Journal Article

The topology and polarization of subbeams associated with the ‘drifting’ subpulse emission of pulsar B0943+10 – V. A new look at the low-frequency burst-mode emission

Svetlana A. Suleymanova and Joanna M. Rankin

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 396, issue 2, pages 870-877
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14529.x
The topology and polarization of subbeams associated with the ‘drifting’ subpulse emission of pulsar B0943+10 – V. A new look at the low-frequency burst-mode emission

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This paper reports new observations of pulsar B0943+10 carried out at the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory (PRAO) at the low radio frequencies of 42, 62 and 112 MHz. B0943+10 is well known for its exquisitely regular burst-mode (B-mode) drifting subpulses as well as its weaker and chaotic quiescent mode. Earlier Arecibo investigations at 327 MHz have identified remarkable, continuous changes in its B-mode subpulse drift rate and integrated-profile shape with durations of several hours. These PRAO observations reveal that the changes in profile shape during the B-mode lifetime are strongly frequency dependent – namely the measured changes in the component amplitude ratio are more dramatic at 327 and 112 MHz as compared with those at 62 and 42 MHz. The differences, however, are most marked during the first several tens of minutes after B-mode onset; after an hour or so the profile shape changes tend to be more similar at all four frequencies. We also have found that the linear polarization of the integrated profile increases continuously throughout the lifetime of the B mode, going from hardly 10 per cent just after onset to some 40–50 per cent after several hours. Pulsar B0943+10's B mode thus provides a unique new opportunity to investigate continuous systematic changes in the plasma flow within the polar flux tube. While refraction in the pulsar's magnetosphere may well play some role, we find that the various frequency-dependent effects, both between and within the two modes, can largely be understood geometrically. If the modes and B-mode decay reflect systematic variations in the carousel-‘spark’ radius and emission height then a specific set of profile and linear polarization changes would be expected.

Keywords: MHD; plasmas; polarization; pulsars: individual: B0943+10

Journal Article.  5481 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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