Astronomers Make About One Million Times More Precise Measurement of a Neutron Star

Astronomers have made the precise measurement of a distant, spinning neutron star. Highlight of the news is that the measurement is about one million times more precise than earlier calculations.

Interstellar medium was used by researchers, which is an empty space between stars and galaxies made up of sparsely charged neutrons, as a giant lens to magnify and closely observe the radio wave emissions of the neutron star.

The technique was tested on pulsar B0834+06. After studying the neutron star, it was found that its emission region is quite small than considered before. Moreover, it is closer to the star's surface.

"What's more, this new technique also opens up the possibilities for precise distance measurements to pulsars that orbit a companion star", affirmed Ue-Li Pen, one of the researchers.

As per Jean-Pierre Macquart from the Curtin University, neutron stars are quite tiny. They are only tens of kilometres in diameter therefore, very high resolution is needed to observe them and understand their physics.

Neutron stars also called pulsars are considered to be an interesting subject for research. Dr. Macquart, a member of ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), during the research, the neutron star gave off pulsed radio waves and its beams swept across telescopes frequently.

Professor Pen thinks that the new method can solve many hotly debated theories about pulsar emission. The Australian Research Council has awarded $344,000 to Dr. Macquart and Prof. Pen in the form of research funding. With the use of the amount, researchers can continue developing their technique further and measure other pulsars.

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