Einstein@Home Discovers New Binary Radio Pulsar

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Message 110856 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 1:10:47 UTC
Last modified: 2 Mar 2011, 8:46:53 UTC

A new preprint reports the second Einstein@Home discovery, of a radio pulsar orbiting a white dwarf star once every 9.4 hours. The pulsar, called J1952+2630, is spinning on its axis 48 times per second. It was discovered in data collected at Arecibo Observatory in 2005 by the PALFA Collaboration. The white-dwarf companion star is unusually massive, and weighs at least 95% as much as our sun. This means that J1952+2630 probably belongs to a rare class of intermediate-mass binary pulsars (five were previously known).

The "discovery plots" can be seen near the top of the Einstein@Home (re)detection page.

Congratulations to the two Einstein@Home participants whose computers found J1952+2630 with the highest significance: Dr. Vitaliy V. Shiryaev (Moscow, Russia) and Stacey Eastham (Darwen, UK)! And a big "thank you" to all Einstein@Home volunteers, whose continuing support makes these exciting discoveries possible.

Bruce Allen
Director, Einstein@Home
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Message 110858 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 4:51:17 UTC - in response to Message 110856.

A new preprint reports the second Einstein@Home discovery, of a radio pulsar orbiting a white dwarf star once every 9.4 hours. The pulsar, called J1952+2630, is spinning on its axis 48 times per second. It was discovered in data collected at Arecibo Observatory in 2005 by the PALFA Collaboration. The white-dwarf companion star is unusually massive, and weighs at least 95% as much as our sun. This means that J1952+2630 probably belongs to a rare class of intermediate-mass binary pulsars (five were previously known).

Congratulations to the two Einstein@Home participants whose computers found J1952+2630 with the highest significance: Dr. Vitaliy V. Shiryaev (Moscow, Russia) and Stacey Eastham (Darwen, UK)! And a big "thank you" to all Einstein@Home volunteers, whose continuing support makes these exciting discoveries possible.

Bruce Allen
Director, Einstein@Home


That is excellent news. Congratulations!
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Message 110859 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 5:35:08 UTC - in response to Message 110858.

That is excellent news. Congratulations!


Thank you!

Bruce
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Message 110860 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 6:02:29 UTC

Congrats to all involved!

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Message 110861 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 6:41:08 UTC

It is pleasant to see results of participation in the project. Congratulations!

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Message 110862 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 6:50:50 UTC

Nice! I take it this one took a while to confirm? Or is this a different pulsar from the 'possible second discovery' that was mentioned when the first discovery was announced?

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Message 110864 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 7:19:27 UTC

Congratulations!
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Message 110865 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 7:36:35 UTC

Nice one Guys.

Congratulations to all that crunch and support this group.

Vaughan




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Message 110866 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 8:07:52 UTC

Congratulations! Good news for all crunchers!
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Message 110868 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 9:01:59 UTC - in response to Message 110862.

Nice! I take it this one took a while to confirm? Or is this a different pulsar from the 'possible second discovery' that was mentioned when the first discovery was announced?


This is indeed the second discovery mentioned some time ago. We have previously described it in general terms; now the full story and all details are being provided.

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Message 110869 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 9:14:38 UTC - in response to Message 110862.
Last modified: 1 Mar 2011, 9:17:11 UTC

Hi!

Or is this a different pulsar from the 'possible second discovery' that was mentioned when the first discovery was announced?


This is indeed the second pulsar mentioned when the first discovery was reported.

The tricky part here is the determination of the orbital parameters for this binary pulsar system. It takes some observations over a longer stretch of time to properly characterize the system; this is why it took a little more time to have the paper ready.

And this hopefully is just the first paper on this nice pulsar! It is a fascinating binary system: it most likely belongs to a class of pulsars, of which only five others are known to date: pulsars in orbit with a massive white dwarf (also called "intermediate-mass binary pulsars"). This means that the companion in the J1952+2630 system most likely is a white dwarf, of which we also know it is has at least 0.95 solar masses. This would be quite a "whopper" for a white dwarf in binary pulsar systems!

The massive companion also means that in the future it might be possible to measure a relativistic effect (the Shapiro delay) in this system. This could allow to precisely determine the individual masses of the companion and the pulsar itself.


Thanks to all crunchers for making this fascinating research possible!


Cheers,
Benjamin


[edit] P.S.: Bruce was a bit faster to reply... :-)
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Message 110870 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 9:20:35 UTC

I am still wondering about the white bars I see in the Arecibo Power Spectrum. But aren't we crunching Parkes data?
Tullio
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Message 110872 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 10:19:49 UTC - in response to Message 110870.
Last modified: 1 Mar 2011, 11:17:51 UTC

I am still wondering about the white bars I see in the Arecibo Power Spectrum. But aren't we crunching Parkes data?
Tullio


We are, we need to generalize the label underneath the spectrum.

