Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 212, Issue 1–2, pp 77–89 | Cite as

On the detection of mutual perturbations as proof of planets around PSR1257+12

  • S. J. Peale
Article

Abstract

Unambiguous detection of the consequences of mutual perturbations of the hypothesized planets about the pulsar PSR1257+12 would be unassailable proof of their existence. Nearly all of the residuals in the times of arrival (TOA) of the pulses after subtraction of the TOA predicted from the best fit constant period model are accounted for by including the effects of two orbiting planets with constant orbital parameters. The nature and magnitude of additional residuals in the TOA due to the gravitational interactions between the planets are determined by numerically calculating the TOA residuals for the orbital motion including the perturbations and subtracting the TOA residuals from analytic expressions of the orbital motion with orbital parameters fixed at averaged values. The TOA residual differences so obtained oscillate with periods comparable to the orbital periods with the oscillations varying in amplitude as a function of epoch within any given observational period. The signature of the perturbations is thus a quasiperiodic modulation of the residual differences obtained after removal of the effects of the orbital motion with best fit, constant orbital parameters. The amplitudes of this modulation reach about 10μsec for observational periods exceeding 1000 days for the minimum planetary masses with sini = 1, and they increase as 1 / sini for 1 / sini < 5, wherei is the inclination of the orbit plane to that of the sky. Greater accumulated phase differences between the effects of perturbed and unperturbed orbital motions are available in the times of zero values in the observed and predicted TOA residuals and these comprise a second signature of the perturbations. The perturbation signatures should become detectable as the observation interval approaches 1000 days.

Keywords

Orbital Period Orbit Plane Orbital Motion Orbital Parameter Observation Interval 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Peale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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