We observed the Crab pulsar with the 43 m telescope in Green Bank, WV over a timespan of 15 months. In total we obtained 100 hr of data at 1.2 GHz and seven hours at 330 MHz, resulting in a sample of about 95,000 giant pulses (GPs). This is the largest sample, to date, of GPs from the Crab pulsar taken with the same telescope and backend and analyzed as one data set. We calculated power-law fits to amplitude distributions for main pulse (MP) and interpulse (IP) GPs, resulting in indices in the range of 2.1-3.1 for MP GPs at 1.2 GHz and in the range of 2.5-3.0 and 2.4-3.1 for MP and IP GPs at 330 MHz. We also correlated the GPs at 1.2 GHz with GPs from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), which were obtained simultaneously at a higher frequency (8.9 GHz) over a span of 26 hr. In total, 7933 GPs from the 43 m telescope at 1.2 GHz and 39,900 GPs from the GBT were recorded during these contemporaneous observations. At 1.2 GHz, 236 (3%) MP GPs and 23 (5%) IP GPs were detected at 8.9 GHz, both with zero chance probability. Another 15 (4%) low-frequency IP GPs were detected within one spin period of high-frequency IP GPs, with a chance probability of 9%. This indicates that the emission processes at high and low radio frequencies are related, despite significant pulse profile shape differences. The 43 m GPs were also correlated with Fermi γ-ray photons to see if increased pair production in the magnetosphere is the mechanism responsible for GP emission. A total of 92,022 GPs and 393 γ-ray photons were used in this correlation analysis. No significant correlations were found between GPs and γ-ray photons. This indicates that increased pair production in the magnetosphere is likely not the dominant cause of GPs. Possible methods of GP production may be increased coherence of synchrotron emission or changes in beaming direction.
Digital Commons Citation
Mickaliger, M. B.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Langston, G. I.; Bilous, A. V.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Lyutikov, M.; Ransom, S. M.; and Palliyaguru, N., "A Giant Sample Of Giant Pulses From The Crab Pulsar" (2012). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 443.
Mickaliger, M. B., Mclaughlin, M. A., Lorimer, D. R., Langston, G. I., Bilous, A. V., Kondratiev, V. I.,… Palliyaguru, N. (2012). A Giant Sample Of Giant Pulses From The Crab Pulsar. The Astrophysical Journal, 760(1), 64. http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/760/1/64