The Lighthouse nebula
was formed by the wind of a pulsar,
a rapidly rotating, magnetized neutron star, as it
speeds through the interstellar medium at over 1,000 kilometers per
Some 23,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation
Carina, pulsar and wind nebula (cataloged as IGR J1104-6103)
are indicated at the lower right in
remarkable image from the Chandra
generated by the pulsar are swept back into
the wind's comet-like tail trailing up and to the left, along the
direction of the pulsar's motion away from its
parent supernova remnant.
Both runaway pulsar and expanding remnant debris field are
the aftermath of the
core-collapse-explosion of a massive
star, with the pulsar kicked out by the supernova explosion.
Adding to the scene of exotic cosmic extremes is a
long, spiraling jet extending for almost 37 light-years,
but nearly at a right angle to the pulsar's motion.
is the longest known for any object in our Milky Way galaxy.
L. Pavan et al.