Research Article

Detection of 16 Gamma-Ray Pulsars Through Blind Frequency Searches Using the Fermi LAT

Science  14 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5942, pp. 840-844
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175558

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Abstract

Pulsars are rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars emitting radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Although there are more than 1800 known radio pulsars, until recently only seven were observed to pulse in gamma rays, and these were all discovered at other wavelengths. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) makes it possible to pinpoint neutron stars through their gamma-ray pulsations. We report the detection of 16 gamma-ray pulsars in blind frequency searches using the LAT. Most of these pulsars are coincident with previously unidentified gamma-ray sources, and many are associated with supernova remnants. Direct detection of gamma-ray pulsars enables studies of emission mechanisms, population statistics, and the energetics of pulsar wind nebulae and supernova remnants.

  • * National Research Council Research Associate.

  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Research Fellow, funded by a grant from the K. A. Wallenberg Foundation.

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