Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani

НазваNeutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani
Дата конвертації06.06.2013
Розмір461 b.

Neutron Star Astronomy

  • Roberto Mignani

  • University College London

  • Mullard Space Science Laboratory

The Role of HST in NS Astronomy

The Impact of HST on NS Astronomy

  • Higher sensitivity wrt pre 10-m class telescopes

  • Sharper spatial solution

  • UV + IR access

  • Timing

  • Polarimetry (poorly exploited)

  • All together, capabilities offered only by HST

Perspectives after SM-4

  • By the end of 2008, HST will be the longest-lived

  • astronomical satellite

    • WFPC2  WFC3 (UV+VIS+IR)
    • COSTAR  COS (UV)
    • STIS and ACS to be repaired
  • Spatial resolution: WFC3 (STIS+ACS)


  • IR: WFC3

  • WFC3 better in UV & IR wrt ACS & NICMOS

  • WFC3 worse in VIS wrt ACS, better wrt WFPC2

  • Timing: STIS

  • Polarimetry: ACS


  • HST proper motions (parallaxes) measured so far for 8 (4) neutron stars

  • WFC3 (ACS) can enlarge the sample with a much better accuracy

    • Confirm NS identifications
    • Localization of NS birth place
    • NS velocity  ISM accretion or not. Important for RX neutron stars
    • Hints on SN dynamics and progenitor core collapse

Neutron Stars Nebulae

  • WFC3 (ACS) can resolve the structure and variability of the Pulsar Wind Nebulae, as WFPC2 did for the Crab. Only chance for distant PWNe !

  • WFPC2 also found evidence of optical variability also in the B0540-69 PWN (De Luca et al. 2007;Mignani et al. 2008a)

  • Genuine variability in the nebula ?

  • Expanding optical jet from the pulsar (v=22000 km/s)?

The Near-UV

The Near-IR

  • NICMOS discovered IR emission from NSs

  • (Koptsevich et al. 2001), the first after the Crab

  • E.g., for B0656+14 the IR is a hint of

  • a debris disk of ≈2 10-4 Msun (Perna et al. 2000)

  • Disk not resolved by Spitzer (Mignani et al. 2008b)

  • Detection of debris disks has

  • implications on NS formation and

  • SN models

  • WFC3 can do a better job



  • Optical polarimetry with ACS is a powerful diagnostic to:

  • test neutron star magnetosphere models

  • constrain magnetic field geometry

  • constrain the neutron star rotation angle wrt the sky

  • (iv) investigate pulsar/nebula magneto-dynamical interactions

  • Observations of PSR B0540-69 performed with WFPC2 (Mignani et al. 2008c)

More Goals …

  • While keeping the course on “classical” PSRs, there are other challenges to face

  • Many more classes of radio-quiet NSs are now known

  • Isolated Cooling NS (ICONSs): old NSs, no longer radio-active

  • Magnetars: transient HE sources, with B ≈ 1014 G

  • Compact Central Objects: Not Crab-like ! Nature is unclear

  • Rotating RAdioTransients (RRATs): bursting (otherwise quiescent) radio PSRs

  • High-B radio PSRs: magnetars by definition not by reputation

  •  UV-to-IR observations become more and more important !

  •  Critical to determine the NS nature (isolated, binary, isolated+disk)

  •  HST archaeo-astronomy to identify (via PM) NS parental clusters, study their properties, trace the origin of the NS diversity


  • HST has played so far a fundamental role in NS astronomy

  • After SM4, HST can play a role as (or even more) fundamental

    • The WFC3 (with ACS) will be unique for astrometry and stellar population studies
    • WFC3+COS will allow to obtain NSs multi-λ SED, especially in the crucial UV and IR bands
    • The repaired ACS+STIS will offer timing+polarimetry, crucial for NS astronomy and so far little explored due to technical failures
  • HST has posed the questions, now it can find the answers


Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconForefront of neutron star science Forefront of neutron star science

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconNeutron Star Normal Modes lsc meeting, Baton Rouge, March 2004 ligo-g040141-00-z b. S. Sathyaprakash and Bernard Schutz

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconNeutron stars Chapter 21 Neutron stars

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconRadio Astronomy Ganesh Sankaranarayanan

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconPlanet or Star ?

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconLecture 7 : Extrasolar Planets and Star Formation Robert Fisher

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconIn this talk : Gravitational Waves and Double Neutron Stars

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconNeutron stars. Lecture 2 Sergei Popov (sai msu) ns masses

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconThe Diversity of Young Neutron Stars and Unification Prospects Joanna Bridge

Neutron Star Astronomy Roberto Mignani iconAstronomy 340 Fall 2007 4 December 2007 Lecture #26 Extrasolar Planets

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