Study of 72 pulsars discovered in the PALFA survey: Timing analysis, glitch activity, emission variability, and a pulsar in an eccentric binary

E. Parent, H. Sewalls, P. C. C. Freire, T. Matheny, A. G. Lyne, B. B. P. Perera, F. Cardoso, M. A. Mclaughlin, B. Allen, A. Brazier, F. Camilo, S. Chatterjee, J. M. Cordes, F. Crawford, J. S. Deneva, F. A. Dong, R. D. Ferdman, E. Fonseca, J. W. T. Hessels, V. M. KaspiB. Knispel, J. Van Leeuwen, R. S. Lynch, B. M. Meyers, J. W. Mckee, M. B. Mickaliger, C. Patel, S. M. Ransom, A. Rochon, P. Scholz, I. H. Stairs, B. W. Stappers, C. M. Tan, W. W. Zhu

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We present new discoveries and results from long-term timing of 72 pulsars discovered in the Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) survey, including precise determination of astrometric and spin parameters, and flux density and scatter broadening measurements at 1.4 GHz. Notable discoveries include two young pulsars (characteristic ages ∼30 kyr) with no apparent supernova remnant associations, three mode-changing, 12 nulling and two intermittent pulsars. We detected eight glitches in five pulsars. Among them is PSR J1939+2609, an apparently old pulsar (characteristic age ∼1 Gy), and PSR J1954+2529, which likely belongs to a newly emerging class of binary pulsars. The latter is the only pulsar among the 72 that is clearly not isolated: a nonrecycled neutron star with a 931 ms spin period in an eccentric (e = 0.114) wide (Pb = 82.7 days) orbit with a companion of undetermined nature having a minimum mass of ∼0.6 M⊙. Since operations at Arecibo ceased in 2020 August, we give a final tally of PALFA sky coverage, and compare its 207 pulsar discoveries to the known population. On average, they are 50% more distant than other Galactic plane radio pulsars; PALFA millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have twice the dispersion measure per unit spin period than the known population of MSP in the plane. The four intermittent pulsars discovered by PALFA more than double the population of such objects, which should help to improve our understanding of pulsar magnetosphere physics. The statistics for these, rotating radio transients, and nulling pulsars suggest that there are many more of these objects in the Galaxy than was previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Binary pulsars
  • Pulsar timing method
  • Radio pulsars
  • Radio transient sources
  • Surveys

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