The evolution of PSR J0737-3039B and a model for relativistic spin precession

B. B. P. Perera, M. A. McLaughlin, M. Kramer, I. H. Stairs, R. D. Ferdman, P. C. C. Freire, A. Possenti, R. P. Breton, R. N. Manchester, M. Burgay, A. G. Lyne, F. Camilo

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We present the evolution of the radio emission from the 2.8 s pulsar of the double pulsar system PSR J0737– 3039A/B. We provide an update on the Burgay et al. analysis by describing the changes in the pulse profile and flux density over five years of observations, culminating in the B pulsar's radio disappearance in 2008 March. Over this time, the flux density decreases by 0.177 mJy yr–1 at the brightest orbital phases and the pulse profile evolves from a single to a double peak, with a separation rate of 2fdg6 yr–1. The pulse profile changes are most likely caused by relativistic spin precession but cannot be easily explained with a circular hollow-cone beam as in the model of Clifton & Weisberg. Relativistic spin precession, coupled with an elliptical beam, can model the pulse profile evolution well and the reappearance is expected to happen in ~2035 with the same part of the beam or in ~2014 if we assume a symmetric beam shape. This particular beam shape predicts geometrical parameters for the two bright orbital phases which are consistent with and similar to those derived by Breton et al. However, the observed decrease in flux over time and B's eventual disappearance cannot be easily explained by the model and may be due to the changing influence of A on B.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1205
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

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