Thursday, July 18, 2024

Rapidly spinning ‘extreme’ neutron star discovered by US Navy research intern

A rapidly spinning neutron star that sweeps beams of radiation across the universe like a cosmic lighthouse has been discovered by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Remote Sensing Division intern Amaris McCarver and a team of astronomers.

The rapidly spinning neutron star, or “pulsar,” is located within the dense star cluster Glimpse-CO1, which sits in the galactic plane of the Milky Way around 10,700 light-years from Earth. This millisecond pulsar, which spins hundreds of times per second, is the first of its kind found in the Glimpse-CO1 star cluster. The Very Large Array (VLA) spotted the pulsar, which is designated GLIMPSE-C01A, on Feb. 27, 2021, but it remained buried in a vast amount of data until McCarver and colleagues found it in the summer of 2023.

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