Cen X-3: The Pulsar Spin Contradiction

As described in the NS-Capture Theory Proof, the Cen X-3 pulsar cannot be explained by the NS-Creation Theory, which forces us to the NS-Capture Theory. Let us examine this situation a little more carefully, by looking at Cen X-3: present, future, and past.

Cen X-3: Present:

At the present time we observe the following major characteristics of the Cen X-3 pulsar:

  1. The pulsar has a rotation period of ~ 4.84 seconds.
  2. The pulsar’s rotation rate is getting faster, meaning that its period is getting shorter.
  3. The pulsar has an orbital period around its companion of 2.09 days.
  4. The pulsar is in eclipse for 25% of its orbit.
  5. The pulsar’s companion has been identified as a 20 solar mass supergiant O-star with a radius of 12 solar radii.
  6. Life expectancy of supergiant O-stars is about 10 million years.
  7. Based on the eclipse duration, the radius of the companion, and the pulse period variations as the pulsar orbits the companion, it is determined that the Cen X-3 is actually orbiting within the upper atmosphere of its companion.
  8. It is the interaction of the pulsar with the atmosphere of the companion that is causing the pulsar to rotate faster, which will also cause the pulsar to spiral further into the atmosphere of the companion.
  9. The pulsar is currently generating 3*10**37 erg/sec in X-rays, which will increase as the pulsar gets dragged deeper into the atmosphere.
  10. The current orbital velocity of the pulsar around the companion is 339 km/sec.

Cen X-3: Future

Given the above description of Cen X-3’s present, we can make some definitive predictions about its future as well.

  1. There is no way that the Cen X-3 pulsar can escape from its companion. It is there to stay. Cen X-3 and its supergiant O-star companion are locked in an unbreakable embrace.
  2. The Cen X-3 pulsar will continue to spin faster. There is almost no limit to how fast it can spin, up until the material it is dragging around in its magnetic field, possibly up to 100 miles from the surface of the 10 mile radius neutron star starts to approach the speed of light, which is at a spin period of about 1 millisecond, i.e. 1,000 rotations per second.
  3. The Cen X-3 pulsar will continue to be dragged closer to the center of its supergiant companion, as it fights it way through the upper layers of the companion’s atmosphere.
  4. The X-ray energy emitted by the pulsar pulling in material and ejecting it again back into the atmosphere of the companion will generate approximately 10**39 ergs/sec. This energy will be absorbed by the companion’s atmosphere and heat up the atmosphere, which will re-radiate the energy at less energetic wavelengths. i.e. a single x-ray will be absorbed by many hydrogen atoms and then re-radiated by those atoms at lower energies.
  5. Eventually, in about 1 million years or so, the companion will have absorbed so much energy from the pulsar and become so hot that its gravitational field will no longer be able to hold the atmosphere, including the lower layers of the atmosphere together and the companion star will start to expand and be blown apart into space.
  6. The pulsar will continue to radiate energy into the exploding atmosphere, causing it to blow apart, in what would appear to be a supernova.
  7. After the core of the companion has blown apart, which will all happen simultaneously, the pulsar will no longer have a companion to rotate around, and so the pulsar will keep its orbital velocity, but now travel in a straight line through the remnants of the companion that has just exploded.

Interestingly, what we have just described is an inevitable sequence of events that results in a supernova explosion having all the properties of observed supernova explosions. There will be a rapidly rotating pulsar traveling through the remnants of the exploded star!

As a result, there is no longer a need to postulate that a star can theoretically evolve all by itself and explode in a supernova, because we already have an observed mechanism that will produce the same result. i.e. there is no need to invent a 2nd mechanism to do the same thing that we already have an observed mechanism to do.

In addition, we have a mechanism that will cause a giant star to evolve into a high energy O-star supergiant. i.e. the reason O-stars are supergiants and emit 10**39 ergs/sec is because they each have a pulsar rotating around inside of them. They will all eventually blow up in supernova events.

Cen X-3: Past

Now that we understand the present and future of Cen X-3, we are prepared to examine its past. How did Cen X-3 come into existence in the first place.

  1. We must recognize that the reason the Cen X-3 pulsar exists is that it is a neutron star orbiting in a close binary circular trajectory around its supergiant companion. It is the combination of the neutron star plus the companion that causes the X-rays to be generated by material being gravitationally pulled toward the neutron star, and the neutron star to spin up and become a pulsar.
  2. At some time in the past, the neutron star must have not been pulsing, because the fact that it is speeding up means that earlier it must have been slower, before that even slower, and before that eventually not rotating as a pulsar at all.
  3. The original neutron star will have had a spin axis aligned with its magnetic field axis, and therefore the rotation does not cause the magnetic field to change and no radiation is emitted. The neutron star is effectively invisible.
  4. Because being in the presence of its companion causes the neutron star to spin up, this means that in the past when the neutron star was not spinning as a pulsar it could not have been in the presence of its current companion.
  5. So, how did the neutron star come to exist in the presence of its current companion? The only possible answer is that it came along from far away in space, and simply by chance, came close enough to its current companion, to become bound to the companion, and start the inevitable process of the neutron star spinning up to a rapidly rotating pulsar, and the companion heating up until it eventually explodes in a supernova.

That completes the description and proof of the NS-Capture Theory.

The implication of the NS-Capture theory is that there are neutron stars traveling through space, similar to ordinary stars, but they are not easy to see until they interact with a star or other matter they may encounter in space.

By analyzing the number of pulsars, supergiants, known supernova remnants, etc. it is possible to deduce how many neutron stars are required to be traveling among the normal stars such that chance encounters will produce the currently observed populations of pulsars.

The answer by initial calculations appears to be that there needs to be about 25 neutron stars for every normal star observed in the galaxy, and that these neutron stars are all intermixed with the normal stars that we observe. i.e. they are not from somewhere else passing through the galaxy, but are part of the galaxy proper. i.e. the neutron stars are in the spiral arms, in the galactic center, and in the globular clusters that are above and below the main disk of the galaxy.

Lemma 1: A pulsar can not spin down in the presence of an O-star.

Cen X-3 is a supergiant O-star. As a result it has an expected lifetime of about 10 million years (see Stellar Evolution).

Therefore, if a rapidly rotating neutron star had originally been the compact companion of Cen X-3, by the creation theory, it would simply not have enough time to have slowed down, even if one assumes there was originally little or no accretion that would spin it up.

Since the creation theory fails in this case, then we must conclude that the capture theory is the only logical explanation for the presence of the 4.8 sec pulsar in Cen X-3.

Lemma 2: The Be X-ray binaries are incompatible with NS-Creation theory.

As described in the section on Be X-ray binaries, neutron stars are found in binary orbits with a range of rotation rates from a few seconds to a few thousand seconds. All these rotation rates are increasing, i.e. the neutron stars are spinning up into pulsars and their orbits are evolving toward a close binary circular orbit similar to Cen X-3.

By comparison, there are probably zero radio pulsars in such wide elliptic orbits around companions which would be in the process of slowing down.

Conclusion: neutron stars do not slow down when in binary systems, they only speed up to faster rotation rates. This is a one way street, for which the NS-Creation theory does not have an explanation.

Therefore, we are once again forced to conclude that the NS-Capture theory is the only logical explanation for the existence of Be X-Ray Binaries.