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Press Release 13-195

Citizen scientists help astronomers see the light

Einstein@Home volunteers find four Gamma-ray pulsars and shed light on another part of the galaxy

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This illustration compares the size of a neutron star to the area around Hannover, Germany,

A neutron star is the densest object astronomers can observe directly, crushing half a million times Earth's mass into a sphere about 20 kilometers across. This illustration compares the size of a neutron star to a satellite image of the area around Hannover, Germany, hometown of the Albert Einstein Institute Hannover.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Artist's rendition of a gamma-ray pulsar, a compact neutron star that accelerates charged particles.

This is an artist's rendition of a gamma-ray pulsar, a compact neutron star that accelerates charged particles to relativistic speeds in its extremely strong magnetic field. This process produces gamma radiation (violet) far above the surface of the compact remains of the star, for example, while radio waves (green) are emitted over the magnetic poles in the form of a cone. The rotation moves the emission regions across the terrestrial line of sight, making the pulsar light up periodically in the sky.

Credit: NASA/Fermi/Cruz de Wilde


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (932.9 KB)

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