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Studying the Solar system with the International Pulsar Timing Array

Caballero, R. N. and Plant, K. and Taylor, S. R. (2018) Studying the Solar system with the International Pulsar Timing Array. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 481 (4). pp. 5501-5516. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Pulsar-timing analyses are sensitive to errors in the Solar-system ephemerides (SSEs) that timing models utilize to estimate the location of the Solar-system barycentre, the quasi-inertial reference frame to which all recorded pulse times-of-arrival are referred. Any error in the SSE will affect all pulsars, therefore pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are a suitable tool to search for such errors and impose independent constraints on relevant physical parameters. We employ the first data release of the International Pulsar Timing Array to constrain the masses of the planet–moons systems and to search for possible unmodelled objects (UMOs) in the Solar system. We employ 10 SSEs from two independent research groups, derive and compare mass constraints of planetary systems, and derive the first PTA mass constraints on asteroid-belt objects. Constraints on planetary-system masses have been improved by factors of up to 20 from the previous relevant study using the same assumptions, with the mass of the Jovian system measured at 9.5479189(3) × 10^(−4) M⊙. The mass of the dwarf planet Ceres is measured at 4.7(4) × 10^(−10) M⊙. We also present the first sensitivity curves using real data that place generic limits on the masses of UMOs, which can also be used as upper limits on the mass of putative exotic objects. For example, upper limits on dark-matter clumps are comparable to published limits using independent methods. While the constraints on planetary masses derived with all employed SSEs are consistent, we note and discuss differences in the associated timing residuals and UMO sensitivity curves.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Plant, K.0000-0001-6360-6972
Taylor, S. R.0000-0003-0264-1453
Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2018 September 24. Received 2018 September 5; in original form 2018 May 25. Published: 01 October 2018. Part of this work is based on observations with the 100-m telescope of the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) at Effelsberg. The Nançay Radio Observatory is operated by the Paris Observatory, associated with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Pulsar research at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and the observations using the Lovell Telescope are supported by a consolidated grant from the STFC in the UK. The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope is operated by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) with support from The Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research NWO. The Green Bank Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the NSF (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana and the Universities Space Research Association. The Parkes radio telescope is part of the Australia Telescope National Facility which is funded by the Australian Government for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO. This work was supported by the MPG funding for the Max-Planck Partner Group. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Work at NRL is supported by NASA. We acknowledge financial support from ‘Programme National de Cosmologie and Galaxies’ (PNCG) and from ‘Programme National Gravitation, Références, Astronomie, Métrologie’ (PNGRAM) funded by CNRS/INSU-IN2P3-INP, CEA, and CNES, France. We acknowledge financial support from the project ‘Opening a new era in pulsars and compact objects science with MeerKat’ in the context of INAF grant ‘SKA-CTA 2016’. Part of this research was funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), CE170100004. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. The computation was performed using the HERCULES cluster at the Max Planck Computing and Data Facility, Garching, the DIRAC cluster in KIAA and the TIANHE II supercomputer at Guangzhou. RNC acknowledges the support of the International Max Planck Research School Bonn/Cologne and the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School for part of this work. KJL is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11373011). KJL is supported by XDB23010200, National Basic Research Program of China, 973 Program, 2015CB857101 and NSFC U15311243, 11690024. We are also supported by the MPG funding for the Max-Planck Partner Group. PL acknowledges the support of the International Max Planck Research School Bonn/Cologne. GD and KL acknowledge financial support by the European Research Council (ERC) for the ERC Synergy Grant BlackHoleCam under contract no. 610058. ZA, AB, SB-S, SC, JMC, PD, TD, EF, NG-D, PG, MTL, TJWL, ANL, DRL, RSL, DRM, MAM, STWM, CMFM, DJN, NTP, TTP, SMR, XS, JS, IS, DRS, KS, JKS, SRT, and RvH are members of the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center, which is supported by NSF award 1430284. GJ and GS acknowledge support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO (TOP2.614.001.602). JW is supported by Qing Cu Hui of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). AS is supported by a University Research Fellowship of the Royal Society. SAS acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 694745; PI B. W. Stappers). SO was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and acknowledges Australian Research Council grant Laureate Fellowship FL150100148. RvH acknowledges support by NASA through Einstein Fellowship grant PF3-140116. WWZ is supported by the Chinese Academy of Science Pioneer Hundred Talents Program and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant No. XDB23000000. We thank Alessandro Ridolfi for a careful review of this paper and useful comments, as well as Agnès Fienga and Mickael Gastineau for useful pointers regrding the use of CALCEPH and the anonymous referee for helpful comments and suggestions.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Australian GovernmentUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Programme National de Cosmologie and Galaxies (PNCG)UNSPECIFIED
Programme National Gravitation, Références, Astronomie, Métrologie (PNGRAM)UNSPECIFIED
Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)SKA-CTA 2016
Australian Research CouncilCE170100004
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
International Max Planck Research SchoolUNSPECIFIED
Bonn Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS)UNSPECIFIED
National Natural Science Foundation of China11373011
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaXDB23010200
National Basic Research Program of China 973 Program2015CB857101
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaU15311243
National Natural Science Foundation of China11690024
European Research Council (ERC)610058
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)TOP2.614.001.602
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)694745
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilFL150100148
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF3-140116
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB23000000
Subject Keywords:pulsars: general –methods: data analysis –methods: statistical – ephemerides
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190117-105352272
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:R N Caballero, Y J Guo, K J Lee, P Lazarus, D J Champion, G Desvignes, M Kramer, K Plant, Z Arzoumanian, M Bailes, C G Bassa, N D R Bhat, A Brazier, M Burgay, S Burke-Spolaor, S J Chamberlin, S Chatterjee, I Cognard, J M Cordes, S Dai, P Demorest, T Dolch, R D Ferdman, E Fonseca, J R Gair, N Garver-Daniels, P Gentile, M E Gonzalez, E Graikou, L Guillemot, G Hobbs, G H Janssen, R Karuppusamy, M J Keith, M Kerr, M T Lam, P D Lasky, T J W Lazio, L Levin, K Liu, A N Lommen, D R Lorimer, R S Lynch, D R Madison, R N Manchester, J W McKee, M A McLaughlin, S T McWilliams, C M F Mingarelli, D J Nice, S Osłowski, N T Palliyaguru, T T Pennucci, B B P Perera, D Perrodin, A Possenti, S M Ransom, D J Reardon, S A Sanidas, A Sesana, G Shaifullah, R M Shannon, X Siemens, J Simon, R Spiewak, I Stairs, B Stappers, D R Stinebring, K Stovall, J K Swiggum, S R Taylor, G Theureau, C Tiburzi, L Toomey, R van Haasteren, W van Straten, J P W Verbiest, J B Wang, X J Zhu, W W Zhu; Studying the Solar system with the International Pulsar Timing Array, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 481, Issue 4, 21 December 2018, Pages 5501–5516,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92344
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 06:08
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:43

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