‘Cosmic cannonballs’ exploding out of lifeless star might clarify mysterious flicker within the night time sky

Astronomers have solved the decade-long thriller of how a weird cosmic object toggles quickly between “excessive” and “low” power states: by launching plasma cannonballs from its orbit.

The thing in query is a pulsar — a kind of extraordinarily magnetic neutron star. Like different neutron stars — the remnants of large stars which have collapsed — pulsars are extraordinarily dense and have a tendency to spin rapidly round their axes. However not like different neutron stars, a pulsar emits vibrant beams of electromagnetic radiation from its poles. This offers it the looks of “pulsing” in house, like a lighthouse beacon considered from a distance.

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