The characteristics of the “burst” (B) mode and “quiescent” (Q) mode pulse sequences–long known from studies at or below 103 MHz–are identified at 430 MHz for the first time. An 18-minute, Polarimetrie observation begins with a long Bmode sequence, which has a higher average intensity, regular drifting subpulses, and a preponderance of primary polarisationmode radiation. An abrupt transition to a Q-mode sequence is then marked by a) weaker average intensity, but occasional very bright individual subpulses, b) a complete cessation of drifting subpulses, with disorganized subpulses now being emitted over a much wider longitude interval, and c) near parity between the primary and secondary polarisation modes, resulting in pronounced depolarisation, both of individual pulses and the average profile.
Careful study, however, of profile changes before and after this mode change reveals slower variations which both anticipate the abrupt transition and respond to it. A slow attenuation of the intensity level of the dominant component is observed throughout the duration of the B-mode sequence, which then accelerates with the onset of the Q-mode sequence. This slow variation appears to represent a “preswitching transition” process; and the combination of effects on slow and abrupt time scales are finally responsible for the formation of the characteristic B and Q-mode average profiles.
Volume 40 | Issue 6
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