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spin-down




The gradual lengthening of the period of a pulsar as it loses energy with age. Observed spin-down rates range from 10-12 s per second for the youngest pulsars to 10-19 s per second for recycled pulsars; the Crab pulsar is slowing at a rate of 3.5 × 10-13 s per second. Occasionally a glitch occurs in the spin-down in which there is a sudden increase in rotation rate. This is thought to be the equivalent of an earthquake where the crust of the neutron star settles a little bit, decreasing the radius and moment of inertia.


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   • STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS