University of Edinburgh

BSL Astronomy Glossary - pulsar - definition

Definition: A pulsar is created when a large star dies and its gravity causes it to collapse in on itself, forming a neutron star. If the original star was already rotating before its collapse, it will start to spin faster and faster as it collapses, sometimes as fast as 100 rotations per second. This spinning object is known as a pulsar and, as it spins, it emits pulses of bright light.