|Pulsars are types of neutron stars; the dead relics of massive stars. What sets pulsars apart from regular neutron stars is that they’re highly magnetized, and rotating at enormous speeds.|
Excerpt from uncovercalifornia.com
In a research paper accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, lead author Joe Swiggum, a graduate student in physics and astronomy at West Virginia University in Morgantown, said, “Pulsars are some of the most extreme objects in the universe. The students' discovery shows one of these objects in a really unique set of circumstances.”
The object has been codenamed PSR J1930-1852 by astronomers. It was discovered in 2012 by Cecilia McGough from Strasburg High School in Virginia and De'Shang Ray from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland.
The discovery of a pulsar with extra wide orbit could help in understanding the concepts behind binary neutron star systems. Nearly 10 percent of known pulsars are in binary systems with most of them orbiting white dwarf companion stars. The Pulsar has been found with the widest separation from the other star in the binary neutron system.
During Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) workshop in summer, students who are interested in analyzing survey data collected by Green Bank Telescope (GBT), spend weeks in checking data plots and searching for unique signatures of pulsars.
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory is a joint venture between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and West Virginia University which offers real research opportunity to students.