Letter | Published:

The origin of the planet orbiting PSR1829 – 10

Naturevolume 352pages783784 (1991) | Download Citation



BAILES et al.1 have reported the discovery of a planet-mass object in a six-month orbit around the radio pulsar PS R1829–10. The parameters of the orbit, in particular its circularity, make it unlikely that this planet existed before the supernova explosion that presumably created the pulsar, and somehow survived1. Here we present two alternative explanations for the existence and orbital parameters of the claimed planet-mass object. In the first, the pulsar forms from the coalescence of two white dwarfs, and the planet condenses from a massive disk of material left behind. In the second, a neutron star collides with and cannibalizes the central star of a solar-type planetary system. The orbits of the inner planets are made elliptical by this collision, but then recircularized by drag forces due to the extended but short-lived envelope of the disrupted central star.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Bailes, M., Lyne, A. G. & Shemar, S. L. Nature 352, 311–313 (1991).

  2. 2

    Chevalier, R. A. Astrophys. J. 346, 847–859 (1989).

  3. 3

    Benz, W., Bowers, R. L., Cameron, A. G. W. & Press, W. H. Astrophys. J. 348, 647–667 (1990).

  4. 4

    Saio, H. & Nomoto, K. Astrophys. J. 150, L21–L23 (1985).

  5. 5

    Iben, I. Jr & Tutukov, A. V. in Stellar Nucleosynthesis (eds Chiosi, C. & Renzini A.) 181–204 (1984).

  6. 6

    Nomoto, K. & Iben, I. Jr Astrophys. J. 297, 531–537 (1985).

  7. 7

    Fabian, A. C., Pringle, J. E. & Rees, M. J. Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc. 172, 15p–18p (1975).

  8. 8

    Katz, J. I. Nature 253, 698–699 (1975).

  9. 9

    Djorgovski, S. Astrophys. J. 317, L13–L14 (1987).

  10. 10

    Spitzer, L. in Dynamics of Star Clusters (eds Goodman, J. & Hut, P.) 109–136 (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1985).

  11. 11

    Ruffert, M. & Müller, E. Astr. Astrophys. 238, 116–133 (1990).

  12. 12

    Thome, K. & Żytkow, A. N. Astrophys. J. 199, L19–L24 (1975).

  13. 13

    Krolik, J. Astrophys. J. 282, 452–465 (1985).

Download references

Author information

Author notes

    • J. E. Pringle

    Present address: Space Telescope Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Maryland, 21218, USA


  1. Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 OHA, UK

    • Ph. Podsiadlowski
    • , J. E. Pringle
    •  & M. J. Rees


  1. Search for Ph. Podsiadlowski in:

  2. Search for J. E. Pringle in:

  3. Search for M. J. Rees in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.