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Fraser
2009-Feb-27, 10:20 PM
It may be old, but it ain't dead. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has found the oldest isolated pulsar ever detected. While this pulsar is ancient, this exotic object is still kicking and is surprisingly active. According to radio observations, the pulsar, PSR J0108-1431 (J0108 for short) is about 200 million years old. Among [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/02/27/ancient-pulsar-still-pulsing/)

Buttercup
2009-Mar-10, 02:32 PM
This is a current headline elsewhere today:

http://astronomynow.com/090303Geriatricpul...illkicking.html (http://astronomynow.com/090303Geriatricpulsarstillkicking.html)


NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has spotted the oldest, most isolated pulsar ever detected in X-rays.

The pulsar, assigned the identity PSR J0108-1431 (or J0108 for short) is still surprisingly active, despite its 200 million year existence, which places it at ten times older than the previous record holder detected in X-rays. J0108 is also rather isolated, that is, it has not been spun-up in a binary system. And at a distance of 770 light years, it is one of the nearest pulsars known.


“This pulsar is pumping out high-energy radiation much more
efficiently than its younger cousins,” says Pavlov. “So, although it’s clearly fading as it ages, it is still more than holding its own with the younger generations.” But the pulsar is close to the so-called “pulsar death line,” where its pulsed radiation is expected to switch off, rendering it difficult or impossible to observe.

GOURDHEAD
2009-Mar-11, 02:44 AM
But the pulsar is close to the so-called “pulsar death line,” where its pulsed radiation is expected to switch off, rendering it difficult or impossible to observe. Hence a hazard to interstellar travel. I wonder how many such hazards are out there and how easily they could be detected by interstellar travelers. Since each galaxy probably produced many multiple-solar-mass stars in the galaxy's salad "days", there may be quite a few "dark-ex-pulsars" contributing to the dark matter mass.