It’s only been a couple of weeks since the world cheered for the LIGO collaboration that made the first direct detection of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger. Now, another group hunting for these spacetime ripples say they could detect very low-frequency gravitational waves using existing radio…
A multi-decade analysis of a distant pulsar is affirming the longstanding notion that the gravitational constant—one of four fundamental forces of nature—is the same everywhere in the universe.
Astronomers have detected an ancient stellar remnant that's 10 times fainter than the dimmest white dwarf ever discovered. Fortuitously orbited by a pulsar, this cold and collapsed star consists of crystallized carbon — essentially making it an Earth-sized diamond in space.
You know when you're having a bad day when you get hit by a billion-ton asteroid. But for a pulsar 37,000 light-years away, it's just a another day at the office. And besides, PSR J0738-4042 has an uber-powerful X-ray blaster to deal with errant space rocks.
See that purple stream at the bottom right? It's the helical jet from a runaway pulsar that's streaking across the Milky Way at speeds reaching five million mph. But more extraordinary than that is how freakishly long this thing is.
Here's a space-age idea if you've ever heard one: NASA is building a galactic GPS system that will provide astronauts a better, more accurate map through our solar system. This is obviously an ambitious undertaking, one that will take generations, not years, to complete.
Astronomers studying an absolutely enormous neutron star and its white dwarf companion have shown that Einstein’s calculations still work even under the most extreme gravitational conditions.
The cover to Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures is incredibly iconic, inspiring everything from tattoos to t-shirts sold at Disneyland. But what you may not know is that this image is actually a diagram from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy.
When explorers started going around the Earth, they used the stars to find their way around. While the oceans and plains stretched out indefinitely, the stars were dependable guides. But when we travel into deep space, what will we use to find our way?
Pulsars are the lighthouses of the universe; from here on Earth, the waves of electromagnetic radiation emitted by these incredibly dense neutron stars as they whirl rapidly about their axes resemble rhythmic pulses of light.
While your computer is running idle, it could be finding new pulsars and black holes in deep space—just like the computers of three volunteers running a program called Einstein@Home.
The galaxy 3C 454.3 is located 7.2 billion light years away, but it's suddenly become the brightest source of gamma rays in the sky. Its particle jet has increased 10 times since the summer — and it's aimed at us.
OK, mind blowing: A scientist at the Observatoire de Paris basically invented GPS for interstellar travelers: Simply tune in the radio signals from four pulsars, crunch some numbers having to do with relativity (natch) and read your position within the galaxy—to within a meter.
How do you navigate when you're floating out in deep space? By pulsar, that's how. In outer space (and even in Earth orbit) GPS doesn't do you a whole lot of good, so space scientists at the PLANS navigation conference in Monterey, CA this week have put together a couple of papers designed to show that a spacecraft…