Pulsars and their Magnetic Field - Vacuum solution

  • Released Wednesday, October 10th, 2018
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:11AM
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Scientists studying what amounts to a computer-simulated “pulsar in a box” are gaining a more detailed understanding of the complex, high-energy environment around spinning neutron stars, also called pulsars. The model traces the paths of charged particles in magnetic and electric fields near the neutron star, revealing behaviors that may help explain how pulsars emit gamma-ray and radio pulses with ultraprecise timing.

A pulsar is the crushed core of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. The core is so compressed that more mass than the Sun's squeezes into a ball no wider than Manhattan Island in New York City. This process also revvs up its rotation and strengthens its magnetic and electric fields.

This visualization illustrates what the pulsar magnetic field would look like without the influence of the charged particles around it. The charged particles create currents which alter the magnetic field.



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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


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