Scientists have discovered a very unique and bizarre pulsar by detecting millisecond bursts of gamma radiation. The pulsar is unique because it has a star orbiting it at an incredibly fast rate- 90 minutes- and an amazingly close distance. It set the record in those categories for any binary neutron star system ever discovered (the companion is not another neutron star, rather it “is the compact remnant of a star which has been orbiting the pulsar since earlier times.”).

I could understand  this article thanks to the recent subject matter in class. The concept of a neutron star is incredible, that gravity can smash matter together in that way. I don’t understand nearly enough about quantum physics to know why or how neutrons have a degeneracy pressure; what are they made of that can repel or not stick together? I always thought of them as essentially being solid mass. It just seems really strange, that you could have a ball of neutrons without it being a singularity ie black hole.

This article is a good example of how scientists can learn a lot about a planet and its properties by analyzing thermal emissions and looking at absorption lines, then reasoning upon that data to come up with hypotheses which eventually provides theories. The Cassini probe is a tiny piece of metal orbiting the vast Saturn, yet the probe has taught us so much about the nature of the entire planet.

The storm reminds me of Jupiter’s red spot and looks even nicer than it in the artist’s illustration, which was likely made by the same methods that our class did in lab.