The remarkably stable Black Widow pulsar could help detect gravitational waves

Every 4 milliseconds, a dead star shoots a powerful beam of radiation at our planet. Do not worry – Earth will be alright. It’s the dead star’s tiny companion that’s in trouble.

In a new study published in the Preprint database on March 11 arXiv (opens in new tab)researchers describe this ill-fated binary star system – a rare class of celestial objects known as a Black widow pulsar (opens in new tab). Just like the cannibal spider that gives this type of system its name, the larger member of the pair seems intent on devouring and destroying its smaller companion. (In spiders, females are often larger than males.)

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