B. W. Stappers

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Are you B. W. Stappers?

Claim your profile

Publications (325)1312.27 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: XSS J12270-4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi LAT gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9$-$4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disc disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227-4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm^-3 associated with this source, using the GMRT at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that the system now hosts an active radio MSP. This is the 3rd system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824-2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) states. We report timing observations of the source with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of rotational and orbital parameters of the system. We detect a decrease in the orbital period during the time-span of our observations. The companion mass measurement of 0.17 to 0.46 Msun suggests that this is a redback system, which is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz and displays short time-scale eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of 10^35 erg s^-1. We report simultaneous imaging observations with the GMRT, which allowed us to rule out intra-binary effects such as excess dispersion or scattering being the cause of the eclipses.
    12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims: We have analyzed low frequency radio data of tidal disruption event (TDE) Swift J1644+57 to search for a counterpart. We consider how brief transient signals (on the order of seconds or minutes) originating from this location would appear in our data. We also consider how automatic radio frequency interference (RFI) flagging at radio telescope observatories might affect these and other transient observations in the future, particularly with brief transients of a few seconds duration. Methods: We observed the field in the low-frequency regime at 149 MHz with data obtained over several months with the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). We also present simulations where a brief transient is injected into the data in order to see how it would appear in our measurement sets, and how it would be affected by RFI flagging. Finally, both based on simulation work and the weighted average of the observed background over the course of the individual observations, we present the possibility of brief radio transients in the data. Results: Our observations of Swift J1644+57 yielded no detection of the source and a peak flux density at this position of 24.7 $\pm$ 8.9 mJy. Our upper limit on the transient rate of the snapshot surface density in this field at sensitivities < 0.5 Jy is $\rho < 2.2 \times10^{-2}$ deg$^{-2}$. We also conclude that we did not observe any brief transient signals originating specifically from the Swift J1644+57 source itself, and searches for such transients are severely limited by automatic RFI flagging algorithms which flag transients of less than 2 minutes duration. As such, careful consideration of RFI flagging techniques must occur when searching for transient signals.
    12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most tantalizing mysteries of the radio sky; their progenitors and origins remain unknown and until now no rapid multiwavelength follow-up of an FRB has been possible. New instrumentation has decreased the time between observation and discovery from years to seconds, and enables polarimetry to be performed on FRBs for the first time. We have discovered an FRB (FRB 140514) in real-time on 14 May, 2014 at 17:14:11.06 UTC at the Parkes radio telescope and triggered follow-up at other wavelengths within hours of the event. FRB 140514 was found with a dispersion measure (DM) of 562.7(6) cm$^{-3}$ pc, giving an upper limit on source redshift of $z \lesssim 0.5$. FRB 140514 was found to be 21$\pm$7% (3-$\sigma$) circularly polarized on the leading edge with a 1-$\sigma$ upper limit on linear polarization $<10%$. We conclude that this polarization is intrinsic to the FRB. If there was any intrinsic linear polarization, as might be expected from coherent emission, then it may have been depolarized by Faraday rotation caused by passing through strong magnetic fields and/or high density environments. FRB 140514 was discovered during a campaign to re-observe known FRB fields, and lies close to a previous discovery, FRB 110220; based on the difference in DMs of these bursts and time-on-sky arguments, we attribute the proximity to sampling bias and conclude that they are distinct objects. Follow-up conducted by 12 telescopes observing from X-ray to radio wavelengths was unable to identify a variable multiwavelength counterpart, allowing us to rule out models in which FRBs originate from nearby ($z < 0.3$) supernovae and long duration gamma-ray bursts.
    11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report on the results of a search for radio transients between 115 and 190\,MHz with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR). Four different fields have been monitored with observational cadences between 15 minutes and several months. These fields have been chosen among the Medium Deep fields observed by the optical survey PanSTARRS. A total of 15 observing runs were performed giving a total survey area of 2275 deg$^2$. We analysed our data using standard LOFAR tools and searched for radio transients using the LOFAR Transient Pipeline (TraP). No credible radio transient candidate has been detected in our survey; however, it enables us to set upper limits on the surface density of radio transient sources at low radio frequencies, where little is yet known compared to frequencies above 1 GHz. To do this we used two new statistical methods. One is free of assumptions on the flux distribution of the sources, while the other assumes a power-law distribution in flux and sets more stringent constraints on the snapshot surface density. Our upper limit on the snapshot surface density of radio transients is $\rho <$ 10$^{-3}$ deg$^{-2}$ with flux densities $>$ 0.5 Jy. The corresponding radio transient rate is $\hat{\rho} <$ 0.3 deg$^{-2}$ yr$^{-1}$. We also analysed the snapshot surface density as a function of the time separation between different observations, providing insight into how this changes for different radio transient time-scales.
