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A purple skeletal hand reaches for an oval of pumpkin-colored blobs

Stellar Science

Dead Stars Come to Life This Halloween

The ghostly lights from two dead stars have stories to tell.

central pulsar encased in disk, pulsar emits narrow jet out of its poles. In background is a larger but less massive companion star

Stellar Science

Peculiar Pulsar Throws “Cosmic Cannonballs”

Astronomers think a city-size star that’s spinning faster than a kitchen blender is shooting out plasma torpedoes.

Neutron star

Stellar Science

Astronomers Find Mysterious, Slowly Pulsing Star

An unidentified source has been beaming out a pulse of radio waves every 22 minutes since 1988.

Black widow pulsar

Stellar Science

Black Widow Pulsar Sets Mass Record

A pulsar has devoured enough of its stellar companion to grab the title for most massive known neutron star.

Artist's illustration of pulsar Geminga

Astronomy & Observing News

Seeing Inside a Cosmic Superaccelerator

Astronomers are exploring a celestial particle accelerator in the Eel Nebula that surrounds a distant pulsar.


Stellar Science

Pulsar Shoots 7-light-year-long Phaser Blast

Nature proves truth is still stranger than fiction: A pulsar has shot energetic particles in a thin, straight line that extends for light-years into space. The discovery might explain how antimatter makes its way to Earth.

Crab Nebula

Stellar Science

Crab Pulsar's Mystery Bursts Are Even More Powerful Than We Thought

The Crab Nebula pulsar has sporadically bursted for decades. Now, astronomers have found these mysterious bursts release even more energy than thought.

Pulsar-white dwarf binary


Pulsar Limits “Fifth Force” Interactions with Dark Matter

A recent experiment to better understand the nature of dark matter constrains a possible "fifth force" of nature to almost zero.

Pulsar-brown dwarf system

Stellar Science

A Magnifying Glass for a Pulsar

Astronomers have discovered a pulsar that comes with its own magnifying glass — courtesy of its brown dwarf companion that’s being torn to shreds.

Artist's illustration of pulsar Geminga

Stellar Science

Two Pulsars Blowing in the Wind

New images of two pulsars show beautiful, complex clouds of charged particles that illustrate the power dynamics in and around these spinning neutron stars.

Tarantula Nebula pulsars


Pulsars' Gamma Rays Highlight Mysteries

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered that almost all of the highest energy photons in the Large Magellanic Cloud come from two pulsars.

Stellar Science

Pulsar System to Put On a Show in 2018

Astronomers are looking forward to 2018, when a young pulsar will pass through its binary star companion’s disk.

Stellar Science

Fermi Finds "Transformer" Pulsar

NASA's Fermi Space Telescope recently spotted a pulsar in a rare transitional phase as it devours the matter of its companion star.

Exotic triowith a pulsar


Exotic Stellar Trio Includes Pulsar

Imagine a three-star system with two white dwarfs and a wildly spinning, superdense neutron star, all packed within a space no bigger than Earth's orbit.

Stellar Science

Oddball Pulsar Origin?

A few whirling neutron stars might get their start as very different objects, at least if a new analysis is correct.

Stellar Science

Pulsar on the Fence

Astronomers have discovered a neutron star that switches between X-ray and radio emission within a few days. The find is fabulous news for theorists, who have long predicted that the two pulsar types were connected.

Milky Way

New Pulsar Explores Heart of Milky Way

A pulsar discovered last April is helping astronomers measure the magnetic field surrounding our galaxy’s central black hole.

pulsar with beam

Stellar Science

Pulsar Twitches Perplex Astronomers

New X-ray and radio observations detected a strange switcheroo in the radiation from a pulsar. The repeated hiccups have left scientists scratching their heads.

Map of gamma-ray pulsars


Fermi Tracks Gamma-ray Pulsars

What spins hundreds of times per second, has 100 trillion times the Sun's density, and spews lethal radiation all over interstellar space? Astronomers are closer to knowing the answers, thanks to NASA's newest deep-space observatory.


Dark Matter or Pulsars? Fermi is on the Case

Something funny is going on within a few hundred light-years of us, creating high-energy electrons that we don't understand. Recent data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope keep the mystery alive.