Sample records for starquakes

  1. FRB 121102: A Starquake-induced Repeater? (United States)

    Wang, Weiyang; Luo, Rui; Yue, Han; Chen, Xuelei; Lee, Kejia; Xu, Renxin


    Since its initial discovery, the fast radio burst (FRB) FRB 121102 has been found to be repeating with millisecond-duration pulses. Very recently, 14 new bursts were detected by the Green Bank Telescope during its continuous monitoring observations. In this paper, we show that the burst energy distribution has a power-law form which is very similar to the Gutenberg–Richter law of earthquakes. In addition, the distribution of burst waiting time can be described as a Poissonian or Gaussian distribution, which is consistent with earthquakes, while the aftershock sequence exhibits some local correlations. These findings suggest that the repeating FRB pulses may originate from the starquakes of a pulsar. Noting that the soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) also exhibit such distributions, the FRB could be powered by some starquake mechanisms associated with the SGRs, including the crustal activity of a magnetar or solidification-induced stress of a newborn strangeon star. These conjectures could be tested with more repeating samples.

  2. Starquake-induced Magnetic Field and Torque Evolution in Neutron Stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Link, B.; Franco, L.M.; Epstein, R.I.


    The persistent increases in spin-down rate (offsets) seen to accompany glitches in the Crab and other pulsars suggest increases in the spin-down torque. We interpret these offsets as due to starquakes occurring as the star spins down and the rigid crust becomes less oblate. We study the evolution of strain in the crust, the initiation of starquakes, and possible consequences for magnetic field and torque evolution. Crust cracking occurs as equatorial material shears under the compressive forces arising from the star's decreasing circumference and as matter moves to higher latitudes along a fault inclined to the equator. A starquake is most likely to originate near one of the two points on the rotational equator farthest from the magnetic poles. The material breaks along a fault approximately aligned with the magnetic poles. We suggest that the observed offsets come about when a starquake perturbs the star's mass distribution, producing a misalignment of the angular momentum and spin axes. Subsequently, damped precession to a new rotational state increases the angle α between the rotation and magnetic axes. The resulting increase in external torque appears as a permanent increase in the spin-down rate. Repeated starquakes would continue to increase α, making the pulsar more of an orthogonal rotator. copyright copyright 1998. The American Astronomical Society

  3. Starquakes, Heating Anomalies, and Nuclear Reactions in the Neutron Star Crust (United States)

    Deibel, Alex Thomas

    When the most massive stars perish, their cores may remain intact in the form of extremely dense and compact stars. These stellar remnants, called neutron stars, are on the cusp of becoming black holes and reach mass densities greater than an atomic nucleus in their centers. Although the interiors of neutron stars were difficult to investigate at the time of their discovery, the advent of modern space-based telescopes (e.g., Chandra X-ray Observatory) has pushed our understanding of the neutron star interior into exciting new realms. It has been shown that the neutron star interior spans an enormous range of densities and contains many phases of matter, and further theoretical progress must rely on numerical calculations of neutron star phenomena built with detailed nuclear physics input. To further investigate the properties of the neutron star interior, this dissertation constructs numerical models of neutron stars, applies models to various observations of neutron star high-energy phenomena, and draws new conclusions about the neutron star interior from these analyses. In particular, we model the neutron star's outermost ? 1 km that encompasses the neutron star's envelope, ocean, and crust. The model must implement detailed nuclear physics to properly simulate the hydrostatic and thermal structure of the neutron star. We then apply our model to phenomena that occur in these layers, such as: thermonuclear bursts in the envelope, g-modes in the ocean, torsional oscillations of the crust, and crust cooling of neutron star transients. A comparison of models to observations provides new insights on the properties of dense matter that are often difficult to probe through terrestrial experiments. For example, models of the quiescent cooling of neutron stars, such as the accreting transient MAXI J0556-332, at late times into quiescence probe the thermal transport properties of the deep neutron star crust. This modeling provides independent data from astronomical observations on the nature of neutron superfluidity and the thermal conductivity of nuclear pasta. Our neutron star modeling efforts also pose new questions. For instance, reaction networks find that neutrino emission from cycling nuclear reactions is present in the neutron star ocean and crust, and potentially cools an accreting neutron star. This is a theory we attempt to verify using observations of neutron star transients and thermonuclear bursts, although it remains unclear if this cooling occurs. Furthermore, on some accreting neutron stars, more heat than supplied by nuclear reactions is needed to explain their high temperatures at the outset of quiescence. Although the presence of heating anomalies seems common, the source of extra heating is difficult to determine.

