PSR B0943+10: low-frequency study of subpulse periodicity in the Bright mode with LOFAR
Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam,
Science Park 904,
Accepted: 8 May 2018
We use broadband sensitive LOFAR observations in the 25–80 MHz frequency range to study the single-pulse emission properties of the mode-switching pulsar B0943+10. We review the derivation of magnetospheric geometry, originally based on low-frequency radio data, and show that the geometry is less strongly constrained than previously thought. This may be used to help explain the large fractional amplitudes of the observed thermal X-ray pulsations from the polar cap, which contradicted the almost aligned rotator model of PSR B0943+10. We analyse the properties of drifting subpulses in the Bright mode and report on the short-scale (minutes) variations of the drift period. We searched for the periodic amplitude modulation of drifting subpulses, which is a vital argument for constraining several important system parameters: the degree of aliasing, the orientation of the line-of-sight vector with respect to magnetic and spin axes, the angular velocity of the carousel, and thus, the gradient of the accelerating potential in the polar gap. The periodic amplitude modulation was not detected, indicating that it may be a rare or narrow-band phenomenon. Based on our non-detection and review of the available literature, we chose to leave the aliasing order unconstrained and derived the number of sparks under different assumptions about the aliasing order and geometry angles. Contrary to the previous findings, we did not find a large (of the order of 10%) gradual variation of the separation between subpulses throughout Bright mode. We speculate that this large variation of subpulse separation may be due to the incorrect accounting for the curvature of the line of sight within the on-pulse window. Finally, we report on the frequency-dependent drift phase delay, which is similar to the delay reported previously for PSR B0809+74. We provide a quantitative explanation of the observed frequency-dependent drift phase delay within the carousel model.
Key words: pulsars: individual: B0943+10 / telescopes
© ESO 2018