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Science Tiny spinning star slammed by billion-ton space rock, say astronomers

A pulsar located 37,000 light years away seems to have been pummeled by space debris, including a billion-metric-ton asteroid, say astronomers.

By Elizabeth HowellUniverse Today / February 21, 2014

NASA/JPL-Caltech

When you throw a bunch of rock and debris at a rapidly spinning star, what happens? A new study suggests that so-called pulsar stars change their dizzying spin rate as asteroids fall into the gaseous mass. This conclusion comes from observations of one pulsar (PSR J0738-4042) that is being “pounded” with debris from rocks, researchers said.