Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | 2019 Sep 05
Radio emission from a neutron star’s magnetic pole revealed by general relativity
Pulsars in binary systems are affected by relativistic effects, causing the spin axes of each pulsar to change their direction with time. A research team led by Gregory Desvignes from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has used radio observations of the source PSR J1906+0746 to reconstruct the polarised emission over the pulsar’s magnetic pole and to predict the disappearance of the detectable emission by 2028. Observations of this system confirm the validity of a 50-year old model that relates the pulsar’s radiation to its geometry. The researchers are also able to precisely measure the rate of change in spin direction and find an excellent agreement with the predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
The experiment is the most challenging test to date of this important effect of relativistic spin precession for strongly self-gravitating bodies. Moreover, the reconstructed radio beam shape has implications for the population of neutron stars and the expected rate of neutron star mergers as observed by gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO. ...
Radio Emission from a Pulsar’s Magnetic Pole Revealed by General Relativity ~ Gregory Desvignes et al
- Science 365(6457):1013 (06 Sep 2019) DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7272