From MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] (DE) via phys.org : “New energetic pulsar discovered in the Small Magellanic Cloud”

From MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] (DE)

via

phys.org

May 25, 2021
Tomasz Nowakowski

1
XMM-Newton EPIC MOS spectra of PSR J0058—7218. Credit: Maitra et al., 2021.

Using ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft, an international team of astronomers has detected a new energetic rotation-powered pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).

The XMM-Newton work was followed up by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Space Telescope and the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.

The newly found pulsar designated PSR J0058–7218 appears to be the most energetic pulsar so far discovered in the SMC. The finding is detailed in a paper published May 17 for MNRAS.

Pulsars are highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation. They are usually detected in the form of short bursts of radio emission, however some of them are also observed using optical, X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes.

At a distance of about 195,000 light years away, SMC is a gas-rich irregular galaxy orbiting the Milky Way. To date, dozens of pulsars have been detected in SMC, but only a few of them are young energetic rotation-powered ones.

Ideal places to search for this type of pulsars are supernova remnant (SNR) – pulsar wind nebula (PWN) composites. One of them is IKT 16—a large X-ray and radio-faint SNR, in which a central source of hard X-ray emission was identified using XMM-Newton.

Now, a team of astronomers led by Chandreyee Maitra of the MPG Institute for extraterrestrial Physics [Max-Planck-Institut für außerirdische Physik] (MPE) (DE), has investigated this source with XMM-Newton and found that it exhibits pulsations, what confirms its pulsar nature.

“IKT16 was observed with the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) on board the XMM-Newton satellite starting on 2020 March 15 for an orbit (Obsid 0841450101). We report here the discovery of pulsations from the central source in IKT 16 (PSR J0058−7218 from now), confirming its nature as an energetic rotation-powered pulsar,” the researchers explained.

According to the paper, PSR J0058–7218 has a spin period of about 21.77 milliseconds, spin period derivative at a level of 0.029 picoseconds/second, and characteristic age of 12,000 years. Therefore, these parameters suggest that it is a young rotation-powered pulsar.

The spin-down luminosity of PSR J0058–7218 was estimated to be approximately 110 undecillion erg/s. The astronomers noted that this value indicates that this object is a Crab-like pulsar and the most energetic pulsar so far detected in the SMC.

The surface dipole magnetic field of PSR J0058–7218 was measured to be at a level of 800 billion G. The study also found that the pulsar has an X-ray luminosity of approximately 120 decillion erg/s.

In concluding remarks, the researchers noted that PSR J0058–7218 is a young, energetic and ultra-fast pulsar, emphasizing the importance of the detection of this object for pulsar studies.

“The discovery of a young, energetic and ultra-fast pulsar like PSR J0058–7218 provides a unique opportunity to probe the braking mechanisms and birth-spin models of rotation-powered pulsars. Future monitoring of PSR J0058–7218 is crucial to constrain the second derivative of the period in order to measure the braking index of the pulsar and allow deeper searches in the radio and gamma-rays, and look for putative glitches that are fairly common in young rotation-powered pulsars on timescales of a few years. A continuous monitoring of the spin evolution will also be very important because of its potential as a source of detectable gravitational waves,” the authors of the paper concluded.

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Women in STEM – Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell Discovered pulsars.

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars with radio astronomy. Jocelyn Bell at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge University, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1968. Denied the Nobel.

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell at work on first plusar chart 1967 pictured working at the Four Acre Array in 1967. Image courtesy of Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory.


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For their astrophysical research, the MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] ( DE) scientists measure the radiation of far away objects in different wavelenths areas: from millimetere/sub-millimetre and infared all the way to X-ray and gamma-ray wavelengths. These methods span more than twelve decades of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The research topics pursued at MPE range from the physics of cosmic plasmas and of stars to the physics and chemistry of interstellar matter, from star formation and nucleosynthesis to extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. The interaction with observers and experimentalists in the institute not only leads to better consolidated efforts but also helps to identify new, promising research areas early on.

The structural development of the institute mainly has been directed by the desire to work on cutting-edge experimental, astrophysical topics using instruments developed in-house. This includes individual detectors, spectrometers and cameras but also telescopes and integrated, complete payloads. Therefore the engineering and workshop areas are especially important for the close interlink between scientific and technical aspects.

The scientific work is done in four major research areas that are supervised by one of the directors:

Center for Astrochemical Studies (CAS)
Director: P. Caselli

High-Energy Astrophysics
Director: P. Nandra

Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy
Director: R. Genzel

Optical & Interpretative Astronomy
Director: R. Bender

Within these areas scientists lead individual experiments and research projects organised in about 25 project teams.

MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.
According to its primary goal, the Max Planck Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) Max Planck Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.
The Max Planck Institutes focus on excellence in research. The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the Max Planck institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard, MIT, Stanford and the US NIH). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the Max Planck Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.
The Max Planck Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.
History
The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.
The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the Max Planck Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US).
The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.
Max Planck Institutes and research groups
The Max Planck Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
The Max Planck Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.
Internally, Max Planck Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.
In addition, there are several associated institutes:

International Max Planck Research Schools
Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:
Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the MPG Institute for Intelligent Systems (DE) located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPG for Astronomy
International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPG Institute for Astrophysics
International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPG Institute for Physics
International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the MPG Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the MPG Institute for Developmental Biology
International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPG Institute for Gravitational Physics
International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the MPG Institute for Heart and Lung Research
International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the MPG Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen (DE), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich[
International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster (DE) and the MPG Institute for Molecular Biomedicine (DE)
International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz (DE) and the MPG Institute for Ornithology (DE)
International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (DE)
International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at MPG Institute of Microstructure Physics (DE)
International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science[49] at theUniversity of Göttingen – Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (DE) hosted by MPG Institute for Solar System Research [Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung] (DE)
International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at MPG Institute for Iron Research [MPG Institut für Eisenforschung] (DE)
International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg