Thanks to radio telescopes, numerous different sources of radio pulses have been discovered, classified as pulsars. The periods of vibration range from several seconds to a tiny fraction of a second, as confirmed by optical and X-ray observations. These periods are so constant that only the most precise clocks can detect a slight increase in the average pulse interval and only in a few Few pulsars. This increase indicates that it would take a million years to double its characteristic period.
Pulsars have been found mainly in the Milky Way, within about 500 light-years from the plane of the Galaxy. Each pulse emits for about four million years; after this time it loses so much rotational energy that it cannot produce detectable radio pulses.
Pulsars have been found in globular clusters, formed by the accretion of matter in white dwarf stars in binary systems. Other pulsars are born in supernova explosions.
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