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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-06
    Description: We report the results of more than seven years of monitoring of PSR J0537-6910, the 16 ms pulsar in the Large Magellanic Cloud, using data acquired with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. During this campaign the pulsar experienced 22 sudden increases in frequency ("glitches" - 21 with increases of at least eight microHz) amounting to a total gain of over six parts per million of rotation frequency superposed on its gradual spindown of nu-dot = -2 x 10(exp -l0) Hz /s. The time interval from one glitch to the next obeys a strong linear correlation to the amplitude of the first glitch, with a mean slope of about 400 days per part per million (6.5 days per micro Hz), such that these intervals can be predicted to within a few days, an accuracy which has never before been seen in any other pulsar. There appears to be an upper limit of approximately 40 micro Hz for the size of glitches in all pulsars, with the 1999 April glitch of PSR J0537-6910 as the largest so far. The change of its spindown across the glitches, delta (nu-dot), appears to have the same hard lower limit of -1.5 x 10 (exp -13) Hz/s, as, again, that observed in all other pulsars. The spindown continues to increase in the long term, nu-dot = -10(exp -21) Hz / s(exp 2), and thus the timing age of PSR 505374910 (-0.5 nu nu-dot (exp -1) continues to decrease at a rate of nearly one year every year, consistent with movement of its magnetic moment away from its rotational axis by one radian every 10,000 years, or about one meter per year. PSR J0537-6910 was likely to have been born as a nearly-aligned rotator spinning at 75-80 Hz, with a absolute value of nu considerably smaller than its current value of 2x 10(exp -10) Hz per second. Its pulse profile consists of a single pulse which is found to be flat at its peak for at least 0.02 cycles. Glitch activity may grow exponentially with a timescale of 170 years nu nu-dot ((nu nu-dot)(sub crab))exp -l in all young pulsars.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-06-24
    Description: A series of photographic, photoelectric, and spectroscopic observations beginning June 1, 1972 has led to the optical identification of Her X-1 (2U 1705 + 34), a pulsed X-ray source in an eclipsing binary system, with the thirteenth magnitude blue variable star HZ Herculis. The detection of optical pulses at the frequency of the X-ray pulsar on three nights makes the identification conclusive and establishes HZ Her as the second known optical pulsar. The strength of the optical pulses may be correlated with the orbital phase but is not obviously related to the high or low intensity states of the X-ray source.
    Keywords: SPACE SCIENCES
    Type: NASA-CR-130923
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2011-08-16
    Description: We have obtained medium-resolution spectra in the yellow of seven stars in the error box of the binary radio pulsar PSR 1913 + 16, using the image-tube scanner at the Lick 3-m telescope. None of the objects is spectroscopically abnormal and thus a strong candidate for membership in the system. The data are used to establish the extinction in the field, which is modest for this low galactic latitude. For three of the stars, limits of the order V exceeding 23 mag on optical pulsations with the frequency of the radio pulsar are derived. X-ray observations of the field have been obtained in the 2.5-7.5 keV band, using the UCL experiment aboard OAO Copernicus. No source is detected, with a 2 sigma upper limit on the time-averaged flux of 1.0 times 10 to the -10th power ergs per sq cm per sec.
    Keywords: ASTRONOMY
    Type: Astrophysical Journal; 200; Aug. 15
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: Exosat observations of Sco X-1 obtained using the Xe and/or Ar detectors for a total of about 80,000 s during four runs on August 24-27, 1985 are reported and analyzed. Two modes of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) corresponding to the quiescent and active states of Sco X-1 and to two modes of spectral behavior are identified and characterized, confirming the findings of Priedhorsky (1985) and Middleditch and Priedhorsky (1986). In the quiescent state, the QPO frequency is about 6 Hz and is anticorrelated with intensity, and the spectral hardness ratio (14-21 vs 2-7 keV) varies steeply with intensity; in the active state, QPO frequency is correlated with intensity and varies from 10 to 20 Hz, and the spectral-hardness-ratio/intensity curve is flatter. Previous observations of bimodal behavior in other bands are summarized, and theoretical models proposed to explain them are discussed.
