The Black Widow Pulsars
- Year Discovered: 1988
- Location: Sagitta Constellation (where the first black widow pulsar was discovered)
First discovered in 1988, the PSR B1957+20 pulsar was the very first black widow pulsar ever discovered. The reason for the name is due to the fact that it destroys nearby companions using strong winds of high-energy particles. Those particles usually come from neutron stars, which is where the black widow name comes from. The initial discovery found the PSR B1957+20 pulsar in our Milky Way galaxy. It orbits with a brown dwarf companion.
It rotates alongside the dwarf, causing an eclipse to occur that lasts roughly 20 minutes in length. Basically, this pulsar is blasting its companion with radiation. That only causes the companion to spin slower, effectively taking away energy that normally develops. That energy lost by the companion allows the pulsar to essentially blast the companion more, with even enough energy to evaporate its companion. While this does not always happen, it did occur with Pulsar J1311-3430.