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Re: Yahoo! News Story - Astronomers baffled by weird, fast-spinning pulsar - Yah

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  • mahtezcatpoc
    I m trying to find right ascension and declination values for this object that I can turn into zodiacal coordinates. When I do, I ll post them. Mark A. Holmes
    Message 1 of 2 , May 28, 2008
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      I'm trying to find right ascension and declination values for this
      object that I can turn into zodiacal coordinates. When I do, I'll post
      them.

      Mark A. Holmes


      > >
      > >
      > > Astronomers baffled by weird, fast-spinning pulsar - Yahoo! News
      > >
      > > http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080515/sc_nm/pulsar_dc_1
      >
      >
      > BLGD.
      >
      > Mark A. Holmes
      >
      >
      > Begin story.--
      >
      >
      > Astronomers baffled by weird, fast-spinning pulsar
      >
      > By Will Dunham Thu May 15, 4:59 PM ET
      >
      > WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Astronomers are baffled after finding an exotic
      > type of star called a pulsar apparently locked in an elongated orbit
      > around a star much like the sun -- an arrangement defying what had
      > been known about such objects.
      >
      > The rapidly spinning pulsar -- an extraordinarily dense object created
      > when a massive star exploded as a supernova -- is called J1903+0327
      > and is located about 21,000 light years from Earth, the astronomers
      said.
      >
      > A light year is about 6 trillion miles, the distance light travels in
      > a year.
      >
      > "The big question is -- how in the heck did this thing form, because
      > it doesn't follow our standard models of how these things form,"
      > astronomer Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in
      > Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
      >
      > This object is known as a millisecond pulsar because of its speedy
      > whirl -- it spins on its axis 465 times per second.
      >
      > Until now, all of the ones found orbiting with another star have been
      > doing so with a white dwarf, another type of dying star. In each case,
      > they shared a perfectly circular orbit. But this one has a very
      > elongated orbit around a star similar in size and composition to our
      sun.
      >
      > "What we have found is a millisecond pulsar that is in the wrong kind
      > of orbit around what appears to be the wrong kind of star," astronomer
      > David Champion of the Australia Telescope National Facility said in a
      > statement. "Now we have to figure out how this strange system was
      > produced."
      >
      > It was detected using a radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
      >
      > Pulsars are a rare type of neutron star whose strong magnetic fields
      > channel lighthouse-like beams of light and radio waves that whirl
      > around as the star spins.
      >
      > Typical pulsars spin once a second to about 10 or 20 times a second.
      > But millisecond pulsars spin far more rapidly.
      >
      > The understanding had been that these started out as typical,
      > slower-spinning pulsars, then built up speed after material expelled
      > from another star reached the pulsar's surface, giving it momentum.
      >
      > "If you were to ask any astronomer if we would have found a system
      > like this, they would have said no. So this is a very big surprise,"
      > Ransom said.
      >
      > The scientists, writing in the journal Science, speculate a third star
      > -- perhaps a neutron star or white dwarf -- might be orbiting with the
      > other two. Scientists know of about 100 pulsars in two-star, or
      > binary, systems, and this might be the first in a triple-star system,
      > Ransom said.
      >
      >
      > --End story.
      >
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