Fermi LAT pulsed detection of PSR J0737-3039A in the double pulsar system

L. Guillemot, M. Kramer, T. J. Johnson, H. A. Craig, R. W. Romani, C. Venter, A. K. Harding, R. D. Ferdman, I. H. Stairs, M. Kerr

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We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope discovery of gamma-ray pulsations from the 22.7 ms pulsar A in the double pulsar system J0737-3039A/B. This is the first mildly recycled millisecond pulsar (MSP) detected in the GeV domain. The 2.7 s companion object PSR J0737-3039B is not detected in gamma rays. PSR J0737-3039A is a faint gamma-ray emitter, so that its spectral properties are only weakly constrained; however, its measured efficiency is typical of other MSPs. The two peaks of the gamma-ray light curve are separated by roughly half a rotation and are well offset from the radio and X-ray emission, suggesting that the GeV radiation originates in a distinct part of the magnetosphere from the other types of emission. From the modeling of the radio and the gamma-ray emission profiles and the analysis of radio polarization data, we constrain the magnetic inclination a and the viewing angle zeta to be close to 90 degrees, which is consistent with independent studies of the radio emission from PSR J0737-3039A. A small misalignment angle between the pulsar's spin axis and the system's orbital axis is therefore favored, supporting the hypothesis that pulsar B was formed in a nearly symmetric supernova explosion as has been discussed in the literature already.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date25 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • stars gamma rays
  • general pulsars
  • individual pulsars (PSR J0737-3039A, PSR J0737-3039B)

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