NASA discovers Dead Star beaming with Energy equivalent of 10 Million Suns
Astronomers have discovered a very exciting dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. NASA has claimed that the star is the brightest ever recorded, thanks to the agency’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).
Pulsars are basically considered as dense stellar left over from a supernova explosion. They come under the category of a type of neutron star. According to Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology, this pulsar can be thought of the 'Mighty Mouse' of stellar remnants. Its power is comparable to that of black hole, but mass is much lesser.
The discovery has been reported in the October 9 issue of the journal Nature. Astronomers are getting help from the find to gain insight into mysterious sources of blinding X-rays, called ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). Researchers previously believed that all ULXs were black holes. However, the new data from NuSTAR has showed otherwise, revealing that at least one ULX, about 12 million light-years away in the galaxy Messier 82 (M82), is actually a pulsar.
Astronomers are not certain why the pulsar is burning so brightly, perhaps it is feasting on surrounding matter at a very high rate.
Astronomers were lucky to notice one ULX, about 12 million light-years away in the galaxy Messier 82 (M82), as they were originally observing a recent supernova in the galaxy.
Astronomer Jeanette Gladstone of the University of Alberta, Canada, said a medium-sized black hole appears to be another source of unusually bright X-rays in the M82 galaxy. “Now, we find that the second source of bright X-rays in M82 isn’t a black hole at all. This is going to challenge theorists and pave the way for a new understanding of the diversity of these fascinating objects”, said Gladstone.
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