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D. J. Nice (Bryn Mawr), J. M. Weisberg (Carleton), J. H. Taylor (Princeton)
We have made the first robust measurement of the proper motion of the original binary pulsar PSR B1913+16. Pulse timing measurements made at Arecibo over calendar year 2004, when combined with data collected in 1985--1988, yield a proper motion less than half of the previously reported value. The rotation of PSR B1913+16 shows significant timing noise, which biased previous measurements of proper motion. (Gravitational tests derived from timing PSR B1913+16 orbital elements are not affected by the timing noise, as the orbital period is many orders of magnitude shorter than the time scale of the timing noise.)
Proper motions of pulsars are manifestations of kicks given pulsars at formation and of their subsequent motion through the Galaxy, hence they are useful probes of the dynamics of the supernovae in which pulsars are born. In the case of eccentric double neutron star binaries such as the PSR B1913+16, studies of birth kicks are enhanced by constraints on the pulsar-binary spin misalignment angle derived from geodetic precession and by the present-day eccentricity of the binary system.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.