Discovery of the millisecond pulsar PSR J2043+1711 in a Fermi source with the Nançay Radio Telescope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • L. Guillemot
  • P. C C Freire
  • I. Cognard
  • T. J. Johnson
  • Y. Takahashi
  • J. Kataoka
  • G. Desvignes
  • F. Camilo
  • E. C. Ferrara
  • A. K. Harding
  • G. H. Janssen
  • M. Kerr
  • M. Kramer
  • D. Parent
  • S. M. Ransom
  • P. S. Ray
  • P. M. Saz Parkinson
  • D. A. Smith
  • B. W. Stappers
  • G. Theureau


We report the discovery of the millisecond pulsar PSR J2043+1711 in a search of a Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) source with no known associations, with the Nançay Radio Telescope. The new pulsar, confirmed with the Green Bank Telescope, has a spin period of 2.38ms, is relatively nearby (kpc) and is in a 1.48-d orbit around a low-mass companion, probably an He-type white dwarf. Using an ephemeris based on Arecibo, Nançay and Westerbork timing measurements, pulsed gamma-ray emission was detected in the data recorded by the Fermi LAT. The gamma-ray light curve and spectral properties are typical of other gamma-ray millisecond pulsars seen with Fermi. X-ray observations of the pulsar with Suzaku and the Swift X-ray Telescope yielded no detection. At 1.4GHz, we observe strong flux density variations because of interstellar diffractive scintillation; however, a sharp peak can be observed at this frequency during bright scintillation states. At 327MHz, the pulsar is detected with a much higher signal-to-noise ratio and its flux density is far more steady. However, at that frequency the Arecibo instrumentation cannot yet fully resolve the pulse profile. Despite that, our pulse time-of-arrival measurements have a post-fit residual rms of 2s. This and the expected stability of this system have made PSR J2043+1711 one of the first new Fermi-selected millisecond pulsars to be added to pulsar gravitational wave timing arrays. It has also allowed a significant measurement of relativistic delays in the times of arrival of the pulses due to the curvature of space-time near the companion, but not yet with enough precision to derive useful masses for the pulsar and the companion. Nevertheless, a mass for the pulsar between 1.7 and 2.0M ⊙ can be derived if a standard millisecond pulsar formation model is assumed. In this paper, we also present a comprehensive summary of pulsar searches in Fermi LAT sources with the Nançay Radio Telescope to date. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1305
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012