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Today's Colloquium: A millisecond pulsar being born

Submitter: Anne Archibald
Description: PSR J1023+0038 is currently a 1.7-ms radio pulsar in a tight binary, but in 2001, it seems to have had an accretion disc. This confirms the hypothetical "recycling" model, in which old, slow pulsars are spun up by accretion to become long-lived millisecond pulsars. Observing a system in the throes of the transition from accreting X-ray binary to radio millisecond pulsar has made clear just how many puzzles remain in this evolutionary scenario: What brings accretion to an end? What drives the episodic active phases of these radio pulsars? Are the companions being destroyed by ablation?
Copyright: Joeri van Leeuwen and Anne Archibald
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