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Pulsed high-energy γ-rays from the radio pulsar PSRI706–44

A Correction to this article was published on 09 September 1993


OF the more than 500 known radio pulsars, only three have been detected as γ-ray sources. Using the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory satellite, we have detected pulsed γ-radiation, above 100 MeV in energy, from a fourth radio pulsar, PSR1706–44. Within the pulse period of 102 ms, the γ-emission forms a single broad peak, in contrast to the two narrow peaks seen in the other high-energy γ-ray pulsars. The emission mechanism in all cases is probably the same, the differences arising from the geometry of the magnetic and rotation axes and the line of sight. In these pulsars, γ-ray emission accounts for as much as 1% of the total neutron star spin-down energy, much more than emerges at optical or radio frequencies, so study of this emission is important in understanding pulsar emission and evolution.

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Thompson, D., Arzoumanian, Z., Bertsch, D. et al. Pulsed high-energy γ-rays from the radio pulsar PSRI706–44. Nature 359, 615–616 (1992).

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