In the pulsar plugin, can I show only the strongest RADIO pulsars?

Asked by Andri Gretarsson

I'd like to show only the top (perhaps top 10) loudest radio pulsars. When I click on a pulsar, the information lists the averaged flux density at 400MHz in units of mJy. I'd like to use that information to decide which pulsars to display. Can it be done? (Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS, Stellarium version from the default Ubuntu repositories.) Thx

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Alexander Wolf (alexwolf) said :

It's not possible at the moment. Could you give some additional info for wanted filtering?

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Andri Gretarsson (andri-gretarsson) said :

Hi Alexander,

If you are in a hurry, you can skip to the part starting with "SORTING" below. For completeness, I'm including the context first.

We have a small university campus observatory with both optical and radio telescopes. (The university is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ.) I run the radio telescopes. We have standardized on Stellarium as our primary sky mapping software. We use it to control our radio telescopes with the "Telescopes Control" plugin via a tcp port. Once we find a pulsar, or any other source that we want our telescope to track, we CTRL-click on the pulsar and the radio telescope slews to it and then tracks it. The issue is that it appears that by default only optical pulsars are shown. If one checks the "show pulsar distribution" box in the pulsar plugin configuration menu, one gets all the pulsars, including the radio pulsars. However, there are so many that it obscures other features of the sky map.

Since we only have the sensitivity to receive radio signals from the pulsars with the strongest radio emissions, I'd like to have a way to display only the "loudest" pulsars as measured by their radio emission in the 400 MHz band. In Stellarium, when one "clicks" on a pulsar from the large set of pulsars shown in the "pulsar distribution" view, the information shown does include a number for the "Time averaged flux density at 400MHz". The information shown in Stellarium for a strong northern hemisphere pulsar is pasted below. The line I'm talking about is the third up from the bottom; I'd like to filter on the mJy number (1500 for this pulsar). For example, I'd like a field in the pulsar plugin configuration menu like: "Only show pulsars with Time average flux density at 400 MHz above _____ mJy"

      PSR J0332+5434
      Type: pulsar
      RA/Dec (J2000.0): 3h32m59.37s/+54°34'43.6"
      RA/Dec (on date): 3h34m24.75s/+54°38'20.5"
      Hour angle/DE: 21h40m57.18s/+54°38'20.5"
      Az/Alt: +39°21'55.9"/+58°39'06.3"
      Ecliptic longitude/latitude (J2000.0): +65°11'25.2"/+34°15'36.1"
      Ecliptic longitude/latitude (on date): +65°26'57.8"/+34°15'39.0"
      Ecliptic obliquity (on date): +23°26'12.9"
      Galactic longitude/latitude: +144°59'42.9"/-1°13'14.2"
      Supergalactic longitude/latitude: -0°22'47.3"/-7°42'44.9"
      IAU Constellation: Cam
      Mean Sidereal Time: 1h15m22.8s
      Apparent Sidereal Time: 1h15m21.9s
      Barycentric period: 0.7145196997258010 s
      Time derivative of barycentric period: 2.04826e-15
      Dispersion measure: 26.764 cm-3 · pc
      Spin down energy loss rate: 2.22e+32 ergs/s
      Annual parallax: 0.94 mas
      Distance based on electron density model: 0.98 kpc (3196.33 ly)
      Profile width at 50% of peak: 6.60 ms
      Time averaged flux density at 400MHz: 1500.00 mJy
      Time averaged flux density at 600MHz: 1300.00 mJy
      Time averaged flux density at 1400MHz: 203.00 mJy

thanks again!

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Alexander Wolf (alexwolf) said :

OK, I've added the filter. It will be available for testing in next beta.

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Andri Gretarsson (andri-gretarsson) said :

Thank you very much! I look forward to trying it.

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Alexander Wolf (alexwolf) said :

Please check version

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Andri Gretarsson (andri-gretarsson) said :

I've tested the feature. It works perfectly for our needs. Thank you very much for adding this. It's a great feature for our situation and I think others will find it useful too.