• N. Rathnasree

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • Evolution of massive binary stars in the LMC and its implications for radio pulsar population

      N. Rathnasree A. Ray

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      The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of the Large Magellanic Cloud compiled recently by Fitzpatrick & Garmany (1990) shows that there are a number of supergiant stars immediately redward of the main sequence although theoretical models of massive stars with normal hydrogen abundance predict that the region 4.5 ≤ logTeff ≤ 4.3 should be un-populated (“gap”). Supergiants having surface enrichment of helium acquired for example from a previous phase of accretion from a binary companion, however, evolve in a way so that the evolved models and observed data are consistent — an observation first made by Tuchman & Wheeler (1990). We compare the available optical data on OB supergiants with computed evolutionary tracks of massive stars of metallicity relevant to the LMC with and without helium-enriched envelopes and conclude that a large fraction ( 60 per cent) of supergiant stars may occur in binaries. As these less evolved binaries will later evolve into massive X-ray binaries, the observed number and orbital period distribution of the latter can constrain the evolutionary scenarios of the supergiant binaries. The distributions of post main sequence binaries and closely related systems like WR + O stars are bimodal-consisting of close and wide binaries in which the latter type is numerically dominating. When the primary star explodes as a supernova leaving behind a neutron star, the system receives a kick and in some cases can lead to runaway O-stars. We calculate the expected space velocity distribution for these systems. After the second supernova explosion, the binaries in most cases, will be disrupted leading to two runaway neutron stars. In between the two explosions, the first born neutron star’s spin evolution will be affected by accretion of mass from the companion star. We determine the steady-state spin and radio luminosity distributions of single pulsars born from the massive stars under some simple assumptions. Due to their great distance, only the brightest radio pulsars may be detected in a flux-limited survey of the LMC. A small but significant number of observable single radio pulsars arising out of the disrupted massive binaries may appear in the short spin period range. Most pulsars will have a low velocity of ejection and therefore may cluster around the OB associations in the LMC.

    • Polarization-mode separation and the emission geometry of pulsar 0823 + 26: A new pattern of pulsar emission?

      Joanna M. Rankin N. Rathnasree

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      We explore the detailed polarization behaviour of pulsar 0823 + 26 using the technique of constructing partial ‘mode-separated’ profiles corresponding to the primary and secondary polarization modes. The characteristics of the two polarization modes in this pulsar are particularly interesting, both because they are anything but orthogonal and because the secondary mode exhibits a structure seen neither in the primary mode nor in the total profile. The new leading and trailing features in the secondary mode, which appear to represent a conal component pair, are interpreted geometrically on the basis of their width and the associated polarization-angle traverse as an outer cone.

      If the secondary-mode features are, indeed, an outer cone, then questions about the significance of the pulsar’s postcursor component become more pressing. It seems that 0823 + 26 has a very nearly equatorial geometry, in that both magnetic poles and the sightline all fall close to the rotational equator of the star. We thus associate the postcursor component with emission along those bundles of field lines which are also equatorial and which continue to have a tangent in the direction of our sight line for a significant portion of the star’s rotation cycle. It seems that in all pulsars with postcursor components, this emission follows the core component, and all may thus have equatorial emission geometries. No pulsars with precursors in this sense — including the Crab pulsar — are known.

      The distribution of power between the primary and secondary modes is very similar at both 430 and 1400 MHz. Our analysis shows that in this pulsar considerable depolarization must be occurring on time scales that are short compared to the time resolution of our observations, which is here some 0.5–1.0 milliseconds. One of the most interesting features of the modeseparated partial profiles is a phase offset between the primary and secondary modes. The secondary-mode ‘main pulse’ arrives some 1.5 ± 0.1‡ before the primary-mode one at 430 MHz and some 1.3 +0.1 ‡ at 21 cm. Given that the polar cap has an angular diameter of 3.36‡, we consider whether this is a geometric effect or an effect of differential propagation of the two modes in the inner magnetosphere of the pulsar.

    • On the polarisation and emission geometry of pulsar 1929+10: Does its emission come from a single pole or two poles?

      Joanna M. Rankin N. Rathnasree

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      Pulsar B1929+10 is remarkable on a number of grounds. Its narrow primary components exhibit virtually complete and highly stable linear polarisation, which can be detected over most of its rotation cycle. Various workers have been lured by the unprecedented range over which its linear polarisation angle can be determined, and more attempts have been made to model its emission geometry than perhaps for any other pulsar. Paradoxically, there is compelling evidence to interpret the pulsar’s emission geometryboth in terms of an aligned configuration whereby its observed radiation comes from a single magnetic-polar emission regionand in terms of a nearly orthogonal configuration in which we receive emission from regions near each of its two poles. Pulsar 1929+10 thus provides a fascinating context in which to probe the conflict between these lines of interpretation in an effort to deepen our understanding of pulsar radio emission.

      Least-squares fits to the polarisation-angle traverse fit poorly near the main pulse and interpulse and have an inflection point far from the centre of the main pulse. This and a number of other circumstances suggest that the position-angle traverse is an unreliable indicator of the geometry in this pulsar, possibly in part because its low level ‘pedestal’ emission makes it impossible to properly calibrate a Polarimeter which correlates orthogonal circular polarisations.

      Taking the interpulse and main-pulse comp. II widths as indicators of the magnetic latitude, it appears that pulsar 1929+10 has anα value near 90‡ and thus has a two-pole interpulse geometry. This line of interpretation leads to interesting and consistent results regarding the geometry of the conal components. Features corresponding to both an inner and outer cone are identified. In addition, it appears that pulsar 1929+10–and a few other stars–have what we are forced to identify as a ‘furtherin’ cone, with a conal emission radius of about2.3‡/P1/2

      Secondarily, 1929+10’s nearly complete linear polarisation provides an ideal opportunity to study how mechanisms of depolarisation function on a pulse-to-pulse basis. Secondary-polarisation-mode emission appears in significant proportion only in some limited ranges of longitude, and the subsequent depolarization is studied using different mode-separation techniques. The characteristics of the two polarisation modes are particularly interesting, both because the primary mode usually dominates the secondary so completely and because the structure seen in the secondary mode appears to bear importantly on the question of the pulsar’s basic emission geometry. New secondary-mode features are detected in the average profile of this pulsar which appear independent of the main-pulse component structure and which apparently constitute displaced modal emission.

      Individual pulses during which the secondary-mode dominates the primary one are found to be considerably more intense than the others and largely depolarised. Monte-Carlo modeling of the mode mixing in this region, near the boundary of comps. II and III, indicates that the incoherent interference of two fully and orthogonally polarised modes can adequately account for the observed depolarisation. The amplitude distributions of the two polarisation modes are both quite steady: the primary polarisation mode is well fitted by a χ2 distribution with about nine degrees of freedom; whereas the secondary mode requires a more intense distribution which is constant, but sporadic.

    • Individual and integrated pulse properties of PSR B0943+10 involved in the mode-changing phenomenon

      Svetlana A. Suleymanova Vera A. Izvekova Joanna M. Rankin N. Rathnasree

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      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.

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    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

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