HomeSpace NewsRemarkably stable 'black widow' pulsar could help detect gravitational waves

Remarkably stable ‘black widow’ pulsar could help detect gravitational waves

Every 4 milliseconds, a dead star blasts a powerful beam of radiation toward our planet. Don’t worry — Earth will be fine. It’s the dead star’s tiny companion that’s in trouble.

In a new study published March 11 on the pre-print database arXiv (opens in new tab), researchers describe this ill-fated binary star system — a rare class of celestial object known as a black widow pulsar (opens in new tab). Just like the cannibal spider from which this type of system takes its name, the larger member of the pair seems intent on devouring and destroying its smaller companion. (In spiders, females are often larger than males.)

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