Long Term Study of the Double Pulsar J0737-3039 with XMM-Newton: pulsar timing

Rene Breton, M N {Iacolina}, A {Pellizzoni}, E {Egron}, A {Possenti}, M {Lyutikov}, M {Kramer}, M {Burgay}, S E {Motta}, A {De Luca}, A {Tiengo}

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The relativistic double neutron star binary PSR J0737-3039 shows clear evidence of orbital phase-dependent wind-companion interaction, both in radio and X-rays. In this paper we present the results of timing analysis of PSR J0737-3039 performed during 2006 and 2011 XMM-Newton Large Programs that collected 20,000 X-ray counts from the system. We detected pulsations from PSR J0737-3039A (PSR A) through the most accurate timing measurement obtained by XMM-Newton so far, the spin period error being of 2x10^-13 s. PSR A's pulse profile in X-rays is very stable despite significant relativistic spin precession that occurred within the time span of observations. This yields a constraint on the misalignment between the spin axis and the orbital momentum axis Delta_A 6.6^+1.3_-5.4 deg, consistent with estimates based on radio data. We confirmed pulsed emission from PSR J0737-3039B (PSR B) in X-rays even after its disappearance in radio. The unusual phenomenology of PSR B's X-ray emission includes orbital pulsed flux and profile variations as well as a loss of pulsar phase coherence on time scales of years. We hypothesize that this is due to the interaction of PSR A's wind with PSR B's magnetosphere and orbital-dependent penetration of the wind plasma onto PSR B closed field lines. Finally, the analysis of the full XMM-Newton dataset provided evidences of orbital flux variability ( 7%) for the first time, involving a bow-shock scenario between PSR A's wind and PSR B's magnetosphere.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalArXiv e-prints
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


    • Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena


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