Using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers have recently investigated a pulsar that appears to have changed its speed. This is a very weird discovery, since these objects are known to rotate at a constant rate, not varying over time. Yet, such a shift has recently been recorded.
Granted, the difference was only 38 millionths of a Hertz (cycles per second), but astrophysicists say that this is the highest anomaly ever detected on a pure gamma-ray pulsar. These objects are, in fact, the collapsed cores of massive stars that were not heavy enough to produce black holes.
This is not the first time that scientists observe such speed glitches on pulsars. They say that possible explanations include the triggering of starquakes on the objects' surfaces, or some sort of unknown interactions between their inner core and outer layers.
Given the extreme nature of these stellar objects – where one tablespoon of material weighs around 100 million tons – there is a high chance that some yet-unheard-of phenomenon is responsible, Space