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Photos of pulsar seen as boon in studying star life cycles

The ability to photograph a second pulsar with optical telescopes may lead to a better understanding of the life cycle of stars. The pulsar, about 150,000 light years from Earth, was discovered through X-ray transmissions, then photographed in August, Carl Pennypacker, an astronomer at the University of California, said Tuesday. It has been difficult to study these distant ojects optically.

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A pulsar is the remains of a star that has exploded, leaving a dense, spinning object with an exceedingly strong magnetic field that beams regular pulses of light and radio waves.