Pulsar planets were the first planets outside the solar system ever discovered, but they now appear to be very rare. What makes a pulsar planet so uncommon?
Pulsars, or rapidly-spinning neutron stars, have been observed to suddenly change in spin. Typically, the pulsars we’ve seen do this are isolated—what happens if they have a stellar companion?
A mysterious Fast Radio Burst (FRB) from beyond the galaxy has been detected at Arecibo. This is the first FRB discovered outside of Parkes Observatory, giving greater credence to the astronomical nature of these signals.
One of nature’s best clocks is a millisecond pulsar. These exotic stellar corpses are neutron stars: incredibly dense, rotating hundreds of times per second, and emitting powerful jets or beams of light. This creates a “pulsing” effect, much like a lighthouse.
This month’s undergraduate research post features pulsars as a probe of our galaxy’s magnetic field, and the possibility of asymmetries in supernovae associated with gamma-ray bursts.