Pulsars Emit Gamma-rays from Equator

  • Released Friday, January 9th, 2009
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:54PM
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A pulsar is a rapidly spinning and highly magnetized neutron star, the crushed core left behind when a massive sun explodes. Most were found through their pulses at radio wavelengths, which are thought to be caused by narrow, lighthouse-like beams emanating from the star's magnetic poles.

When it comes to gamma-rays, pulsars are no longer lighthouses. A new class of gamma-ray-only pulsars shows that the gamma rays must form in a broader region than the lighthouse-like radio beam. Astronomers now believe the pulsed gamma rays arise far above the neutron star.



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NASA/Fermi/Cruz deWilde


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