Pulsar Pulverizes Incoming Asteroids

5:45 minutes

Pulsars are neutron stars that emit radio waves at a constant rate that is more accurate than an atomic clock. Reporting in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, scientists write of a change in the spin of one pulsar, which they attribute to collisions with asteroids. Astronomer Ryan Shannon describes how pulsars battle incoming asteroids and what this tells us about these fast-spinning stars.

Segment Guests

Ryan Shannon

Ryan Shannon is a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy and space science at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Sydney, Australia.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim was a senior producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

Explore More

Facts About Asteroids That Rock

Which asteroid is made of metal, and which hides an ocean? The answers lie in our nifty asteroid trading cards.

Read More