Revealing two radio-active galactic nuclei extremely near PSR J0437−4715
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Newton's gravitational constant G may vary with time at an extremely low level. The time variability of G will affect the orbital motion of a millisecond pulsar in a binary system and cause a tiny difference between the orbital period-dependent measurement of the kinematic distance and the direct measurement of the annual parallax distance. PSR J0437-4715 is the nearest millisecond pulsar and the brightest at radio wavelengths. To explore the feasibility of achieving a parallax distance accuracy of one light-year, comparable to the recent timing result, with the technique of differential astrometry, we searched for compact radio sources quite close to PSR J0437-4715. Using existing data from the Very Large Array and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, we detected two sources with flat spectra, relatively stable flux densities of 0.9 and 1.0 mJy at 8.4 GHz and separations of 13 and 45 arcsec. With a network consisting of the Long Baseline Array and the Kunming 40-m radio telescope, we found that both sources have a point-like structure and a brightness temperature of >= 10(7) K. According to these radio inputs and the absence of counterparts in other bands, we argue that they are most likely the compact radio cores of extragalactic active galactic nuclei, rather than Galactic radio stars. The finding of these two radio active galactic nuclei will enable us to achieve a sub-pc distance accuracy with in-beam phase-referencing very-long-baseline interferometric observations and provide one of the most stringent constraints on the time variability of G in the near future.

pulsars: individual: PSR J0437-4715


galaxies: jets


Zhixuan Li

Unknown organization

Jun Yang

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium, Onsala rymdobservatorium, Observationssupport

Tao An

Unknown organization

Zsolt Paragi

Unknown organization

Adam Deller

Unknown organization

Cormac Reynolds

Unknown organization

Xiaoyu Hong

Unknown organization

Jiancheng Wang

Unknown organization

Hao Ding

Unknown organization

Bo Xia

Unknown organization

Zhen Yan

Unknown organization

Li Guo

Unknown organization

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

0035-8711 (ISSN) 1365-2966 (eISSN)

Vol. 476 1 399-406


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi


Grundläggande vetenskaper


Onsala rymdobservatorium