China's FAST detects more than 500 new pulsars

2021-12-16 Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
Photo shows the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST). (Photo/China News Service)
Photo shows the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST). (Photo/China News Service)

(ECNS) -- China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), or China's Sky Eye, has detected more than 500 new pulsars.

As a revolutionary equipment for deep exploration of the universe, FAST has discovered weak fast radio bursts that are hard to find using other telescopes, and collected the largest-ever samples of fast radio bursts in the world.

These discoveries are helping humans reveal the changing universe, according to Li Di, chief scientist of the telescope and a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Chinese research team found the first evidence of three-dimensional spin-velocity alignment in a pulsar in May of this year.

"It is hard to explain by supernova simulations. It has questioned the existing origin models of neutron stars and refreshed human knowledge about the origin of special celestial bodies under extreme physical conditions," said Li.

Pulsars, or fast-spinning neutron stars, originate from the imploded cores of massive dying stars through supernova explosions.

With their high density and fast rotation, they are an ideal laboratory for studying the laws of physics in extreme environments. Research on pulsars can help unveil the origin and evolution of the universe.

The "sky eye" has been available for scientists worldwide and received approximately 200 observation applications from 16 countries since it officially opened.

Located in a karst depression in southwest China's Guizhou Province, FAST started operation in January 2020. It is believed to be the world's most sensitive radio telescope.


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