Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



STELLAR CHEMISTRY
'Extreme' Telescopes Find the 2nd-Fastest-Spinning Pulsar
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 07, 2017


Watch a video on the research here.

By following up on mysterious high-energy sources mapped out by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (http://www.nasa.gov/fermi), the Netherlands-based Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope has identified a pulsar spinning at more than 42,000 revolutions per minute, making it the second-fastest known.

A pulsar is the core of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. In this stellar remnant, also called a neutron star, the equivalent mass of half a million Earths is crushed into a magnetized, spinning ball no larger than Washington, D.C. The rotating magnetic field powers beams of radio waves, visible light, X-rays and gamma rays. If a beam happens to sweep across Earth, astronomers observe regular pulses of emission and classify the object as a pulsar.

"Roughly a third of the gamma-ray sources found by Fermi have not been detected at other wavelengths," said Elizabeth Ferrara, a member of the discovery team at NASA's Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

"Many of these unassociated sources may be pulsars, but we often need follow-up from radio observatories to detect the pulses and prove it. There's a real synergy across the extreme ends of the electromagnetic spectrum in hunting for them."

The new object, named PSR J0952-0607 - or J0952 for short - is classified as a millisecond pulsar and is located between 3,200 and 5,700 light-years away in the constellation Sextans.

The pulsar contains about 1.4 times the Sun's mass and is orbited every 6.4 hours by a companion star that has been whittled away to less than 20 times the mass of the planet Jupiter. The scientists report their findings in a paper published in the Sept. 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters and now available online.

At some point in this system's history, matter began streaming from the companion and onto the pulsar, gradually raising its spin to 707 rotations a second, or more than 42,000 rpm, and greatly increasing its emissions.

Eventually, the pulsar began evaporating its companion, and this process continues today. Because of their similarity to spiders that consume their mates, systems like J0952 are called black widow or redback pulsars, depending on how much of the companion star remains. Most of the known systems of these types were found by following up Fermi unassociated sources.

The LOFAR discovery also hints at the potential to find a new population of ultra-fast pulsars.

"LOFAR picked up pulses from J0952 at radio frequencies around 135 MHz, which is about 45 percent lower than the lowest frequencies of conventional radio searches," said lead author Cees Bassa at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON).

"We found that J0952 has a steep radio spectrum, which means its radio pulses fade out very quickly at higher frequencies. It would have been a challenge to find it without LOFAR."

Theorists say pulsars could rotate as fast as 72,000 rpm before breaking apart, yet the fastest spin known - by PSR J1748-2446ad, reaching nearly 43,000 rpm - is just 60 percent of the theoretical maximum. Perhaps pulsars with faster periods simply can't form. But the gap between theory and observation may also result from the difficulty in detecting the fastest rotators.

"There is growing evidence that the fastest-spinning pulsars tend to have the steepest spectra," said co-author Ziggy Pleunis, a doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal. The first millisecond pulsar discovered with LOFAR, which was found by Pleunis, is J1552+5437, which spins at 25,000 rpm and also exhibits a steep spectrum.

"Since LOFAR searches are more sensitive to these steep-spectrum radio pulsars, we may find that even faster pulsars do, in fact, exist and have been missed by surveys at higher frequencies," he explained.

During its nine years in orbit, Fermi has played a role in the discovery of more than 100 pulsars, either through direct detection of gamma-ray pulses or radio follow-up of unassociated sources.

"LOFAR Discovery of the Fastest-spinning Millisecond Pulsar in the galactic Field," C. G. Bassa et al., 2017 Sept. 10, Astrophysical Journal Letters

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Vast new super cluster of galaxies named Saraswati
Pune, India (SPX) Jul 14, 2017
A team of astronomers from the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), both in Pune, India, and members of two other Indian universities, have identified a previously unknown, extremely large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of constellation Pisces. This is one of the largest known structures ... read more

Related Links
Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Crewed Missions Beyond LEO

Three astronauts blast off for five-month ISS mission

NASA Offers Space Station as Catalyst for Discovery in Washington

Voyager Spacecraft: 40 Years of Solar System Discoveries

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

ArianeGroup to supply from Boeing satellite with new generation of electric propulsion

45th Space Wing carries out successful launch while Irma looms off coast

ISRO Develops Ship-Based Antenna System to Track Satellite Launches

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
45 Kilometers on the Odometry for Opportunity

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

New tools for exploring the surface of Mars

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Climbing Toward Ridge Top

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
India, Japan Set to Boost Space Cooperation

ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Two new satellites now operational to expand US space situational awareness

New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

Molecules move faster near sticky surfaces

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
X-Rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-Hosting Stars

Does the Organic Material of Comets Predate our Solar System?

X-rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-hosting Stars

Could TRAPPIST-1's Seven Earth-size Planets Have Gas Giant Siblings

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

Pluto features given first official names

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement