Latest Neutron star Stories

2008-10-16 14:10:00

About three times a second, a 10,000-year-old stellar corpse sweeps a beam of gamma-rays toward Earth. Discovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the object, called a pulsar, is the first one known that only "blinks" in gamma rays. "This is the first example of a new class of pulsars that will give us fundamental insights into how these collapsed stars work," said Stanford University's Peter Michelson, principal investigator for Fermi's Large Area Telescope in Palo Alto, Calif. The...

2008-10-02 00:25:00

Hot spots near the shattered remains of an exploded star are echoing the blast's first moments, say scientists using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Eli Dwek of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and Richard Arendt of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, say these echoes are powered by radiation from Cassiopeia A supernova shock wave that blew the star apart some 11,000 years ago. "We're seeing the supernova's first flash," Dwek said. Previously, other...

2008-09-25 08:05:00

First Optically Active Magnetar-Candidate Discovered Astronomers have discovered a most bizarre celestial object that emitted 40 visible-light flashes before disappearing again. It is most likely to be a missing link in the family of neutron. This weird object initially misled its discoverers as it showed up as a gamma-ray burst, suggesting the death of a star in the distant Universe. But soon afterwards, it exhibited some unique behaviour that indicates its origin is much closer to us....

2008-07-24 16:10:00

A European-led team of astronomers are providing hints that a recent supernova may not be as normal as initially thought. Instead, the star that exploded is now understood to have collapsed into a black hole, producing a weak jet, typical of much more violent events, the so-called gamma-ray bursts. The object, SN 2008D, is thus probably among the weakest explosions that produce very fast moving jets. This discovery represents a crucial milestone in the understanding of the most violent...

2008-06-23 17:35:27

XMM-Newton has, for the first time, detected signals from both stars of a binary pulsar system in X-rays, unveiling a scientific goldmine. Each star of the closely-packed system is a dense neutron star, spinning extremely fast, radiating X-rays in pulses. The binary pulsar PSR J0737-3039 was first spotted by astronomers in 2003 in radio wavelengths. X-rays can be used to probe deeper and study the system more thoroughly. To see two pulsars orbiting each other in a binary system is extremely...

2008-06-05 12:55:12

ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral has revealed a new population of exotic and dusty binary stars which might represent a brief evolutionary period in a binary star's life. The findings bring to light a gap in our knowledge of the formation and evolution of such binary star systems. Since 2002, when Integral was launched, the observatory has been surveying the galaxy, looking for sources of the most powerful X-rays and gamma rays. Fifteen of its new discoveries appeared to be...

2008-06-02 11:05:00

New information about the heart of one of the most famous objects in the sky -- the Crab Pulsar in the Crab Nebula -- has been revealed by an international team of scientists searching for gravitational waves. The team's achievement also is the first direct look into the interior of a neutron star.The research team detected signals from the pulsar -- a rapidly spinning neutron star -- with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The analysis of the signals reveals that...

2008-05-21 12:50:00

Thanks to a fortunate observation with NASA's Swift satellite, astronomers, for the first time, have caught a normal supernova at the moment of its birth--the first instant when an exploding star begins spewing its energy into space, transforming into a supernova that during its brief lifetime will shine brighter than billions of stars combined. Until this discovery, the only supernovae glimpsed during their first moments were the more rare kind--the ones whose birth cries are drowned out by...

2008-05-16 01:00:00

Astronomers have discovered a rare type of star called a pulsar that they believe is locked in an elongated orbit around a star much like the sun. The spinning pulsar is called J1903+0327 and is located about 21,000 light years (About 6 trillion miles) from Earth. A pulsar is created when a massive star explodes as a supernova, astronomers said."The big question is"”how in the heck did this thing form, because it doesn't follow our standard models of how these things form," astronomer...

2008-04-30 17:35:00

Using observations from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), an international team of astronomers has discovered a timing mechanism that allows them to predict exactly when a superdense star will unleash incredibly powerful explosions. "We found a clock that ticks slower and slower, and when it slows down too much, boom! The bomb explodes," says lead author Diego Altamirano of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The bursts occur on a neutron star, which is the collapsed...

Latest Neutron star Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

X-Ray Astronomy -- Although the more energetic X-rays (E > 30 keV) can penetrate the air at least for distances of a few meters (they would never have been detected and medical X-ray machines would not work if this was not the case) the Earth's atmosphere is thick enough that virtually none are able to penetrate from outer space all the way to the Earth's surface. X-rays in the 0.5 - 5 keV range, where most celestial sources give off the bulk of their energy, can be stopped by a few...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

X-ray Pulsar -- This dramatic artist's vision shows a city-sized neutron star centered in a disk of hot plasma drawn from its enfeebled red companion star. Ravenously accreting material from the disk, the neutron star spins faster and faster emitting powerful particle beams and pulses of X-rays as it rotates 400 times a second. Could such a bizarre and inhospitable star system really exist in our Universe? Based on data from the orbiting Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite,...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supernova -- A supernova is a star that increases its brightness drastically within a matter of days, making it appear as if a "new" star was born (hence "nova"). The "super" prefix distinguishes it from a mere nova, which also involves a star increasing in brightness, though to a lesser extent and through a much different mechanism. Astronomers have classified supernovae in several classes, according to the lines of different elements that appear in their spectra. The first...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Strange Matter -- Strange matter (also known as quark matter) is an ultra-dense phase of matter that is theorized to form inside particularly massive neutron stars (which are then known as "strange stars" or "quark stars"). It's theorized that when neutronium is put under sufficient pressure due to the gravitation of a large neutron star, the individual neutrons break down and their constituent quarks form strange matter. Strange matter is composed of strange quarks bound to each...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Pulsar -- A pulsar, which originally stood for pulsating radio source, is a rapidly rotating neutron star, whose electromagnetic radiation is observed in regularly spaced interval, or pulses. Pulsars are closely related to magnetars, the main difference being the strenght of the object's magnetic field. History Pulsars were discovered by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish in 1967 while they were using a radio array to study the scintillation of quasars. They found a very regular...

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