    11/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims. An efficient means of locating calibrator sources for International LOFAR is developed and used to determine the average density of usable calibrator sources on the sky for subarcsecond observations at 140 MHz. Methods. We used the multi-beaming capability of LOFAR to conduct a fast and computationally inexpensive survey with the full International LOFAR array. Sources were pre-selected on the basis of 325 MHz arcminute-scale flux density using existing catalogues. By observing 30 different sources in each of the 12 sets of pointings per hour, we were able to inspect 630 sources in two hours to determine if they possess a sufficiently bright compact component to be usable as LOFAR delay calibrators. Results. Over 40% of the observed sources are detected on multiple baselines between international stations and 86 are classified as satisfactory calibrators. We show that a flat low-frequency spectrum (from 74 to 325 MHz) is the best predictor of compactness at 140 MHz. We extrapolate from our sample to show that the density of calibrators on the sky that are sufficiently bright to calibrate dispersive and non-dispersive delays for the International LOFAR using existing methods is 1.0 per square degree. Conclusions. The observed density of satisfactory delay calibrator sources means that observations with International LOFAR should be possible at virtually any point in the sky, provided that a fast and efficient search using the methodology described here is conducted prior to the observation to identify the best calibrator.
    11/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PSR J1906+0746 is a young pulsar in the relativistic binary with the second-shortest known orbital period, of 3.98 hours. We here present a timing study based on five years of observations, conducted with the 5 largest radio telescopes in the world, aimed at determining the companion nature. Through the measurement of three post-Keplerian orbital parameters we find the pulsar mass to be 1.291(11) M_sol, and the companion mass 1.322(11) M_sol respectively. These masses fit well in the observed collection of double neutron stars, but are also compatible with other white dwarfs around young pulsars such as J1906+0746. Neither radio pulsations nor dispersion-inducing outflows that could have further established the companion nature were detected. We derive an HI-absorption distance, which indicates that an optical confirmation of a white dwarf companion is very challenging. The pulsar is fading fast due to geodetic precession, limiting future timing improvements. We conclude that young pulsar J1906+0746 is likely part of a double neutron star, or is otherwise orbited by an older white dwarf, in an exotic system formed through two stages of mass transfer.
    11/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery of a further five recycled pulsar systems in the mid-Galactic latitude portion of the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) Survey. The pulsars have rotational periods ranging from 2 ms to 66 ms, and four are in binary systems with orbital periods between 10.8 hours and 9.0 days. Three of these binary systems are particularly interesting; PSR J1227-6208 has a pulse period of 34.5 ms and the highest mass function of all pulsars with near-circular orbits. The circular orbit suggests that the companion is not another neutron star, so future timing experiments may reveal one of the heaviest white dwarfs ever found ($>$ 1.3 M$_\odot$). Timing observations of PSR J1431$-$4715 indicate that it is eclipsed by its companion which has a mass indicating it belongs to the redback class of eclipsing millisecond pulsars. PSR J1653-2054 has a companion with a minimum mass of only $0.08$ M$_\odot$, placing it among the class of pulsars with low-mass companions. Unlike the majority of such systems, however, no evidence of eclipses is seen at 1.4 GHz.
    11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We study the spin-down properties of PSR B0919+06 based on almost 30 years of radio observations. We confirm that the time derivative of the rotational frequency $\dot \nu$ is modulated quasi-periodically and show that it exhibits a repeating double-peaked structure throughout the entire observation span. We model the $\dot \nu$ variation of the pulsar assuming two spin-down rates with sudden switches between them in time. Our results show that the double-peak structure in $\dot \nu$ has a repetition time of about 630 days until MJD 52000 (April 2001) and 550 days since then. During this cycle, the pulsar spin varies from the lower spin-down rate to the upper spin-down rate twice with different amounts of time spent in each state, resulting in a further quasi-stable secondary modulation of the two-state switching. This particular spin-down state switching is broadly consistent with free precession of the pulsar, however, a strong evidence linked with this mechanism is not clearly established. We also confirm that the pulsar occasionally emits groups of pulses which appear early in pulse phase, so-called "flares", and these events significantly contribute to the pulse profile shape. We find the $\dot \nu$ modulation and the pulse shape variations are correlated throughout the observations. However, the flare-state is not entirely responsible for this correlation. In addition to the flare-state, we detect flare-like events from the pulsar in single pulse observations. During these events, the shift in pulse phase is small compared to that of the main flare-state and clearly visible only in single pulse observations.
