Unusual profile variations in pulsar PSR J1022+1001 – Evidence for magnetospheric “return currents”?
Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2 Stichting ASTRON, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Chesire SK11 9DL, UK
Accepted: 1 July 2003
We report a detailed multi-frequency study of significant instabilities observed in the average pulse profile of the 16-millisecond pulsar PSR J1022+1001. These unusual profile variations which are seen as a function of time and of radio frequency are clearly different from classical profile mode-changing. We also note discrete jumps in the polarisation position angle curve of this pulsar which are remarkably coincident with the unstable profile component. We propose that these jumps, as well as the instability of the pulse profile, are due to magnetospheric return currents. This would allow us to measure the basic properties of the magnetospheric plasma for the very first time.
Key words: stars: neutron / pulsars: individual: PSR J1022+1001 / stars: emission / Plasmas
© ESO, 2003