- Multi-telescope timing of PSR J1518+4904
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Volume | Issue number
- 490 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Context. PSR J1518+4904 is one of only 9 known double neutron star systems. These systems are highly valuable for measuring the masses of neutron stars, measuring the effects of gravity, and testing gravitational theories.
Aims. We determine an improved timing solution for a mildly relativistic double neutron star system, combining data from multiple telescopes. We set better constraints on relativistic parameters and the separate masses of the system, and discuss the evolution of PSR J1518+4904 in the context of other double neutron star systems.
Methods. PSR J1518+4904 has been regularly observed for more than 10 years by the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA) network using the Westerbork, Jodrell Bank, Effelsberg and Nancay radio telescopes. The data were analysed using the updated timing software TEMPO2.
Results. We have improved the timing solution for this double neutron star system. The periastron advance has been refined and a significant detection of proper motion is presented. It is not likely that more post-Keplerian parameters, with which the individual neutron star masses and the inclination angle of the system can be determined separately, can be measured in the near future.
Conclusions. Using a combination of the high-quality data sets present in the EPTA collaboration, extended with the original GBT data, we have constrained the masses in the system to m(p) < 1.17 M-circle dot and m(c) > 1.55 M-circle dot (95.4% confidence), and the inclination angle of the orbit to be less than 47 degrees (99%). From this we derive that the pulsar in this system possibly has one of the lowest neutron star masses measured to date. From evolutionary considerations it seems likely that the companion star, despite its high mass, was formed in an electron-capture supernova.
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