Astronomers find the first gamma-ray only pulsar
Most of the time this beam of energy takes the form of radio waves that we can easily detect. Occasionally, however, they blink in visible light or even x-rays. This is the first time they have been spotted only in the far more energetic gamma-rays.
The gamma-ray-only pulsar lies within a supernova remnant known as CTA 1, which is located around 4,600 light-years away, and its beam sweeps Earth's way every 316.86 milliseconds (i.e. about 3 times a second). The pulsar itself was created following a supernovae explosion around 10,000 years ago, but still emits over 1,000 times the energy of our Sun.
Pulsar beams are quite complex physical phenomena but essentially occur because neutron stars have very strong magnetic fields and rotate rapidly. Charged particles spinning around the magnetic lines (see image above) are able to escape from the star's magnetic poles and stream out in a beam of gamma-rays travelling at nearly the speed of light.