A pulsar is a type of neutron star that emits a beam of radio waves (or x -rays) while spinning, similar to how a lighthouse rotates while shining a light. The pulsar J0437-4715 is unique because it is the closest and brightest millisecond pulsar known to this day and it is in a binary system and orbits a companion star. Astronomers are attempting to use these changes in the timing of the pulses to detect gravitational waves. Our primary goal was to measure the orbital period.
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