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  1. Abstract

    The AO327 drift survey for radio pulsars and transients used the Arecibo telescope from 2010 until its collapse in 2020. AO327 collected ∼3100 hr of data at 327 MHz with a time resolution of 82μs and a frequency resolution of 24 kHz. While the main motivation for such surveys is the discovery of new pulsars and new, even unforeseen, types of radio transients, they also serendipitously collect a wealth of data on known pulsars. We present an electronic catalog of data and data products of 206 pulsars whose periodic emission was detected by AO327 and are listed in the Australia Telescope National Facility catalog of all published pulsars. The AO327 data products include dedispersed time series at full time resolution, average (“folded”) pulse profiles, Gaussian pulse profile templates, and an absolute phase reference that allows phase aligning the AO327 pulse profiles in a physically meaningful manner with profiles from data taken with other instruments. We also provide machine-readable tables with uncalibrated flux measurements at 327 MHz and pulse widths at 50% and 10% of the pulse peak determined from the fitted Gaussian profile templates. The AO327 catalog data set can be used in applications like population analysis of radio pulsars, pulse profile evolution studies in time and frequency, cone and core emission of the pulsar beam, scintillation, pulse intensity distributions, and others. It also constitutes a ready-made resource for teaching signal-processing and pulsar astronomy techniques.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    Spider pulsars continue to provide promising candidates for neutron star mass measurements. Here we present the discovery of PSR J1910−5320, a new millisecond pulsar discovered in a MeerKAT observation of an unidentified Fermi-LAT gamma-ray source. This pulsar is coincident with a recently identified candidate redback binary, independently discovered through its periodic optical flux and radial velocity. New multicolour optical light curves obtained with ULTRACAM/New Technology Telescope in combination with MeerKAT timing and updated SOAR/Goodman spectroscopic radial velocity measurements allow a mass constraint for PSR J1910−5320. icarus optical light curve modelling, with streamlined radial velocity fitting, constrains the orbital inclination and companion velocity, unlocking the binary mass function given the precise radio ephemeris. Our modelling aims to unite the photometric and spectroscopic measurements available by fitting each simultaneously to the same underlying physical model, ensuring self-consistency. This targets centre-of-light radial velocity corrections necessitated by the irradiation endemic to spider systems. Depending on the gravity darkening prescription used, we find a moderate neutron star mass of either 1.6 ± 0.2 or 1.4 ± 0.2 M⊙. The companion mass of either 0.45 ± 0.04 or $0.43^{+0.04}_{-0.03}$M⊙ also further confirms PSR J1910−5320 as an irradiated redback spider pulsar.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    PSR J1757−1854 is one of the most relativistic double neutron star binary systems known in our Galaxy, with an orbital period of $P_\text{b}=4.4\, \text{h}$ and an orbital eccentricity of e = 0.61. As such, it has promised to be an outstanding laboratory for conducting tests of relativistic gravity. We present the results of a 6-yr campaign with the 100-m Green Bank and 64-m Parkes radio telescopes, designed to capitalize on this potential. We identify secular changes in the profile morphology and polarization of PSR J1757−1854, confirming the presence of geodetic precession and allowing the constraint of viewing geometry solutions consistent with General Relativity. We also update PSR J1757−1854’s timing, including new constraints of the pulsar’s proper motion, post-Keplerian parameters, and component masses. We conclude that the radiative test of gravity provided by PSR J1757−1854 is fundamentally limited to a precision of 0.3 per cent due to the pulsar’s unknown distance. A search for pulsations from the companion neutron star is also described, with negative results. We provide an updated evaluation of the system’s evolutionary history, finding strong support for a large kick velocity of $w\ge 280\, \rm{km\,s}^{-1}$ following the second progenitor supernova. Finally, we reassess PSR J1757−1854’s potential to provide new relativistic tests of gravity. We conclude that a 3-σ constraint of the change in the projected semimajor axis ($\dot{x}$) associated with Lense–Thirring precession is expected no earlier than 2031. Meanwhile, we anticipate a 3-σ measurement of the relativistic orbital deformation parameter δθ as soon as 2026.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    With unparalleled rotational stability, millisecond pulsars (MSPs) serve as ideal laboratories for numerous astrophysical studies, many of which require precise knowledge of the distance and/or velocity of the MSP. Here, we present the astrometric results for 18 MSPs of the ‘MSPSR$\pi$’ project focusing exclusively on astrometry of MSPs, which includes the re-analysis of three previously published sources. On top of a standardized data reduction protocol, more complex strategies (i.e. normal and inverse-referenced 1D interpolation) were employed where possible to further improve astrometric precision. We derived astrometric parameters using sterne, a new Bayesian astrometry inference package that allows the incorporation of prior information based on pulsar timing where applicable. We measured significant (${>}3\, \sigma$) parallax-based distances for 15 MSPs, including 0.81 ± 0.02 kpc for PSR J1518+4904 – the most significant model-independent distance ever measured for a double neutron star system. For each MSP with a well-constrained distance, we estimated its transverse space velocity and radial acceleration. Among the estimated radial accelerations, the updated ones of PSR J1012+5307 and PSR J1738+0333 impose new constraints on dipole gravitational radiation and the time derivative of Newton’s gravitational constant. Additionally, significant angular broadening was detected for PSR J1643−1224, which offers an independent check of the postulated association between the HII region Sh 2-27 and the main scattering screen of PSR J1643−1224. Finally, the upper limit of the death line of γ-ray-emitting pulsars is refined with the new radial acceleration of the hitherto least energetic γ-ray pulsar PSR J1730−2304.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    Galactic plane radio surveys play a key role in improving our understanding of a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. Performing such a survey using the latest interferometric telescopes produces large data rates necessitating a shift towards fully or quasi-real-time data analysis with data being stored for only the time required to process them. We present here the overview and set-up for the 3000-h Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR)–MeerKAT Galactic Plane Survey (MMGPS). The survey is unique by operating in a commensal mode, addressing key science objectives of the survey including the discovery of new pulsars and transients and studies of Galactic magnetism, the interstellar medium and star formation rates. We explain the strategy coupled with the necessary hardware and software infrastructure needed for data reduction in the imaging, spectral, and time domains. We have so far discovered 78 new pulsars including 17 confirmed binary systems of which two are potential double neutron star systems. We have also developed an imaging pipeline sensitive to the order of a few tens of micro-Jansky ($\mu{\rm Jy}$) with a spatial resolution of a few arcseconds. Further science operations with an in-house built S-band receiver operating between 1.7 and 3.5 GHz are about to commence. Early spectral line commissioning observations conducted at S-band, targeting transitions of the key molecular gas tracer CH at 3.3 GHz already illustrate the spectroscopic capabilities of this instrument. These results lay a strong foundation for future surveys with telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    We present the polarization profiles of 22 pulsars in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae using observations from the MeerKAT radio telescope at UHF band (544–1088 MHz) and report precise values of dispersion measure (DM) and rotation measure (RM). We use these measurements to investigate the presence of turbulence in electron density and magnetic fields. The structure function of DM shows a break at ∼30 arcsec (∼0.6 pc at the distance of 47 Tucanae) that suggests the presence of turbulence in the gas in the cluster driven by the motion of wind-shedding stars. On the other hand, the structure function of RM does not show evidence of a break. This non-detection could be explained either by the limited number of pulsars or by the effects of the intervening gas in the Galaxy along the line of sight. Future pulsar discoveries in the cluster could help confirm the presence and localize the turbulence.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    The most massive globular cluster in our Galaxy, Omega Centauri, is an interesting target for pulsar searches, because of its multiple stellar populations and the intriguing possibility that it was once the nucleus of a galaxy that was absorbed into the Milky Way. The recent discoveries of pulsars in this globular cluster and their association with known X-ray sources was a hint that, given the large number of known X-ray sources, there is a much larger undiscovered pulsar population. We used the superior sensitivity of the MeerKAT radio telescope to search for pulsars in Omega Centauri. In this paper, we present some of the first results of this survey, including the discovery of 13 new pulsars; the total number of known pulsars in this cluster currently stands at 18. At least half of them are in binary systems and preliminary orbital constraints suggest that most of the binaries have light companions. We also discuss the ratio between isolated and binaries pulsars, and how they were formed in this cluster.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT