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor (ISSN 0004-637X); 306; L91-L95
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: The relationship among plasma densities, flow speeds and directions, and temperatures, at distances within about 100,000 km of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's nucleus, are presently examined in view of lowpass-filtered data from the International Cometary Explorer's electron spectrometer. While the largest amplitude density spikes often have more significant flow changes associated with them, a consistent pattern is not found. Power spectral analyses in and near the sheath/transition regions show that density fluctuation levels are enhanced at all detectable frequencies, consistent with strong density fluctuations on all time scales. Such mechanisms as the amplification of convected ion pickup waves and cometary rays for producing the large plasma variations are discussed. It is suggested that the Rayleigh-Taylor effect-driven mixing mechanism at a mass-loading boundary abut 100,000 km from the nucleus may be operative.
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Geophysical Research Letters (ISSN 0094-8276); 13; 271-274
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: The discovery of a 110-ms pulsar, PSR2127+11, in the globular cluster M15, is reported. The results of nine months of timing measurements place the new pulsar about 2 arcsec from the center of the cluster, and indicate that it is not a member of a close binary system. The measured negative value of the period derivative is probably the result of the pulsar being bodily accelerated in our direction by the gravitational field of the collapsed core of M15. This apparently overwhelms a positive contribution to the period derivative due to magnetic braking. Although the pulsar has an unexpectedly long period, it is argued that it belongs to the class of 'recycled' pulsars, which have been spun up by accretion in a binary system. The subsequent loss of the pulsar's companion is probably due to disruption of the system by close encounters with other stars.
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Nature (ISSN 0028-0836); 337; 531-533
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: Pulsed infrared and optical flux from HZ Her has been detected during the 1983 prolonged X-ray low state by simultaneous observations with the Lick Observatory Shane 3.1 m and Crossley 91 cm telescopes. The pulsed fluxes in the 1.0-2.5-micron bandpass and the 3200-7500 A bandpass agree in pulse frequency and phase and were measured to be 31 and 13 microJy, respectively. These pulsed fluxes indicate that the reprocessed pulsation spectrum is consistent with optically thin thermal bremsstrahlung radiation with a characteristic temperature of 25,000 K (+25,000; -12,500) which is modulated in intensity. An apparent earth-approaching Doppler velocity of about 65 km/s is observed for these pulsed fluxes; this velocity can be interpreted as pulsed X-ray reprocessing by material in the mass transfer stream between L1 and the outer edge of the accretion disk. Other optical observations made during and before the 1983 prolonged X-ray low state show that the optical pulsations may have been subtly affected by the obscuration responsible for the X-ray low.
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X); 292; 267-275
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-18
    Description: A periodic 5.57 hr modulation has been observed in the optical counterpart of the X-ray source 2S 1822-371. Two alternative periods are consistent with the data: P = 0.232114d and P = 0.232191d, with statistical uncertainties of 0.000015d in each case. Minimum light occurred at JD 2,444,105.668 + or - 0.005. The amplitude of the modulation is about 1 mag, independent of UBV color, and no variability exceeding the 2% level other than the 5.57 hr effect is found on time scales down to a few seconds. The light curve of the star can be understood in terms of a highly inclined close binary system which contains a relatively large, luminous accretion disk that is periodically occulted by a companion star and an associated gas stream. On the assumption that the companion is a main-sequence star, the distance of the system is found to be more than 600 pc, based on the absence of color variations commensurate with the 5.57 hr intensity cycle.
    Keywords: ASTRONOMY
    Type: Astrophysical Journal; vol. 242
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2011-08-17
    Description: High-speed photometric observations of the dwarf nova AH Her on nine consecutive days during an outburst have been made, and rapid coherent oscillations on every day except two near maximum light have been detected. The period, amplitude, and luminosity for each day is presented and the progression of the periods is discussed.
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Astrophysical Journal; vol. 238
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2011-08-17
    Keywords: ASTROPHYSICS
    Type: Astrophysical Journal; vol. 235
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