Featured Image: A Runaway Pulsar

In the dramatic false-color radio images above, captured by the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (background) and the Very Large Array (zoomed-in inset), a pulsar — a rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron star — is seen plunging out of a supernova remnant and taking off into interstellar space. The green cross marks the center of the supernova remnant CTB 1, and the green circle marks the location of the pulsar PSR J0002+6216. The tail of radio-emitting gas extending behind the pulsar toward the nebula is a dead giveaway to this object’s origin: the pulsar was likely born from the very same supernova explosion that produced the remnant. Supernova explosions don’t have perfect symmetry, and the pulsar likely received a natal kick that sent it tearing away from its birthplace at tremendous speeds, causing it to eventually overtake the expanding shell of gas and dust. In a recent study led by Frank Schinzel (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), a team of scientists presents and discusses the evidence that this runaway pulsar came from CTB 1. To read more, check out the article below.


“The Tail of PSR J0002+6216 and the Supernova Remnant CTB 1,” F. K. Schinzel et al 2019 ApJL 876 L17. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab18f7