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Cen X-3

These data were retrieved from the EXOSAT satellite through their Medium Energy experiment. The students will determine the pulsar rotation period here, which is 4.8 seconds. This is a system where a pulsar is in orbit around a 17 solar mass (17 x the mass of the Sun) O star (very large blue star). This is a peculiar source where long term variations are seen in both the pulsar period and the orbital period. It has been hypothesized that this is due to a third "body" that may exist within this system.

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