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Evidence for gravitational quadrupole moment variations in the companion of PSR J2051-0827

Abstract : We have conducted radio timing observations of the eclipsing millisecond binary pulsar J2051-0827 with the European Pulsar Timing Array network of telescopes and the Parkes radio telescope, spanning over 13 years. The increased data span allows significant measurements of the orbital eccentricity, e = (6.2 {\pm} 1.3) {\times} 10^{-5} and composite proper motion, {\mu}_t = 7.3 {\pm} 0.4 mas/yr. Our timing observations have revealed secular variations of the projected semi-major axis of the pulsar orbit which are much more extreme than those previously published; and of the orbital period of the system. Investigation of the physical mechanisms producing such variations confirm that the variations of the semi-major axis are most probably caused by classical spin-orbit coupling in the binary system, while the variations in orbital period are most likely caused by tidal dissipation leading to changes in the gravitational quadrupole moment of the companion.
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K. Lazaridis, J. P. W. Verbiest, T. M. Tauris, B. W. Stappers, M. Kramer, et al.. Evidence for gravitational quadrupole moment variations in the companion of PSR J2051-0827. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2011, 414 (4), pp.3134-3144. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18610.x⟩. ⟨insu-01258531⟩

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