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PSR J0737-3039: Wikis

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PSR J0737-3039A
J0737-3039 still1 large.jpg
Artist's impression. The objects are not shown to scale: if they were depicted as the size of marbles, they would be 225 m (750 ft) apart. See also MPEG animation (2.4 MB)
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Canis Major
Right ascension 07h 37m 51.247s
Declination -30° 39' 40.74 "'
Characteristics
Spectral type Pulsar
U-B color index ?
B-V color index ?
Variable type None
Astrometry
Distance 1600 - 2000 Ly (600 parsecs)
Details
Mass 1.24 M
Radius ? R
Luminosity ? L
Temperature ? K
Metallicity ?
Rotation 50 second
Age ? years
PSR J0737-3039B
Details
Mass 1.35 M
Radius ? R
Luminosity ? L
Temperature ? K
Metallicity ?
Rotation 0.3667 second
Age ? years
Other designations
PSR J0737-3039A, PSR J0737-3039, [CGB2005] J073751.248-303940.83.

PSR J0737-3039 is a binary pulsar system, the first known double pulsar, discovered in 2003 by a team led by Dr Marta Burgay using the CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope in Australia.

The object is similar to PSR B1913+16, which was discovered in 1974 by Taylor and Hulse, and for which the two won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics. Objects of this kind enable precise testing of Einstein's theory of general relativity, because relativistic effects can be seen in the timing of the pulsar pulses. However most such binary systems are merely known to consist of one pulsar and one neutron star; J0737-3039 is the first case where both components are known to be not just neutron stars but pulsars.

The orbital period of J0737-3039 (2.4 hours) is the smallest yet known for such an object (one-third that of the Taylor-Hulse object), which enables the most precise tests yet. In 2005, it was announced that measurements had shown an excellent agreement between general relativity theory and observation. In particular, the predictions for energy loss due to gravitational waves appear to match the theory.

As a result of energy loss due to gravitational waves, the common orbit shrinks by 7 mm per day. The two components will coalesce in about 85 million years.

The pulsars

Property Pulsar A Pulsar B
Spin period 23 milliseconds 2.8 seconds
Mass 1.337 solar masses 1.250 solar masses
Orbital period 2.4 hours

The pulses from Pulsar B are only detectable for about 20 minutes in each orbit.

External links

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