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The most accurate natural pulse generator can become a galactic GPS

After studying unknown high-energy sources detected by cosmic gamma-ray telescope Fermi, astronomers discovered 17 millisecond pulsars in our galaxy. It should be noted that they were able to make this discovery in less than three months. 

Such a powerful high-speed breakthrough in hard-to-find objects offers the prospect of using them as a kind of "galactic GPS-system" to detect gravitational waves passing near Earth.

Millisecond pulsars are the most accurate natural pulse generator, the stability of which is on the same level as that of the man-made atomic clocks. Precise monitoring of the synchronization of changes in the array of millisecond pulsars enables direct detection of gravitational waves.

For a more detailed study of radio scientists organized the Fermi Pulsar Search Consortium and invited astronomers with experience in the use of the five largest radio telescopes in the world - Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory of the USA, Australian Parks, Nancy French, German and Effelsberg telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

As a result, experts managed to explore more than 100 objects, and data analysis is still ongoing. Thus, it became clear that four new objects are pulsars, such as "black widow." This name they received due to its insidious behavior: emission from the pulsar destroys the companion star that helped him unwind.

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 04-09-2014