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The 2009 Fermi Symposium

Searching for Radio Pulsars in Unidentified Fermi LAT Bright Sources

Scott Ransom, NRAO


We have used the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to search for radio pulsars in 27 of the non-variable unidentified sources in the Fermi LAT Bright Source List. The observations at 820 MHz fully cover the LAT 95% confidence error regions in only a single telescope pointing. Preliminary analysis of the first few sources has resulted in the detection of at least one new pulsar, a bright 3.1,ms binary radio pulsar in the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope source 0FGL J2214.8+3002. The gamma-ray properties of this high-latitude source indicate that it is almost certainly a pulsar (based on its spectrum, lack of variability, and lack of association with any extra-Galactic radio source), and the new pulsar is most likely its counterpart, making this the first pulsar identification of an unidentified Fermi source. The binary millisecond pulsar is interesting in other respects as it is bright enough to be a useful addition to the NANOGrav project searching for gravitational waves, and depending on its orbital inclination, could yield a measurement of gravitational Shapiro delay and therefore the mass of the pulsar. Analysis of the GBT observations of the other unidentified sources are ongoing and could very likely uncover additional gamma-ray pulsars.