As the presence of pulsars in our Milky Way galaxy continues to remain a mystery, China has come forward to unleash the secret by a space telescope, which it plans to launch soon, scientists have said.
Those who are still guessing what exactly a pulsar is, it is actually a rotating neutron star which is highly magnetised. The pulsar spews two beams of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission points towards our planet Earth.
Till date, scientists have discovered as many as 2,000 pulsars among the 100 million that are thought to be present in the Milky Way.
“We are still not clear about the interior of pulsars,” said Zhang Shuangnan, lead scientist of the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT).
“Current physical laws cannot describe well the substances in the state of a pulsar, since no lab on Earth can create a density as high as a pulsar. So we have to conduct more observations of pulsars,” said Zhang, director of the Key Laboratory of Particle Astrophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The first ever pulsar was discovered in 1967 and it was so strange that it was mistaken for signals from aliens, ‘Xinhua’ reported.
When the core of a large star collapses, a neutron star is born and it is considered as the most accurate astronomical clock in the universe.
According to scientists, they can make use of the pulsars as ‘lighthouses’ to help navigation in future interplanetary or interstellar travel.
Long-time monitoring of pulsars could help unravel the mystery of their energy sources, Lu Fangjun, chief designer of the payload of HXMT, said.