Researchers investigate 'the Goose' pulsar wind nebula

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory and Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), astronomers have investigated a pulsar wind nebula, dubbed "the Goose," powered by a young pulsar known as PSR J1016–5857. Results of ...

Spacecraft navigation uses X-rays from dead stars

The remnants of a collapsed neutron star, called a pulsar, are magnetically charged and spinning anywhere from one rotation per second to hundreds of rotations per second. These celestial bodies, each 12 to 15 miles in diameter, ...

Telescope dons 'sunglasses' to find brightest-ever pulsar

An international research team, including scientists at Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, has used a new observation technique to discover the brightest extragalactic pulsar known, and it could even be the most ...

New double neutron star millisecond pulsar discovered

An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a rare double neutron star millisecond pulsar. The newfound binary pulsar, designated PSR J1325−6253, consists of two neutron stars orbiting one another every ...

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Pulsar

Pulsars are highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The observed periods of their pulses range from 1.4 milliseconds to 8.5 seconds. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name. Because neutron stars are very dense objects, the rotation period and thus the interval between observed pulses are very regular. For some pulsars, the regularity of pulsation is as precise as an atomic clock. Pulsars are known to have planets orbiting them, as in the case of PSR B1257+12. Werner Becker of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics said in 2006, "The theory of how pulsars emit their radiation is still in its infancy, even after nearly forty years of work."

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