The system PSR J0737-3039 is the only binary pulsar known to consist of two radio pulsars (PSR J0737-3039 A and PSR J0737-3039 B). This unique configuration allows measurements of spin orientation for both pulsars: pulsar A's spin is tilted from the orbital angular momentum by no more than 14 deg at 95% confidence; pulsar B's by 130 ± 1 deg at 99.7% confidence. This spin-spin misalignment requires that the origin of most of B's present-day spin is connected to the supernova that formed pulsar B. Under the simplified assumption of a single, instantaneous kick during the supernova, the spin could be thought of as originating from the off-center nature of the kick, causing pulsar B to tumble to its misaligned state. With this assumption, and using current constraints on the kick magnitude, we find that pulsar B's instantaneous kick must have been displaced from the center of mass of the exploding star by at least 1 km and probably 5-10 km. Regardless of the details of the kick mechanism and the process that produced pulsar B's current spin, the measured spin-spin misalignment in the double pulsar system provides an empirical, direct constraint on the angular momentum production in this supernova. This constraint can be used to guide core-collapse simulations and the quest for understanding the spins and kicks of compact objects.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2011
- pulsars: individual: J0737─3039;
- supernovae: general;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 12 pages, 3 figures, as accepted by ApJ