Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Planets at a pulsar: the PSR B1257 + 12 system

Planets at a pulsar: the PSR B1257 + 12 system
Planets at a pulsar: the PSR B1257 + 12 system This artist's concept depicts the pulsar planet system discovered by Aleksander Wolszczan in 1992. Wolszczan used the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico to find 3 planets - the first of any kind ever found outside our solar system - circling a pulsar named PSR B1257+12. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, which are the collapsed cores of exploded massive stars. They spin and pulse with radiation, much like a lighthouse beacon. Here, the pulsar's twisted magnetic fields are highlighted by the blue glow. NASA / JPL-Caltech

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