Pulsar Jackpot Reveals Globular Cluster’s Inner Structure

Newswise imageAstronomers have spent nearly two decades meticulously tracing the motions of 36 rapidly rotating pulsars, so-called millisecond pulsars, inside Terzan 5 – a massive, ancient star cluster near the center of the Milky Way. The pulsars are gradually “falling” throughout the cluster, tugged by gravity toward regions with greater mass. This new research, published in the Astrophysical Journal, is giving astronomers a clearer picture of the cluster’s interior and likely birthplace.