Earth and Space

Glitchy pulsars

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

The fastest rotating pulsar, PSR J1748-2446ad, has a rotational frequency of 716 Hz. Though the rotational periods of neutron stars are typically regular, some stars experience small changes in frequency known as glitches. These glitches are thought to arise from starquakes which are the result of rotational deformation stressing the surface of the star. Under stress, the surface can crack suddenly, leading to a change in shape and a glitch.

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