The extended pulsar magnetosphere

Authors

  • Constantinos Kalapotharakos,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Maryland, College Park (UMDCP/CRESST), College Park, MD 20742, USA
    2. Astrophysics Science Division, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
      E-mail: constantinos.kalapotharakos@nasa.gov (CK); icontop@academyofathens.gr (IC); demos.kazanas@nasa.gov (DK)
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  • Ioannis Contopoulos,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics, Academy of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece
      E-mail: constantinos.kalapotharakos@nasa.gov (CK); icontop@academyofathens.gr (IC); demos.kazanas@nasa.gov (DK)
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  • Demos Kazanas

    Corresponding author
    1. Astrophysics Science Division, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
      E-mail: constantinos.kalapotharakos@nasa.gov (CK); icontop@academyofathens.gr (IC); demos.kazanas@nasa.gov (DK)
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E-mail: constantinos.kalapotharakos@nasa.gov (CK); icontop@academyofathens.gr (IC); demos.kazanas@nasa.gov (DK)

ABSTRACT

We present the structure of the 3D ideal magnetohydrodynamics pulsar magnetosphere to a radius 10 times that of the light cylinder, a distance about an order of magnitude larger than any previous such numerical treatment. Its overall structure exhibits a stable, smooth, well-defined undulating current sheet which approaches the kinematic split monopole solution of Bogovalov only after a careful introduction of diffusivity even in the highest resolution simulations. It also exhibits an intriguing spiral region at the crossing of two zero-charge surfaces on the current sheet, which shows a destabilizing behaviour more prominent in higher resolution simulations. We discuss the possibility that this region is physically (and not numerically) unstable. Finally, we present the spiral pulsar antenna radiation pattern.

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