‘Zombie’ pulsar is spinning slower than should be physically possible

Most pulsars rotate once every couple of seconds, but one pulsar completes a revolution just once every 76 seconds

Space 30 May 2022

Pulsar

Artist’s impression of a pulsar

Shutterstock/NASA images

A pulsar that is rotating just once every 76 seconds raises questions about how long these star remnants can remain active.

When a giant star explodes as a supernova, it can leave behind a dense core in the form of a neutron star. If this core is highly magnetised and spinning rapidly, it can send out regular pulses of radio emissions, and is known as a pulsar.

Manisha Caleb at the University of Manchester, UK, and her colleagues have discovered a particularly odd pulsar called …

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