March 17, 2003
The 5.75 ms pulsar PSR J0437-4715 is the nearest and brightest millisecond pulsar known. It is part of a binary system with an orbital period of 5.5 days and has a low-mass white dwarf companion. X-ray emission from the pulsar was first detected in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey data by Becker et.al. (1993). The picture shown is based on survey data, and documents the discovery. The X-rays detected from the pulsar are about 30% pulsed. The soft X-ray spectrum is a power-law, indicating a magnetospheric origin of the detected emission. The brightest source in the picture, north-east of the pulsar, is an active galaxy.
Topics: Stars, Star types, Astronomy, X-ray, Environment, PSR J0437-4715, Radio star, Binary pulsar, Millisecond pulsar, Pulsars, Radio astronomy