Good explanation using fluid dynamics.
I prefer the idea that giant alien spaceships use the Neutron star for slingshot manoeuvres and we can see the resulting tiny effect on stellar rotation.
(It's a slow morning)
Aussie astroboffins think they have worked out one of the more unusual oddities in the universe – glitchy pulsars. Neutron stars rotate rapidly, emitting pulses of electromagnetic energy at regular intervals. Sometimes the flashes fluctuate, however, speeding up then slowing down suddenly for several seconds, leaving …
I'm no astro-boffin but I understand that the gravity assist manoeuvre exploits the relative motion of the body providing the assist. To gain velocity relative to the sun, spacecraft approach from the trailing side of a planet's orbit. If you were to send two objects around from opposite sides, with mirrored trajectories, one would gain velocity while the other would lose it. Would balance out, though.
“We hypothesize that it may be a statistical fluctuation consistent with the overall noise fluctuations and speculate such fluctuations drive the differential lag between the superfluid and the crust above its critical value, thus triggering the glitch.”
I was going to say that! /s
It's a software bug that's been fixed in Neutron Star 1.01. But unfortunately you can only get the update if you've got a valid support contract or have gone with a creator who continues to issue firmware updates after the first billion years.
Some of these creators are complete cowboys. Fly-by-nights. On moment they're delivering a T-Rex and then it's all, "oh we can't get the parts anymore, you'll have to have the new mammals to replace it."
They discovered that the star's rotational frequency increased by about 16 microhertz, a tiny amount, over 30 seconds or so, according to a paper published in Nature Astronomy on Monday.
That amounts to "about one part in a million," Gregory Ashton, first author of the paper and an assistant astrophysics lecturer at Monash University,
It's about one and a half parts in a hundred thousand. Too many tinnies sport!
Neutron stars are known to have friction, and just like earth has plate techtonics (caused by friction), why should neutron stars be any different.
They slow down as the friction builds up, then it is released in a quake that speeds it up temporarilly. Once that is released it goes back to normal, and starts storing the energy for the next quake.
Surely someone has spot that, especially as neutron stars are highly compessed?
It's a small black hole or possibly another Neutron star on a 3 year orbit around the (Pulsar) Neutron star. As it approaches perihelion, it progressively slows the spin rate of the Neutron star, eventually causing the glitch and as it pulls away it speeds up the spin again. Either that or "God" is fiddling with The Matrix again! <sigh>
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