NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0036

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0036


PI: Roger W. Romani, Stanford University, rwr@astro.stanford.edu
Address: Physics Department, MC 4060, Stanford, CA 94028-4060, USA

Title: Pulsar H(alpha) Bowshocks probe Neutron Star Physics

Abstract: We propose a KOALA/AAOmega study of southern pulsar bow shocks. These rare, Balmer-dominated, non-radiative shocks provide an ideal laboratory to study the interaction of the relativistic pulsar wind with the ISM. We will cover H(alpha) at high spectral resolution to measure the kinematics of the upstream ISM and the post-shock flow, while the blue channel measures the Balmer decrement and probes for a faint cooling component. These data, with MHD models, allow us to extract the 3D flow geometry and the orientation and asymmetry of the pulsar wind. These data can also measure the pulsar spindown power, thus estimating the neutron star moment of inertia and effecting a fundamental test of dense matter physics.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0036

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