New millisecond black widow pulsar discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers announces the discovery of a new millisecond pulsar using the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) radio telescope.

This newly discovered pulsar, named PSR J1555-2908, turns out to belong to a class of millisecond pulsars called “black widows”.

The fastest-spinning pulsars, characterized by a rotation period of less than 30 milliseconds, are known as millisecond pulsars.

The researchers believe they form in binary systems when the initially more massive component turns into a neutron star, which spins up to high speeds by absorbing matter from a companion star.

A class of extreme binary pulsars with semi-degenerate companion stars is called “spider pulsars”. These objects, in turn, are divided into “black widows” if the companion star has an extremely small mass (less than 0.1 solar masses), and “red back spiders” if the companion star has a large mass.

The pulsar PSR J1555-2908 was originally detected as a gamma ray source by NASA’s Fermi Space Observatory. Considering that many of the gamma-ray sources detected using this observatory are pulsars, astronomers made additional observations of this source using the GBT radio observatory and recorded characteristic pulsations.

According to radio observations carried out using the GBT observatory, the PSR J1555-2908 system has a pulsation period of 1.79 milliseconds. Subsequently, scientists discovered pulsations in gamma radiation from this source.

According to the study, the object PSR J1555-2908 is an interacting binary system with an orbital period of approximately 0.23 days.

The mass of a neutron star is approximately 1.4 solar masses, while the minimum mass of a companion star, according to calculations, is approximately 0.052 of the mass of our star. These results indicate that the observed millisecond pulsar belongs to the class of “black widows”, the authors note.


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