Volume 627, July 2019
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||01 July 2019|
Letter to the Editor
Probing the origin of the off-pulse emission from the pulsars B0525+21 and B2045−16
Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC, Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
2 ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
Accepted: 13 July 2019
Pulsars typically exhibit radio emission in the form of narrow pulses originated from confined regions of their magnetospheres. A potential presence of magnetospherically originated emission outside this region, the so-called off-pulse emission, would challenge the existing theories. Detection of significant off-pulse emission has been reported so far from only two pulsars: B0525+21 and B2045−16 at 325 and 610 MHz, respectively. However, the nature of this newly uncovered off-pulse emission remains unclear. To probe its origin we conducted very-high-resolution radio observations of B0525+21 and B2045−16 with the European VLBI Network (EVN) at 1.39 GHz. Whereas the pulsed emission is detected at a level consistent with previous observations, we report an absence of any off-pulse emission above 42 and 96 μJy beam−1 (three times the rms noise levels) for B0525+21 and B2045−16, respectively. Our stringent upper limits imply the off-pulse emission to be less than 0.4 and 0.3% of the period-averaged pulsed flux density, i.e., much fainter than the previously suggested values of 1−10%. Since the EVN data are most sensitive to extremely compact angular scales, our results suggest a non-magnetospheric origin for the previously reported off-pulse emission. The presence of extended emission that is resolved out to these milliarcsecond scales still remains plausible. In this case, we constrain the emission to arise from structures with sizes of ∼(0.61−19) × 103 au for B0525+21 and ∼(0.48−8.3) × 103 au for B2045−16. These constraints might indicate that the two pulsars are accompanied by compact bow-shock pulsar wind nebulae. Future observations probing intermediate angular scales (∼0.1−5 arcsec) will help to clarify the actual origin of the off-pulse emission.
Key words: pulsars: individual: B0525+21 / pulsars: individual: B2045-16 / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / radio continuum: stars / techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: interferometric
© ESO 2019
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