Artist’s impression of AR Scorpii.
Epoch 2000 Equinox 2000
|Right ascension||16h 21m 47.28s|
|Declination||−22° 53′ 10.3″|
|Evolutionary stage||White dwarf|
|Evolutionary stage||Main sequence|
|Distance||116 ± 16 pc|
|Mass||0.81 - 1.29 M☉|
|Mass||0.28 - 0.45 M☉|
AR Scorpii (AR Sco) is a binary pulsar that consists of white dwarf and a red dwarf. It is the first "white dwarf-pulsar" to be discovered. The 3.56-hour period in AR Sco's light curve caused it to be misclassified as a Delta Scuti variable, but in 2016, this period was found to be the binary orbital period. In addition, the system shows very strong optical, ultraviolet, and radio pulsations originating from the red dwarf with a period of just 1.97 minutes, which is a beat period from the orbital rotation and the white dwarf spin. These pulsations occur when a relativistic beam from the white dwarf sweeps across the red dwarf, which then reprocesses the beam into the observed electromagnetic energy. At present, the white dwarf is not accreting significantly, and the system is powered by the spin-down of the white dwarf. The pulsar is about the same size as Earth.
AR Sco's unusual nature was first noticed by amateur astronomers.
- Cutri, R. M.; et al. (2003). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: 2MASS All-Sky Catalog of Point Sources (Cutri+ 2003)". VizieR On-line Data Catalog: II/246. Originally Published in: 2003yCat.2246....0C. 2246. Bibcode:2003yCat.2246....0C.
- Marsh, T. R.; et al. (2016). "A radio-pulsing white dwarf binary star". Nature. 537 (7620): 374–377. arXiv:1607.08265. Bibcode:2016Natur.537..374M. doi:10.1038/nature18620. PMID 27462808.
- Buckley, D. A. H.; Meintjes, P. J.; Potter, S. B.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T. (2017-01-23). "Polarimetric evidence of a white dwarf pulsar in the binary system AR Scorpii". Nature Astronomy. 1 (2): 0029. arXiv:1612.03185. Bibcode:2017NatAs...1E..29B. doi:10.1038/s41550-016-0029.
- Hambsch, Franz-Josef. "Amateurs Help Discover Pulsing White Dwarf". Sky and Telescope.
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