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Illustration of 4U 0614091 an X-ray binary system
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Illustration of 4U 0614+091, an X-ray binary system

January 25, 2013
This illustration depicts 4U 0614+091, an exotic binary system composed of two stellar remnants, a neutron star and a white dwarf. A long-sought-after emission line of oxygen, carrying the imprint of strong gravitational fields, has been discovered in the XMM-Newton spectrum of this system. Astronomers can use this line to probe extreme gravity effects in the region close to the surface of a neutron star. ESA