Friday, April 19, 2024

China's Five-Hundred-Meter Radio Telescope Detects over 900 New Pulsars

China's Five-Hundred-Meter Radio Telescope Detects over 900 New Pulsars

China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has identified more than 900 new pulsars since its debut in 2016, its operator said Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

The National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) said that the pulsars included over 120 binary pulsars, more than 170 millisecond pulsars, and 80 faint and intermittent pulsars.

Pulsars, or fast-spinning neutron stars, originate from the imploded cores of massive dying stars through supernova explosions.

Pulsar observation, an important task for FAST, can be used to confirm the existence of gravitational radiation and black holes and study the laws of physics in extreme environments.

According to FAST's operator, less than 3,000 pulsars had been discovered worldwide over the past 50-plus years since the discovery of the first pulsar. The number of new pulsars discovered by FAST is more than three times the total number of pulsars found by telescopes outside China during the same period.

In recent years, FAST has achieved notable success in the study of fast radio bursts, neutral hydrogen, and pulsars, greatly expanding the scope of the human exploration of the universe.

Dubbed the "China Sky Eye," the telescope is located in a naturally deep and round karst depression in the country's southwestern province of Guizhou. It has a reception area equal to 30 standard football fields.

Learn more about FAST in China:

Video Credit: New China TV

Duration: 2 minutes, 14 seconds 

Release Date: April 17, 2024

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