Phys.org notes that Jocelyn Bell observed the emissions of a pulsar back in 1967, the rhythmic pulses of radio waves confounded experts, and they considered whether the light could be signals from an alien civilization.
Stars act like stellar lighthouses, and they are shooting beams of radio waves from the magnetic poles. It’s been revealed that for over a half-century, the cause of these beams was confounding experts.
Now, it’s been just revealed that a team of experts is saying that they believe that they finally found the mechanism that’s responsible for all of this.
Such a discovery is important t because it could aid projects that are relying on the timing of pulsar emissions such as studies of gravitational waves.
Experts’ proposal starts with the strong electric fields of the pulsar which are tearing electrons from the surface of the start and accelerate them to extreme energies.
Strong light from pulsars explained
Thes eventually will begin emitting high-energy gamma rays and when the rays are absorbed by the pulsar’s massively strong magnetic field, they will produce more electrons and their antimatter counterparts, called positrons.
These particles will dampen the electric fields and make them oscillate. It’s important to highlight the fact that the electric fields in the presence of the pulsar’s powerful magnetic fields will result in electromagnetic waves that are escaping into space.
Another interesting thing worth noting is the fact that using plasma simulations, experts found that these electromagnetic waves are matching the radio waves that experts see from pulsars.
“The process is a lot like lightning,” says study lead author Alexander Philippov, as cited by the online publication mentioned above.
He continued and explained that “Out of nowhere, you have a powerful discharge producing a cloud of electrons and positrons, and then, as an afterglow, there are electromagnetic waves.”