Journal Article

Mapping the magnetosphere of PSR B1055−52

Patrick Weltevrede and Geoff Wright

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 4, pages 2117-2126
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14643.x
Mapping the magnetosphere of PSR B1055−52

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We present a geometric study of the radio and γ-ray pulsar B1055−52 based on recent observations at the Parkes radio telescope. We conclude that the pulsar's magnetic axis is inclined at an angle of 75° to its rotation axis and that both its radio main pulse and interpulse are emitted at the same height above their respective poles. This height is unlikely to be higher or much lower than 700 km, a typical value for radio pulsars.

It is argued that the radio interpulse arises from emission formed on open fieldlines close to the magnetic axis which do not pass through the magnetosphere's null (zero-charge) surface. However, the main pulse emission must originate from fieldlines lying well outside the polar cap boundary beyond the null surface, and farther away from the magnetic axis than those of the outer gap region where the single γ-ray peak is generated. This casts doubt on the common assumption that all pulsars have closed, quiescent, corotating regions stretching to the light cylinder.

Keywords: plasmas; MHD; polarization; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; pulsars: general; pulsars: individual: B1055−52

Journal Article.  8908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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