Pulsar J1906+0746 is a young pulsar in the relativistic binary with the
second-shortest known orbital period, of 3.98 hours. I will present our
timing study based on five years of observations conducted with the 5
largest radio telescopes in the world, including Arecibo and Westerbork. We show that J1906+0746 is likely part of a double neutron star, with an
expected gravitational wave coalescence time of ∼300 Myr. The pulsar is
fading fast due to geodetic precession, limiting future timing improvements.
We are currently using this precession to map the pulsar beam pattern. That beam size is important for deriving the underlying double neutron-star merger rate, dominated by J1906+0746 and its older sibling, the Double Pulsar J0737-3039.
Now, one of these radio telescopes, Westerbork, is currently being outfitted with a new, highly innovative receiver system: Apertif. Starting this fall, its factor 30 increase in field-of-view allows astronomers to quickly survey large parts of the sky at 1.4 GHz, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and speed. Triggered by a gravitational-wave detection, we will initially search an area of over 100 square degrees at nanosecond time resolution. Next, we image 10-square degree fields down to milliarcsecond angular resolution through very long baseline interferometry. I will outline the Apertif opportunities for studying the merger of systems that started out like J1906+0746 -- double neutron stars that shone so brightly when young, and now illuminate the radio sky one last time.
We plan to broadcast these talks using TeamSpeak. Use a sub-channel of
LIGO Lab called "LIGO Seminar", which is not password protected.
NOTE: These and all other scheduled LIGO seminars are listed on the LIGO
Laboratory seminar calendar
OR on LIGO Website: Click on LIGO CIT, under Calendars, see LIGO Seminar