Vela pulsar


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Vela pulsar

The second optical pulsar to be discovered, the optical flashes being detected in 1977. With a brightness of only about 26 magnitudes – one of the faintest optical bodies to be detected – it is considerably fainter than the optical pulsar in the Crab nebula, although at a distance of about 500 parsecs it is four times nearer. It was already known to emit pulses of radio emission in a period of 0.089 seconds and pulses of gamma rays twice every revolution. At gamma-ray wavelengths it is the brightest object in the sky. The optical pulses were found by sampling the light from a field only five arc seconds across, centered on the accurate radio position of the pulsar, and folding the data to the precise radio period.

Like other pulsars, the Vela pulsar is gradually slowing down in its rotation rate. Several brief and temporary increases in rotation rate – glitches – have however been observed since 1969 (see pulsar). It is a young pulsar, some 10 000 years old, and (like the Crab pulsar) is one of the very few to be associated with a supernova remnant. The remnant, Vela-X, has been observed at X-ray, XUV, optical, and radio wavelengths.

Vela pulsar

[′vē·lə ′pəl‚sär]
(astronomy)
A pulsar with a period of 80 milliseconds, about 1500 light-years (1.4 × 1019 meters) away in the constellation Vela, whose variation has been detected at radio, gamma-ray, and optical wavelengths; probably associated with the Vela supernova remnant.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pulsars, like the Vela pulsar located about 1,000 light-years away, are rapidly spinning dense cores of former stars.
With this, the scientists were able to detect a pulsed, repeating gamma-ray signal in the energy range of 30 GeV and attribute it to the Vela pulsar.
That title usually goes to the Vela pulsar in our galaxy, which is millions of times closer.
The Vela pulsar is known for "glitching" -- undergoing sudden, slight changes in spin rate (S&T: July 1999, page 35).
The Vela pulsar is about 1,000 light years from Earth, spansis about 12 miles in diameter, and makes over 11 complete rotations every second, faster than a helicopter rotor.
The jet, a half light-year in length, is spewing electrons and positrons from the Vela pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star a mere 20 kilometers in diameter.
Every few years, for example, the steady stutter of the Vela pulsar quickens (almost instantaneously) by a few extra parts per million, then resumes its slowdown.
At this wavelength the radio shell is more than 8 [degrees] in diameter - almost twice its previously known radio value - with the Vela pulsar and the bright Vela-X complex positioned close to the shell's center.
Astronomers have now found several objects that do, including the Crab nebula, the Crab pulsar, the Vela pulsar, Hercules X-1, Cygnus X-3, 4U0115 63, Centaurus X-3, PSR1953 29 and LMC X-4.
A few years after the discovery of pulsars by radio astronomers, the Crab and Vela pulsars were detected at gamma-ray energies.
Before Compton, only two - the Crab and Vela pulsars - were known to emit gamma rays, and they did so in conjunction with their radio pulses.
Unlike the two other very bright gamma-ray emitters in the sky -- the Crab and Vela pulsars -- Geminga hadn't appeared to pulsate or emit low-energy radiation.