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WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- About three times a second, a 10,000-year-old stellar corpse sweeps a beam of gamma-rays toward Earth. This object, known as a pulsar, is the first one known to "blink" only in gamma rays, and was discovered by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
"This is the first example of a new class of pulsars that will give us fundamental insights into how stars work," says Stanford University's Peter Michelson, principal investigator for the LAT.
The gamma-ray-only pulsar lies within a supernova remnant known as CTA 1, which is located about 4,600 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus. Its lighthouse-like beam sweeps Earth's way every 316.86 milliseconds and emits 1,000 times the energy of our sun. These results appear in the Oct. 16 edition of Science Express.