T. J. Lazio - JPL, CIT

T. J. Lazio
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T. J. Lazio

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (28)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (26)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (12)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (10)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (7)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (7)
Physics - Space Physics (2)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (2)

Publications Authored By T. J. Lazio

Plasma lenses in the host galaxies of fast radio bursts (FRBs) can strongly modulate FRB amplitudes for a wide range of distances, including the $\sim $ Gpc distance of the repeater FRB121102. To produce caustics, the lens' dispersion-measure depth (${\rm DM}_{\ell}$), scale size ($a$), and distance from the source ($d_{\rm sl}$) must satisfy ${\rm DM}_{\ell} d_{\rm sl} / a^2 \gtrsim 0.65~ {\rm pc^2 \ AU^{-2} \ cm^{-3}}$. Read More

Fast radio bursts are astronomical radio flashes of unknown physical nature with durations of milliseconds. Their dispersive arrival times suggest an extragalactic origin and imply radio luminosities orders of magnitude larger than any other kind of known short-duration radio transient. Thus far, all FRBs have been detected with large single-dish telescopes with arcminute localizations, and attempts to identify their counterparts (source or host galaxy) have relied on contemporaneous variability of field sources or the presence of peculiar field stars or galaxies. Read More

Affiliations: 1JIVE, 2JIVE, 3ASTRON, 4JIVE, 5JIVE, 6Carleton College, 7ASTRON, 8Columbia U, 9ASIAA, 10NRAO Socorro, 11NRAO Socorro, 12JIVE, 13Cornell U, 14Cornell U, 15NRAO Socorro, 16U. of Manchester, 17NAIC Arecibo, 18McGill U, 19UC Berkeley, 20NASA JPL, 21U. of West Virginia Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, 22NRAO CV, 23NAIC Arecibo, 24DRAO, 25NAIC Arecibo, 26UC Berkeley, 27MPIfR, 28McGill U, 29Cornell U

The millisecond-duration radio flashes known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) represent an enigmatic astrophysical phenomenon. Recently, the sub-arcsecond localization (~ 100mas precision) of FRB121102 using the VLA has led to its unambiguous association with persistent radio and optical counterparts, and to the identification of its host galaxy. However, an even more precise localization is needed in order to probe the direct physical relationship between the millisecond bursts themselves and the associated persistent emission. Read More

Affiliations: 1McGill U., 2ASTRON, 3Cornell U., 4ASIAA, 5UC Berkeley, 6Cornell U., 7ASTRON, 8Columbia U., 9NRAO, WVU, 10NRAO, 11NRAO, 12ASTRON, API, 13McGill U., 14JPL, 15ASTRON, 16JIVE, 17WVU, 18JIVE, 19NRAO, 20DRAO, 21Arecibo, 22MPIfR, 23JIVE, Leiden, 24Cornell U.

The precise localization of the repeating fast radio burst (FRB 121102) has provided the first unambiguous association (chance coincidence probability $p\lesssim3\times10^{-4}$) of an FRB with an optical and persistent radio counterpart. We report on optical imaging and spectroscopy of the counterpart and find that it is an extended ($0.6^{\prime\prime}-0. Read More

We analyze dispersion measure (DM) variations of 37 millisecond pulsars in the 9-year NANOGrav data release and constrain the sources of these variations. Variations are significant for nearly all pulsars, with characteristic timescales comparable to or even shorter than the average spacing between observations. Five pulsars have periodic annual variations, 14 pulsars have monotonically increasing or decreasing trends, and 13 pulsars show both effects. Read More

The Galactic center has some of the highest stellar densities in the Galaxy and a range of interstellar scattering properties that may aid in the detection of new radio-selected transient events. Here we describe a search for radio transients in the Galactic center using over 200 hours of archival data from the Very Large Array (VLA) at 5 and 8.4 GHz. Read More

Mergers of binary neutron stars and black hole-neutron star binaries produce gravitational-wave (GW) emission and outflows with significant kinetic energies. These outflows result in radio emissions through synchrotron radiation. We explore the detectability of these synchrotron generated radio signals by follow-up observations of GW merger events lacking a detection of electromagnetic counterparts in other wavelengths. Read More

