Letter | Published:

Timing observations of the millisecond pulsar

Naturevolume 301pages314315 (1983) | Download Citation



Following the discovery of the rapidly spinning pulsar 1937+214 on 7 November 19821 a program of accurate pulse arrival time measurements was initiated at the Arecibo Observatory. These observations, which were conducted at 1,408 MHz centre frequency, indicate that pulse arrival times follow a simple spindown equation with an accuracy of 1.5 µs for intervals between 2 min and 14 days. The apparent period derivative of 1.2 × 10−19 s s−1 leads to a characteristic tune scale P/Ṗ for period evolution of 4 × 108 yr. If the observed stability of this pulsar persists for decades, we will be able to reduce present uncertainties on the masses of the distant planets.

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  1. Radio Astronomy Laboratory and Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720, USA

    • D. C. Backer
    •  & Shrinivas R. Kulkarni
  2. Physics Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, USA

    • J. H. Taylor


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