Distribution of inhomogeneities in the interstellar plasma in the directions of three distant pulsars from observations with the RadioAstron ground-space interferometer
The RadioAstron ground-space interferometer has been used to measure the angular sizes of the scattering disks of the three distant pulsars B1641-45, B1749-28, and B1933+16. The observations were carried out with the participation of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope; two 32-m telescopes at Torun, Poland and Svetloe, Russia (the latter being one antenna of the KVAZAR network); the Saint Croix VLBA antenna; the Arecibo radio telescope; the Parkes, Narrabri (ATCA), Mopra, Hobart, and Ceduna Australian radio telescopes; and the Hartebeesthoek radio telescope in South Africa. The full widths at half maximum of the scattering disks were 27 mas at 1668 MHz for B1641-45, 0.5 mas at 1668 MHz for B1749-28, and 12.3 at 316 MHz and 0.84 mas at 1668 MHz for B1933+16. The characteristic time scales for scatter-broadening of the pulses on inhomogeneities in the interstellar plasma τsc were also measured for these pulsars using various methods. Joint knowledge of the size of the scattering disk and the scatter-broadening time scale enables estimation of the distance to the effective scattering screen d. For B1641-45, d = 3.0 kpc for a distance to the pulsar D = 4.9 kpc, and for B1749-28, d = 0.95 kpc for D = 1.3 kpc. Observations of B1933+16 were carried out simultaneously at 316 and 1668 MHz. The positions of the screen derived using the measurements at the two frequencies agree: d 1 = 2.6 and d 2 = 2.7 kpc, for a distance to the pulsar of 3.7 kpc. Two screens were detected for this pulsar from an analysis of parabolic arcs in the secondary dynamic spectrum at 1668 MHz, at 1.3 and 3.1 kpc. The scattering screens for two of the pulsars are identified with real physical objects located along the lines of sight toward the pulsars: G339.1-04 (B1641-45) and G0.55-0.85 (B1749-28).