The double pulsar: Evidence for neutron star formation without an iron core-collapse supernova

R. D. Ferdman, I. H. Stairs, M. Kramer, R. P. Breton, M. A. McLaughlin, P. C. C. Freire, A. Possenti, B. W. Stappers, V. M. Kaspi, R. N. Manchester, A. G. Lyne

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The double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B is a double neutron star binary, with a 2.4 hr orbital period, which has allowed measurement of relativistic orbital perturbations to high precision. The low mass of the second-formed neutron star, as well as the low system eccentricity and proper motion, point to a different evolutionary scenario compared to most other known double neutron star systems. We describe analysis of the pulse profile shape over 6 years of observations and present the resulting constraints on the system geometry. We find the recycled pulsar in this system, PSR J0737-3039A, to be a near-orthogonal rotator with an average separation between its spin and magnetic axes of 90 degrees +/- 11 degrees +/- 5 degrees. Furthermore, we find a mean 95% upper limit on the misalignment between its spin and orbital angular momentum axes of 3 degrees.2, assuming that the observed emission comes from both magnetic poles. This tight constraint lends credence to the idea that the supernova that formed the second pulsar was relatively symmetric, possibly involving electron capture onto an O-Ne-Mg core.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date28 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • general binaries
  • general pulsars
  • individual pulsars (PSR J0737-3039A/B)
  • evolution stars

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