pul·​sar | \ ˈpəl-ˌsär How to pronounce pulsar (audio) \

Definition of pulsar

: a celestial source of pulsating electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) characterized by a short relatively constant interval (such as .033 second) between pulses that is held to be a rotating neutron star

Examples of pulsar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But even before Pluto was pink-slipped, the planetary census far deeper in space began to grow, with the discovery, in 1992, of a planet orbiting a rapidly spinning pulsar; and later, in 1995, of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a sun-like star. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 25 Mar. 2022 Wang added his team originally thought the signal came from a pulsar, a heavily dense, rapidly spinning star that has collapsed and as a result, gives off solar flares. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, as she became known as, made the initial pulsar observations. Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2021 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, as she became known as, made the initial pulsar observations. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2021 Born in the supernova explosion observed nearly 1,000 years ago, the nebula’s heart harbors a pulsar, an extremely dense neutron star spinning 30 times every second. Ling Xin, Scientific American, 8 July 2021 This became a pulsar, or rapidly spinning neutron star, in the nebula that could be as much as hundreds of times more energetic than researchers previously believed, according to a study published last week in the journal Science. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 17 Apr. 2021 For instance, models have predicted strong magnetic fields from the pulsar in the Crab nebula can boost particles to 0.1 PeV, but to reach 1 PeV, Cao says, all the parameters need to be pushed to the extreme. Ling Xin, Science | AAAS, 18 May 2021 For reasons that remain unexplained, some pulsars occasionally spew out GRPs that are hundreds to thousands of times brighter than regular pulsar radio signals. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 15 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pulsar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pulsar

1968, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pulsar

puls(ating) + -ar (in quasar)

Note: The coinage was apparently made by the astronomers Jocelyn Bell Burnell (born 1943 in Northern Ireland) and Antony Hewish (born 1924 in England), who discovered the objects in November, 1967. The Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, cites the following from the Daily Telegraph (March 5, 1968, p. 21): "The name Pulsar (Pulsating Star) is likely to be given to it … Dr. A. Hewish … told me yesterday: '…I am sure that today every radio telescope is looking at the Pulsars.'" The word pulsar was not used in the first formal report of the discovery (A. Hewish, S.J. Bell, et al., "Observation of a Rapidly Pulsating Radio Source," Nature, vol. 217, February 24, 1968, pp. 709-13).

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Last Updated

28 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pulsar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pulsar. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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