A NICER View of PSR J0030+0451: Evidence for a Global-scale Multipolar Magnetic Field
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Recent modeling of Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer observations of thermal X-ray pulsations from the surface of the isolated millisecond pulsar PSR J0030+0451 suggests that the hot emitting regions on the pulsar's surface are far from antipodal, which is at odds with the classical assumption that the magnetic field in the pulsar magnetosphere is predominantly that of a centered dipole. Here, we review these results and examine previous attempts to constrain the magnetospheric configuration of PSR J0030+0451. To the best of our knowledge, there is in fact no direct observational evidence that PSR J0030+0451's magnetic field is a centered dipole. Developing models of physically motivated, non-canonical magnetic field configurations and the currents that they can support poses a challenging task. However, such models may have profound implications for many aspects of pulsar research, including pulsar braking, estimates of birth velocities, and interpretations of multi-wavelength magnetospheric emission.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Astrophysical Journal Letters
American Astronomical Society
Bilous, A. V. et al. “A NICER View of PSR J0030+0451: Evidence for a Global-scale Multipolar Magnetic Field” Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 887, no. 1, 2019, L23 © 2019 The Author(s)
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