LOVE-NEST

LOOKING FOR SUPER-MASSIVE NEUTRON STARS
Image: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The astrophysics field of compact binary millisecond pulsars is thriving. This growing class of rapidly spinning neutron stars – also known as “spiders”– constitutes the most promising place to find massive pulsars.

During the last decade, millisecond pulsar research has seen a true revolution. The launch in 2008 of the Fermi Large Area Telescope led to a drastic increase in the discovery rate of millisecond pulsars, most of which turn out to be in very compact orbits. To date, we have identified more than 50 spiders, and the population of compact binary millisecond pulsars keeps growing. Since 2008, three compact binary millisecond pulsars have transitioned between accretion and rotation-powered phases, giving the final confirmation of the pulsar recycling scenario

LOVE-NEST is a 5-year team action funded by the European Research Council (ERC consolidator grant) to study compact binary millisecond pulsars from many different angles. LOVE-NEST is hosted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and started in December 2021.

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A massive pulsar irradiates a Solar-type star

A massive pulsar irradiates a Solar-type star

Researchers from the UPC and the IAC discover one of the most massive neutron stars. Using a pioneering method, researchers from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC) have found a neutron star of about 2.3 solar masses—one of the most massive…

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A 2.3 Solar-mass neutron star in PSR J2215_5135

A 2.3 Solar-mass neutron star in PSR J2215+5135

VIDEO: PSR J2215+5135 Orbital period: 4.14 hours Spin period: 2.61 milliseconds Distance from Earth: about 10.000 light-years The inner face of the companion star, strongly irradiated by the pulsar, is heated up to about 8100 degrees Kelvin. As a consequence, hydrogen absorption lines dominate the visible spectrum of the hot side of the star. The…

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LOVE-NEST positions at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway