Observations and modelling of compact stars (WG Leader: Nanda Rea, Anton Pannekoek Institute)

The recent past has seen substantial advances in our understanding of the astrophysics of compact stars, thanks to the availability of new telescopes and space observatories. The input of these instruments has been crucial for our understanding of compact stars. In addition, planned instruments, (e.g., FAST being the world’s largest single dish radiotelescope, LOFT with its novel pulse profile modelling and SKA with its very high sensitivity) will provide us with an unprecedented wealth of information on compact stars. The theoretical work so far has tended to neglect the effects of the magnetic field and was usually restricted to one-dimensional simulations. Only in the last decade, multidimensional studies have been carried out to explore in detail the effect of magnetic fields in scenarios such as core-collapse supernovae, the long-term cooling of strongly magnetized neutron stars, the bursting activity of magnetars, the merger of neutron-star binaries, or the crustal cooling after an active period in low-mass X-ray binaries.  This Action will use the existing experience of its members to include magnetic fields and rotation, together with state-of-the-art microphysics inputs, in multidimensional simulations of the different astrophysical scenarios involving compact stars. By close interaction with the theoretical and observational teams, this Action will develop an all-encompassing approach to the diverse manifestations of neutron stars, taking input both from the microphysics results of WG2 and from the theoretical modelling of the spacetime of WG3. Our ultimate goal is to link the various, partly contradictory results, in an approach that uses radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations, and to contrast them with the theoretical predictions (e.g., neutron star hydrodynamical and MHD simulations, pulsar glitch models, emission processes, atmospheric and magnetospheric models) and their implications (through neutron star population synthesis). The results of this effort will be both timely and important, amplifying enormously the scientific impact of the new generation of satellites exploring high-energy astrophysics.

Topic Leaders in this working group are:

  • Niccoló Bucciantini
  • Pablo Cerdá-Durán
  • Tiziana di Salvo
  • Wynn Ho

The annual WG reports can be found here: