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Neutron star spin up is the name given to the increase in rotational speed over time first noted in Cen X-3 and Her X-1 but now observed in other X-ray pulsars. In the case of Cen X-3, the pulse period is decreasing over a timescale of 3.4·103 years (defined as \( {\displaystyle P/{\dot {P}}} \), where P is the rotation period and\( {\dot {P}} \) is the rate of change in the rotation period).

Ever since the detection of the first millisecond pulsar (MSP), it has been theorized that MSPs are neutron stars that have been spun up by accretion in a close binary system.[1] The change in rotational period of the neutron star comes from the transition region between the magnetosphere and the plasma flow from the companion star. In this context the magnetosphere is defined as the region of space surrounding the neutron star, in which the magnetic field determines the motion of the plasma. Inside the magnetic field, the plasma will eventually co-rotate with the neutron star while in the transition region, angular momentum from the accretion disk will be transferred via the magnetic field to the neutron star, leading to the spin-up.
See also

Stellar spin-down

Ritter, Hans; King, Andrew (2000). "On the spin–up of neutron stars to millisecond pulsars in long–period binaries". Evolution of Binary and Multiple Star Systems, ASP Conf. Series. ?: 10. arXiv:astro-ph/0011408. Bibcode:2001ASPC..229..423R.


Neutron star

Radio-quiet Pulsar

Single pulsars

Soft gamma repeater Anomalous X-ray Rotating radio transient

Binary pulsars

Binary X-ray pulsar
X-ray binary X-ray burster List Millisecond Be/X-ray Spin-up


Fast radio burst Bondi accretion Chandrasekhar limit Gamma-ray burst Glitch Neutronium Neutron-star oscillation Optical Pulsar kick Quasi-periodic oscillation Relativistic Rp-process Starquake Timing noise Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit Urca process


Gamma-ray burst progenitors Asteroseismology Compact star
Quark star Exotic star Supernova
Supernova remnant Related links Hypernova Kilonova Neutron star merger Quark-nova White dwarf
Related links Stellar black hole
Related links Radio star Pulsar planet Pulsar wind nebula Thorne–Żytkow object


LGM-1 Centaurus X-3 Timeline of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and supernovae


Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Chandra X-ray Observatory


X-ray pulsar-based navigation Tempo software program Astropulse The Magnificent Seven

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