  4. Pulsar glitches in a strangeon star model (United States)

    Lai, X. Y.; Yun, C. A.; Lu, J. G.; Lü, G. L.; Wang, Z. J.; Xu, R. X.


    Pulsar-like compact stars provide us a unique laboratory to explore properties of dense matter at supra-nuclear densities. One of the models for pulsar-like stars is that they are totally composed of "strangeons", and in this paper, we studied the pulsar glitches in a strangeon star model. Strangeon stars would be solidified during cooling, and the solid stars would be natural to have glitches as the result of starquakes. Based on the starquake model established before, we proposed that when the starquake occurs, the inner motion of the star which changes the moment of inertia and has impact on the glitch sizes, is divided into plastic flow and elastic motion. The plastic flow which is induced in the fractured part of the outer layer, would move tangentially to redistribute the matter of the star and would be hard to recover. The elastic motion, on the other hand, changes its shape and would recover significantly. Under this scenario, we could understand the behaviors of glitches without significant energy releasing, including the Crab and the Vela pulsars, in an uniform model. We derive the recovery coefficient as a function of glitch size, as well as the time interval between two successive glitches as the function of the released stress. Our results show consistency with observational data under reasonable ranges of parameters. The implications on the oblateness of the Crab and the Vela pulsars are discussed.

  5. La ciencia del cosmos, la ciencia en el cosmos : 2013-2014 : ciclo de conferencias de astrofisica y cosmologia

    CERN Document Server

    Science of the Cosmos, Science in the Cosmos : 2013-2014 : series of lectures on astrophysics and cosmology


    Welcome to "Science of the Cosmos, Sciences in the Cosmos", the series of lectures that the BBVA Foundation has been offering, live and on DVD, since March 2011. Lecture 1 : Let there be light : finding the earliest galaxies / Richard Ellis ; lecture 2 : The origin of the galaxies / Simon White ; lecture 3 : Astrobiology : the quest for the conditions of life in the Universe / Gerda Horneck ; lecture 4 : The long-term stability of planetary systems / Scott Tremaine ; lecture 5 : Asteroseismology : the study of starquakes and its impact on astrophysics / Conny Aerts ; lecture 6 : From Mars to multiverse / Martin Rees

  6. On the injection of relativistic particles into the Crab Nebula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shklovskij, I.S.


    It is shown that a flux of relativistic electrons from the NP 0532 pulsar magnetosphere, responsible for its synchrotron emission, cannot provide the necessary energy pumping to the Crab Nebula. A conclusion is reached that such a pumping can be effectuated by a flow of relativistic electrons leaving the NP 0532 magnetosphere at small pitch angles and giving therefore no appreciable contribution to the synchrotron emission of the pulsar. An interpretation of the Crab Nebula synchrotron spectrum is given on the assumption of secular ''softening'' of the energy spectrum of the relativistic electrons injected into the Nebula. A possibility of explanation of the observed rapid variability of some features in the central part of the Nebula by ejection of free - neutron - rich dense gas clouds from the pulsar surface during ''starquakes'' is discussed. The clouds of rather dense (nsub(e) approximately 10 7 cm -3 ) plasma, thus formed at about 10 13 cm from pulsar, will be accelerated up to relativistic velocities by the pressure of the magneto-dipole radiation of NP 0532 and will deform the magnetic field in the inner part (R 17 cm) of the Crab Nebula, that is the cause of the variability observed. In this case, favourable conditions for the acceleration of the particles in the cloud up to relativistic energies are realized; that may be an additional source of injection

