Isolated Neutron Stars

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Science  08 Mar 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5254, pp. 1372-1373
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5254.1372


Neutron stars are formed in the stellar collapse following a supernova. Some of these, called isolated neutron stars, undergo a short but violent phase of x-ray emission before settling down as radio pulsars. In his Perspective, Bignami discusses recent observations of isolated neutron stars that were detected at short wavelengths and not at radio frequencies by the latest generation of astronomy satellites. Future analysis of such objects may lead to better understanding of their puzzling emission mechanisms.