Twenty years later, the secret of an unusual neutron star has been revealed. All thanks to volunteers

Nearly twenty years later, an international research team has identified a mysterious source of gamma radiation. It turned out to be a heavy neutron star with a very light companion orbiting it.

The team identified the neutron star by its regularly pulsing gamma rays, but the object was completely invisible in radio waves.

To unequivocally prove the existence of a neutron star, it is necessary to detect not only its radio waves or gamma rays, but also their characteristic pulsations. The spin of the neutron star causes this regular blinking, similar to the blinking of a distant beacon. In this case, a neutron star is called either a radio or a gamma pulsar.

The neutron star rotates on its axis at over 30,000 rpm, making it one of the fastest rotating. At the same time, its magnetic field, which is usually extremely strong in neutron stars, turned out to be extremely weak here.

In order to locate the object, 10,000 volunteers donated the power of their computer maps to the Einstein @ Home supercomputer. In less than two weeks, the team made a discovery that would take centuries on a regular computer.

After identifying the gamma pulsar, the team tried to locate its radio waves. They found no trace, although they used the largest and most sensitive radio telescopes in the world, including the Lovell Jodrell Bank Telescope. This means that the neutron star, or PSR J1653-0158, has become the second rapidly rotating pulsar from which no radio waves are visible. There are two possible explanations: either the pulsar does not send radio waves to Earth, or, more likely, the plasma cloud envelops the binary star system so completely that no radio waves reach Earth.