Pulsars are compact, magnetized neutron stars which emit a narrow beam of radio light along their magnetic axis. As the magnetic axis is inclined to the rotational axis, the pulsar acts like a cosmic lighthouse. A radio telescope that is located in the parts of the sky covered by the lighthouse beam will observe the pulsar as a periodic radio source. One pulse period corresponds to a full rotation of the pulsar. Size: 1MB. Credit: M. Kramer (JBCA, Unversity of  Manchester)

A Cosmic Lighthouse

For talks and presentations, I have produced a number of animations. These can be downloaded and used if appropriate credit is given i.e. “Michael Kramer (JBCA, U. Manchester)”

NOTE: Due to the large size only two animations are available at the moment. I am working on producing reduced versions of other existing animations. Please, contact me for further examples.

Pulsars are rather weak radio sources. Currently, about 2000 pulsars are known. However, with future radio telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), almost all pulsars with beam directed to Earth should be detectable, i.e. 20,000 to 30,000 pulsars will be discovered in future surveys. This animation shows a flight to the Galaxy with the known pulsars shown in purple, and the new pulsars in cyan. Size 20MB! Credit: M. Kramer (JBCA, Unversity of  Manchester)

The Pulsar Sky of the Future