Pulsars

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Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in space.

 

Pulsars

 

What to study?

For prelims and Mains: Pulsars- meaning, features and characteristics.

 

Context: NASA has discovered a pulsar speeding through space.

  • This pulsar is dubbed PSR J0002+6216 (J0002 for short) and sports a radio-emitting tail pointing directly towards the expanding debris of a recent supernova explosion.
  • The Nasa found the pulsar hurtling through space at nearly four million kilometres an hour. The speed of the pulsar in the space is so fast that it could travel the distance between the Earth and the Moon in just six minutes.

 

The discovery:

Pulsar J0002 was discovered in 2017 by a citizen-science project called Einstein@Home, which uses time on the computers of volunteers to process Fermi gamma-ray data.

 

Where is it located?

Located about 6,500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia, J0002 spins 8.7 times a second, producing a pulse of gamma rays with each rotation. The pulsar lies about 53 light years from the centre of a supernova remnant called CTB 1.

Its rapid motion through interstellar gas results in shock waves that produce the tail of magnetic energy and accelerated particles detected at radio wavelengths using the Very Large Array (VLA).

 

What is a pulsar?

  • Pulsar is a celestial object that emits regular pulses of radio waves and other electromagnetic radiation at rates of up to one thousand pulses per second.
  • Pulsars are superdense, rapidly spinning neutron stars left behind when a massive star explodes.

Sources: et.