Home > Astronomy, General Astronomy, Pulsars, Stars > Astronomers Use Precision Pulsar Positions To Break Record

Astronomers Use Precision Pulsar Positions To Break Record


An international team of scientists led by astronomer Adam Deller (ASTRON) have used the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to set a new distance accuracy record, pegging a pulsar called PSR J2222-0137 at 871.4 light-years from Earth. They did this by observing the object over a two-year period to detect its parallax, the slight shift in apparent position against background objects when viewed from opposite ends of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. With an uncertainty less than four light-years, this distance measurement is 30 percent more accurate than that of the previous-best pulsar distance. The VLBA observations were even able to discern the orbital motion of the pulsar around its as-yet undetected companion object, despite this motion being no larger than a small coin observed at a tenth of the distance to the Moon. The results of the research have been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Full Story: http://www.astron.nl/about-astron/press-public/news/radio-astronomers-use-precision-pulsar-positions-break-distance-recor

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