NASA has discovered a pulsar speeding through space

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NASA has discovered a pulsar hurtling through space at nearly four million kilometres an hour — so fast that it could travel the distance between Earth and the Moon in just six minutes.

About 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
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  • Further study of this object will help us better understand how these explosions are able to ‘kick’ neutron stars to such high speed.
  • The project has identified 23 gamma-ray pulsars to date.
  • 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 VLA.



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