PSR J1723-2837: An eclipsing binary radio millisecond pulsar

Fronefield Crawford, Andrew G. Lyne, Ingrid H. Stairs, David L Kaplan, Maura A. McLaughlin, Paulo C C Freire, Marta Burgay, Fernando Camilo, Nichi D'Amico, Andrew Faulkner, Michael Kramer, Duncan R. Lorimer, Richard Norman Manchester, Andrea Possenti, Danny Steeghs

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We present a study of PSR J1723-2837, an eclipsing, 1.86 ms millisecond binary radio pulsar discovered in the Parkes Multibeam survey. Radio timing indicates that the pulsar has a circular orbit with a 15 hr orbital period, a low-mass companion, and a measurable orbital period derivative. The eclipse fraction of ∼15% during the pulsar's orbit is twice the Roche lobe size inferred for the companion. The timing behavior is significantly affected by unmodeled systematics of astrophysical origin, and higher-order orbital period derivatives are needed in the timing solution to account for these variations. We have identified the pulsar's (non-degenerate) companion using archival ultraviolet, optical, and infrared survey data and new optical photometry. Doppler shifts from optical spectroscopy confirm the star's association with the pulsar and indicate a pulsar-to-companion mass ratio of 3.3 ± 0.5, corresponding to a companion mass range of 0.4 to 0.7 MȮ and an orbital inclination angle range of between 30° and 41°, assuming a pulsar mass range of 1.4-2.0 MȮ. Spectroscopy indicates a spectral type of G for the companion and an inferred Roche-lobe-filling distance that is consistent with the distance estimated from radio dispersion. The features of PSR J1723-2837 indicate that it is likely a "redback" system. Unlike the five other Galactic redbacks discovered to date, PSR J1723-2837 has not been detected as a γ-ray source with Fermi. This may be due to an intrinsic spin-down luminosity that is much smaller than the measured value if the unmeasured contribution from proper motion is large.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • binaries: eclipsing
  • pulsars: individual (PSR J1723-2837)

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