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NASA's telescope discovers a cosmic cannonball racing through space



  pulsar

Jayanne English, University of Manitoba / NRAO / F. Schinzel et al., DRAO / Canadian Galactic Plane Survey and NASA / IRAS

NASA astronomers have discovered a pulsar that flits through space like a cosmic hyperspeed cannonball and travels 2.5 million miles per hour ̵

1; five times faster than an average pulsar.

At this speed he travels at an amazing 694 miles per second. If you could somehow build a cannon capable of firing this pulsar from the starboard side of your pirate ship in the Atlantic, it would race around the earth and hit your port side 35 seconds later. Arrrr!

Pirate ships aside, a pulsar is the fast-rotating dense star left behind after a massive supernova explosion. Astronomers believe that the explosion can throw the pulsar like a cannonball through space. This device, named PSR J0002 + 6216, was discovered using NASA's Fermi-Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, first launched in space in 2008, and a series of Earth-based radio telescopes known as the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. [19659005] PSR J0002 + 6216 – or "J0002" – is not like most other standard boring pulsars we've seen before. No, J0002 is like the Sonic the Hedgehog version of a pulsar, faster than 99 percent of what we've measured in the past. With Fermi launched in 2008, there's a decade of data that can be used to analyze J0002, allowing the research team to accurately measure their movements.

Technology is, "said Matthew Kerr, a researcher at the US Naval Research Laboratory," Fermi's beautiful 10-year data has essentially made this measurement possible. "

J0002 is currently about 6,500 light-years away in one known as Cassiopeia Constellation and 53 light-years from the remnants of a huge stellar explosion known as CTB 1. This explosion occurred about 10,000 years ago, leading to a rapidly expanding gas bubble enveloping the pulsar.

But about 5,000 years ago, the incredibly fast pulsar would be blown up by the ghostly gas cloud continued to accelerate, which resulted in the fabulous image at the top of this article showing a streaky, fiery yellow tail, which looks small in the image, but extends 13 light years behind the raging one Cosmic Cannonball.

The tail also allows astronomers to trace the origin of the pulsar, wodur Knowing how it was shaped and how it formed was thrown out of the supernova explosion.

"Further studies of this object will help us to understand how these explosions can" kick "neutron stars at such a high speed," said Frank Schinzel, a scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

citizen science project under the name Einstein @ Home discovered. This project uses the computing power of idle computers to search Fermi's data mount for clues to a pulsar, and has so far enabled discovery of 23.

The work will be published in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. 19659014]
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