Fast-Spinning ‘Extreme’ Neutron Star Discovered by US Navy Intern

Amaris McCarver, an intern at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Remote Sensing Division, and a team of astronomers have discovered a rapidly spinning neutron star that is beaming radiation across the universe like a cosmic lighthouse.

The rapidly spinning neutron star, or “pulsar,” is located in the dense star cluster Glimpse-CO1, which lies in the galactic plane of the Milky Way, about 10,700 light-years from Earth. The millisecond pulsar, which spins hundreds of times per second, is the first of its kind found in the Glimpse-CO1 star cluster. The Very Large Array (VLA) discovered the pulsar, designated GLIMPSE-C01A, on February 27, 2021, but it remained buried in a huge trove of data until McCarver and colleagues found it in the summer of 2023.

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