AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 118. Rotation-Powered Pulsars
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[118.06] Absolute Timing of the Crab Pulsar: X-ray, Radio, and Optical Observations

P. S. Ray, K. S. Wood, M. T. Wolff, M. N. Lovellette (NRL), S. Sheikh (UMD), D.-S. Moon, S. S. Eikenberry (Cornell), M. Roberts (Jodrell Bank), E. D. Bloom, D. Tournear, P. Saz Parkinson, K. Reilly (SLAC)

We report on multiwavelength observations of the Crab Pulsar and compare the pulse arrival time at radio, IR, optical, and X-ray wavelengths. Comparing absolute arrival times at multiple energies can provide clues to the magnetospheric structure and emission region geometry. Absolute time calibration of each observing system is of paramount importance for these observations and we describe how this is done for each system. We directly compare arrival time determinations for 2--10 keV X-ray observations made contemporaneously with the PCA on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the USA Experiment on ARGOS. These two X-ray measurements employ very different means of measuring time and satellite position and thus have different systematic error budgets. The comparison with other wavelengths requires additional steps such as dispersion measure corrections and a precise definition of the ``peak'' of the light curve since the light curve shape varies with observing wavelength. We will describe each of these effects and quantify the magnitude of the systematic error that each may contribute.

Basic research on X-ray Astronomy at NRL is funded by NRL/ONR.

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