JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Pulsar. Illustration of a pulsar (upper left) over the rocky landscape of an imaginary planet. Pulsars are thought to be neutron stars that spin around rapidly, producing pulses of radiation in the same way that a lighthouse produces flashes of light. A neutron star is the tiny but extremely dense star that remains after a dying star explodes to produce a supernova. The first pulsar was discovered in 1967 and hundreds are now known. Many produce pulses of radio waves but some flash in visible light, X-rays or gamma rays.
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