Gamma-ray observations of pulsars

Melville P Ulmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We report on Compton Gamma Ray Observatory observations of six detected pulsars: the Crab, Vela, Geminga, PSR B1509-58, PSR B1706-44, and PSR B1055-52. We combine these data with radio data and X-ray data to provide an overview of what is known about gamma-ray pulsars. We discuss light curves, spectra, and radio/gamma-ray phase offsets, and present several tentative patterns in the data. These include constant phase with γ-ray energy; a correlation between gamma-ray and X-ray luminosity; an anticorrelation between the gamma-ray luminosity and the efficiency in converting rotational energy loss into gamma-ray flux; and a correlation between the pulsar period and radio/gamma-ray phase offset. We also suggest that the emission models that have been proposed to date cannot explain the similarities of the average gamma-ray light curves observed over a wide range of energies. Further, unless a narrow beam is assumed, pulsars such as PSR B1055-52 and Geminga appear to be radiating a significant fraction of their rotational energy loss in the form of gamma rays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1994


  • Gamma rays: observations
  • Pulsars: general
  • Radio continuum: stars
  • X-rays: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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