Shapiro Effect as a Possible Cause of the Low-Frequency Pulsar Timing Noise in Globular Clusters
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A prolonged timing of millisecond pulsars has revealed low-frequency uncorrelated noise, presumably of astrophysical origin, in the pulse arrival time (PAT) residuals for some of them. In most cases, pulsars in globular clusters show a low-frequency modulation of their rotational phase and spin rate. The relativistic time delay of the pulsar signal in the curved space time of randomly distributed and moving globular cluster stars (the Shapiro effect) is suggested as a possible cause of this modulation. Given the smallness of the aberration corrections that arise from the nonstationarity of the gravitational field of the randomly distributed ensemble of stars under consideration, a formula is derived for the Shapiro effect for a pulsar in a globular cluster. The derived formula is used to calculate the autocorrelation function of the low-frequency pulsar noise, the slope of its power spectrum, and the behavior of the σz statistic that characterizes the spectral properties of this noise in the form of a time function. The Shapiro effect under discussion is shown to manifest itself for large impact parameters as a low-frequency noise of the pulsar spin rate with a spectral index of n=-1.8 that depends weakly on the specific model distribution of stars in the globular cluster. For small impact parameters, the spectral index of the noise is n=-1.5.