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Author ORCID ID is 0000000208934073
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  1. Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are old neutron stars that spin hundreds of times per second and appear to pulsate as their emission beams cross our line of sight. To date, radio pulsations have been detected from all rotation-powered MSPs. Here, in an attempt to discover radio-quiet gamma-ray MSPs, we used the aggregated power from the computers of tens of thousands of volunteers participating in the Einstein@Home distributed computing project to search for pulsations from unidentified gamma-ray sources in Fermi Large Area Telescope data. This survey discovered two isolated MSPs, one of which is the only known rotation-powered MSP to remain undetectedmore » in radio observations. These gamma-ray MSPs were discovered in completely blind searches without prior constraints from other observations, raising hopes for detecting MSPs from a predicted Galactic bulge population.« less
  2. Here, we have studied the variability of the black-widow-type binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1311–3430 from optical to gamma-ray energies. We confirm evidence for orbital modulation in the weak off-pulse ≳200 MeV emission, with a peak atmore » $${\phi }_{B}\approx 0.8$$, following pulsar inferior conjunction. The peak has a relatively hard spectrum, extending above ~1 GeV. XMM-Newton and Swift UV observations also show that this source's strong X-ray flaring activity is associated with optical/UV flares. With a duty cycle of ~7%–19%, this flaring is quite prominent with an apparent power-law intensity distribution. Flares are present at all orbital phases, with a slight preference for $${\phi }_{B}=0.5\mbox{--}0.7$$. We explore possible connections of these variabilities with the intrabinary shock and magnetic activity on the low-mass secondary.« less
  3. Here, we report the discovery and timing measurements of PSR J1208-6238, a young and highly magnetized gamma-ray pulsar, with a spin period of 440 ms. The pulsar was discovered in gamma-ray photon data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) during a blind-search survey of unidentified LAT sources, running on the distributed volunteer computing system Einstein@Home. No radio pulsations were detected in dedicated follow-up searches with the Parkes radio telescope, with a flux density upper limit at 1369 MHz of 30 μJy. Furthermore, by timing this pulsar's gamma-ray pulsations, we measure its braking index over five years of LAT observationsmore » to be n = 2.598 ± 0.001 ± 0.1, where the first uncertainty is statistical and the second estimates the bias due to timing noise. Assuming its braking index has been similar since birth, the pulsar has an estimated age of around 2700 years, making it the youngest pulsar to be found in a blind search of gamma-ray data and the youngest known radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsar. Despite its young age, the pulsar is not associated with any known supernova remnant or pulsar wind nebula. The pulsar's inferred dipolar surface magnetic field strength is 3.8 × 10 13 G, almost 90% of the quantum-critical level. Finally, we investigate some potential physical causes of the braking index deviating from the simple dipole model but find that LAT data covering a longer time interval will be necessary to distinguish between these.« less
  4. Here, we present an analysis of the gamma-ray measurements by the Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in the region of the supernova remnant (SNR) Monoceros Loop (G205.5+0.5). The brightest gamma-ray peak is spatially correlated with the Rosette Nebula, which is a molecular cloud complex adjacent to the southeast edge of the SNR. After subtraction of this emission by spatial modeling, the gamma-ray emission from the SNR emerges, which is extended and fit by a Gaussian spatial template. The gamma-ray spectra are significantly better reproduced by a curved shape than a simple power law. The luminosities between 0.2 and 300 GeV aremore » $$\sim 4\times {10}^{34}$$ erg s -1 for the SNR and $$\sim 3\times {10}^{34}$$ erg s -1 for the Rosette Nebula, respectively. We also argue that the gamma-rays likely originate from the interactions of particles accelerated in the SNR. Furthermore, the decay of neutral pions produced in nucleon–nucleon interactions of accelerated hadrons with interstellar gas provides a reasonable explanation for the gamma-ray emission of both the Rosette Nebula and the Monoceros SNR.« less
