E.P.J. van den Heuvel
- Formation of the Galactic Millisecond Pulsar Triple System PSR J0337+1715---A Neutron Star with Two Orbiting White Dwarfs
- Astrophysical Journal Letters
- Volume | Issue number
- 781 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
The millisecond pulsar in a triple system (PSR J0337+1715, recently discovered by Ransom et al.) is an unusual neutron star with two orbiting white dwarfs. The existence of such a system in the Galactic field poses new challenges to stellar astrophysics for understanding evolution, interactions, and mass transfer in close multiple stellar systems. In addition, this system provides the first precise confirmation for a very wide-orbit system of the white dwarf mass-orbital period relation. Here, we present a self-consistent, semi-analytical solution to the formation of PSR J0337+1715. Our model constrains the peculiar velocity of the system to be less than 160 km s−1 and brings novel insight to, for example, common envelope evolution in a triple system, for which we find evidence for in-spiral of both outer stars. Finally, we briefly discuss our scenario in relation to alternative models.
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