Questions regarding neutron stars which emit regular pulses of electromagnetic radiation.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

20
votes
2answers
389 views

What causes a star to become a pulsar?

What processes does a star undergo to become a pulsar? Does it take a very specific star with a certain set of qualities such as "Just the right mass, diameter, and composition," or is it a freak ...
10
votes
3answers
321 views

How Would a Neutron Star Actually Appear?

Having seen many pictures produced by artists of neutron stars and planets that orbit some of them, I was wondering how a pulsar would appear to a human being, in visible light (assuming the intense ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What causes a neutron star to become a pulsar?

Leading on from this pulsar question, what criteria/processes make neutron stars become pulsars, do all neutron stars become pulsars?
9
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the significance of the discovery of a pulsar flipping between radio and x-ray emissions?

This morning on the radio I heard about the discovery of a pulsar that, due to its proximity to a companion star, was flipping between a state where it emitted radio waves and one where it emitted ...
8
votes
1answer
76 views

Crab Nebula Time Period

I've learned that the time period for a rotating neutron star, i.e., a pulsar is very accurate and can be used as an interstellar clock. But according to Walter Lewin's 8.01 Lec 19 on classical ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

How to tell a pulsar is rotation-powered or accretion-powered?

We need to calculate P/Pdot? A pulsar may switch between theses two states. For a rotation powered pulsar, it can pulse and, the pulsed Lx can be much larger than the luminosity given by its ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

which pulsar has the longest spin period so far?

Vela X-1 has a 283s spin period, while this one may have a 2.7hr spin period. However neither of them is included in ATNF catalog. They are not included in $p-\dot{p}$ diagram either. The longest ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Does Doppler shift affect apparent pulsar frequency?

We know that redshift and blueshift is the result of the frequency of light waves reflected or emitted by an object lengthening or shortening due to the relative velocity of the observer moving away ...
4
votes
4answers
519 views

Hulse Taylor Binary Pulsar - How is “Cumulative Periastron Time shift” calculated?

Following on from a previous question about the interesting Hulse Taylor Binary Pulsar. BACKGROUD Weisberg & Taylor, 2004 present a graph showing the change in "Cumulative Periastron Time Shift" ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

How did the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar Provide Confirming Evidence of General Relativity?

What measurements and observations of the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar agreed precisely with the predictions of general relativity, and how did these measurements support the theory?
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Brightest Radio Source In the Universe

I would have assumed that the brightest radio source in the Universe is a quasar of some kind (perhaps 3C 273) given that the average pulsar has luminosity of $~10^{40} \text{Watts}$ and this is the ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Could human life thrive on a planet in a pulsar star system?

Aleksander Wolszczan of Pennsylvania State University found three planets circling a pulsar called PSR B1257+12.Two of the planets were the size of Earth.The pulsar observed by Spitzer, named 4U ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Why are the magnetic poles of a pulsar so far off the rotational axis, yet stable?

My understanding is that a pulsar is a neutron star whose magnetic poles don't coincide with the rotational poles and whose magnetic poles sweep through Earth (allowing us to hear radio noise). If we ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Pulsars: How do astronomers measure minute changes in period (~picoseconds per year)?

I've been to some talks that mention how stable the period of a millisecond pulsar is over long periods of time. Recently, it was mentioned that astronomers have calculated the change in period over ...
3
votes
2answers
49 views

Pulsars with accreting disk in binary system

Following this line, I am wondering about the following question. Accreting pulsars in binary systems are usually thought to accrete from a prograde disk, so increasing their spin in the process. ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar - what is the rate of mass/energy loss from the source?

Following on from an earlier question about the very interesting Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar. The high-frequency (radio) beam from the spinning pulsar sweeps across Earth about 17 times per second. ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Birth and Evolution of Millisecond Pulsars

How are millisecond pulsars formed, and what is the evolutionary track of a millisecond pulsar?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

traveling past the speed of light [closed]

According to the theory of relativity (If I understand correctly), nothing is supposed to be able to travel faster then the speed of light. I believe, to my limited knowledge and grasp of the concept, ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why do some neutron stars become pulsars? [duplicate]

I suspect this may be an open problem in astronomy, but I have to ask anyway. There doesn't seem to be any large-scale difference in the formation of pulsars from the formation of "normal" neutron ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Is it observable what is the north and what is the south pole of magnetic fields of stars and black holes?

The question is related to this about Are there collected data about the direction of rotation of black holes and the direction of the magnetic field?. Perhaps it is observable for pulsars?