Researchers found a new pulsar and named it after a spider. They were inspired by the “black widows” – spiders who eat their relatives.
Using data from the FAST five-hundred-meter radio telescope, a research team from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) discovered an eclipsed binary millisecond pulsar in a globular cluster or globular cluster.
It was named PSR J1717 + 4307A or M92A. Scientists have shown that the binary system is in a circular orbit with an orbital period of 0.2 days and a radius of 120 thousand kilometers. Due to the compactness of the orbit, the material from the satellite is absorbed by the pulsar. Therefore, the researchers called the Black Widow binary system. This name was inspired by the type of spider that eats its relatives.
Since the discovery of the first pulsar in 1967, scientists have found thousands of other pulsars in the galaxy. Some of them are located in the galactic plane, but scientists also found them in a globular cluster around the Milky Way.
The M92A was first discovered on October 9, 2017 during the commissioning of FAST. Researchers hope to collect more data about such objects – they will improve understanding of the pulsar population in the Milky Way and related astrophysics.