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How does a nebula form from a neutron star

  1. May 31, 2014 #1
    Here is my understanding, please correct me if I am wrong, thanks
    At the end of the giant stage of a star, it experiences a supernova explosion, and turns into a neutron star (could be pulsar) or black hole, the explosion releases a lot of its matter.

    Here is what I don't understand:

    1 there could be nebula around a pulsar, where does the nebula come from, is it simply the matter released in the supernova explosion? Or it keep releasing from the pulsar?

    2 for smaller mass stars, at the end of red giant stage of a star, a planetary nebula forms before it turns into a whit dwarf, is the planetary nebula the same thing as the nebula of a pulsar? only the planetary nebula formed in a less violent way, while the pulsar nebula is formed from supernova explosion?

    3 why it is said that the pulsar nebula needs to be powered, by the rotational energy of the pulsar? is this amount of energy used to against the gravitational force of the nebula, to prevent it from collapsing?

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2014 #2

    Drakkith

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    My understanding of the process is as follows:

    1. The nebula is composed of the gases expelled from the star during both the supernova and the previous giant/supergiant stage. In many cases the gases expelled from the supernova will overtake the previously expelled material and form large shock fronts where the collision heats up both materials until they glow.

    2. Planetary nebula are generally composed of hydrogen and helium, with trace quantities of other elements. Supernova remnants typically have much larger amounts of heavier elements created in the supernova.

    3. I haven't heard of this before. Are you sure you aren't talking about how the pulsar powers its emitted beams of radiation?
     
  4. Jun 1, 2014 #3

    Chronos

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    You have two options here, the pulsar provides a kinematical kick, or powers radiation emissions. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.
     
  5. Jun 1, 2014 #4

    Drakkith

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    What exactly is it powering?
     
  6. Jun 1, 2014 #5
    It's the radiation emission, I am wondering how does rotation of the pulsar provides power to the non-touching nebula? by gravity?
     
  7. Jun 1, 2014 #6

    Chronos

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    Rotation would have an insignificant effect. It would, however, have a significant 'lighthouse' effect.
     
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