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Title: 4–8 GHz Fourier-domain Searches for Galactic Center Pulsars

The Galactic Center (GC), with its high density of massive stars, is a promising target for radio transient searches. In particular, the discovery and timing of a pulsar orbiting the central supermassive black hole (SMBH) of our galaxy will enable stringent strong-field tests of gravity and accurate measurements of SMBH properties. We performed multiepoch 4–8 GHz observations of the inner ≈15 pc of our galaxy using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in 2019 August–September. Our investigations constitute the most sensitive 4–8 GHz GC pulsar survey conducted to date, reaching down to a 6.1 GHz pseudo-luminosity threshold of ≈1 mJy kpc2for a pulse duty cycle of 2.5%. We searched our data in the Fourier domain for periodic signals incorporating a constant or linearly changing line-of-sight pulsar acceleration. We report the successful detection of the GC magnetar PSR J1745−2900 in our data. Our pulsar searches yielded a nondetection of novel periodic astrophysical emissions above a 6σdetection threshold in harmonic-summed power spectra. We reconcile our nondetection of GC pulsars with inadequate sensitivity to a likely GC pulsar population dominated by millisecond pulsars. Alternatively, close encounters with compact objects in the dense GC environment may scatter pulsars away from the GC. more » The dense central interstellar medium may also favorably produce magnetars over pulsars.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 121
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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