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Space Science

Anomalous Pulsar In Binary System Stymies Theorists 53

Posted by kdawson
from the dizzy-making dept.
Science Daily has word of a millisecond pulsar in the wrong kind of binary system that has astronomers scratching their heads. According to current models of pulsar evolution, such a system should have no way to develop. The pulsar J1903+0327, which rotates 465 times per second, seems to be in a highly elongated orbit around a Sun-like star. Quoting: "Astronomers think most millisecond pulsars are sped up by material falling onto them from a companion star. This requires the pulsar to be in a tight orbit around its companion that becomes more and more circular with time. The orbits of some millisecond pulsars are the most perfect circles in the Universe, so the elongated orbit of the new pulsar is a mystery."
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Anomalous Pulsar In Binary System Stymies Theorists

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  • Re:A simple answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Friday May 16, 2008 @03:04PM (#23439144) Homepage
    Arg, no. No, no, and no.

    Momentum is not energy. They are separate quantities and are conserved separately. The mass of the star is, as I stated earlier, irrelevant. When you have two bodies, the bind energy DOES NOT CHANGE during an interaction without some other dissipation. Gravity is a conservative force.

    Look, I appreciate that you're throwing ideas out there, but this is pretty basic physics that we have a good handle on. If you don't believe me (which is fine!), look some of this stuff up for yourself.

    Also, for the record, the star is less massive than the pulsar: the diagram of the orbits that I saw made it pretty clear that the star has the larger orbit.

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