  5. In this paper, we report on radio timing and multiwavelength observations of the 4.66 ms redback pulsar J1048+2339, which was discovered in an Arecibo search targeting the Fermi-Large Area Telescope source 3FGL J1048.6+2338. Two years of timing allowed us to derive precise astrometric and orbital parameters for the pulsar. PSR J1048+2339 is in a 6 hr binary and exhibits radio eclipses over half the orbital period and rapid orbital period variations. The companion has a minimum mass of 0.3 M , and we have identified a V ~ 20 variable optical counterpart in data from several surveys. The phasing ofmore » its ~1 mag modulation at the orbital period suggests highly efficient and asymmetric heating by the pulsar wind, which may be due to an intrabinary shock that is distorted near the companion, or to the companion's magnetic field channeling the pulsar wind to specific locations on its surface. Finally, we also present gamma-ray spectral analysis of the source and preliminary results from searches for gamma-ray pulsations using the radio ephemeris.« less
  6. We have constructed timing solutions for 81 γ-ray pulsars covering more than five years of Fermi data. The sample includes 37 radio-quiet or radio-faint pulsars which cannot be timed with other telescopes. These timing solutions and the corresponding pulse times of arrival are prerequisites for further study, e.g., phase-resolved spectroscopy or searches for mode switches. Many γ-ray pulsars are strongly affected by timing noise (TN), and we present a new method for characterizing the noise process and mitigating its effects on other facets of the timing model. We present an analysis of TN over the population using a new metric for characterizing its strength and spectral shape, namely, its time-domain correlation. The dependence of the strength on ν andmore » $$\dot{\nu }$$ is in good agreement with previous studies. We find that noise process power spectra S(f) for unrecycled pulsars are steep, with strong correlations over our entire data set and spectral indices $$S(f)\propto {f}^{-\alpha }$$ of α ~ 5–9. One possible explanation for these results is the occurrence of unmodeled, episodic "microglitches." Finally, we show that our treatment of TN results in robust parameter estimation, and in particular we measure a precise timing position for each pulsar. Furthermore, we extensively validate our results with multi-wavelength astrometry, and using our updated position, we firmly identify the X-ray counterpart of PSR J1418–6058.« less
    Cited by 11Full Text Available
  7. In a search with the Parkes radio telescope of 56 unidentified Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) gamma-ray sources, we have detected 11 millisecond pulsars (MSPs), 10 of them discoveries, of which five were reported by Kerr et al. We did not detect radio pulsations from six other pulsars now known in these sources. We also describe the completed survey, which included multiple observations of many targets conducted to minimize the impact of interstellar scintillation, acceleration effects in binary systems, and eclipses. We consider that 23 of the 39 remaining sources may still be viable pulsar candidates. Furthermore, we present timing solutions and polarimetry for five of the MSPs and gamma-ray pulsations for PSR J1903–7051 (pulsations for five others were reported in the second Fermi-LAT catalog of gamma-ray pulsars). Two of the new MSPs are isolated and five are inmore » $$\gt 1$$ day circular orbits with 0.2–0.3 $${M}_{\odot }$$ presumed white dwarf companions. PSR J0955–6150, in a 24 day orbit with a $$\approx 0.25$$ $${M}_{\odot }$$ companion but eccentricity of 0.11, belongs to a recently identified class of eccentric MSPs. PSR J1036–8317 is in an 8 hr binary with a $$\gt 0.14$$ $${M}_{\odot }$$ companion that is probably a white dwarf. PSR J1946–5403 is in a 3 hr orbit with a $$\gt 0.02$$ $${M}_{\odot }$$ companion with no evidence of radio eclipses.« less
    Cited by 23Full Text Available
  8. We present Keck spectroscopic measurements of the millisecond pulsar binary J2215+5135. These data indicate a neutron-star (NS) massmore » $${M}_{\mathrm{NS}}=1.6\;{M}_{\odot }$$, much less than previously estimated. The pulsar heats the companion face to $${T}_{D}\approx 9000$$ K; the large heating efficiency may be mediated by the intrabinary shock dominating the X-ray light curve. At the best-fit inclination i = 88 $$^o\atop{.}$$ 8, the pulsar should be eclipsed. Here, we find weak evidence for such eclipses in the pulsed gamma-rays; an improved radio ephemeris allows use of up to five times more Fermi-Large Area Telescope gamma-ray photons for a definitive test of this picture. If confirmed, the gamma-ray eclipse provides a novel probe of the dense companion wind and the pulsar magnetosphere.« less
    Cited by 10Full Text Available

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