“The Black Widow” –Neutron Star in Exotic ‘Spider’ Pulsar System


Black Widow Neutron Star


In 1967, Jocelyn Bell, then a graduate student in astronomy at Cambridge University, noticed a strange signal, a series of sharp pulses that came every 1.3 seconds, in the data of her radio telescope that seemed too fast to be coming from anything like a star. Bell and her advisor Anthony Hewish initially thought they might have detected a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization that they named LGM-1, for “Little Green Men.” (It was later renamed.) It turned out not to be aliens, but rather the discovery of the first pulsar.


“Mapping Ghosts” — Ancient Pulsars, Objects So Dense They Warp Spacetime

NASA Pulsar


Astrophysicists are radically expanding our knowledge of image of pulsars, the ancient remains of exploded stars so dense their gravity warps nearby space-time, using NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray telescope aboard the International Space Station to create the first-ever map of million-degree hot spots on the surface of J0030 in an isolated region of space 1,100 light-years away in the constellation Pisces.


“Signals from Intelligence Beyond the Milky Way” –Alien Civilizations May Use Neutron Star Mergers as a Communication Event

The first-ever observations of merging binary stars stunned the world’s astronomy community, but not quite as stunning as the first-ever signal from extraterrestrial life will be.  GW170817 is the name given to the gravitational wave signal seen by the LIGO and Virgo detectors on 17 August 2017. Lasting for about 100 seconds, the signal was produced by the merger of the two neutron stars. The observation was then confirmed – the first time this has happened for gravitational waves – by observations with light waves.