EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 438, Number 3, August II 2005
Page(s) 909 - 914
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042625

A&A 438, 909-914 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042625

Two-component model for the interstellar scattering in direction to the Vela pulsar

A. Z. Zhou1, A. Esamdin2 and X. J. Wu2, 3

1  Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, PR China
    e-mail: zaiz@center.shao.ac.cn
2  Urumqi Station, the National Astronomical Observatories, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, PR China
3  Department of Astronomy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China

(Received 30 December 2004 / Accepted 31 March 2005 )

This paper discusses a rigorous treatment of the refractive scintillation of pulsar PSR B0833-45 caused by a two-component interstellar scattering medium. It is assumed that the interstellar scattering medium is composed of a thin screen ISM and an extended interstellar medium. We consider that the scattering of the thin screen concentrates in a thin layer presented by a $\delta$ function distribution and that the scattering density of the extended irregular medium satisfies the Gaussian distribution. We investigate and develop equations for the flux density structure function corresponding to this two-component ISM geometry in the scattering density distribution and compare our result with that of the Vela pulsar observations. We conclude that the refractive scintillation caused by this two-component ISM scattering gives a more satisfactory explanation for the observed flux density variation of the Vela pulsar than does the single extended medium model. The level of refractive scintillation is strongly sensitive to the distribution of scattering material along the line of sight. The logarithmic slope of the structure function is sensitive to thin screen location and is relatively insensitive to the scattering strength of the thin screen medium. Therefore, the proposed model can be applied to interpret the structure function of flux density observed in pulsar PSR B0833-45. The result suggests that the medium consists of a discontinuous distribution of plasma turbulence embedded in the Vela supernova remnant. Thus our work provides some insight into the distribution of the scattering along the line of sight to the Vela pulsar.

Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: PSR B0833-45 -- radio continuum: stars -- ISM: structure -- scattering

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