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A spinning neutron star with a magnetic field on the order of one trillion Gauss. This magnetic field accelerates electrically charged particles along the magnetic poles, forming a beam of energy that shoots into space from the poles. If the beam shines toward Earth, astronomers see a flickering beacon. The most famous pulsar, the Crab Nebula, pulses 30 times a second.

Radio Programs

Black Widows Celestial creepy-crawlies July 21, 2017

Crab Nebula A crab scuttles across the sky December 14, 2015

Black Widow Pulsars Celestial creepy-crawlies April 9, 2014

Vulpecula The fox and goose in the night sky September 22, 2013

Pulsar Tales Dead stars that won’t shut up August 19, 2013

Guitar Nebula Strumming a few astronomical notes March 15, 2013

Pulsar Planets Reborn from a violent demise March 11, 2013

Wobbly Clocks Listening for cosmic “ripples” May 10, 2012

Geminga Giving birth to a “dead” star February 11, 2012

Pulsar Planets Planets around a dead star January 7, 2012

Pulsars The steady beat of dead stars January 6, 2012

Featured Images

Black-widow pulsar

Doomed Mate April 10, 2014

Artist's concept of the pulsar and planets in the system PSR B1257+12

Second-Chance Planets January 8, 2012