The MAVERIC Survey: A Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate in Terzan 5

Arash Bahramian, Jay Strader, Laura Chomiuk, Craig O. Heinke, James C.A. Miller-Jones, Nathalie Degenaar, Alexandra J. Tetarenko, Vlad Tudor, Evangelia Tremou, Laura Shishkovsky, Rudy Wijnands, Thomas J. Maccarone, Gregory R. Sivakoff, Scott Ransom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Transitional millisecond pulsars are accreting millisecond pulsars that switch between accreting X-ray binary and millisecond radio pulsar states. Only a handful of these objects have been identified so far. Terzan 5 CX1 is a variable hard-X-ray source in the globular cluster Terzan 5. In this paper, we identify a radio counterpart to CX1 in deep Very Large Array radio continuum data. Chandra observations over the last 14 years indicate that CX1 shows two brightness states: in 2003 and 2016 the source was the brightest X-ray source in the cluster (at L X ∼ 1033 erg s-1), while in many intermediate observations, its luminosity was almost an order of magnitude lower. We analyze all available X-ray data of CX1, showing that the two states are consistent with the spectral and variability properties observed for the X-ray active and radio pulsar states of known transitional millisecond pulsars. Finally, we discuss the prospects for the detection of CX1 as a radio pulsar in existing timing data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • X-rays: binaries
  • accretion, accretion disks
  • globular clusters: individual (Terzan 5)
  • stars: neutron


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