Neutron stars in binary systems have been key in the determination of neutron star masses. However, masses from pulsar timing data are ambiguous because of the unknown inclination of the orbit. A full orbit determination, leading to accurate masses for all components of the system, requires knowledge of the velocity components in the orthogonal directions in the plane of the sky. Currently, the astrometric displacement of the non-degenerated component of the system is too small to be detected directly. A new generation of astrometric missions promises to overcome this barrier in the next decade. This poster will give a preview of the kind of investigations possible once astrometric missions with microarcsecond precision, such as NASA's Space Interferometry Mission become available.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1999