PSR J0030+0451 Mass and Radius from NICER Data and Implications for the Properties of Neutron Star Matter

M. C. Miller, F. K. Lamb, A. J. Dittmann, S. Bogdanov, Z. Arzoumanian, K. C. Gendreau, S. Guillot, A. K. Harding, W. C.G. Ho, J. M. Lattimer, R. M. Ludlam, S. Mahmoodifar, S. M. Morsink, P. S. Ray, T. E. Strohmayer, K. S. Wood, T. Enoto, R. Foster, T. Okajima, G. PrigozhinY. Soong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutron stars are not only of astrophysical interest, but are also of great interest to nuclear physicists because their attributes can be used to determine the properties of the dense matter in their cores. One of the most informative approaches for determining the equation of state (EoS) of this dense matter is to measure both a star's equatorial circumferential radius R e and its gravitational mass M. Here we report estimates of the mass and radius of the isolated 205.53 Hz millisecond pulsar PSR J0030+0451 obtained using a Bayesian inference approach to analyze its energy-dependent thermal X-ray waveform, which was observed using the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER). This approach is thought to be less subject to systematic errors than other approaches for estimating neutron star radii. We explored a variety of emission patterns on the stellar surface. Our best-fit model has three oval, uniform-temperature emitting spots and provides an excellent description of the pulse waveform observed using NICER. The radius and mass estimates given by this model are Re =13.021.24 -1.06 km and M= 1.44+0.15 -0.14 M (68%). The independent analysis reported in the companion paper by Riley et al. explores different emitting spot models, but finds spot shapes and locations and estimates of R e and M that are consistent with those found in this work. We show that our measurements of R e and M for PSR J0030+0451 improve the astrophysical constraints on the EoS of cold, catalyzed matter above nuclear saturation density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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