Sunday, May 15, 2011

Speaking of the Pulsar

Wheel of stars (clicking on this link will take you to an amazing website.)

The Pulsar
Upon supernova, stars sometimes crush their cores into neutron stars carrying enormous magnetic fields and angular momenta. These fields exceed the earth's by a factor of around 1012, and they rotate about once per second despite having masses exceeding that of the sun!  Such powerful electrodynamics create beams of radio waves sweeping across earth's observatories once per pulsar rotation. This produces a fascinating periodic signal which we observe and study--a pulsar.

The pulsar turns, dervish-like,
calling into the dust of the sky. 

Once it was a star with planets,
but there was an event.

A great blow-out.  The greatest.

The star concentrated,
focused, spinning,
pulsing, emitting at 30 Megahertz
or upward and in the optical, x-ray
and gamma ray spectrum
spinning on its axis every
1.56 milliseconds. 

Sending three holy words.

Here am I.

My own star is nearer than that
and dearer to me.
It does not speak except in heat and day.
Moon-like, I raise my silent face
to the sun and all I know.

But there is a node in my heart receiving
impulses at 30 Megahertz
or upward.  Through clouds of
dark matter, past
newborn stars and planets,
I turn round to receive,

and reply.

                                                          This is the sound of a pulsar

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