Artist's impression of millisecond pulsar and companion

The artist's impression shows the pulsar (seen in blue with two radiation beams) and its bloated red companion star in the globular cluster NGC 6397. Scientists believe that the best explanation for seeing a bloated red star instead of a 'quiet' white dwarf in the system is that the pulsar only recently has been spun up to its current rotation speed of 274 times per second by the gases transferred by the red star. It is the first time such a system has been observed.


European Space Agency & Francesco Ferraro (Bologna Astronomical Observatory)

About the Image

Release date:13 February 2002, 15:00
Related releases:heic0201
Size:2560 x 2048 px

About the Object

Name:PSR J1740-5340
Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star : Pulsar
Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Binary
Distance:7000 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
274.2 KB

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