Universe 

Stellar Wind Disruption by an Orbiting Neutron Star: Neutron Star Close-up

A tiny neutron star orbits incessantly around a massive star with a diameter a million times larger than its own. The high luminosity of the massive star drives a strong wind from its surface. The neutron star crashes through this wind at over 300 kilometers per second. The gravity and X-ray luminosity of the neutron star act to disrupt the wind, producing an extended wake of dense gas trailing behind the neutron star. The large scale structure seen in the accretion wake is powered by the release of gravitational potential energy near the surface of the neutron star.
The numerical simulations depicted here were computed using the Cray X-MP 48 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Visualization Credits

John Blondin (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Alan McConnell (NASA): Animator
Ian Stevens (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Tim Kallman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Bruce Fryxell (University of Arizona): Scientist
Ron Taam (Northwestern University): Scientist
John Blondin (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Science Paper:
Blondin, J. M., Kallman, T. R. , Fryxell, B. A., Taam, R. E., Hydrodynamic Simulations of Stellar Wind Disruption by a Compact X-ray Source, ApJ, 356, 591-608, 1990

Short URL to share this page:
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This item is part of this series:
Neutron Star Tidal Distortion

Keywords:
SVS >> Neutron Star
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> Stellar Wind
SVS >> X-ray
NASA Science >> Universe