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"Cannonball" pulsar points to the supernova that shaped it



Pulsars are superdense neutron stars formed from massive supernovae. They can only be found if their electromagnetic radiation points directly to Earth like a nuclear lighthouse. It has been found that pulsars rotate as fast as 1.6 milliseconds or 38,500 rpm. They absorb the angular momentum of the massive stars that formed them, but are only a fraction of the size. This means that figure skaters turn faster when they pull their arms.

J0002, about 6,500 light-years away in Cassiopeia, is not that fast. However, it is spinning at a healthy 8.7 times per second, producing a gamma ray burst from Earth every time. Einstein @ Home astronomers discovered it in 201

7 when they searched gamma ray data using volunteer-borrowed computer cycles. The above photo is a compilation of older images of the DRAO Observatory and new observations of the VLA. The latter shows the orange pulsar tail and the curved edge of the supernova remnant.

Scientists do not know why J0002 moves faster than 99 percent of measured pulsars. One theory states that the collapsing star that formed it had regions of dense matter that attracted the newly formed neutron star like a "gravitational tug". Shortly after its creation, the supernova shell passed the pulsar, but interstellar gas eventually slowed the relatively sparse backlog. Meanwhile, the pulsar acted like a cannonball, breaking through the remains and escaping them about 5,000 years after the explosion.

Pulsar J0002 will eventually escape our galaxy. Suffice to say that you do not want to get in the way – such objects are very small (12 miles on average), but can weigh twice as much as our sun. With 2.5 million km / h he can get from the earth to the moon in just six minutes. At some point, it might cool down that it can no longer be recognized – fortunately, thanks to the built-in arrow, we always know exactly where to go.


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