A NICER View of PSR J0030+0451: Millisecond Pulsar Parameter Estimation
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We report on Bayesian parameter estimation of the mass and equatorial radius of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0030+0451, conditional on pulse-profile modeling of Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer X-ray spectral-timing event data. We perform relativistic ray-tracing of thermal emission from hot regions of the pulsar's surface. We assume two distinct hot regions based on two clear pulsed components in the phase-folded pulse-profile data; we explore a number of forms (morphologies and topologies) for each hot region, inferring their parameters in addition to the stellar mass and radius. For the family of models considered, the evidence (prior predictive probability of the data) strongly favors a model that permits both hot regions to be located in the same rotational hemisphere. Models wherein both hot regions are assumed to be simply connected circular single-temperature spots, in particular those where the spots are assumed to be reflection-symmetric with respect to the stellar origin, are strongly disfavored. For the inferred configuration, one hot region subtends an angular extent of only a few degrees (in spherical coordinates with origin at the stellar center) and we are insensitive to other structural details; the second hot region is far more azimuthally extended in the form of a narrow arc, thus requiring a larger number of parameters to describe. The inferred mass M and equatorial radius R eq are, respectively, 1.340.150.16and M and 12.71+1.141.19 km, while the compactness is more tightly constrained; the credible interval bounds reported here are approximately the 16% and 84% quantiles in marginal posterior mass.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Astrophysical Journal Letters
American Astronomical Society
Riley, T.E., et al., "A NICER View of PSR J0030+0451: Millisecond Pulsar Parameter Estimation." Astrophysical Journal Letters 887, 1 (Dec. 2019): letter 21 doi 10.3847/2041-8213/ab481c ©2019 Author(s)
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