Pennsylvania State University | 2017 Jan 17
Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago. In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars — Geminga and B0355+54 — may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing geometry.
- An artist’s representation of what the three unusual tails of the pulsar Geminga may look like close up. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is giving astronomers a better look at pulsars and their associated pulsar wind nebulae, enabling new constraints on the geometry of pulsars and why they look the way they do from Earth. Illustration: Nahks TrEhnl
Pulsars are a type of neutron star that are born in supernova explosions when massive stars collapse. Discovered initially by lighthouse-like beams of radio emission, more recent research has found that energetic pulsars also produce beams of high energy gamma rays.
Interestingly, the beams rarely match up, said Bettina Posselt, senior research associate in astronomy and astrophysics, Penn State. The shapes of observed radio and gamma-ray pulses are often quite different and some of the objects show only one type of pulse or the other. These differences have generated debate about the pulsar model. ...
Chandra Images Show That Geometry Solves a Pulsar Puzzle
NASA | Chandra X-ray Obervatory | 2017 Jan 18
Deep Chandra Observations of the Pulsar Wind Nebula Created by PSR B0355+54 - Noel Klingler et al
- Astrophysical Journal 833(2):253 (2016 Dec 20) DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/833/2/253
arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1610.06167 > 19 Oct 2016