Victoria Kaspi Public Lecture: The Cosmic Gift of Neutron Stars

A very fine introduction by Prof. Dr. Victoria Kaspi to neutron stars, pulsars, magnetars, binary pulsars. Explaining their use in test for general relativity, and detection of gravitational waves.

She also mentions Einstein@Home.

Homepage of Prof. Kaspi is here. A recent (6-Jan-2017) observation by Prof. Kaspi was given by NASA. She was a pupil and Ph.D. candidate under Joseph Taylor (K1JT).

Astronomy at Home – Brian Koberlein

Great article about Einstein@Home by Brian Koberlein: Astronomy at Home – Brian Koberlein.

This is interesting in particular:

The team used the distributed computing network to analyze x-ray data from the Fermi gamma ray telescope. From this they found four new gamma ray pulsars.

Most gamma ray pulsars are also radio pulsars. Since radio astronomy is easier than gamma ray astronomy, most gamma ray pulsars are first discovered at radio wavelengths and then demonstrated to be gamma ray pulsars as well. These new pulsars were discovered directly. What’s more, they are quiet at radio wavelengths, so they couldn’t have been discovered that way.

Why Brian Koberlein Is In The Dark Matter Camp

Brian Koberlein blogged in “Ugly Theory, Beautiful Data” why he is in the dark matter camp, and not in the MOND camp. He very nicely weights each of the arguments of each theory to conclude why there is compelling evidence for dark matter.

He concludes with:

Of course dark matter still has a serious challenge. It predicts a new kind of matter that we haven’t seen in the lab. It would be nice to make a direct detection of dark matter. This is actually an active area of research. So far there are some interesting hints, but nothing conclusive.