Latest Neutron star Stories

2008-01-08 11:40:04

Using the powerful one-two combo of NASA's Swift satellite and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion farther back in time than ever before. The explosion, known as a short gamma-ray burst (GRB), took place 7.4 billion years ago, more than halfway back to the Big Bang. "This discovery dramatically moves back the time at which we know short GRBs were exploding. The short burst is almost twice as far as the previous confirmed record holder," says...

2008-01-04 14:55:00

GREENBELT, Md. - New observations from Suzaku, a joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA X-ray observatory, have challenged scientists' conventional understanding of white dwarfs. Observers had believed white dwarfs were inert stellar corpses that slowly cool and fade away, but the new data tell a completely different story. At least one white dwarf, known as AE Aquarii, emits pulses of high-energy (hard) X-rays as it whirls around on its axis. "We're seeing behavior like...

2007-12-21 07:32:59

XMM-Newton has detected periodic X-ray emission, or the pulsed heartbeat of a weird new type of star. Collecting the X-rays from the so-called rotating radio transient has confirmed the nature of the underlying celestial object and given astronomers a new insight into these exotic objects. The observations were made using XMM-Newton's European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), which targeted the celestial object RRAT J1819"“1458. Astronomers observed the object for around 12 hours and...

2007-11-07 10:05:33

Astronomers from around the world have been discussing the extraordinary scientific riches that have flowed from ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral. Here we present the gist of some of the astonishing ones. When Integral was launched in 2002 it was intended to take detailed gamma-ray images and spectra of the universe and to look for new types of sources in this relatively unexplored field. In all these objectives, it has excelled. "Integral discovers about 100 new gamma-ray...

2007-10-23 14:45:23

A spectacular new image shows how complex a star's afterlife can be. By studying the details of this image made from a long observation by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers can better understand how some stars die and disperse elements like oxygen into the next generation of stars and planets. At a distance of about 20,000 light years, G292.0+1.8 is one of only three supernova remnants in the Milky Way known to contain large amounts of oxygen. The image shows a rapidly expanding,...

2007-09-20 12:46:32

'Magnetar' Magnetic Field is 600 Trillion Times Stronger Than Earth's University of Arizona astronomers have pinpointed the origin of powerful bursts from nature's most magnetic objects. The bursts are from "magnetars," some of the most enigmatic objects in the universe. Magnetars are a type of neutron star, which are superdense stars that pack the mass of a sun into a body the size of Manhattan Island. Tiny magnetars possess magnetic fields that are at least 100 trillion times as powerful as...

2007-09-13 00:00:00

Using NASA's Swift and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellites, astronomers have discovered one of the most bizarre planet-mass objects ever found. The object's minimum mass is only about 7 times the mass of Jupiter. But instead of orbiting a normal star, this low-mass body orbits a rapidly spinning pulsar. It orbits the pulsar every 54.7 minutes at an average distance of only about 230,000 miles (slightly less than the Earth-Moon distance). "This object is merely the skeleton of a...

2007-08-27 11:45:31

Astronomers using XMM-Newton and Suzaku have seen Einstein's predicted distortion of space-time and pioneered a ground-breaking technique for determining the properties of neutron stars. ESA's XMM-Newton and the JAXA/NASA Suzaku X-ray observatories have been used to see the distortion of space-time around three neutron stars. These objects contain the densest observable matter in the Universe. Neutron stars cram more than a Sun's worth of material into a city-sized sphere. This means that a...

2007-06-27 19:05:00

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed an X-ray jet blasting away from a neutron star in a binary system. This discovery may help astronomers understand how neutron stars as well as black holes can generate powerful beams of relativistic particles. The jet was found in Circinus X-1, a system where a neutron star is in orbit around a star several times the mass of the Sun, about 20,000 light years from Earth. A neutron star is an extremely dense remnant of an exploded star consisting...

2007-04-04 13:05:00

Astronomers using data from several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar "“ the remnant of a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field "“ in a sort of giant cosmic blench. When it comes to eerie astrophysical effects, the neutron stars commonly known as magnetars are hard to beat. The massive remnants of exploded stars, magnetars are the size of mountains but weigh as much as the sun, and have magnetic fields hundreds of trillions of times more powerful than the...

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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Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'