Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers Discover "Bulls-Eye" Pulsar In Supernova Remnant

Date:
June 26, 2002
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
Astronomers from the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University have found the “bulls-eye” pulsar in a bright ring of high-energy particles in a distant supernova remnant. This discovery, made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Arecibo Radio Telescope, will help scientists better understand how neutron stars channel enormous amounts of energy into particles moving near the speed of light.

Astronomers from the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University have found the “bulls-eye” pulsar in a bright ring of high-energy particles in a distant supernova remnant. This discovery, made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Arecibo Radio Telescope, will help scientists better understand how neutron stars channel enormous amounts of energy into particles moving near the speed of light.

Related Articles


Chandra’s image of the supernova remnant SNR G54.1+0.3 reveals a bright, point-like central source, which is surrounded by a ring and two jet-like structures in an extended nebula of high-energy particles. The radio data show that this bright central source is a neutron star, or pulsar, that is rotating 7 times per second.

“The features Chandra found appear to be due to the energetic flow of radiation and particles from a rapidly spinning neutron star formed during a supernova event,” said Fangjun Lu of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who led the X-ray research.

Lu and colleagues informed Fernando Camilo of Columbia University in New York of this detection. Camilo and his collaborators then used the powerful Arecibo telescope to look for the tell-tale radio pulsations from a neutron star at the center of the ring. After a search in August 2001 was aborted by radio-frequency interference, they observed the source again in April 2002 and found a weak, pulsating radio source. Further observations indicate the pulsar (and hence the supernova remnant) has an age of approximately 3000 years. Analysis of 1997 ASCA satellite data confirmed that the source is pulsing in X-rays as well.

“This discovery is an excellent example of how the superb resolution of Chandra and the improved capabilities of Arecibo worked together to quickly resolve an outstanding scientific question,” said Camilo. “We look forward to continued substantial progress in understanding the properties of young neutron stars.”

Intense electric fields around the neutron star accelerate particles to form jets blasting away from the poles and a disk of matter and anti-matter flowing away from the equator at high speeds. As the equatorial flow rams into particles and magnetic fields in the nebula, a shock wave forms. The shock wave then boosts the particles to extremely high energies causing them to glow in X-rays and produce the bright ring. The particles continue to stream outward from the ring and the jets to supply the extended nebula, which spans approximately 6 light years.

The features observed in SNR G54.1+0.3 are very similar to other “pulsar wind nebulas” found by Chandra in the Crab Nebula, the Vela supernova remnant, and B1509-58. By analyzing the similarities and differences between these objects, scientists hope to better understand the fascinating process of transforming the rotational energy of the neutron star into extremely high-energy particles with very little frictional heat loss.

Chandra observed SNR G54.1+0.3 on June 6-7, 2001, using the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer instrument. The radio data on the central pulsar, known as PSR J1930+1852, were gathered at Arecibo on April 29, 2002. The results from this work appear in two separate papers in the March 20 and July 20, 2002 issues of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), operated by Cornell University under a cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for the Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. TRW, Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., is the prime contractor for the spacecraft. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

Images and additional information about this result are available at:

http://chandra.harvard.edu

and

http://chandra.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Astronomers Discover "Bulls-Eye" Pulsar In Supernova Remnant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020626070634.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2002, June 26). Astronomers Discover "Bulls-Eye" Pulsar In Supernova Remnant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020626070634.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Astronomers Discover "Bulls-Eye" Pulsar In Supernova Remnant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020626070634.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins