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Discovery, Timing, and Multiwavelength Observations of the Black Widow Millisecond Pulsar PSR J1555–2908

Ray, Paul S. and Nieder, Lars and Clark, Colin J. and Ransom, Scott M. and Cromartie, H. Thankful and Frail, Dale A. and Mooley, Kunal P. and Intema, Huib and Jagannathan, Preshanth and Demorest, Paul and Stovall, Kevin and Halpern, Jules P. and Deneva, Julia and Guillot, Sebastien and Kerr, Matthew and Swihart, Samuel J. and Bruel, Philippe and Stappers, Ben W. and Lyne, Andrew and Mickaliger, Mitch and Camilo, Fernando and Ferrara, Elizabeth C. and Wolff, Michael T. and Michelson, P. F. (2022) Discovery, Timing, and Multiwavelength Observations of the Black Widow Millisecond Pulsar PSR J1555–2908. Astrophysical Journal, 927 (2). Art. No. 216. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac49ef.

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We report the discovery of PSR J1555−2908, a 1.79 ms radio and gamma-ray pulsar in a 5.6 hr binary system with a minimum companion mass of 0.052 M_⊙. This fast and energetic (Ė =3 x 10³⁵ erg s⁻¹) millisecond pulsar was first detected as a gamma-ray point source in Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) sky survey observations. Guided by a steep-spectrum radio point source in the Fermi error region, we performed a search at 820 MHz with the Green Bank Telescope that first discovered the pulsations. The initial radio pulse timing observations provided enough information to seed a search for gamma-ray pulsations in the LAT data, from which we derive a timing solution valid for the full Fermi mission. In addition to the discovery and timing of radio and gamma-ray pulsations, we searched for X-ray pulsations using NICER but no significant pulsations were detected. We also obtained time-series r-band photometry that indicates strong heating of the companion star by the pulsar wind. Material blown off the heated companion eclipses the 820 MHz radio pulse during inferior conjunction of the companion for ≈10% of the orbit, which is twice the angle subtended by its Roche lobe in an edge-on system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ray, Paul S.0000-0002-5297-5278
Nieder, Lars0000-0002-5775-8977
Clark, Colin J.0000-0003-4355-3572
Ransom, Scott M.0000-0001-5799-9714
Cromartie, H. Thankful0000-0002-6039-692X
Mooley, Kunal P.0000-0002-2557-5180
Intema, Huib0000-0002-5880-2730
Jagannathan, Preshanth0000-0002-5825-9635
Demorest, Paul0000-0002-6664-965X
Stovall, Kevin0000-0002-7261-594X
Halpern, Jules P.0000-0003-4814-2377
Deneva, Julia0000-0003-1226-0793
Guillot, Sebastien0000-0002-6449-106X
Kerr, Matthew0000-0002-0893-4073
Swihart, Samuel J.0000-0003-1699-8867
Bruel, Philippe0000-0002-9032-7941
Lyne, Andrew0000-0002-4799-1281
Mickaliger, Mitch0000-0001-6798-5682
Camilo, Fernando0000-0002-1873-3718
Ferrara, Elizabeth C.0000-0001-7828-7708
Wolff, Michael T.0000-0002-4013-5650
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2021 November 6; revised 2022 January 4; accepted 2022 January 4; published 2022 March 17. We thank Nicholas C. S. Ray (West Potomac High School) for his careful screening of the candidates from the GBT pulsation search that first revealed the pulsar. The Fermi-LAT Collaboration acknowledges generous ongoing support from a number of agencies and institutes that have supported both the development and the operation of the LAT as well as scientific data analysis. These include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy in the United States, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules in France, the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Japan, and the K. A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish National Space Board in Sweden. Additional support for science analysis during the operations phase is gratefully acknowledged from the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Italy and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales in France. This work was performed in part under DOE Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. Fermi work at NRL is supported by NASA. E. C. F. is supported by NASA under award number 80GSFC21M0002. Pulsar research at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and access to the Lovell telescope is supported by a consolidated grant from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). This work was supported by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG). MDM Observatory is operated by Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the University of Michigan. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Green Bank Observatory are facilities of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. S.M.R. is a CIFAR Fellow and is supported by the NSF Physics Frontiers Center awards 1430284 and 2020265. C.J.C. acknowledges support from the ERC under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No.715051; Spiders). This research has made use of data and/or software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC and the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. This research has made use of the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and the arXiv. Facilities: Fermi - Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST), GBT - , VLA - , NICER. - Software: astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2018), PINT (Luo et al. 2021;, HEAsoft (ascl:1408.004;
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC2-76SF00515
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)715051
Subject Keywords:Millisecond pulsars; Gamma-ray sources; Binary pulsars; Pulsars; Compact binary stars; Radio pulsars
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Millisecond pulsars (1062); Gamma-ray sources (633); Binary pulsars (153); Pulsars (1306); Compact binary stars (283); Radio pulsars (1353)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220317-376670000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Paul S. Ray et al 2022 ApJ 927 216
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113950
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:17 Mar 2022 20:50
Last Modified:17 Mar 2022 20:50

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