Question What is the shape of the invisible star in a Binary Pulsar?
The Binary Pulsar PSR 1913+16 is prove of the Relativity Theory, because it also shows a precession in the same way as Mercury.
However if you want to use a Binary Pulsar as a proof you must be sure that no other effect can explain the same behavior. For example when the invisible star is oblate (not round) it is easy to simulate precession of the visible star using Newton's Law.
A Binary Pulsar belongs to what is called a Binary Star System. A normal Binary Star System consists of two visible stars, which closely rotate around each other.
A Binary Pulsar shows one major difference: One star is invisible and the other is visible. The visible star shows the behaviour, similar as the precession of Mercury.
The precession of Mercury can not been explained by assuming that the shape of the Sun is oblate because all literature states that the shape of the Sun is round.
For the Binary Pulsar PSR 1613+16 the shape of the central star is not mentioned, raising doubt if it can be used as prove of Relativity Theory. It is highly likely that in a Binary Star System both stars are not round.
Last modified: 8 September 1997
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