Astronomers Discover Unique Triple Star System —A Clue to the True Nature of Gravity?
An international team of astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope have discovered a unique stellar system consisting of two white dwarf stars and a superdense pulsar that may provide a key clue for resolving one of the principal outstanding problems of fundamental physics – the true nature of gravity.
Pulsars are neutron stars that emit lighthouse-like beams of radio waves that rapidly sweep through space as the object spins on its axis. The pulsar Boyles discovered lies approximately 4200 light-years from Earth, and spins at nearly 366 times per second. Such rapidly-spinning pulsars are called millisecond pulsars, and can be used by astronomers as precision tools for studying a variety of phenomena, including searches for the elusive gravity waves.