Planets orbiting pulsar

IMAGE NUMBER: P7005 LICENSE: RIGHTS MANAGED

Pulsar planets. Artwork of two planets around a pulsar. The pulsar (upper right) has two beams of energy coming from its poles. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars which cast out narrow beams of energy as they rotate. Their rotation is extremely fast, ranging from hundredths of seconds to a few seconds. The pulse is visible in all forms of radiation from radio to X-ray wavelengths. It is likely that any planets surrounding a pulsar would be barren. This is partly due to the high-energy emissions from the pulsar itself, but mainly due to the fact that pulsars are formed in supernova explosions which would sterilize any planets in the vicinity.

Credit: John R. Foster / Science Source

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