We have studied the fascinating dynamics of the nearby Vela pulsar's nebula in a campaign comprising 11 40 ks observations with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The deepest images yet revealed the shape, structure, and motion of the 2 arcmin long pulsar jet. We find that the jet's shape and dynamics are remarkably consistent with those of a steadily turning helix projected on the sky. We discuss possible implications of our results, including free precession of the neutron star and MHD instability scenarios.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science