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Fraser
2005-Feb-18, 05:19 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers from the University of Southampton have spotted the fastest spinning X-ray pulsar ever seen - it's rotating 600 times a second! The object, designated IGR J00291+5934, was first spotted as a bright X-ray object by the European Space Agency's INTEGRAL space telescope in December. Further analysis revealed that it's part of a binary system, siphoning material off of a companion star. The two stars orbit one another every 2.5 hours, separated by the distance of the Earth and the Moon.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/fastest_spinning_pulsar.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Moseley
2005-Feb-18, 06:00 PM
Interesting article. In a discussion about the fastest moving macroscopic object, I suggested a point on the surface of the millisecond pulsar, and my guesses as to the speed were somewhere over 20,000km/s. I understood that it rotates at 643 times per second and is approx 20km in diameter.
Is this a different type (X-ray)?

Setor
2005-Feb-18, 06:08 PM
This is great information, I think those Space observation craft from NASA / ESA will make some more great discoveries :D

SunPin
2005-Feb-18, 07:03 PM
Stuff like this makes you think about Einstein's comment about Spinoza's God.

Why would the forces that created this worry about anything anyone here is doing?

Spectacular.

uni dude 2005
2005-Feb-19, 09:24 AM
HI!

IM KINDA ALL NEW TO THIS WHAT IS A PULSAR?

I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO KNOW THANKS :D

GOURDHEAD
2005-Feb-19, 02:27 PM
Here (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/pulsars.html) is an elementary description of pulsars.

Moseley
2005-Feb-19, 04:22 PM
Hi, Thanks for the link. While there, I searched for 'magnetar' and found details of SGR1806-20 which made headlines again today (well 50,000 years ago) :

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/02/...last/index.html (http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/02/18/cosmic.blast/index.html)

And I won't even start with the questions this raises.

iantresman
2005-Feb-21, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by fraser@Feb 18 2005, 05:19 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers from the University of Southampton have spotted the fastest spinning X-ray pulsar ever seen - it's rotating 600 times a second!
This has to be another "emporer's new clothes" moment. An object made of a substance that has never been recreated in the lab (perhaps for obvious reason, ie., it's super dense), and spinning at 36,000 times a minute. I have no doubt that the observations are correct, but to suggest that an object of this size spins at this rate must be science fiction.

Some readers will know that I have a bias for plasma cosmology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_cosmology). It wouldn't surprise me in the least if space plasma are found to have similar characteristics. Magnetic fields and their associated electric currents would have no problem "switching" at 600 times a second.

See for example, Radiation Properties of Pulsar Magnetospheres: Observation, Theory, and Experiment (http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/downloads/HealyPeratt1995.pdf) [PDF, 1.1M] by K. Healy and A. Peratt, Astrophys. Space Sci. 227, 1995.

Regards,
Ian Tresman
Proponent of Plasma Cosmology

antoniseb
2005-Feb-21, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by iantresman@Feb 21 2005, 01:01 PM
This has to be another "emporer's new clothes" moment. An object made of a substance that has never been recreated in the lab (perhaps for obvious reason, ie., it's super dense), and spinning at 36,000 times a minute.
For starters, this pulsar may be spinning more rapidly than any previously discovered, but not by a lot. There is a class of neutron star called millisecond pulsars. As to what it's made of, it's made of neutrons, the properties of which have been measured in the lab, so I'm not sure what your complaint there is. There really is no physical system described yet which can explain the strength, regularity, and consistent slow decline in frequency of the pulses from pulsars, and spinning neutron stars explain these observations to many significant digits.

If you want to discuss this further, please bring it up in the appropriate thread in the Alternative Theories section.

GOURDHEAD
2005-Feb-21, 02:41 PM
Magnetar 1806-20 delivered quite a wallop. I assume the estimate of its energy at 10^31 watts assumed the accumulation of energy over a much larger solid angle than that intercepted by the Earth. The authors of the linked article asserted that no magnetars with these characteristics were near enough to the solar system to be dangerous. How can they be so sure? If the magnetar beacons are aimed to miss where the Earth is now, we would not know of their existence. Let's hope the Earth does not wander into such a beacon from a nearby source. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

When speculating about the source of the pulse strength, should we include changes of state for neutron to quark decay episodes including quark/anti-quark pair annihilation?

antoniseb
2005-Feb-22, 03:36 PM
Here's a link to a New Scientist clarification of the "Fastest Spinning X-Ray Pulsar" story:

Fast-spinning star could test gravitational waves (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7052)

Here are a few points worth noting:

- the Pulsar in the story spins 599 times per second. There is a known pulsar at 641 times per second, but it is not an "Accreting X-Ray Millisecond Pulsar", it is a radio pulsar.

- There are about 150 known AXMPs, and none spin faster than 600/sec. Since, based on structural dynamics alone, a pulsar could get up to about 3000/sec, but we don't see any above 600, some breaking mechanism seems to be in operation with these objects.

- This paper suggests that Gravity waves could provide that breaking mechanism.