The helical jet of the vela pulsar

Martin Durant, Oleg Kargaltsev, George G. Pavlov, Julia Kropotina, Kseniya Levenfish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number72
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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