    10/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present LOFAR Low Band observations of the Bootes and 3C295 fields. Our images made at 34, 46, and 62 MHz reach noise levels of 12, 8, and 5 mJy beam$^{-1}$, making them the deepest images ever obtained in this frequency range. In total, we detect between 300 and 400 sources in each of these images, covering an area of 17 to 52 deg$^{2}$. From the observations we derive Euclidean-normalized differential source counts. The 62 MHz source counts agree with previous GMRT 153 MHz and VLA 74 MHz differential source counts, scaling with a spectral index of $-0.7$. We find that a spectral index scaling of $-0.5$ is required to match up the LOFAR 34 MHz source counts. This result is also in agreement with source counts from the 38 MHz 8C survey, indicating that the average spectral index of radio sources flattens towards lower frequencies. We also find evidence for spectral flattening using the individual flux measurements of sources between 34 and 1400 MHz and by calculating the spectral index averaged over the source population. To select ultra-steep spectrum ($\alpha < -1.1$) radio sources, that could be associated with massive high redshift radio galaxies, we compute spectral indices between 62 MHz, 153 MHz and 1.4 GHz for sources in the Bo\"otes field. We cross-correlate these radio sources with optical and infrared catalogues and fit the spectral energy distribution to obtain photometric redshifts. We find that most of these ultra-steep spectrum sources are located in the $ 0.7 \lesssim z \lesssim 2.5$ range.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 793(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a search for gravitational waves (GWs) from individual sources using high cadence observations of PSR B1937+21. The data were acquired from an intensive observation campaign with the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, between June 2011 and May 2013. The almost daily cadence achieved, allowed us to be sensitive to GWs with frequencies up to $4.98\times10^{-6}\,\rm {Hz}$, extending the upper bound of the typical frequency range probed by Pulsar Timing Arrays. We used observations taken at three different radio frequencies with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in order to correct for dispersion measure effects and scattering variances. The corrected timing residuals exhibited an unmodeled periodic noise with an amplitude $~150\,\rm {ns}$ and a frequency of $3.4\rm {yr}^{-1}$. As the signal is not present in the entire data set, we attributed it to the rotational behaviour of the pulsar, ruling out the possibilities of being either due to a GW or an asteroid as the cause. After removing this noise component, we placed limits on the GW strain of individual sources equaling to $h_{\rm s}=1.53\times10^{-11}$ and $h_{\rm s}=4.99\times10^{-14}$ at $10^{-7}\,\rm {MHz}$ for random and optimal sources locations respectively.
    09/2014; 445(2).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present broadband, low-frequency (25-80 MHz and 110-190 MHz) LOFAR observations of PSR B0943+10, with the goal of better illuminating the nature of its enigmatic mode-switching behaviour. This pulsar shows two relatively stable states: a Bright (B) and Quiet (Q) mode, each with different characteristic brightness, profile morphology, and single-pulse properties. We model the average profile evolution both in frequency and time from the onset of each mode, and highlight the differences between the two modes. In both modes, the profile evolution can be well explained by radius-to-frequency mapping at altitudes within a few hundred kilometres of the stellar surface. If both B and Q-mode emission originate at the same magnetic latitude, then we find that the change of emission height between the modes is less than 6%. We also find that, during B-mode, the average profile is gradually shifting towards later spin phase and then resets its position at the next Q-to-B transition. The observed B-mode profile delay is frequency-independent (at least from 25-80 MHz) and asymptotically changes towards a stable value of about 0.004 in spin phase by the end of mode instance, much too large to be due to changing spin-down rate. Such a delay can be interpreted as a gradual movement of the emission cone against the pulsar's direction of rotation, with different field lines being illuminated over time. Another interesting explanation is a possible variation of accelerating potential inside the polar gap. This explanation connects the observed profile delay to the gradually evolving subpulse drift rate, which depends on the gradient of the potential across the field lines.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky, and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration undertook a 24-hour global observation of PSR J1713+0747 in an effort to better quantify sources of timing noise in this pulsar, particularly on intermediate (1 - 24 hr) timescales. We observed the pulsar continuously over 24 hr with the Arecibo, Effelsberg, GMRT, Green Bank, LOFAR, Lovell, Nancay, Parkes, and WSRT radio telescopes. The combined pulse times-of-arrival presented here provide an estimate of what sources of timing noise, excluding DM variations, would be present as compared to an idealized root-N improvement in timing precision, where N is the number of pulses analyzed. In the case of this particular pulsar, we find that intrinsic pulse phase jitter dominates arrival time precision when the S/N of single pulses exceeds unity, as measured using the eight telescopes that observed at L-band/1.4 GHz. We present first results of specific phenomena probed on the unusually long timescale (for a single continuous observing session) of tens of hours, in particular interstellar scintillation, and discuss the degree to which scintillation and profile evolution affect precision timing. This paper presents the data set as a basis for future, deeper studies.
