A pulsar kick refers to the observed phenomenon that the neutron star remnants of many supernovae do not move with the velocity of their progenitor star, but rather with a substantially greater speed. The cause of pulsar kicks is unknown, but many astrophysicists believe that it must be due to an asymmetry in the way a supernova explodes. If true, pulsar kicks would give us insight into the supernova mechanism.
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Some articles on pulsar kicks:
... the core has additional momentum in some direction, which we observe as the kick ... hydrodynamical models can explain the bimodal distribution, through a "dichotomous kick scenario" in which the envelope of the presupernova star is stolen by a binary companion, damping mechanical ... There are two main neutrino driven kick scenarios, relying on the parity violation of neutrino interactions to explain an asymmetry in neutrino distribution ...
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