  7. Scaling similarities of multiple fracturing of solid materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. G. Kapiris


    Full Text Available It has recently reported that electromagnetic flashes of low-energy -rays emitted during multi-fracturing on a neutron star, and electromagnetic pulses emitted in the laboratory by a disordered material subjected to an increasing external load, share distinctive statistical properties with earthquakes, such as power-law energy distributions (Cheng et al., 1996; Kossobokov et al., 2000; Rabinovitch et al., 2001; Sornette and Helmstetter, 2002. The neutron starquakes may release strain energies up to erg, while, the fractures in laboratory samples release strain energies approximately a fraction of an erg. An earthquake fault region can build up strain energy up to approximately erg for the strongest earthquakes. Clear sequences of kilohertz-megahertz electromagnetic avalanches have been detected from a few days up to a few hours prior to recent destructive earthquakes in Greece. A question that arises effortlessly is if the pre-seismic electromagnetic fluctuations also share the same statistical properties. Our study justifies a positive answer. Our analysis also reveals 'symptoms' of a transition to the main rupture common with earthquake sequences and acoustic emission pulses observed during laboratory experiments (Maes et al., 1998.

  8. Signatures of field induced spin polarization of neutron star matter in seismic vibrations of paramagnetic neutron star

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bastrukov, S I; Yang, J; Podgainy, D V; Weber, F


    A macroscopic model of the dissipative magneto-elastic dynamics of viscous spin polarized nuclear matter is discussed in the context of seismic activity of a paramagnetic neutron star. The source of the magnetic field of such a star is attributed to Pauli paramagnetism of baryon matter promoted by a seed magnetic field frozen into the star in the process of gravitational collapse of a massive progenitor. Particular attention is given to the effect of shear viscosity of incompressible stellar material on the timing of non-radial torsional magneto-elastic pulsations of the star triggered by starquakes. By accentuating the fact that this kind of vibration is unique to the seismology of a paramagnetic neutron star we show that the high-frequency modes decay faster than the low-frequency modes. The obtained analytic expressions for the period and relaxation time of this mode, in which the magnetic susceptibility and viscosity enter as input parameters, are then quantified by numerical estimates for these parameters taken from early and current works on transport coefficients of dense matter. It is found that the effect of viscosity is crucial for the lifetime of magneto-torsion vibrations but it does not appreciably affect the periods of this seismic mode which fall in the realm of periods of pulsed emission of soft gamma-ray repeaters and anomalous x-ray pulsars - young super-magnetized neutron stars, radiating, according to the magnetar model, at the expense of the magnetic energy release. Finally, we present arguments that the long periodic pulsed emission of these stars in a quiescent regime of radiation can be interpreted as a manifestation of weakly damped seismic magneto-torsion vibrations exhibiting the field induced spin polarization of baryon matter

  9. Neutron star structure: Theory, observation, and speculation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandharipande, V.R.; Pines, D.; Smith, R.A.


    The broad physical aspects of the neutron-neutron interaction in dense matter are reviewed, and an examination is made of the extent to which the equation of state of neutron star matter is influenced by phase transitions which have been proposed for the high-density regime. The dependence of the maximum neutron star mass and the stellar structure on the neutron-neutron interaction is studied through calculations of the equation of state of neutron matter based on four different models for this interaction: the Reid (R) and Bethe-Johnson (BJ) models, a tensor-interaction (TI) model which assumes that the attraction between nucleons comes from the higher order contribution of the pion-exchange tensor interaction, and a mean field (MF) model which assumes that all the attraction between nucleons is due to the exchange of an effective scalar meson. It is shown that the harder equations of state which result from the BJ, TI, and MF models give rise to significant modifications in the structure of neutron stars; heavy neutron stars (approximately-greater-than1 M/sub sun/) have both larger radii and thicker crusts than were predicted using the R model.These stars are used as a basis for comparing theory with observation for the mass and structure of neutron stars such as the Crab and Vela pulsars, and the compact X-ray sources Her X-1 and Vela X-1. We find that both theory and observation tend to favor an equation of state that is stiff in the region of 10 14 --10 15 g cm -3 and that a neutron star such as Her X-1 (Mapprox.1.3 M/sub sun/) has a radius of the order of 15 km with a crust thickness of order 5 km. Based on starquake theory, it is concluded that the Crab pulsar could have a mass as large as 1.3 M/sub sun/, with a critical strain angle approx.10 -3 , comparable to that suggested for Her X-1. The possibility of solid-core neutron stars and some of their observational consequences is discussed

