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The animations below highlight various aspects of pulsars and the double pulsar system. Click on each image to start it in your media player.

All videos have been tested with Quicktime, though they may work in other players.

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A rotating neutron star acts as a cosmic lighthouse beaming radio waves into space. The rotation of the star and finite size of the emission beams mean that the radiation we receive on Earth is in the form of pulses spaced by the spin period of the neutron star.

Credit: Michael Kramer

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A rotating neutron star acts as a cosmic lighthouse beaming radio waves into space. The rotation of the star and finite size of the emission beams mean that the radiation we receive on Earth is in the form of pulses spaced by the spin period of the neutron star.

Credit: Michael Kramer

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Evolution of the Double Pulsar System. Pulsar A is formed in a supernova explosion and is later 'spun up' by the secondary star as matter is accreted onto A's strong gravitatation field. The other star later collapses and forms pulsar B in a second supernova explosion.

Credit: John Rowe animations

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Current state of the Double Pulsar System showing the effect of A's radiation beam on B.

Credit: John Rowe animations

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The ultimate fate of the double pulsar system as the two stars coalesce in 85 Myr time due to the emission of gravitational radiation. This merger will release large amounts of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation. The gravitational wave emission is depicted as the ripples in spacetime - the green grid shown in the background. Gravitational wave detectors now coming online aim to detect such events out to the distance of the Virgo supercluster.

Credit: John Rowe animations