One of nature’s best clocks is a millisecond pulsar. These exotic stellar corpses are neutron stars: incredibly dense, rotating hundreds of times per second, and emitting powerful jets or beams of light. This creates a “pulsing” effect, much like a lighthouse.
This month’s undergraduate research post features pulsars as a probe of our galaxy’s magnetic field, and the possibility of asymmetries in supernovae associated with gamma-ray bursts.
Title: Evidence of an Asteroid Encountering a Pulsar Authors: P. R. Brook, A. Karastergiou, S. Buchner, S. J. Roberts, M. J. Keith, S. Johnson, R. M. Shannon First Author’s Institution: University of Oxford Pulsars- neutron stars formed during supernovae explosions- are often considered the “precision clocks” of radio astronomy. This is because of two fundamental properties observed from […]
Shapiro time delays are one of the four tests of general relativity possible in the solar system. Astronomers can use these timing delays to measure properties of binary pulsar systems.
The race to be the first to detect gravitational waves is on – are pulsar timing arrays on the verge of a discovery? New predictions based on revised galaxy merger calculations suggest that it may be so.
Nordhaus et al perform simulations to show that normal type II supernovae can produce pulsar kicks which match the observed velocities of neutron stars.
Title: Fermi Detectiqon of a Luminous γ–ray Pulsar in a Globular Cluster Authors: The Fermi LAT Collaboration Principle Investigator: Dr. Peter Michelson, Stanford University The Fermi Large Area Telescope, which was launched in 2008, is a gamma ray space telescope which can observe high-energy photons with energies ranging between 20 MeV and 300 GeV. These […]
This paper presents the first evidence of two distinct populations of pulsars, which the authors speculate stem from a difference in how they are formed.
In the second astrobite in our Supernova Remnants Series, we check out a review article that describes the embedded gems of supernova remnants – pulsar wind nebulae.