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The Legendary Pink Dots

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014: A pulsar glows at the center of this image. This pulsar, called PSR J1640-4631, lies in in the inner portion of the Milky Way…Read More »

galaxy, roughly 42,000 light-years away. Pulsars are the cores of stars that ended their lives in supernova explosions, the cores being highly magnetic and rotating extremely rapidly. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) discovered the pulsar by identifying its pulse -- a rotating beam of X-rays that passes over Earth every 0.2 seconds. The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) in Namibia originally identified the object as an intense source of gamma rays. NuSTAR assisted in tracing the source of the gamma rays to a pulsar. The other pink dots in this picture arise from low-energy X-rays detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

— Tom Chao    Less «
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