Cheers,
Oliver
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Message 110874 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 11:31:53 UTC

Congratulations, good news for all of us.

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Message 110876 - Posted: 1 Mar 2011, 12:24:32 UTC

This is a really good news~Congratulations!

ps. Hope I'll be the next lucky guy :-)
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Message 110892 - Posted: 2 Mar 2011, 6:23:36 UTC

I reckon it's really cool that both E@H assisted pulsar discoveries were for relatively rarer birds in the field, and thus impressively validates the specific assistance given and the whole distributed computing paradigm generally .... :-) :-)

So if my order of magnitudes are correct then this system is two objects of about a Sun's mass each, orbiting over twice per day, at approx. twice the Earth-Moon separation. What's the likely v/c for that?

Cheers, Mike.
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Message 110902 - Posted: 2 Mar 2011, 8:55:20 UTC - in response to Message 110892.

I reckon it's really cool that both E@H assisted pulsar discoveries were for relatively rarer birds in the field, and thus impressively validates the specific assistance given and the whole distributed computing paradigm generally .... :-) :-)


I completely agree. E@H is finding very interesting objects, not "boring" ones!

So if my order of magnitudes are correct then this system is two objects of about a Sun's mass each, orbiting over twice per day, at approx. twice the Earth-Moon separation. What's the likely v/c for that?


Mike you can see that from Figure 2 of the preprint. You see that the observed rotational period shift due to the orbital motion is about +- 0.01 msec. The rotational period itself is about 20 msec. The ratio of these is the order-of-magnitude of v/c ~ 0.01/20 = 5 x 10^-4. So the orbital motion is at about 1/1000 the speed of light.

This is only an approximate value, because we can only observe how fast the pulsar is moving back and forth along our line of sight, not how fast it is moving parallel to the line of sight. But if the Shapiro Delay can be measured, as the paper speculates, then we will know everything about the orbit and can figure that out as well.

Bruce
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Message 110914 - Posted: 2 Mar 2011, 15:33:13 UTC - in response to Message 110856.


Congratulations to the two Einstein@Home participants whose computers found J1952+2630 with the highest significance: Dr. Vitaliy V. Shiryaev (Moscow, Russia) and Stacey Eastham (Darwen, UK)!



Just a quick question about this, but when you say the participants who found it with the highest significance, approximately how many other members helped to discover this pulsar?
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Message 110915 - Posted: 2 Mar 2011, 16:28:23 UTC - in response to Message 110914.
Last modified: 2 Mar 2011, 16:30:19 UTC

Congratulations to the two Einstein@Home participants whose computers found J1952+2630 with the highest significance: Dr. Vitaliy V. Shiryaev (Moscow, Russia) and Stacey Eastham (Darwen, UK)!


Just a quick question about this, but when you say the participants who found it with the highest significance, approximately how many other members helped to discover this pulsar?


At the time that we found J1952+2630, the workunits were being shipped out in bundles of 4 dispersion measure values. The entire detection plot, which is referenced in the news items on the front page of E@H, has 628 dispersion measures. Thus, a minimum of 2 x 628/4 = 314 volunteers take part. The factor of 2 is for validation, and 'minimum' is because sometimes the workunits are done by more than 2 volunteers.

Since we recognize pulsars by their pattern over the entire detection plot, ALL of these volunteers directly contributed to the detection.
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Message 110919 - Posted: 2 Mar 2011, 22:57:34 UTC - in response to Message 110902.
Last modified: 2 Mar 2011, 23:03:10 UTC

Mike you can see that from Figure 2 of the preprint. You see that the observed rotational period shift due to the orbital motion is about +- 0.01 msec. The rotational period itself is about 20 msec. The ratio of these is the order-of-magnitude of v/c ~ 0.01/20 = 5 x 10^-4. So the orbital motion is at about 1/1000 the speed of light.

This is only an approximate value, because we can only observe how fast the pulsar is moving back and forth along our line of sight, not how fast it is moving parallel to the line of sight. But if the Shapiro Delay can be measured, as the paper speculates, then we will know everything about the orbit and can figure that out as well.

Thank you Bruce. I'd made 0.1% from just a back of envelope simple/circular Newtonian v = sqrt[GM/R]. I gather the measure of the angle of inclination of the plane of the system to our line of sight is taken as zero when 'en face' and not edge-on then. So the 'highly inclined' then hopefully means ( near ) occulting for Shapiro et al. Great! Hey, maybe they'll need some E@H help for that when the data turns up ...... :-):-):-)

Cheers, Mike.
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Message boards : News : Einstein@Home Discovers New Binary Radio Pulsar


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants PHY-1104902, PHY-1104617 and PHY-1105572 and by the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the MPG.

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