Pulsars are neutron starsNeutron StarA small compressed core of a star that has gone through supernova (star explosion). These stars are almost completely made up of only neutrons and have a strong gravitational field. . They are formed when an old star explodes as a supernovaSupernovaThe extremely violent explosion of a star many times more massive than our Sun after the nuclear furnace at its core can no longer balance out the force of gravity. During this explosion, these stars may become as bright as all the other stars in a galaxy combined, and in which a great deal of matter is thrown off into space at high velocity and high energy. The remnant of these massive stars collapse into either a neutron star or a black hole., so you would expect to find them in the center of its supernova remnant. But not always. Astronomers have learned that some pulsarsPulsarA neutron star that emits regular pulses of light towards Earth. are ejected from its remnant. The Very Large Array has discovered one pulsar that is quite a kick.
Join our host Summer Ash of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory as she talks about how you can get a kick out of pulsars.