PSR J0337+1715

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Coordinates: Sky map 03h 37m 43.82589s, +17° 15′ 14.8280″

PSR J0337+1715
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Taurus
Right ascension  03h 37m 43.82589s
Declination +17° 15′ 14.8280″
Spectral type Pulsar
Other designations
PSR J0337+1715
Database references

PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond pulsar discovered in a Green Bank Telescope drift-scan survey from 2007. It is spinning nearly 366 times per second, 4200 light years away in the constellation Taurus. It is co-orbiting very closely with another star, a white dwarf, with a period of 1.6 days. There is a second white dwarf further out (within one astronomical unit) which is orbiting both the pulsar and the inner white dwarf, and has an orbit with a period of 327 days.[1][2] It thus provides an opportunity to test the nature of gravity and the strong equivalence principle, with a sensitivity several orders of magnitude greater than before.[3][4][5]

Results were published in 2018 showing that if there is any departure from the equivalence principle it is no more than three parts per million.[2][6][7]


  1. ^ "Einstein's theory of relativity passes its toughest test yet".
  2. ^ a b Anne Archibald; et al. (Jul 4, 2018). "Universality of free fall from the orbital motion of a pulsar in a stellar triple system". Nature. 559 (7712): 73–76. arXiv:1807.02059. Bibcode:2018Natur.559...73A. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0265-1. PMID 29973733.
  3. ^ "Triple-Star System Can Give Clues to True Nature of Gravity | Astronomy |". Breaking Science News | Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ "Bold Experiments Will Put General Relativity to the Test |". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  5. ^ Ransom, S. M.; Stairs, I. H.; Archibald, A. M.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Kaplan, D. L.; van Kerkwijk, M. H.; Boyles, J.; Deller, A. T.; Chatterjee, S. (2014-01-01). "A millisecond pulsar in a stellar triple system". Nature. 505 (7484): 520–524. arXiv:1401.0535. Bibcode:2014Natur.505..520R. doi:10.1038/nature12917. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 24390352.
  6. ^ Leah Crane (Jul 7, 2018). "Einstein's theory passes triple-star test". New Scientist. 239 (3185): 9. Bibcode:2018NewSc.239....9C. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(18)31185-0.
  7. ^ "Scientists Test Einstein's Theory of Gravity on Unique Triple-Star System". Sci-News. Jul 5, 2018.