Astronomers discover Brightest Dead Star that Pulsates with Huge Energy
Astronomers have discovered a pulsar, which pulsates with so much energy that it can be mistaken as a black hole. With the help of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), astronomers have detected an object, which was releasing energy beams that were equivalent to the power of 10 million suns.
Experts shared that pulsar is quite dense as it is made from remnants of a dead star that started to rotate swiftly. Even, black holes are stellar remnants and they are produced by the deaths of the most massive stars. They further stated that the dead star was so dense that it was initially considered as a black hole.
Average size of pulsars is around twice the size of the sun. But such is not the case with the new discovery, as it is 100 times brighter than regular pulsars. The pulsar is located in the Messier 82 galaxy (M82) and it is titled as M82 X-2 and is around 12 million miles away.
NuSTAR was launched in 2012 and it is used to study supernovae, black holes, and star dust formation. It is the only telescope in space, which has the ability of imaging high energy X-rays known as ultra-luminous X-rays (ULXs). These rays are produced when black holes consume companion stars.
Neutron stars pulsate, but black holes do not. The researchers stated that it was important to correctly measure M82 X-2's pulsation rate. They were observing a supernova when they discovered that ULXs being produced by a pulsar.
Swift satellite and Chandra X-Ray Observatory confirmed their observations. For now, researchers are not aware that whether M82 X-2 is the only one that emits ULXs or there are many pulsars that do the same.
The researchers will be studying the pulsar by NuSTAR, Swift, and Chandra and they will also be used to find out additional sources of ULXs.
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