Spiders in space?

“Black widows” and “redbacks” were among the eight binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) “spiders” discovered during a sensitive search using the Arecibo Observatory (AO), as reported in The Astrophysical Journal in March, 2021.

MSPs are highly magnetized remnants of dead stars that spin on their axes in less than 10 milliseconds. Energetic beams of electromagnetic radiation (light) are released from their magnetic poles, which can then be detected by sensitive telescopes like AO. + Read More

Pulsars Pulsar Astronomy and Physics at the Arecibo Observatory with Dr. Joanna Rankin

In January, Dr. Joanna Rankin, Professor Emerita of the Department of Physics at the University of Vermont and longtime AO user, visited with science and management staff at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Florida Space Institute (FSI) for several days, followed by one month at the Arecibo Observatory. Read More

A new discovery has upended the widely held view that all pulsars are orderly ticking clocks of the universe. A survey done at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has fortuitously discovered two extremely strange pulsars that undergo a “cosmic vanishing act.” Sometimes they are there, and then for very long periods of time, they are not. Read More