October 30, 1997 CfA Colloquium

Title: Neutron Stars Get Their Kicks

Speaker: Victoria M. Kaspi, MIT

Abstract: Isolated neutron stars are among the fastest moving objects in theGalaxy. The origin of their high space velocities is controversial: they could arise from birth "kicks" produced during asymmetric supernova explosions, or from pre-explosion orbital velocities in binary systems disrupted in purely symmetric supernovae. In this talk, I discuss the unusual binary radio pulsar PSR J0045-7319, which consists of a young pulsar in a highly eccentric orbit with a B star. Radio timing observations made over several years reveal that the system exhibits classical spin-orbit coupling, and provides the most direct evidence yet that neutron stars receive birth kicks.

Reference for students: Click here for short paper (note: there will be no lunch with Vicki Kaspi).