Studying Pulsars with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

Mar 27, 2014, 10:20 AM


Prof. Alice K. Harding (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)


Of the several thousand pulsars that have been discovered by radio telescopes over the past forty year, only a handful were known to emit gamma-ray pulsations before the launch in June, 2008 of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. After five years of operation, 130 gamma-ray pulsars have been detected and several new populations have been discovered. Millisecond pulsars have been confirmed as powerful sources of gamma-ray emission, and a whole population of these objects is seen with Fermi both in the Galactic plane and in globular clusters. Fermi has thus revolutionized the study of pulsars and allowed us to peer deeper into the inner workings of this incredibly efficient natural accelerator. These discoveries, together with recent progress in global simulation of pulsar magnetospheres, are changing our models of pulsar particle acceleration and high-energy emission.

Primary author

Prof. Alice K. Harding (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Presentation materials