    08/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Context: GeV gamma-ray pulsations from over 140 pulsars have been characterized using the Fermi Large Area Telescope, enabling improved understanding of the emission regions within the neutron star magnetospheres, and the contributions of pulsars to high energy electrons and diffuse gamma rays in the Milky Way. The first gamma-ray pulsars to be detected were the most intense and/or those with narrow pulses. Aims: As the Fermi mission progresses, progressively fainter objects can be studied. In addition to more distant pulsars (thus probing a larger volume of the Galaxy), or ones in high background regions (thus improving the sampling uniformity across the Galactic plane), we detect pulsars with broader pulses or lower luminosity. Adding pulsars to our catalog with inclination angles that are rare in the observed sample, and/or with lower spindown power, will reduce the bias in the currently known gamma-ray pulsar population. Methods: We use rotation ephemerides derived from radio observations to phase-fold gamma rays recorded by the Fermi Large Area Telescope, to then determine the pulse profile properties. Spectral analysis provides the luminosities and, when the signal-to-noise ratio allows, the cutoff energies. We constrain the pulsar distances by different means in order to minimize the luminosity uncertainties. Results: We present six new gamma-ray pulsars with an eclectic mix of properties. Three are young, and three are recycled. They include the farthest, the lowest power, two of the highest duty-cycle pulsars seen, and only the fourth young gamma-ray pulsar with a radio interpulse. We discuss the biases existing in the current gamma-ray pulsar catalog, and steps to be taken to mitigate the bias.
    07/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Sun is an active source of radio emission which is often associated with energetic phenomena such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). At low radio frequencies (<100 MHz), the Sun has not been imaged extensively because of the instrumental limitations of previous radio telescopes. Here, the combined high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution of the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) was used to study solar Type III radio bursts at 30-90 MHz and their association with CMEs. The Sun was imaged with 126 simultaneous tied-array beams within 5 solar radii of the solar centre. This method offers benefits over standard interferometric imaging since each beam produces high temporal (83 ms) and spectral resolution (12.5 kHz) dynamic spectra at an array of spatial locations centred on the Sun. LOFAR's standard interferometric output is currently limited to one image per second. Over a period of 30 minutes, multiple Type III radio bursts were observed, a number of which were found to be located at high altitudes (4 solar radii from the solar center at 30 MHz) and to have non-radial trajectories. These bursts occurred at altitudes in excess of values predicted by 1D radial electron density models. The non-radial high altitude Type III bursts were found to be associated with the expanding flank of a CME. The CME may have compressed neighbouring streamer plasma producing larger electron densities at high altitudes, while the non-radial burst trajectories can be explained by the deflection of radial magnetic fields as the CME expanded in the low corona.
