Pulsar vanishes suddenly, believed to be locked in massive tug-of-war with another star
The gravitational effects caused by the interaction between the two stars is so intense, it is warping space-time and causing a wobble that points the pulsar’s radio waves away from Earth.
Massive tug of war? Whatever. While people here on earth are focus on Massive tug of war, chemtrails, bigfoot, weird holes in Siberia, and rocks on Mars, some bright juvenile delinquent is making cosmic things disappear, probably using a homemade invisibility cloak gizmo, like the one above. Got the panties of a whole bunch of astronomers all in a bunch.
Astronomers are witnessing a massive tug-of-war between a rotating neutron star — known as a “pulsar” — and another star that is so intense, it is causing waves that bend space and make the pulsar wobble, causing it to disappear from view altogether.
Known as the spinning “lighthouses” of deep space, this particular pulsar has faded from view after being locked in a tight orbit with another star. Astronomers have been tracking the motion of the pulsar closely for five years, allowing them to determine its weight and how much of an effect it has on gravity, according to a BBC report.
Suddenly, the pulsar vanished, and the beams of radio waves that astronomers used to monitor are now pointed in a different direction. Scientists believe that this is because the dying star is wobbling into the dip in space-time that was created by its own orbit.
A pulsar is a neutron star that is small in size, but it is incredibly dense with a powerful gravitational pull. It is the result of a collapsed supernova, and contains more mass than the sun despite being contained in a sphere that is just 10 miles in diameter.
Neutron stars, when occurring in binaries, should generate space-time ripples known as gravitational waves under Einstein’s theory of general relativity — something that astronomers hope to be able to detect one day.
Known as Pulsar J1906, it showed up unexpectedly while Joeri van Leeuwen of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, the study’s author, was conducting a survey at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. He called it a “Eureka” moment, saying that he had surveyed the sky numerous times and then something bright showed up out of the blue.
Later, he discovered the pulsar had a companion star it was interacting with, the two bodies circling each other every four hours, the second fastest orbit ever witnessed. The pulsar rotated seven times per second, sweeping two beams of radio waves across the Earth.
His team monitored the waves almost every day for five years using radio telescopes, counting one billion rotations, allowing them to determine the gravitational interaction between the stars.
They are both only about 30 percent larger than the sun, but are only one solar diameter apart, causing extreme gravitational effects, including a time-space warp and a wobble that has pointed the pulsar’s light elsewhere for now. Dr. van Leeuwen said his calculations indicate it should swing back to pointing at the Earth by about 2170.
The findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal, and were also presented to the meeting of the American Astronomical Society.