    More than 100 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have been discovered in radio observations of gamma-ray sources detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), but hundreds of pulsar-like sources remain unidentified. Here, we present the first results from the targeted survey of Fermi-LAT sources being performed by the Transients and Pulsars with MeerKAT (TRAPUM) Large Survey Project. We observed 79 sources identified as possible gamma-ray pulsar candidates by a Random Forest classification of unassociated sources from the 4FGL catalogue. Each source was observed for 10 min on two separate epochs using MeerKAT’s L-band receiver (856–1712 MHz), with typical pulsed flux density sensitivities of $\sim 100\, \mu$Jy. Nine new MSPs were discovered, eight of which are in binary systems, including two eclipsing redbacks and one system, PSR J1526−2744, that appears to have a white dwarf companion in an unusually compact 5 h orbit. We obtained phase-connected timing solutions for two of these MSPs, enabling the detection of gamma-ray pulsations in the Fermi-LAT data. A follow-up search for continuous gravitational waves from PSR J1526−2744 in Advanced LIGO data using the resulting Fermi-LAT timing ephemeris yielded no detection, but sets an upper limit on the neutron star ellipticity of 2.45 × 10−8. We also detected X-ray emission from the redback PSR J1803−6707 in data from the first eROSITA all-sky survey, likely due to emission from an intrabinary shock.

     
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  9. ABSTRACT

    We report the phase-connected timing ephemeris, polarization pulse profiles, Faraday rotation measurements, and Rotating-Vector-Model (RVM) fitting results of 12 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) discovered with the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in the Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST survey (CRAFTS). The timing campaigns were carried out with FAST and Arecibo over 3 yr. 11 of the 12 pulsars are in neutron star–white dwarf binary systems, with orbital periods between 2.4 and 100 d. 10 of them have spin periods, companion masses, and orbital eccentricities that are consistent with the theoretical expectations for MSP–Helium white dwarf (He WD) systems. The last binary pulsar (PSR J1912−0952) has a significantly smaller spin frequency and a smaller companion mass, the latter could be caused by a low orbital inclination for the system. Its orbital period of 29 d is well within the range of orbital periods where some MSP–He WD systems have shown anomalous eccentricities, however, the eccentricity of PSR J1912−0952 is typical of what one finds for the remaining MSP–He WD systems.

     
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