    07/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present radio observations of the Moon between $35$ and $80$ MHz to demonstrate a novel technique of interferometrically measuring large-scale diffuse emission extending far beyond the primary beam (global signal) for the first time. In particular, we show that (i) the Moon appears as a negative-flux source at frequencies $35<\nu<80$ MHz since it is `colder' than the diffuse Galactic background it occults, (ii) using the (negative) flux of the lunar disc, we can reconstruct the spectrum of the diffuse Galactic emission with the lunar thermal emission as a reference, and (iii) that reflected RFI (radio-frequency interference) is concentrated at the center of the lunar disc due to specular nature of reflection, and can be independently measured. Our RFI measurements show that (i) Moon-based Cosmic Dawn experiments must design for an Earth-isolation of better than $80$ dB to achieve an RFI temperature $<1$ mK, (ii) Moon-reflected RFI contributes to a dipole temperature less than $20$ mK for Earth-based Cosmic Dawn experiments, (iii) man-made satellite-reflected RFI temperature exceeds $20$ mK if the aggregate cross section of visible satellites exceeds $80$ m$^2$ at $800$ km height, or $5$ m$^2$ at $400$ km height. Currently, our diffuse background spectrum is limited by sidelobe confusion on short baselines (10-15% level). Further refinement of our technique may yield constraints on the redshifted global $21$-cm signal from Cosmic Dawn ($40>z>12$) and the Epoch of Reionization ($12>z>5$).
    07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, instrumentation enabling pulsar observations with unprecedentedly high fractional bandwidth has been under development which can be used to substantially improve the precision of pulsar timing experiments. The traditional template-matching method used to calculate pulse times-of-arrival (ToAs), may not function effectively on these broadband data due to a variety of effects such as diffractive scintillation in the interstellar medium, profile variation as a function of frequency, dispersion measure (DM) evolution and so forth. In this paper, we describe the channelised Discrete Fourier Transform method that can greatly mitigate the influence of the aforementioned effects when measuring ToAs from broadband timing data. The method is tested on simulated data, and its potential in improving timing precision is shown. We further apply the method to PSR J1909$-$3744 data collected at the Nan\c{c}ay Radio Telescope with the Nan\c{c}ay Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument. We demonstrate a removal of systematics due to the scintillation effect as well as improvement on ToA measurement uncertainties. Our method also determines temporal variations in dispersion measure, which are consistent with multi-channel timing approaches used earlier.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2014; 443(4). · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report NuSTAR observations of the millisecond pulsar - low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) transition system PSR J1023+0038 from June and October 2013, before and after the formation of an accretion disk around the neutron star. Between June 10-12, a few days to two weeks before the radio disappearance of the pulsar, the 3-79 keV X-ray spectrum was well fit by a simple power law with a photon index of Gamma=1.17 +/-0.08 (at 90% confidence) with a 3-79 keV luminosity of 7.4+/-0.4 x 10^32 erg/s. Significant orbital modulation was observed with a modulation fraction of 36+/-10%. During the October 19-21 observation, the spectrum is described by a softer power law (Gamma=1.66+/-0.06) with an average luminosity of 5.8+/-0.2 x 10^33 erg/s and a peak luminosity of ~1.2 x 10^34 erg/s observed during a flare. No significant orbital modulation was detected. The spectral observations are consistent with previous and current multi-wavelength observations and show the hard X-ray power law extending to 79 keV without a spectral break. Sharp edged, flat bottomed `dips' are observed with widths between 30-1000 s and ingress and egress time-scales of 30-60 s. No change in hardness ratio was observed during the dips. Consecutive dip separations are log-normal in distribution with a typical separation of approximately 400 s. These dips are distinct from dipping activity observed in LMXBs. We compare and contrast these dips to observations of dips and state changes in the similar transition systems PSR J1824-2452I and XSS J1227.0-4859 and discuss possible interpretations based on the transitions in the inner disk.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 791(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The pulsar PSR J1756$-$2251 resides in a relativistic double neutron star (DNS) binary system with a 7.67-hr orbit. We have conducted long-term precision timing on more than 9 years of data acquired from five telescopes, measuring five post-Keplerian parameters. This has led to several independent tests of general relativity (GR), the most constraining of which shows agreement with the prediction of GR at the 4% level. Our measurement of the orbital decay rate disagrees with that predicted by GR, likely due to systematic observational biases. We have derived the pulsar distance from parallax and orbital decay measurements to be 0.73$_{-0.24}^{+0.60}$ kpc (68%) and < 1.2 kpc (95% upper limit), respectively; these are significantly discrepant from the distance estimated using Galactic electron density models. We have found the pulsar mass to be 1.341$\pm$0.007 M$_\odot$, and a low neutron star (NS) companion mass of 1.230$\pm$0.007 M$_\odot$. We also determined an upper limit to the spin-orbit misalignment angle of 34{\deg} (95%) based on a system geometry fit to long-term profile width measurements. These and other observed properties have led us to hypothesize an evolution involving a low mass loss, symmetric supernova progenitor to the second-formed NS companion, as is thought to be the case for the double pulsar system PSR J0737$-$3039A/B. This would make PSR J1756$-$2251 the second compact binary system providing concrete evidence for this type of NS formation channel.