  10. Europe looks forward to COROT launch (United States)


    While CNES is completing preparations for the launch from Baikonur/Kazakhstan, ESA and a large number of European scientists involved in the mission are eagerly awaiting this event and the first scientific results to come through. What is COROT? COROT stands for ‘Convection Rotation and planetary Transits’. The name describes the mission’s scientific goals. ‘Convection and rotation’ refer to the satellite’s capability to probe stellar interiors, studying the acoustic waves that ripple across the surface of stars, a technique called asteroseismology. ‘Transit’ refers to the technique whereby the presence of a planet orbiting a star can be inferred from the dimming starlight caused when the planet passes in front of it. To achieve its twin scientific objectives, COROT will monitor some 120,000 stars with its 30-centimetre telescope. COROT will lead a bold new search for planets around other stars. In the decade since the first discovery in 1995 of an exoplanet (51 Pegasi b), more than 200 other such planets outside our solar system have been detected using ground-based observatories. The COROT space telescope promises to find many more during its two-and-a-half-year mission, expanding the frontiers of our knowledge towards ever-smaller planets. Many of the planets COROT will detect are expected to be 'hot Jupiters', gaseous worlds. An unknown percentage of those detected are expected to be rocky planets, maybe just a few times larger than the Earth (or smaller, even). If COROT finds such planets, they will constitute a new class of planet altogether. While it is looking at a star, COROT will also be able to detect 'starquakes', acoustic waves generated deep inside a star that send ripples across its surface, altering its brightness. The exact nature of the ripples allows astronomers to calculate the star's precise mass, age and chemical composition. COROT’s European dimension The COROT mission was first proposed by CNES back in 1996. A call for

  11. Cosmic Flasher Reveals All! (United States)


    For more information on magnetars and soft gamma-ray repeaters, see the Background Information which includes a "movie" of the flashing magnetar nebula, as seen by the VLA. Astronomers have found evidence for the most powerful magnetic field ever seen in the universe. They found it by observing a long-sought, short-lived "afterglow" of subatomic particles ejected from a magnetar -- a neutron star with a magnetic field billions of times stronger than any on Earth and 100 times stronger than any other previously known in the Universe. The afterglow is believed to be the aftermath of a massive starquake on the neutron star's surface. "And where there's smoke, there's fire, and we've seen the 'smoke' that tells us there's a magnetar out there," says Dale Frail, who used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to make the discovery. "Nature has created a unique laboratory where there are magnetic fields far stronger than anything that can be created here on Earth. As a result, the study of these objects enables us to study the effects of extraordinarily intense magnetic fields on matter," explains Dr. Morris L. Aizenman, Executive Officer in the Division of Astronomy at the National Science Foundation. Frail, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, along with Shri Kulkarni and Josh Bloom, astronomers at Caltech, discovered radio emission coming from a strange object 15,000 light-years away in our own Milky Way Galaxy. The radio emission was seen after the object experienced an outburst of gamma-rays and X-rays in late August. "This emission comes from particles ejected at nearly the speed of light from the surface of the neutron star interacting with the extremely powerful magnetic field," said Kulkarni. This is the first time this phenomenon, predicted by theorists, has been seen so clearly from a suspected magnetar. "Magnetars are expected to behave in certain ways. Astronomers have seen