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Observing Blackholes

Pulsars - !

This shockwave file is from http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphy/pulsars

Pulsars were first noticed by Jocelyn Bell in July 1967.

Most pulsars have a period of rotation between 0.25 seconds and 2 seconds. Some pulsars however have very different types of periods e.g PSR 1841-0456 has a period of 11.8 seconds and PSR J1748-2446ad is just 0.00139 seconds.

Pulsar rotation periods are like extremely accurate clocks with well defined pulse periods.

Pulsars have very gradually lengthening periods as their rotation slows down over the rest of their life.

The rapid rotation of pulsars is due to the conservation of the angular momentum of the pregenitor star.

Likewise the extremely strong magnetic fields can be attributed to the magnetic flux of the massive star being compacted and frozen into the small pulsar.

Only by pulsars being neutron stars can we explain how such a high period of rotation can be maintained without the star being flung apart.

Australians - and the Parkes Radio Telescope in particular - have discovered roughly two thirds of the known pulsars.

It could be expected that some pulsars wouldn't be detectable. It is only when the emissions from one of the "lighthouse" beams passes across the Earth that we can detect a pulsar.


Some references & resources:-
A good Pulsar primer
Wikipedia entry
In Depth Tutorial on everything Pulsar
Aussies find the most pulsars
NASA's Imagine page 1
NASA's Imagine page 2
Australian Pulsar Education Pages
Google - Pulsars

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