Universe  ID: 4637

Pulsars and their Magnetic Field - Vacuum solution

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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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Data Visualizer
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Lead Producer
Francis Reddy (University of Maryland College Park): Writer
Gabriele Brambilla (University of Milan): Lead Scientist
Alice Harding (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Brambilla Pulsar Model
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
Astrophysics Visualizations
Pulsar Current Sheets

SVS >> Magnetic Fields
SVS >> Neutron Star
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Pulsar
NASA Science >> Universe