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  1. ABSTRACT We report observed and derived timing parameters for three millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from observations collected with the Parkes 64-m telescope, Murriyang. The pulsars were found during reprocessing of archival survey data by Mickaliger et al. One of the new pulsars (PSR J1546–5925) has a spin period P = 7.8 ms and is isolated. The other two (PSR J0921–5202 with P = 9.7 ms and PSR J1146–6610 with P = 3.7 ms) are in binary systems around low-mass (${\gt}0.2\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$) companions. Their respective orbital periods are 38.2 and 62.8 d. While PSR J0921–5202 has a low orbital eccentricity e = 1.3 × 10−5, in keeping with many other Galacticmore »MSPs, PSR J1146–6610 has a significantly larger eccentricity, e = 7.4 × 10−3. This makes it a likely member of a group of eccentric MSP–helium white dwarf binary systems in the Galactic disc whose formation is poorly understood. Two of the pulsars are co-located with previously unidentified point sources discovered with the Fermi satellite’s Large Area Telescope, but no γ-ray pulsations have been detected, likely due to their low spin-down powers. We also show that, particularly in terms of orbital diversity, the current sample of MSPs is far from complete and is subject to a number of selection biases.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. ABSTRACT We searched for an isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background in the second data release of the International Pulsar Timing Array, a global collaboration synthesizing decadal-length pulsar-timing campaigns in North America, Europe, and Australia. In our reference search for a power-law strain spectrum of the form $h_c = A(f/1\, \mathrm{yr}^{-1})^{\alpha }$, we found strong evidence for a spectrally similar low-frequency stochastic process of amplitude $A = 3.8^{+6.3}_{-2.5}\times 10^{-15}$ and spectral index α = −0.5 ± 0.5, where the uncertainties represent 95 per cent credible regions, using information from the auto- and cross-correlation terms between the pulsars in the array. For a spectral index of α =more »−2/3, as expected from a population of inspiralling supermassive black hole binaries, the recovered amplitude is $A = 2.8^{+1.2}_{-0.8}\times 10^{-15}$. None the less, no significant evidence of the Hellings–Downs correlations that would indicate a gravitational-wave origin was found. We also analysed the constituent data from the individual pulsar timing arrays in a consistent way, and clearly demonstrate that the combined international data set is more sensitive. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this combined data set produces comparable constraints to recent single-array data sets which have more data than the constituent parts of the combination. Future international data releases will deliver increased sensitivity to gravitational wave radiation, and significantly increase the detection probability.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 19, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT

    We report on the search for the optical counterpart of the gravitational event GW170814, which was carried out with the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) by the GRAvitational Wave Inaf TeAm. Observations started 17.5 h after the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo alert and we covered an area of 99 deg2 that encloses $\sim 77{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and $\sim 59{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the initial and refined localization probability regions, respectively. A total of six epochs were secured over nearly two months. The survey reached an average limiting magnitude of 22 AB mag in the r band. Aftermore »assuming the model described in Perna, Lazzati & Farr, that derives as possible optical counterpart of a BBH (binary black hole) event a transient source declining in about one day, we have computed a survey efficiency of about $5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. This paper describes the VST observational strategy and the results obtained by our analysis pipelines developed to search for optical transients in multi-epoch images. We report the catalogue of the candidates with possible identifications based on light-curve fitting. We have identified two dozens of SNe, nine AGNs, and one QSO. Nineteen transients characterized by a single detection were not classified. We have restricted our analysis only to the candidates that fall into the refined localization map. None out of 39 left candidates could be positively associated with GW170814. This result implies that the possible emission of optical radiation from a BBH merger had to be fainter than r ∼ 22 (Loptical ∼ 1.4 × 1042 erg s−1) on a time interval ranging from a few hours up to two months after the gravitational wave event.

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  5. ABSTRACT

    In this paper, we describe the International Pulsar Timing Array second data release, which includes recent pulsar timing data obtained by three regional consortia: the European Pulsar Timing Array, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves, and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array. We analyse and where possible combine high-precision timing data for 65 millisecond pulsars which are regularly observed by these groups. A basic noise analysis, including the processes which are both correlated and uncorrelated in time, provides noise models and timing ephemerides for the pulsars. We find that the timing precisions of pulsars are generally improved comparedmore »to the previous data release, mainly due to the addition of new data in the combination. The main purpose of this work is to create the most up-to-date IPTA data release. These data are publicly available for searches for low-frequency gravitational waves and other pulsar science.

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