Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope : Discovered Five New Pulsars
Using the Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), astronomers from China and Australia have recently discovered five new pulsars.
- Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is a radio telescope in China’s Guizhou Province.
- It is the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, with a receiving area equivalent to 30 football fields.
- It measures 500 meters in diameter.
- Scientific Goals:
- Detect neutral hydrogen at the edge of the universe; reconstruct the images of the early universe;
- Discover pulsars, establish a pulsar timing array, and participate in pulsar navigation and gravitational wave detection in the future;
- Join the International Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry Network to obtain hyperfine structures of celestial bodies;
- Perform high resolution radio spectral survey. Detect weak space signals;
- Participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
- FAST uses a data system developed at ICRAR (International Center for Radio Astronomy) in Perth, Australia, and at ESO (European Southern Observatory) to manage the huge amounts of data it generates.
- Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds.
- Pulsars have strong magnetic fields that funnel particles along their magnetic poles, accelerating them to relativistic speeds, which produce two powerful beams of light, one from each pole.