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2014; 443(3). · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Very long baseline interferometry at millimetre/submillimetre wavelengths (mmVLBI) offers the highest achievable spatial resolution at any wavelength in astronomy. The anticipated inclusion of ALMA as a phased array into a global VLBI network will bring unprecedented sensitivity and a transformational leap in capabilities for mmVLBI. Building on years of pioneering efforts in the US and Europe the ongoing ALMA Phasing Project (APP), a US-led international collaboration with MPIfR-led European contributions, is expected to deliver a beamformer and VLBI capability to ALMA by the end of 2014 (APP: Fish et al. 2013, arXiv:1309.3519). This report focuses on the future use of mmVLBI by the international users community from a European viewpoint. Firstly, it highlights the intense science interest in Europe in future mmVLBI observations as compiled from the responses to a general call to the European community for future research projects. A wide range of research is presented that includes, amongst others: - Imaging the event horizon of the black hole at the centre of the Galaxy - Testing the theory of General Relativity an/or searching for alternative theories - Studying the origin of AGN jets and jet formation - Cosmological evolution of galaxies and BHs, AGN feedback - Masers in the Milky Way (in stars and star-forming regions) - Extragalactic emission lines and astro-chemistry - Redshifted absorption lines in distant galaxies and study of the ISM and circumnuclear gas - Pulsars, neutron stars, X-ray binaries - Testing cosmology - Testing fundamental physical constants
    06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the emission behaviour of PSR J1107-5907, a source known to exhibit separate modes of emission, using observations obtained over approximately 10 yr. We find that the object exhibits two distinct modes of emission; a strong mode with a broad profile and a weak mode with a narrow profile. During the strong mode of emission, the pulsar typically radiates very energetic emission over sequences of ~200-6000 pulses (~60 s-24 min), with apparent nulls over time-scales of up to a few pulses at a time. Emission during the weak mode is observed outside of these strong-mode sequences and manifests as occasional bursts of up to a few clearly detectable pulses at a time, as well as low-level underlying emission which is only detected through profile integration. This implies that the previously described null mode may in fact be representative of the bottom-end of the pulse intensity distribution for the source. This is supported by the dramatic pulse-to-pulse intensity modulation and rarity of exceptionally bright pulses observed during both modes of emission. Coupled with the fact that the source could be interpreted as a rotating radio transient (RRAT)-like object for the vast majority of the time, if placed at a further distance, we advance that this object likely represents a bridge between RRATs and extreme moding pulsars. Further to these emission properties, we also show that the source is consistent with being a near-aligned rotator and that it does not exhibit any measurable spin-down rate variation. These results suggest that nulls observed in other intermittent objects may in fact be representative of very weak emission without the need for complete cessation. As such, we argue that longer (> 1 h) observations of pulsars are required to discern their true modulation properties.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2014; 442(3). · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
1,312.27 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • Swinburne University of Technology
      • Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • University of Denver
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Denver, Colorado, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-Institute)
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
    • University of Cape Town
      Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
  • 2008–2014
    • The University of Manchester
      • Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
    • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
      • Department of Physics
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • McGill University
      • Department of Physics
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2011
    • University of Zielona Góra
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Zielona Góra, Lubusz, Poland
    • Università degli studi di Cagliari
      • Department of Physics
      Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • 2009
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Pennsylvania State University
      University Park, Maryland, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2006–2009
    • University of Groningen
      • Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI)
      Groningen, Province of Groningen, Netherlands
    • University of Sydney
      • School of Physics
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2003–2009
    • Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
      Dwingelo, Drenthe, Netherlands
    • Universiteit Utrecht
      • Astronomical Institute
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1999–2009
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1995–2009
    • Australian National University
      • Mount Stromlo Observatory
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2002–2007
    • University of Melbourne
      • School of Physics
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2004–2005
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 1998–2000
    • ANU College
      Slacks Creek, Queensland, Australia