Astronomers watched a neutron star ‘glitch’ and can’t yet explain it

A glitch in the cosmos.

You remember that part in the (now 20-year-old) film The Matrix where Neo looks at a black cat and then seconds later, he sees the same black cat again? And he’s all like “I just had deja vu but it’s OK” but it’s actually not OK at all? Well, as if providing evidence that we, too, exist in the Matrix, a team of international astronomers has been watching the rapidly spinning corpse of a star — and while they were watching, they saw it “glitch.”

While there’s no definitive evidence that we live in a simulation, astronomers are puzzled by this glitch, a phenomenon they’ve known about for the past 50 years but still haven’t quite worked out.

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