Astronomy:PSR B0943+10

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Short description: Pulsar in the constellation of Leo
PSR B0943+10
Observation data
Equinox J2000.0]] (ICRS)
Constellation Leo
Right ascension  09h 46m 7.31s[1]
Declination +09° 51′ 57.3″[1]
Distance2,000 ly
(630 ± 100[2] pc)
Spectral type Neutron star
Variable type Pulsar
Mass1.5[3] M
Luminosity1.31×10−5[2] L
Temperature3.1×106[lower-alpha 1][2] K
Rotation1.1 s[2]
Age5[lower-alpha 2][2] Myr
Database references

PSR B0943+10 is a pulsar 2,000 light years from Earth[2] in the direction of the constellation of Leo.[4] It was discovered at Pushchino in December 1968, becoming the first pulsar discovered by Soviet astronomers.[5][6] The original designation of this pulsar was PP 0943[1]


The pulsar is estimated to be 5 million years old, which is relatively old for a pulsar.[7] It has a rotational period of 1.1 seconds and emits both radio waves and X-rays.[8] Ongoing research at the University of Vermont discovered that the pulsar was found to flip roughly every few hours between a radio bright mode with highly organized pulsations and a quieter mode with rather chaotic temporal structure.[9][10]

Moreover, the observations of the pulsar performed simultaneously with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory and ground-based radio telescopes revealed that it exhibits variations in its X-ray emission that mimic in reverse the changes seen in radio waves – the pulsar has a weaker non-pulsing X-ray luminosity during the radio bright mode and is actually brighter during the radio quiet mode emitting distinct X-ray pulses.[10] Such changes can only be explained if the pulsar's magnetosphere (which may extend up to 52,000 km from the surface) quickly switches between two extreme states.[7] The change happens on a few seconds timescale, far faster than most pulsars. Despite being one of the first pulsars discovered, the mechanism for its unusual behavior is unknown.[9]

In 2006, a research group from Peking University published a paper suggesting that the pulsar may actually be a low-mass quark star with mass around 0.02 M.[11]

Planetary system

In May 2014, two gas giants were found orbiting PSR B0943+10.[12][3][13]

The PSR B0943+10 planetary system
(in order from star)
Mass Semimajor axis
Orbital period
Eccentricity Inclination Radius
b 2.8 MJ 1.8 730
c 2.6 MJ 2.9 1,460


  1. Blackbody temperature of a small emitting area at the poles
  2. Characteristic age


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 PSR B0943+10 -- Pulsar in SIMBAD
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Zang, Bing; Sanwal, Divas; Pavlov, George G. (2005). "An XMM-Newton Observation of the Drifting Pulsar B0943+10". Astrophysical Journal 624 (2): L109–L112. doi:10.1086/430522. Bibcode2005ApJ...624L.109Z. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia Planet PSR B0943+10 c"
  4. G.S. Mudur (25 January 2013). "Pune telescope spots Jekyll & Hyde puzzle in sky". 
  5. Shklovsky, Iosif (1970). "Rozhdyonnye katastrofoi" (in ru). Evrika-70. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya. pp. 16. 
  6. Braude, S. Y., ed (2012). A Brief History of Radio Astronomy in the USSR. A Collection of Scientific Essays. Astrophysics and Space Science Library. 382. 382. Springer. pp. 45. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-2834-9. ISBN 978-94-007-2833-2. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 ESA (25 January 2013). "Baffling pulsar leaves astronomers in the dark". 
  8. Elizabeth Howell (24 January 2013). "Weird Spinning Star Defies Explanation". 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Staff (24 January 2013). "Chameleon Pulsar Dramatically Changes the Way It Shines". 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hermsen, W.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Kuiper, L.; Van Leeuwen, J.; Mitra, D.; De Plaa, J.; Rankin, J. M.; Stappers, B. W. et al. (2013). "Synchronous X-ray and Radio Mode Switches: A Rapid Global Transformation of the Pulsar Magnetosphere". Science 339 (6118): 436–439. doi:10.1126/science.1230960. PMID 23349288. Bibcode2013Sci...339..436H. 
  11. Yue, Y. L.; Cui, X. H.; Xu, R. X. (2006). "Is PSR B0943+10 a low-mass quark star?". Astrophysical Journal 649 (2): L95. doi:10.1086/508421. Bibcode2006ApJ...649L..95Y. 
  12. Suleymanova, S. A.; Rodin, A. E. (2014). "Detection of regular variations in the intensity and pulse time of arrival of the anomalous pulsar PSR B0943+10". Astronomy Reports 58 (11): 796–807. doi:10.1134/S1063772914110067. Bibcode2014ARep...58..796S. 
  13. "The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia Planet PSR B0943+10 b"