Vol 15, No 1

Variations of the harmonic components of the X-ray pulse profile of PSR B1509–58

Pragati Pradhan, Biswajit Paul, Harsha Raichur, Bikash Chandra Paul


Abstract We used the Fourier decomposition technique to investigate the stability of the X-ray pulse profile of a young pulsar PSR B1509–58 by studying the relative amplitudes and phase differences of its harmonic components with respect to the fundamental using data from the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. Like most young rotation powered pulsars, PSR B1509–58 has a high spin down rate. It also has less timing noise, allowing accurate measurement of higher order frequency derivatives which in turn helps in the study of the physics of pulsar spin down. Detailed investigation of pulse profiles over the years will help us establish any possible connection between the timing characteristics and the high energy emission characteristics for this pulsar. Furthermore, the study of pulse profiles of short period X-ray pulsars can also be useful when used as a means of interplanetary navigation. The X-ray pulse profile of this source has been analyzed for 15 yr (1996–2011). The long term average amplitudes of the first, second and third harmonics (and their standard deviation for individual measurements) compared to the fundamental are 36.9% (1.7%), 13.4% (1.9%) and 9.4% (1.8%) respectively. Similarly, the phases of the three harmonics (and standard deviations) with respect to the fundamental are 0.36 (0.06), 1.5 (0.2) and 2.5 (0.3) radian respectively. We do not find any significant variation of the harmonic components of the pulse profile in comparison to the fundamental.


Keywords pulsars: individual: (PSR B1509–58) — stars: neutron — X-rays

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