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Byline: Rick Steelhammer
Jan. 17--The fastest-spinning pulsar ever observed, a magnetic field coiled around a gas cloud like a "giant, magnetic Slinky" and a "superbubble" of hydrogen gas rising 10,000 light years above the Milky Way galaxy are among recent discoveries made using the Green Bank Telescope.
The three discoveries were announced last week during an American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. The Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope, is operated by National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pocahontas County. It's construction began in 1991 and was completed in 2000. The fast-spinning pulsar was discovered about 28,000 light years from Earth in a globular cluster of stars in the constellation Sagittarius. Twenty miles in diameter, the newly discovered pulsar spins at a rate of 716 times per second, easily beating the previous rotational speed record of 642 times per second by a …