Artwork of a planet orbiting a pulsar

Artwork of a planet orbiting a pulsar

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artwork of a planet orbiting a pulsar. Pulsars are very rapidly spinning neutron stars the dead cores of massive stars rotating on their axes often hundreds of times every second. Radio and optical beams of radiation, emitted from the pulsar's magnetic poles, flash across our line of sight and the star appears to blink on and off as it spins. At least one pulsar (PSR J1719-1438) is known to host an extrasolar planet. In fact this planet, which is made of solid diamond, was the first extrasolar planet ever found.

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