NASA’s Fermi detected the first extragalactic gamma-ray pulsar PSR J0540-6919

Researchers have recently spotted the most glowing gamma-ray pulsar ever. The newly spotted ultra-dense stellar core also happens to be the first pulsar of this kind to be found beyond our home galaxy Milky Way.

Scientists came across the pulsar when analyzing data obtained from the orbiting Large Area Telescope of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The extraordinary object was found in a region hosting a significant amount of star activities. To be more precise, the pulsar was located in Large Magellanic Cloud’s Tarantula Nebula. For those who don’t know: the Large Magellanic Cloud is Milky Way’s satellite galaxy.

Earlier, scientists have seen the same pulsar emitting light of other wavelengths (for instance X-rays). However, on this occasion, scientists have seen the pulsar emitting high-powered gamma-rays; they have witnessed something like this happening outside our galaxy for the first time.

New measurements by the research team have revealed that pulsars are significantly more diverse when it comes to the kinds and amount of light emitted by them than what astronomers used to believe previously. The team has also come up with a fresh and better way of modeling how these gigantic powerhouses manage to generate such high amount of energy.

The rapidly spinning objects called pulsars, according to scientists, are as big as a city and have 1.4 times more mass than sun.

IRAP (Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology) researcher Pierrick Martin, who is one of the coauthors of this new paper published in the journal Science, said that all findings of the study are suggesting that this newly discovered pulsar is the most glowing gamma-ray pulsar to be spotted to date. He informed the record earlier belonged to the Crab pulsar, a pulsar spotted in the Crab nebula.

Martin added that the new pulsar spotted by him and his colleagues is 20 times more luminous compared to the Crab pulsar. This gap, according to the researcher, is truly huge. Martin continued by saying that only time can tell if the amazing object will contribute something significant in the process of understanding pulsars.

Researchers have also gathered evidence of gamma-ray emissions from another nearby pulsar. This second pulsar has excessively high energy output, which makes it the most powerful pulsar spotted to date.