Fig11_14 Pulsar radio

Fig11_14 Pulsar radio

Fig. 11.14 . A spinning neutron star has a powerful magnetic field whose axis intersects the north and south magnetic poles. The rotating fields generate strong electric currents and accelerate electrons, which emit an intense, narrow beam of radio radiation from each magnetic polar region. Because the magnetic field axis can be inclined to the neutron starís rotation axis, these beams can wheel around the sky as the neutron star rotates. If one of the beams sweeps across the Earth, a bright pulse of radio emission, called a pulsar, is observed once per rotation of the neutron star.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University