Vol 17, No 10

Correcting for the solar wind in pulsar timing observations: the role of simultaneous and low-frequency observations

Ze-Xi Niu, George Hobbs, Jing-Bo Wang, Shi Dai


Abstract The primary goal of pulsar timing array projects is to detect ultra-low-frequency gravitational waves. Pulsar data sets are affected by numerous noise processes including varying dispersive delays in the interstellar medium and from the solar wind. The solar wind can lead to rapidly changing variations that, with existing telescopes, can be hard to measure and then remove. In this paper we study the possibility of using a low frequency telescope to aid in such correction for the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) and also discuss whether the ultra-wide-bandwidth receiver for the FAST telescope is sufficient to model solar wind variations. Our key result is that a single wide-bandwidth receiver can be used to model and remove the effect of the solar wind. However, for pulsars that pass close to the Sun such as PSR J1022+1022, the solar wind is so variable that observations at two telescopes separated by a day are insufficient to correct the solar wind effect.


Keywords stars: pulsars — gravitational waves

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