The next STELLAR seminar lecture will be by Caterina Tiburzi of the INAF – Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Italy. Her online seminar will be held on Tuesday, October 24 2023, at 13:00h CET, over Zoom (connection details below).
INAF – National Institute of Astrophysics (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica), Italy
Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Pulsars are fast-rotating, highly-magnetized neutron stars that are visible at radio wavelengths as periodic sources. We know much about the radiation of pulsars above approximately 400 MHz, thanks to several radio telescopes in the world such as Effelsberg, GMRT, Parkes, but little was accessible until a decade ago below 300 MHz, due to the lack of sophisticated radio facilities and to the technological difficulties encountered in treating such frequency bands. However, low-frequency pulsar astronomy went through a complete renaissance thanks to the LOw Frequency ARray, LOFAR, an European SKA-LOW precursor observing at the inaccessible frequencies below 240 MHz. The exquisite sensitivity and quality of the LOFAR observations have allowed a wealth of cutting-edge studies about propagation effects, as well as pulsar emission mechanisms, physics of the magnetosphere and more, and more and more nations are adhering to this facility — the youngest members being Bulgaria and Italy. In this talk, we will delve into pulsars and into their studies at low frequencies with LOFAR, and we will explore their role in Pulsar Timing Array experiments, whose primary target is the detection of gravitational waves with ultra-low frequencies.