Model-independent distance constraints to binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are of great value to both the timing observations of the radio pulsars, and multiwavelength observations of their companion stars. Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) astrometry can be employed to provide these model-independent distances with very high precision via the detection of annual geometric parallax. Using the Very Long Baseline Array, we have observed two binary millisecond pulsars, PSR J1022+1001 and J2145-0750, over a two-year period and measured their distances to be 700 +14 -10 pc and 613 +16 -14 pc respectively. Read More

We analyse the stochastic properties of the 49 pulsars that comprise the first International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) data release. We use Bayesian methodology, performing model selection to determine the optimal description of the stochastic signals present in each pulsar. In addition to spin-noise and dispersion-measure (DM) variations, these models can include timing noise unique to a single observing system, or frequency band. Read More

The highly stable spin of neutron stars can be exploited for a variety of (astro-)physical investigations. In particular arrays of pulsars with rotational periods of the order of milliseconds can be used to detect correlated signals such as those caused by gravitational waves. Three such "Pulsar Timing Arrays" (PTAs) have been set up around the world over the past decades and collectively form the "International" PTA (IPTA). Read More

We report on an effort to extract and monitor interstellar scintillation parameters in regular timing observations collected for the NANOGrav pulsar timing array. Scattering delays are measured by creating dynamic spectra for each pulsar and observing epoch of wide-band observations centered near 1500 MHz and carried out at the Green Bank Telescope and the Arecibo Observatory. The ~800-MHz wide frequency bands imply dramatic changes in scintillation bandwidth across the bandpass, and a stretching routine has been included to account for this scaling. Read More

Decade-long timing observations of arrays of millisecond pulsars have placed highly constraining upper limits on the amplitude of the nanohertz gravitational-wave stochastic signal from the mergers of supermassive black-hole binaries ($\sim 10^{-15}$ strain at $f = 1/\mathrm{yr}$). These limits suggest that binary merger rates have been overestimated, or that environmental influences from nuclear gas or stars accelerate orbital decay, reducing the gravitational-wave signal at the lowest, most sensitive frequencies. This prompts the question whether nanohertz gravitational waves are likely to be detected in the near future. Read More

Most black holes (BHs) will absorb a neutron star (NS) companion fully intact, without tidal disruption, suggesting the pair will remain dark to telescopes. Even without tidal disruption, electromagnetic luminosity is generated from the battery phase of the binary when the BH interacts with the NS magnetic field. Originally the luminosity was expected in high-energy X-rays or gamma-rays, however we conjecture that some of the battery power is emitted in the radio bandwidth. Read More

Dense, continuous pulsar timing observations over a 24-hr period provide a method for probing intermediate gravitational wave (GW) frequencies from 10 microhertz to 20 millihertz. The European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), and the combined International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) all use millisecond pulsar observations to detect or constrain GWs typically at nanohertz frequencies. In the case of the IPTA's nine-telescope 24-Hour Global Campaign on millisecond pulsar J1713+0747, GW limits in the intermediate frequency regime can be produced. Read More

We present high-precision timing observations spanning up to nine years for 37 millisecond pulsars monitored with the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We describe the observational and instrumental setups used to collect the data, and methodology applied for calculating pulse times of arrival; these include novel methods for measuring instrumental offsets and characterizing low signal-to-noise ratio timing results. The time of arrival data are fit to a physical timing model for each source, including terms that characterize time-variable dispersion measure and frequency-dependent pulse shape evolution. Read More

The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the U. Read More

Among efforts to detect gravitational radiation, pulsar timing arrays are uniquely poised to detect "memory" signatures, permanent perturbations in spacetime from highly energetic astrophysical events such as mergers of supermassive black hole binaries. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) observes dozens of the most stable millisecond pulsars using the Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes in an effort to study, among other things, gravitational wave memory. We herein present the results of a search for gravitational wave bursts with memory (BWMs) using the first five years of NANOGrav observations. Read More

The discovery and timing of radio pulsars within the Galactic centre is a fundamental aspect of the SKA Science Case, responding to the topic of "Strong Field Tests of Gravity with Pulsars and Black Holes" (Kramer et al. 2004; Cordes et al. 2004). Read More

