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Pulsar in M82, NuSTAR image

Pulsar in M82, NuSTAR image

C042/6293

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Credit

NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pulsar, imaged by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. A pulsar is a type of neutron star, the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova. These dead stars send out rotating beams of radiation that sweep past Earth like lighthouse beams. This pulsar is located in the Messier 82 galaxy 12 million light-years away, and sends out X-ray beams that pass Earth every 1.37 seconds. It was originally thought to be a massive black hole, but its X-ray emissions revealed its identity as a pulsar, pulsing with the energy of about 10 million suns.

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