Mass estimated for two binary pulsars

phys.org | 6/4/2019 | Staff
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Mass constraints for PSR J1949+3106. Image credit: Zhu et al., 2019.

By performing timing observations, an international group of astronomers has measured the mass of two binary millisecond pulsars designated PSR J1949+3106 and PSR J1950+2414. The results could be essential in order to unveil the evolutionary status of these two objects. The research is detailed in a paper published July 11 on arXiv.org.

Pulsars - Neutron - Stars - Beams - Radiation

Pulsars are highly magnetized rotating neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation. The most rapidly rotating pulsars, with rotation periods below 30 milliseconds, are known as millisecond pulsars (MSPs).

Astronomers believe that MSPs are formed in binary systems when the initially more massive component turns into a neutron star that is then spun up due to accretion of matter from the secondary star. To date, more than a half of known MSPs have been found to have stellar companions.

Pulsars - PALFA - Survey - Radio - Pulsars

Nearly 200 pulsars have been discovered by PALFA, a large-scale survey for radio pulsars at 1.4 GHz using the Arecibo 305-meter telescope and the ALFA multibeam receivers. Recently, a team of astronomers led by Weiwei Zhu of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, decided to take a closer look at two MSPs from this survey, namely PSR J1949+3106 and PSR J1950+2414, detected in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The main aim of the study was to measure the proper motions of these two systems more precisely and to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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