Wonderful Wednesdays: Pulsars

640px-Chandra-crab
Image from the Hubble telescope, pulled from Wikipedia.

Ever since high school, I have always been intrigued by Pulsars. As we learned all those many (I won’t say how many) years ago, pulsars are a special kind of neutron star, one which emits a highly-concentrated pulse of radiation detectable from light years away. The scientists who first detected this radiation dubbed it LGM-1, for Little Green Men, positing (mostly jokingly) that they had found proof of extra-terrestrial life.

I for one find it fascinating to consider how a massive explosion like a supernova could result in the creation of something so small and so compact, and yet so powerful that it could send a message across light-years, one which is not (alas) from extra-terrestrial intelligent life sending us a message, but … then again define intelligent and define life.

This post will be spoiler-free, I promise! But in the most recent episode of Doctor Who, the birth of stars is presented as the birth of a kind of life. The universe is – if nothing else – brilliant. As an unapologetic believer in God, I see intelligence and I see messages written across all the universe. The universe seems designed for wisdom.

Pulsars tell me that sometimes power is hidden in plain sight, that something which is small can be powerful, even more so because it IS so small, because of all that is held inside, bending the world around it.

Human beings are like that too. Creativity, and imagination are like that. To be truly creative, we need a room of our own and time and space and resources. We need space. The universe is filled with reminders of this fact, in the light – and also in the darkness. That’s how I see it.

What do you think?

One thought on “Wonderful Wednesdays: Pulsars

  1. I concur…a time and space of my own would be delightful. Failing that, a man wearing a bowtie showing up with a big, blue phone booth would be a close second.

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