The magneto-ionic structures of the interstellar medium of the Milky Way and the intergalactic medium are still poorly understood, especially at distances larger than a few kiloparsecs from the Sun. The three-dimensional (3D) structure of the Galactic magnetic field and electron density distribution may be probed through observations of radio pulsars, primarily owing to their compact nature, high velocities, and highly-polarized short-duration radio pulses. Phase 1 of the SKA, i. Read More

We report on the first millisecond timescale radio interferometric search for the new class of transient known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). We used the Very Large Array (VLA) for a 166-hour, millisecond imaging campaign to detect and precisely localize an FRB. We observed at 1. Read More

The period between the creation of the cosmic microwave background at a redshift of ~1000 and the formation of the first stars and black holes that re-ionize the intergalactic medium at redshifts of 10-20 is currently unobservable. The baryonic component of the universe during this period is almost entirely neutral hydrogen, which falls into local regions of higher dark matter density. This seeds the formation of large-scale structures including the cosmic web that we see today in the filamentary distribution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Read More

We present initial pulsar results from the first station of the Long Wavelength Array (LWA1) obtained during the commissioning period of LWA1 and early science results. We present detections of periodic emission from 44 previously known pulsars, including 3 millisecond pulsars (MSPs). The effects of the interstellar medium on pulsar emission are significantly enhanced at the low frequencies of the LWA1 band (10--88 MHz), making LWA1 a very sensitive instrument for characterizing changes in dispersion measures (DM) and other effects from the interstellar medium. Read More

Detection of the global HI 21 cm signal from Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization is the key science driver for several ongoing ground-based and future ground/space-based experiments. The crucial spectral features in the global 21 cm signal (turning points) occur at low radio frequencies <100 MHz. In addition to the human-generated RFI, Earth's ionosphere drastically corrupts low-frequency radio observations from the ground. Read More

The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky, and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration undertook a 24-hour global observation of PSR J1713+0747 in an effort to better quantify sources of timing noise in this pulsar, particularly on intermediate (1 - 24 hr) timescales. We observed the pulsar continuously over 24 hr with the Arecibo, Effelsberg, GMRT, Green Bank, LOFAR, Lovell, Nancay, Parkes, and WSRT radio telescopes. Read More

We use MERLIN, VLA and VLBA observations of Galactic \HI absorption towards 3C~138 to estimate the structure function of the \HI opacity fluctuations at AU scales. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we show that there is likely to be a significant bias in the estimated structure function at signal-to-noise ratios characteristic of our observations, if the structure function is constructed in the manner most commonly used in the literature. We develop a new estimator that is free from this bias and use it to estimate the true underlying structure function slope on length scales ranging $5$ to $40$~AU. Read More

The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project currently observes 43 pulsars using the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes. In this work we use a subset of 17 pulsars timed for a span of roughly five years (2005--2010). We analyze these data using standard pulsar timing models, with the addition of time-variable dispersion measure and frequency-variable pulse shape terms. Read More

We present the results of a recent re-reduction of the data from the Very Large Array (VLA) Low-frequency Sky Survey (VLSS). We used the VLSS catalog as a sky model to correct the ionospheric distortions in the data and create a new set of sky maps and corresponding catalog at 73.8 MHz. Read More

We present the Chasing the Identification of ASCA Galactic Objects (ChIcAGO) survey, which is designed to identify the unknown X-ray sources discovered during the ASCA Galactic Plane Survey (AGPS). Little is known about most of the AGPS sources, especially those that emit primarily in hard X-rays (2-10 keV) within the F_x ~ 10^-13 to 10^-11 erg cm^-2 s^-1 X-ray flux range. In ChIcAGO, the subarcsecond localization capabilities of Chandra have been combined with a detailed multi-wavelength follow-up program, with the ultimate goal of classifying the >100 unidentified sources in the AGPS. Read More

This whitepaper describes how the VLASS could be designed in a manner to allow the identification of candidate dual active galactic nuclei (AGN) at separations <7 kpc. Dual AGN represent a clear marker of two supermassive black holes within an ongoing merger. A dual AGN survey will provide a wealth of studies in structure growth and gravitational-wave science. Read More

