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The video illustrates our current understanding of an object called the bursting pulsar, first discovered in December, 1995. Observations show the bursting pulsar to consist of a neutron star spinning with a rotation period of 0.467 seconds. This rotation is indicated in the video by light pulsing from the neutron star about twice a second. In addition, bright outbursts of X-rays and gamma rays occur approximately once every hour. Lastly, the pulsar orbits around another star with a period of 11.8 days. Observations indicate that the pulsar has a strong magnetic field. This magnetic field funnels material the magnetic poles, resulting in radiation pulses at 0.467 second intervals.

Video shows a neutron star spinning and pulsing with a bright flash at 0.467 second intervals. Also shown are the magnetic field lines from the poles. In the background the second star is shown.


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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