Astronomers have discovered a pulsar – a dense and rapidly rotating neutron star that sends radio waves into space – with a low-frequency radio telescope in the Australian outback.
The new pulsar was discovered by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in remote Western Australia. Scientists first discovered a pulsar using the MWA. He is sure – this is only the first find of many. Pulsars are born from supernovae – when a massive star explodes and dies, it can leave behind a shattered core known as a neutron star.
Pulsars spin rapidly and emit electromagnetic radiation from their magnetic poles.
ICRAR-Curtin astronomer Dr. Ramesh Bhat said the newly discovered pulsar is more than 3,000 light-years from Earth and rotates about once a second.
“It’s incredibly fast compared to regular stars and planets,” he said. Dr. Bhat explained that the discovery was made using about 1% of the data collected for the study of pulsars.
These space objects are used by astronomers, for example, to test the laws of physics under extreme conditions. By the way, a spoonful of neutron star matter will weigh millions of tons. Their magnetic fields – some of the strongest in the universe – are about 1,000 billion times stronger than those on Earth. Thus, scientists can use them to do physics that is not available in any laboratory.