According to a report by Indian Express, researchers from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in Pune have found two new slow pulsars with narrow widths that they missed in earlier findings made using the improved Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope.
This was a portion of a group of 31 neutron stars, the most number ever found in a single southern sky region.
For those who don’t know, GMRT is a radio telescope that has been investigating the cosmos since 2000 and operates in the low-frequency range. It had its most recent upgrade in 2019, which was followed by a number of fresh discoveries.
The discovery of the new long-period pulsars occurred during the seventh year of a sky survey known as GMRT High-Resolution Southern Sky.
In case you didn’t know, pulsars are smaller than the Sun in size, highly magnetised, spinning neutron stars. They are known to typically be located at the centre of the supernova explosion and are the remnants of a supernova.
While continuing to revolve, it emits beams at regular intervals. When a pulsar’s rotation and emission rate slow down over time, a stage known as pulsar cemetery occurs in which the pulsar is completely unable to emit radiation.
Researchers from NCRA, the University of Manchester, the National Naval Laboratory, and West Virginia University in the US have lately questioned the effectiveness of the sky scanners and algorithms now in use for sky surveys.
Researchers claim that the paucity of long-period pulsar data in the current pulsar population from GHRSS and other ongoing surveys forced the algorithms to exclusively seek for signals from the pulsar’s spinning frequency domain.
Researchers employed a pulsar signal search mechanism in the time domain at regular intervals in an effort to improve this technique. With regard to long-period pulsars in particular, this novel technique that was used during the sky survey for tracking pulsar signals was far more effective than the traditional methodologies.
The new technique, according to the researchers, will aid future discoveries of long-period pulsars, particularly those found in the stellar graveyard.