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Glossary term: Pulsar

Description: A pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star, detected as one of its beams of radio emission sweeps past our line of sight and is picked up by a radio telescope as a pulse. Pulsars have intense magnetic fields and two beams of radiation. The spin axis and magnetic axis are generally not aligned. Pulsars are about 10–20 kilometers across with a mass of about one and a half times that of our Sun. They spin about once to several hundred times a second and can act as very precise celestial clocks. Some pulsars have been detected as gamma ray or X-ray sources. Over 3000 have been detected in our galaxy. Pulsars are useful as probes of the interstellar medium and as a test of General Relativity.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".