Two long-term intermittent pulsars discovered in the PALFA Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Andrew Lyne
  • P.C.C Freire
  • J W T Hessels
  • V. M. Kaspi
  • B Allen
  • S Bogdanov
  • A Brazier
  • F Camilo
  • F Cardoso
  • S Chatterjee
  • J M Cordes
  • F Crawford
  • J S Deneva
  • R D Ferdman
  • F A Jenet
  • B Knispel
  • P. Lazarus
  • J. van Leeuwen
  • R Lynch
  • E Madsen
  • M McLaughlin
  • E. Parent
  • C. Patel
  • S M Ransom
  • P Scholz
  • A-M Seymour
  • X. Siemens
  • L G Spitler
  • I Stairs
  • K Stovall
  • J K Swiggum
  • R S Wharton
  • W. Zhu


We report the discovery of two long-term intermittent radio pulsars in the ongoing Arecibo PALFA pulsar survey. Following discovery with the Arecibo Telescope, extended observations of these pulsars over several years at Jodrell Bank Observatory have revealed the details of their rotation and radiation properties. PSRs J1910+0517 and J1929+1357 show long-term extreme bi modal intermittency, switching between active (ON) and inactive (OFF) emission states and indicating the presence of a large, hitherto unrecognised, underlying population of such objects. For PSR J1929+1357, the initial duty cycle was fON=0.008, but two years later this changed, quite abruptly, to fON=0.16. This is the rst time that a signicant evolution in the activity of an intermittent pulsar has been seen and we show that the spin-down rate of the pulsar is proportional to the activity. The spin-down rate of PSR J1929+1357 is increased by a factor of 1.8 when it is in active mode, similar to the increase seen in the other three known long-term intermittent pulsars. These discoveries increase the number of
known pulsars displaying long-term intermittency to ve. These ve objects display a remarkably narrow range of spin-down powers ( _E 1032 erg s􀀀1) and accelerating potential above their polar caps. If conrmed by further discoveries this trend might be important for understanding the physical mechanisms that cause intermittency.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017