Spider Pulsar Systems

  • IASbaba
  • February 1, 2023
  • 0
Science and Technology
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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Recently, Scientists have discovered the first gamma-ray eclipses from a special type of binary star system by using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

About Spider Pulsar Systems:

  • Spider pulsars got their name due to the similarity of customs with some species of spiders.
  • They are formed from binary star systems in which one of the components is much more massive than the other.
  • It evolves much faster, explodes like a supernova and turns into a neutron star.
  • It is this super-dense object that begins to pull a matter from the companion that resembles the habits of spiders of the genus Latrodectus, in which the female eats the male after mating.
  • Two varieties of binary systems containing pulsars were named after these arthropods.
  • Black widows: Binary pulsar systems, in which the mass of a companion star is less than 5 % of the solar one.
  • Redback: Binary pulsar systems, in which the mass of a companion star is from 10 to 50 % of the solar.

About Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST):

  • It is operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • FGST was formally known as formerly called the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).
  • It is a space observatory being used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit.
  • Its main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), with which astronomers mostly perform an all-sky survey studying astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, other high-energy sources, and dark matter.

Source: Hindustan Times

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which one of the following statements best reflects the idea behind the “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” often talked about in media? (2022)

  1. A hypersonic missile is launched into space to counter the asteroid approaching the Earth and explode it in space.
  2. A spacecraft lands on another planet after making several orbital motions.
  3. A missile is put into a stable orbit around the Earth and deorbits over a target on the Earth.
  4. A spacecraft moves along a comet with the same speed and places a probe on its surface.

Q.2) The experiment will employ a trio of spacecraft flying in formation in the shape of an equilateral triangle that has sides one million kilometres long, with lasers shining between the craft.” The experiment in question refers to  (2020)

  1. Voyager-2
  2. New Horizons
  3. LISA Pathfinder
  4. Evolved LISA

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