Affiliations: 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 2National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 3University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4The Pennsylvania State University, 5Cornell University, 6Naval Research Laboratory, 7National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 8National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 9International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, 10University of Oxford, 11LSST Corporation, 12Naval Research Laboratory, 13National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 14California Institute of Technology, 15Space Telescope Science Institute, 16NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Fellow, Harvard University

A community meeting on the topic of "Radio Astronomy in the LSST Era" was hosted by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA (2013 May 6--8). The focus of the workshop was on time domain radio astronomy and sky surveys. For the time domain, the extent to which radio and visible wavelength observations are required to understand several classes of transients was stressed, but there are also classes of radio transients for which no visible wavelength counterpart is yet known, providing an opportunity for discovery. Read More

We present flux density measurements and pulse profiles for the millisecond pulsar PSR J2145-0750 spanning 37 to 81 MHz using data obtained from the first station of the Long Wavelength Array. These measurements represent the lowest frequency detection of pulsed emission from a millisecond pulsar to date. We find that the pulse profile is similar to that observed at 102 MHz. Read More

We report the detection and observed characteristics of giant pulses from the Crab Nebula pulsar (B0531+21) in four frequency bands covering 20-84 MHz using the recently-completed Long Wavelength Array Station 1 (LWA1) radio telescope. In 10 hours of observations distributed over a 72-day period in Fall of 2012, 33 giant pulses having peak flux densities between 400 Jy and 2000 Jy were detected. Twenty-two of these pulses were detected simultaneously in channels of 16 MHz bandwidth centered at 44 MHz, 60 MHz, and 76 MHz, including one pulse which was also detected in a channel centered at 28 MHz. Read More

Pulsar timing observations have revealed companions to neutron stars that include other neutron stars, white dwarfs, main-sequence stars, and planets. We demonstrate that the correlated and apparently stochastic residual times of arrival from the millisecond pulsar B1937+21 are consistent with the signature of an asteroid belt having a total mass less than approximately 0.05 Earth masses. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Colorado Boulder, 2USRA Lunar and Planetary Institute, 3Lockheed Martin Space Systems, 4Lockheed Martin Space Systems, 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 6Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts aboard the Orion Crew Vehicle would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such a mission would serve as a first step beyond low Earth orbit and prove out operational spaceflight capabilities such as life support, communication, high speed re-entry, and radiation protection prior to more difficult human exploration missions. Read More

The discovery of a pulsar (PSR) in orbit around a black hole (BH) is expected to provide a superb new probe of relativistic gravity and BH properties. Apart from a precise mass measurement for the BH, one could expect a clean verification of the dragging of space-time caused by the BH spin. In order to measure the quadrupole moment of the BH for testing the no-hair theorem of general relativity (GR), one has to hope for a sufficiently massive BH. Read More

[Abridged] The Moon is a unique platform from and on which to conduct astrophysical measurements. The Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR) and the Center for Lunar Origins and Evolution (CLOE) teams within the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) are illustrating how the Moon can be used as a platform to advance important goals in astrophysics. Of relevance to Astrophysics and aligned with NASA strategic goals, all three of the primary research themes articulated by New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy & Astrophysics are being addressed by LUNAR and CLOE, namely Probing Cosmic Dawn, Understanding New Worlds, and Physics of the Universe Read More

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae and orphan afterglows of gamma ray bursts. Read More

The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. Read More

The structure function of opacity fluctuations is a useful statistical tool to study tiny scale structures of neutral hydrogen. Here we present high resolution observation of HI absorption towards 3C 138, and estimate the structure function of opacity fluctuations from the combined VLA, MERLIN and VLBA data. The angular scales probed in this work are ~ 10-200 milliarcsec (about 5-100 AU). Read More

We report the results of a low frequency radio variability and slow transient search using archival observations from the Very Long Array. We selected six 325 MHz radio observations from the spring of 2006, each centered on the Spitzer-Space-Telescope Wide-area Infrared Extragalactic Survey (SWIRE) Deep Field: 1046+59. Observations were spaced between 1 day to 3 months, with a typical single-epoch peak flux sensitivity below 0. Read More

