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Finally, scientists have their finger on the pulse. 

Spinning dead stars, known as pulsars, blast powerful beams of radio waves into space. As a pulsar spins, its beams sweep past Earth, producing a pulsating signal similar to a lighthouse’s flashes. Astronomers now have mapped the structure of the beams of one pulsar, using observations made over decades. The technique relies on Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity, and simultaneously reconfirms that the theory is correct, the scientists report in the Sept. 6 Science. 

The result allowed researchers to “view the beam of a pulsar in a whole new way,” says astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi of McGill University in Montreal, who was not involved with the new study.

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Category: Science