On the orbital decay of the PSR J0045-7319 binary

Pawan Kumar, Eliot J. Quataert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent observations of PSR J0045-7319, a radio pulsar in a close eccentric orbit with a massive main-sequence B star companion, indicate that the system's orbital period is decreasing on a timescale ∼5 × 105 yr. Timing observations of PSR J0045-7319 also indicate that the B star is rotating rapidly, perhaps close to its breakup rotation rate. For rapid (supersynchronous) prograde rotation of the B star, tidal dissipation leads to an increasing orbital period for the binary system, while for retrograde rotation of any magnitude, the orbital period decreases with time. We show that if tidal effects are to account for the observed orbital decay of the PSR J0045-7319 binary, the B star must have retrograde rotation. This implies that the supernova that produced the pulsar in this binary system likely had a dipole anisotropy. For a reasonably wide range of retrograde rotation rates, the energy in the dynamical tide of the B star needs to be dissipated in about one orbital period in order to account for the observed orbital evolution time. We show, however, that the radiative dissipation of the dynamical tide in a rigidly rotating B star is too inefficient by a factor of ≈103, regardless of the magnitude of the rotation rate. We describe how, when the surface of the B star is rotating nearly synchronously, the energy in the dynamical tide is dissipated in less than an orbital period, thus reconciling the theoretical and observed rates of orbital evolution. Nonlinear parametric decay of the equilibrium tide, for rigid retrograde rotation of the B star, may also be able to explain the observed rate of orbital evolution, although the margin of instability is too small to draw definitive conclusions about the relevance of this process for the PSR J0045-7319 binary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-425
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Binaries: close
  • Pulsars: individual (PSR J0045-7319)
  • Stars: early-type
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Stars: rotation


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