gamma-ray flux that persist on a timescale that is much larger than the orbital period. This phenomenology was already detected in the case of two redback systems, PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227−4853, which we present here. We show the existence of only one transition for each of these systems over the past seven years. We determine their spectra, establishing high-energy cutoffs at a few GeV for the high gamma-ray state of PSR J1023+0038, and for both states of PSR J1227−4853. The surveying capability of the Fermi -LAT allows further study of whether similar phenomenology has occurred in other sources. Although we have not found any evidence of a state transition for most of the studied pulsars, we note two black-widow systems, PSR J2234+0944 and PSR J1446−4701, whose apparent variabilities are reminiscent of the transitions in PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227−4853. For the other systems, we set limits on potential transitions in their measured gamma-ray light curves.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/68},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 836,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Considering about seven years of Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) data, we present a systematic search for variability that is possibly related to transitions between states in redbacks and black widow systems. In addition, the transitions are characterized by sudden and significant changes in the gamma-ray flux that persist on a timescale that is much larger than the orbital period. This phenomenology was already detected in the case of two redback systems, PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227-4853, which we present here. We show the existence of only one transition for each of these systems over the past seven years. We determinemore » their spectra, establishing high-energy cutoffs at a few GeV for the high gamma-ray state of PSR J1023+0038, and for both states of PSR J1227-4853. The surveying capability of the Fermi-LAT allows further study of whether similar phenomenology has occurred in other sources. Although we have not found any evidence of a state transition for most of the studied pulsars, we note two black-widow systems, PSR J2234+0944 and PSR J1446-4701, whose apparent variabilities are reminiscent of the transitions in PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1227-4853. Finally, for the other systems, we set limits on potential transitions in their measured gamma-ray light curves.« less
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  • Spatial extension is an important characteristic for correctly associating {gamma}-ray-emitting sources with their counterparts at other wavelengths and for obtaining an unbiased model of their spectra. We present a new method for quantifying the spatial extension of sources detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT), the primary science instrument on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). We perform a series of Monte Carlo simulations to validate this tool and calculate the LAT threshold for detecting the spatial extension of sources. We then test all sources in the second Fermi -LAT catalog (2FGL) for extension. We report the detection of sevenmore » new spatially extended sources.« less
  • Based on more than seven years of Fermi Large Area Telescope Pass 8 data, we report on a detailed analysis of the bright gamma-ray pulsar (PSR) J0007+7303. We confirm that PSR J0007+7303 is significantly detected as a point source also during the off-peak phases with a test statistic value of 262 (∼16 σ ). In the description of the off-peak spectrum of PSR J0007+7303, a power law with an exponential cutoff at 2.7 ± 1.2 ± 1.3 GeV (the first/second uncertainties correspond to statistical/systematic errors) is preferred over a single power law at a level of 3.5 σ . Themore » possible existence of a cutoff hints at a magnetospheric origin of the emission. In addition, no extended gamma-ray emission is detected that is compatible with either the supernova remnant (CTA 1) or the very high-energy (>100 GeV) pulsar wind nebula. A flux upper limit of 6.5 × 10{sup −12} erg cm{sup −2} s{sup −1} in the energy range 10–300 GeV is reported, for an extended source assuming the morphology of the VERITAS detection. During on-peak phases, a sub-exponential cutoff is significantly preferred (∼11 σ ) for representing the spectral energy distribution, in both the phase-averaged and phase-resolved spectra. Three glitches are detected during the observation period and we found no flux variability at the time of the glitches or in the long-term behavior. We also report the discovery of a previously unknown gamma-ray source in the vicinity of PSR J0007+7303, Fermi J0020+7328, which we associate with the z = 1.781 quasar S5 0016+73. A concurrent analysis of this source is needed to correctly characterize the behavior of CTA 1 and it is also presented in the paper.« less