Science: Cosmic Birth: First look at a young pulsar

First look at a young pulsar

Scientists have been able only to theorize about the origin of pulsars, those superdense, fast-spinning celestial objects that appear to blink on and off as % often as every millisecond. Now the mystery seems to be solved. Last week an international team of astronomers announced that they had detected a pulsar emerging from the murky dust clouds left over from Supernova 1987A, a giant star that exploded about 170,000 light-years from earth and was first seen two years ago.

Astronomers have long believed that pulsars are produced by stellar explosions. Until now, though, no pulsar had been observed so soon after...

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