back to article Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

A pulsar that randomly and without warning dramatically changes its pattern of radio wave and X-ray emissions has surprised a team of astronomers, who wrote that it "challenges all proposed pulsar emission theories". A pulsar with glowing cones of radiation Pulsars are spinning neutron stars the size of a small city, with a …


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  1. Miguel Farah

    What if there are TWO pulsars?

    And these two are close together and transit over each other?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Some alien nerd sitting in his bedroom on a nearby planet messing with pulsars to confuse the Universe.

      1. haloburn

        Re: Some

        Power source for a type 3 civilisation

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL

      ZZzzzzzz, ZZZZzzzzz. Talk about the topic Eadon your so boring.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL

        He can't, when you get your entire knowledge of the universe from 2nd rate Linux forums, you can only converse in that language.

        All other thought is filtered out as it will pollute the sanctuary that is his bedroom in mummies house.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Down

            Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL


            Jokes are funny. You appear to have missed that part out, oh one of Stratospheric Intellect.

            "I doubt most of you know what neutron matter, or the strong nuclear force, is."

            We make up for it by not needlessly depleting the world's comma supply.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL


              You deserve 1000 up-votes for all parts of your post.

              1. frank ly

                Re: Silver star and up/down votes

                I'm thinking .... silver bullet...... for the weirdwolves.

          3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            @Eadon Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL

            > It's not that the level of intelligence here is stratospheric exactly.

            Your posts are the most inane rants I've seen on here. Whilst you occasionally say things that are true you are just quoting things you've heard, parrot fashion. You have proved you have no idea about what you are talking about.

            Also, despite some people thinking that El Reg can be immature (along with it's readership), there is actually nothing in the rule book that says intelligent people have to be boring social outcasts.

            Some of the most brilliant minds in their field post and comment to El Reg - if you took your blinkers off for one minute, and actually read some of the comments, rather than just working out how to troll a reply, you might see that.

            But then, the typical El Reg reader can be serious and offer informed comments and debate, whilst at the same time not being afraid to make "I'll get my coat" or "It's beer friday" humourous or indeed feel so insecure as to show off their credentials at every possible opportunity.

    2. Shades

      Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL

      How old are you?! Change the record, you're getting f*cking boring now. Seriously.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Split Personality Windows 8 Classic vs Metro personality disorder FAIL

      Eadon has a silver star because a lot of his pro linux posts get upvoted by his fellow linux fanbois.

      El Reg should really take downvotes into account when grading users for the silver star... Maybe not on a one-to-one basis, but maybe each downvote should be 1/4 of a point off the total score that is required to turn you silver...

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge


      Just Fornicate Off And Decease, will you?

  3. Tom Chiverton 1

    Do aliens use morse ?

    1. Chemist

      dash dot dash dash dash

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Your fist sucks, man

        .-- .... . .-. . ... - .... . .. -. - . .-. .-.. . - - . .-. --. .- .--. - .... . .-. . .. - ... -. --- - .- .--. .-. --- ... .. --. -. ..--..

        -. ---


        1. Martin Huizing

          Re: Your fist sucks, man: But Charmap rules!

          –•–– ––– ••– / •– •–• • / ••• – ••– •––• •• –•• / •• ••–• / –•–– ––– ••– / –•–• •– –• / •–• • •– –•• / – •••• •• •••

          Go to: for translation!

  4. Silverburn

    "The behaviour of this pulsar is quite startling, it’s as if it has two distinct personalities,

    I promised myself I wouldn't go there...but I will:

    ...does this behaviour appear to change regularly on an almost monthly basis...?

    The brown one. Quickly. I have to run.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think... electricity.

  6. Filippo

    C'tan communication?

  7. kyza

    Malfunctioning power source...

    ...for some alien superweapon.

    Pulsars are the discarded magazine clips of the Vl'Hurg Imperium.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Malfunctioning power source...

      > clips

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Malfunctioning power source...

      Bored pedant here. It's either a magazine or a clip. I have never heard of a magazine clip.

      1. MadChemist

        Re: Malfunctioning power source...

        Well... I hate to disagree, but then again, English is not my native language.

        Also, I am aware that clips are used to load magazines, and that the terms are used interchangeably, though technically incorrectly, particularly in the FPS gaming crowd.

        However, there are variants of "clip", such as a money clip, video clip, paper clip, battery clip, alligator clip... need I go on? Thus, most clips I come across have nothing to do with guns - in fact, I have only ever seen pictures of a (cartridge) clip. A magazine clip in the context of weaponry - space based or otherwise - would no doubt refer to a clip intended to load a magazine.

  8. ElNumbre

    Trans-Warp Conduit

    The Trans-warp conduits emit different signals based upon if something is passing into, or out of, the aperture.


  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Sounds like its still eating its partner

    It there's a lot of gas still circling around it from time to time a cloud of it will be pulled in and crash into the surface releasing xrays and at the same time blocking the radio emissions.

  10. jubtastic1

    "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology"

    -Paul Daniels

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the Cheela SETI project

    It's the Cheela SETI project, sending out a signal to anybody listening.

    It's a very long-term project - it's been running for hours!

  12. Robert E A Harvey

    Quadrature Amplitude Modulation

    Someone is sending cat pictures to another galaxy

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious innit?

    It means scientists don't understand *everything*

    Therefore they don't know anything.

    = It is proof of God's existence.

    (copyright @pontifex)

    1. Chemist

      Re: Obvious innit?


      Yours _infallibly@pontifex

  14. Psyx

    I for one...

    ...welcome our ultra-dense overlords.

    Oh, too late; they've already filled parliament.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There is a theory that life (but not as we know it) might be able to evolve on the surface of neutron stars.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Well

      That was "Dragon's Egg" I think. A jolly good read, indeed.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. bag o' spanners

    A pint for your thoughts.

    Is it possible that its output wavelength is oscillating from gamma to x-ray spectra and back? Overmodulation of the output signal, for whatever wibbly cosmic yoyo reason, might be creating a funky meandering square wave that's defining what we can record from our limited perspective with our primitive earth technology..

    Alternatively, wouldn't it only require huge pulses of intense x-ray to mask the visible gamma frequencies, or vice versa? I'm sure some of those fancyarse disco lights use similar trickery in the visible spectrum..

    I can't help thinking of it as an early Moog star with oscillators that randomly drift in and out of tune.

  18. HelpfulJohn

    Cheela do.

    Or at least did, or will for a time a few years from now when the "Dragon Slayer" teaches them the great game of Civilisation. Dr. Forward's aliens wouldn't be using "morse" now as we haven't gone there to lift them up.

    Of course there's a chance these new aliens living on the neutron star uplifted themselves. That would be ever so cool.

    I wonder if they'd even see planets like ours? Or would they zip by in a rush to get to other "Goldilocks" stars on the other side of what they would consider useless Sol?

    Neutron-star alien Galactic Empire next week?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be some kind of hormonal imbalance...

    .. anon.. in case the wife reads it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, what happened to the quark star hypothesis for PSR B0943+10

    Warning: PDF!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Very interesting indeed.

      But now .... quickly say ten times "bare quark star" and "quare bark star". I dare you!

  21. Spoonsinger

    Re :- neutron stars the size of a small city?

    What like St Asaph?

  22. Crisp

    Changes in the pulsar are like a chameleon

    They come and go... They come and go

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