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  1. Abstract We report the discovery of a highly circularly polarized, variable, steep-spectrum pulsar in the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) survey. The pulsar is located about 1° from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and has a significant fractional circular polarization of ∼20%. We discovered pulsations with a period of 322.5 ms, dispersion measure (DM) of 157.5 pc cm −3 , and rotation measure (RM) of +456 rad m −2 using observations from the MeerKAT and the Parkes telescopes. This DM firmly places the source, PSR J0523−7125, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This RM is extreme compared to other pulsars in the LMC (more than twice that of the largest previously reported one). The average flux density of ∼1 mJy at 1400 MHz and ∼25 mJy at 400 MHz places it among the most luminous radio pulsars known. It likely evaded previous discovery because of its very steep radio spectrum (spectral index α ≈ −3, where S ν ∝ ν α ) and broad pulse profile (duty cycle ≳35%). We discuss implications for searches for unusual radio sources in continuum images, as well as extragalactic pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds and beyond.more »Our result highlighted the possibility of identifying pulsars, especially extreme pulsars, from radio continuum images. Future large-scale radio surveys will give us an unprecedented opportunity to discover more pulsars and potentially the most distant pulsars beyond the Magellanic Clouds.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT Transitional millisecond pulsars are millisecond pulsars that switch between a rotation-powered millisecond pulsar state and an accretion-powered X-ray binary state, and are thought to be an evolutionary stage between neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries and millisecond pulsars. So far, only three confirmed systems have been identified in addition to a handful of candidates. We present the results of a multiwavelength study of the low-mass X-ray binary NGC 6652B in the globular cluster NGC 6652, including simultaneous radio and X-ray observations taken by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and optical spectroscopy and photometry. This source is the second brightest X-ray source in NGC 6652 ($L_{\textrm {X}}\sim 1.8 \times 10^{34}{\, \mathrm{erg\, s}^{-1}}$) and is known to be variable. We observe several X-ray flares over the duration of our X-ray observations, in addition to persistent radio emission and occasional radio flares. Simultaneous radio and X-ray data show no clear evidence of anticorrelated variability. Optical spectra of NGC 6652B indicate variable, broad H α emission that transitions from double-peaked emission to absorption over a time-scale of hours. We consider a variety of possible explanations for the source behaviour, and conclude that based on the radio and X-ray luminosities,more »short time-scale variability and X-ray flaring, and optical spectra, NGC 6652B is best explained as a transitional millisecond pulsar candidate that displays prolonged X-ray flaring behaviour. However, this could only be confirmed with observations of a change to the rotation-powered millisecond pulsar state.« less

    Radio continuum observations offer a new window on compact objects in globular clusters compared to typical X-ray or optical studies. As part of the MAVERIC survey, we have used the Australia Telescope Compact Array to carry out a deep (median central noise level ≈4 $\mu$Jy beam-1) radio continuum survey of 26 southern globular clusters at central frequencies of 5.5 and 9.0 GHz. This paper presents a catalogue of 1285 radio continuum sources in the fields of these 26 clusters. Considering the surface density of background sources, we find significant evidence for a population of radio sources in seven of the 26 clusters, and also identify at least 11 previously known compact objects (six pulsars and five X-ray binaries). While the overall density of radio continuum sources with 7.25-GHz flux densities ≳ 20 $\mu$Jy in typical globular clusters is relatively low, the survey has already led to the discovery of several exciting compact binaries, including a candidate ultracompact black hole X-ray binary in 47 Tuc. Many of the unclassified radio sources near the centres of the clusters are likely to be true cluster sources, and multiwavelength follow-up will be necessary to classify these objects and better understand the demographics of accreting compact binaries inmore »globular clusters.

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  4. Abstract The Variables and Slow Transients Survey (VAST) on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is designed to detect highly variable and transient radio sources on timescales from 5 s to $\sim\!5$ yr. In this paper, we present the survey description, observation strategy and initial results from the VAST Phase I Pilot Survey. This pilot survey consists of $\sim\!162$ h of observations conducted at a central frequency of 888 MHz between 2019 August and 2020 August, with a typical rms sensitivity of $0.24\ \mathrm{mJy\ beam}^{-1}$ and angular resolution of $12-20$ arcseconds. There are 113 fields, each of which was observed for 12 min integration time, with between 5 and 13 repeats, with cadences between 1 day and 8 months. The total area of the pilot survey footprint is 5 131 square degrees, covering six distinct regions of the sky. An initial search of two of these regions, totalling 1 646 square degrees, revealed 28 highly variable and/or transient sources. Seven of these are known pulsars, including the millisecond pulsar J2039–5617. Another seven are stars, four of which have no previously reported radio detection (SCR J0533–4257, LEHPM 2-783, UCAC3 89–412162 and 2MASS J22414436–6119311). Of the remaining 14 sources, two aremore »active galactic nuclei, six are associated with galaxies and the other six have no multi-wavelength counterparts and are yet to be identified.« less