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RXTE Sees Eclipses from Fast X-ray Pulsar

Astronomers using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) have found the first fast X-ray pulsar to be eclipsed by its companion star. Further studies of this unique stellar system will shed light on some of the most compressed matter in the universe and test a key prediction of Einstein's relativity theory.

Known as Swift J1749.4-2807 -- J1749 for short -- the system erupted with an X-ray outburst on April 10. During the event, RXTE observed three eclipses, detected X-ray pulses that identified the neutron star as a pulsar, and even recorded pulse variations that indicated the neutron star's orbital motion. More information here.

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More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/eclipsing-pulsar.html

Animation depicting the binary star system.  When viewed from its orbital plane, the red giant eclipses the pulsar.    Animation depicting the binary star system. When viewed from its orbital plane, the red giant eclipses the pulsar.
Duration: 24.0 seconds
Available formats:
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         3 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         254 MB
  1280x720 (60 fps) Frames
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) MPEG-2   13 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         11 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   11 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         11 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  512x288 (29.97 fps) MPEG-1   2 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   1 MB
  1920x1080 JPEG         184 KB
  1920x1080 TIFF         7 MB
  320x180     PNG           157 KB
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This artist's rendering of the system in profile includes additional data about the system.  Print resolution.    This artist's rendering of the system in profile includes additional data about the system. Print resolution.

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  5991 x 3462     JPEG       1 MB
  3000 x 1734     JPEG   571 KB
  1920 x 1110     JPEG   281 KB


The system in profile.  Includes print resolution copies.    The system in profile. Includes print resolution copies.

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  5991 x 3462     JPEG       4 MB
  5991 x 3462     JPEG   654 KB
  1920 x 1080     JPEG   168 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


The pulsar begins to disappear behind the red giant.    The pulsar begins to disappear behind the red giant.

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  1920 x 1080     JPEG   136 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


The pulsar is fully eclipsed by the red giant.    The pulsar is fully eclipsed by the red giant.

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  1920 x 1080     JPEG   137 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


The pulsar emerges from behind the red giant.    The pulsar emerges from behind the red giant.

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  1920 x 1080     JPEG   152 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


A closer look at the pulsar emerging from behind the red giant.    A closer look at the pulsar emerging from behind the red giant.

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  1920 x 1080     JPEG   204 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


The pulsar passing in front of the red giant.    The pulsar passing in front of the red giant.

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  1920 x 1080     JPEG   141 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB


The system viewed at an angle.    The system viewed at an angle.

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  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB
  1920 x 1080     JPEG   214 KB


The binary system viewed from above.    The binary system viewed from above.

Available formats:
  1920 x 1080     JPEG   165 KB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       7 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10625
Animation Number:10625
Completed:2010-07-26
Animators:Chris Smith (UMBC)
 Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Writer:Francis Reddy (SPSYS)
Series:Astrophysics Animations
 Astrophysics Stills
Goddard TV Tape:G2010-139 -- Various Small Astrophysics projects
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
 
Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Neutron Star
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> X-ray
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> Pulsar
SVS >> Red Giant
SVS >> Binary Star
SVS >> Star
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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