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The recent discovery of a magnetar in the Galactic Centre region has allowed Spitler et al. to characterize the interstellar scattering in that direction. They find that the temporal broadening of the pulse profile of the magnetar is substantially less than that predicted by models of the electron density of that region. This raises the question of what the plausible limits for the number of potentially observable pulsars – i.e. the number of pulsars beaming towards the Earth – in the Galactic Centre are. In this Letter, using reasonable assumptions – namely (i) the luminosity function of pulsars in the Galactic Centre region is the same as that in the field, (ii) the region has had a constant pulsar formation rate, (iii) the spin and luminosity evolution of magnetars and pulsars are similar and (iv) the scattering in the direction of the Galactic Centre magnetar is representative of the entire inner parsec – we show that the potentially observable population of pulsars in the inner parsec has a conservative upper limit of ∼200 and that it is premature to conclude that the number of pulsars in this region is small. We also show that the observational results so far are consistent with this number and make predictions for future radio pulsar surveys of the Galactic Centre.

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Chennamangalam, Jayanth., &Lorimer, D. R. (2014). The Galactic Centre Pulsar Population. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society - Letters, 440(1), L86-L90.