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What is pulsar discovered by "China sky eye"?

What is pulsar discovered by Chinese sky eye? Recently, China's National Astronomical Observatory announced that six pulsars have been discovered for the first time by the astronomical telescope known as China's celestial eye. Many astronomers don't know what a pulsar is. Let's take a look at it!

What is a pulsar?

Pulsars are produced by stellar evolution and supernova explosion. They are named after periodic pulse signals. The nature of pulsar is neutron star, which has extreme physical properties that can not be realized in the ground laboratory. It is an ideal astrophysical laboratory. It is hoped that many important physical problems can be solved by studying it. For example, the rotation period of pulsar is extremely stable, and the accurate clock signal provides an ideal tool for gravitational wave detection, spacecraft navigation and other major scientific and technological applications.

On February 11, 2016, the LIGO Cooperation Group announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves predicted for a long time by general relativity, and the detection of gravitational waves has become a hot topic in the astronomical field. Through the long-term monitoring of fast rotating radio pulsars, a certain number of pulsars are selected to form a timing array, which can detect the low-frequency gravitational waves from such celestial bodies as supermassive double black holes. Fast will hopefully find more precise millisecond pulsars and make original contributions to the detection of gravitational waves by pulsar timing array.

The first results of the world's largest single aperture radio telescope, the 500m aperture spherical radio telescope (fast), were jointly released by the Science Communication Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of sciences today. Reporters learned that the fast telescope has made more progress than expected in debugging, and for the first time, a new pulsar has been discovered -- dozens of high-quality pulsar candidates have been detected, six of which have passed international certification.

Fast, as a large scientific device of national heavyweight, is one of the major scientific and technological basic equipment in the 11th Five Year Plan of China. It was invested and constructed by the national development and Reform Commission. It was completed on September 25, 2016 and entered the stage of trial operation and commissioning. The National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has led a number of domestic units, under the close cooperation of fast science and engineering team, after a year of intensive debugging, it has now realized the smooth operation of various observation modes, such as pointing, tracking, drift scanning, etc.; the debugging progress has exceeded expectations and the international practice of large-scale similar equipment; and it has started systematic scientific output.

The fast team used the fast early science center located in Guizhou Normal University for data processing, and detected dozens of high-quality pulsar candidates. Through international cooperation, such as the use of Australia's 64 meter Parkes telescope, it carried out follow-up observation certification. At present, it has passed the system certification of six pulsars. This is the first time that pulsars have been discovered by radio telescopes in China.

Searching and discovering radio pulsars is the core scientific target of fast. There are a large number of pulsars in the Milky way, but due to their weak signal, they are easy to be submerged by artificial electromagnetic interference, and only a small part of them have been observed at present. Fast telescope with high sensitivity is an ideal equipment for discovering pulsars. Fast's discovery of pulsars in the early stage of debugging benefits from effective early scientific planning, talents and technical reserves, initially demonstrates fast's scientific ability of independent innovation, and ushers in an exciting era of original discovery of China's radio band large scientific device system. In the future, fast will hopefully find more precise millisecond pulsars and make original contributions to the detection of gravitational waves by pulsar timing array.

According to the introduction, in the next two years, fast will continue to be debugged in order to reach the design index, pass the national acceptance, and realize the opening to domestic and foreign scholars. At the same time, we will further verify and optimize the scientific observation mode, continue to promote astronomical discovery, and strive to build fast into a world-class telescope equipment as soon as possible.