Gamma-ray sources guide astronomers to pulsars

Fermi Telescope observations provide candidates to check for radio emissions

By Ron Cowen, 13:12 PM November 5, 2009

WASHINGTON — Energetic gamma rays are providing astronomers with a new way to hunt those hard-to-find whirling dervishes known as pulsars.

“We usually have to look over the whole sky” to find pulsars, said Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. “Now we can use the gamma-ray point sources as guides, telling us exactly where to look.”

Ultradense, collapsed remnants of massive stars, pulsars rotate up to hundreds of times a second and emit beacons of...

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