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脉冲星

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2017-10-13 15:02China Daily Editor: Yao Lan ECNS App Download

脉冲星

pulsar

10月10日,中国科学院国家天文台宣布,500米口径球面射电望远镜(FAST)经过一年调试,已实现指向、跟踪、漂移扫描等多种观测模式的顺利运行,并确认多颗新发现脉冲星.

After one year of trial operation, China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has identified multiple pulsars, the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) said Tuesday.

10月10日,中国科学院国家天文台宣布,经过一年调试,500米口径球面射电望远镜(FAST)已发现多颗脉冲星.FAST是世界上最大的单口径射点望远镜.

Two of the pulsars, named J1859-01 and J1931-01, are 16,000 light years and 4,100 light years from Earth with rotation periods of 1.83 seconds and 0.59 seconds, respectively.

新发现的脉冲星中有两颗分别为J1859-01和J1931-01,前者距离地球1.6万光年,自转周期1.83秒,后者距离地球4100光年,自转周期0.59秒.

据科学家介绍,脉冲星(pulsar)是一种高速自转的中子星(neutron star),由恒星演化和超新星爆发产生.它的密度极高(super density),每立方厘米重达上亿吨,一块方糖大小就相当于地球上一万艘万吨巨轮的重量.脉冲星自转速度很快(fast rotational speed)、自转周期精确(accurate rotation period),是宇宙中最精准的时钟.这一特殊"本领",让脉冲星在计时、引力波探测(finding gravitational waves)、航天器导航(navigating spacecraft)等领域具有重要应用.

这两颗脉冲星J1859-01和J1931-01分别由"中国天眼"于今年8月22日、25日在南天银道面(the southern galactic plane)通过漂移扫描(drift-scanning)发现.目前"天眼"已探测到数十个优质脉冲星候选体(promising pulsar candidates),其中6颗通过国际认证.

对于观测范围可达已知宇宙边缘的"天眼"来说,发现脉冲星只是使命之一,未来,它还将在中性氢观测(neutral hydrogen observation)、谱线观测(spectrum observation)、寻找可能的星际通讯信号(exploration of interstellar communication signals)等方面大放异彩.

2016年9月25日,我国500米口径球面射电望远镜(FAST)正式落成启用,位于贵州省平塘县名为大窝凼的喀斯特洼地(naturally deep and round karst depression)之中.其接收面积(receiving area)相当于30个足球场大.鞘澜缱畲蟮牡タ诰渡涞缤毒.射电望远镜(radio telescope)接收的是肉眼看不到的射电波(radio waves),跟接收卫星信号的天线锅类似,通过锅的反射聚焦,把几平方米到几千平方米的信号聚拢到一点上.因此,FAST的工作不是"看",而是"听",依靠500米口径的"大耳朵"来"收听"太空深处物体发出的无线电波.

 

  

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