We have used a relatively long, contiguous VHF observation of a bright cosmic radio source (Cygnus A) with the Very Large Array (VLA) to demonstrate the capability of this instrument to study the ionosphere. This interferometer, and others like it, can observe ionospheric total electron content (TEC) fluctuations on a much wider range of scales than is possible with many other instruments. We have shown that with a bright source, the VLA can measure differential TEC values between pairs of antennas (delta-TEC) with an precision of 0. Read More

We have used a relatively long, contiguous VHF observation of a bright cosmic radio source (Cygnus A) with the Very Large Array (VLA) through the nighttime, midlatitude ionosphere to demonstrate the phenomena observable with this instrument. In a companion paper, we showed that the VLA can detect fluctuations in total electron content (TEC) with amplitudes of <0.001 TECU and can measure TEC gradients with a precision of about 0. Read More

The discovery of radio pulsars in compact orbits around Sgr A* would allow an unprecedented and detailed investigation of the spacetime of the supermassive black hole. This paper shows that pulsar timing, including that of a single pulsar, has the potential to provide novel tests of general relativity, in particular its cosmic censorship conjecture and no-hair theorem for rotating black holes. These experiments can be performed by timing observations with 100 micro-second precision, achievable with the Square Kilometre Array for a normal pulsar at frequency above 15 GHz. Read More

The detection of radio pulsars within the central few parsecs of the Galaxy would provide a unique probe of the gravitational and magneto-ionic environments in the Galactic Center (GC) and, if close enough to Sgr A*, precise tests of general relativity in the strong-field regime. While it is difficult to find pulsars at radio wavelengths because of interstellar scattering, the payoff from detailed timing of pulsars in the GC warrants a concerted effort. To motivate pulsar surveys and help define search parameters for them, we constrain the pulsar number and spatial distribution using a wide range of multiwavelength measurements. Read More

Obtaining pulsar parallaxes via relative astrometry (also known as differential astrometry) yields distances and transverse velocities that can be used to probe properties of the pulsar population and the interstellar medium. Large programs are essential to obtain the sample sizes necessary for these population studies, but they must be efficiently conducted to avoid requiring an infeasible amount of observing time. This paper describes the PSRPI astrometric program, including the use of new features in the DiFX software correlator to efficiently locate calibrator sources, selection and observing strategies for a sample of 60 pulsars, initial results, and likely science outcomes. Read More

We present 325 MHz (90 cm wavelength) radio observations of ultracool dwarfs TVLM 513-46546 and 2MASS J0036+1821104 using the Very Large Array (VLA) in June 2007. Ultracool dwarfs are expected to be undetectable at radio frequencies, yet observations at 8.5 GHz (3. Read More

Affiliations: 1CASA, University of Colorado Boulder, USA, 2JPL, Pasadena, CA, USA, 3SSL, University of California at Berkeley, USA, 4Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, 5NRAO, Charlottesville, VA, USA, 6NRAO, Socorro, NM, USA, 7University of California at Los Angeles, USA, 8CASA, University of Colorado Boulder, USA, 9CfA, Cambridge, MA, USA, 10CfA, Cambridge, MA, USA

A concept for a new space-based cosmology mission called the Dark Ages Radio Explore (DARE) is presented in this paper. DARE's science objectives include (1) When did the first stars form? (2) When did the first accreting black holes form? (3) When did Reionization begin? (4) What surprises does the end of the Dark Ages hold (e.g. Read More

Affiliations: 1NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA, 2JPL, Pasadena, CA, USA, 3SSL, Berkeley, CA, USA, 4University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, 5NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA, 6NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA, 7JPL, Pasadena, CA, USA, 8NRL, Washington, DC, USA

By volume, more than 99% of the solar system has not been imaged at radio frequencies. Almost all of this space (the solar wind) can be traversed by fast electrons producing radio emissions at frequencies lower than the terrestrial ionospheric cutoff, which prevents observation from the ground. To date, radio astronomy-capable space missions consist of one or a few satellites, typically far from each other, which measure total power from the radio sources, but cannot produce images with useful angular resolution. Read More