PhD student Marcus Lower has found the first detected glitch in the pulsar PSR J0908-4913 using UTMOST.
Glitches can be caused by either “star quakes” in the neutron star that cause the surface to crack, or by the (normally frictionless) superfluid core interacting with the crust. They result in a sudden change in the spin period of the pulsar, which causes the pulsar’s radio pulses to arrive slightly earlier than normal. Their discovery is one of the major science drivers at UTMOST, as they are one of the only ways we can “see” the insides of neutron stars.
Timing residuals of the pulsar PSR J0908-4913 before (top) and after (bottom) fitting for the glitch. Credit: Marcus E. Lower.
The properties of the glitch have been published as a Research Note that can be accessed here.