Pulsar surprises astronomers with record-breaking gamma-rays

Nearly 1,000 light-years from where you’re sitting lies a spinning, highly magnetized neutron star that is so dense, a tablespoon of it equals something like the weight of Mount Everest. It’s an intense sight, to say the least, which is why astronomers naturally love studying it. You might’ve even heard its name uttered before: The Vela Pulsar.

And on Thursday (Oct. 5), scientists announced that data from the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) observatory in Namibia indicates this cosmic marvel just became a little more marvelous. It would appear that Vela unleashed the highest-energy radiation ever seen coming from a pulsar.

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