Vela Pulsar
Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Full article issued by Monash University.

A team of researchers from Monash University, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), McGill University in Canada, and the University of Tasmania, has studied the Vela Pulsar, a neutron star in the southern sky, that is 1,000 light years away.

Neutron starts are incredibly dense objects that rotate very fast and regularly, except when occasionally they start to spin faster, caused by portions of the inside of the star moving outwards. When this happens it’s called a 'glitch' and it provides astronomers a brief insight into what lies within these mysterious objects.

Dr Paul Lasky, an ARC Future Fellow also from the Monash School of Physics and Astronomy, and a member of the OzGrav team that studied Vela, says that for the first time, the scientists have got a glimpse into the interior of the Pulsar—revealing that the inside of the star actually has three different components.

Their observations, which suggest a slower spinning core of superfluid neutrons acts like a clutch to slow the fast spinning star back down to regularity, had been partly predicted by previous theoretical work, but also contain unexpected new behaviour which may inspire new theories on neutron stars and glitches.



Photo credit: 

The Vela Pulsar, the object of study for the research group. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).