NASA has discovered a massive thermonuclear explosion coming from outer space, caused by a massive thermonuclear flash on the surface of the pulsar – the crushed star remnants that exploded long ago as a supernova.
The blast released as much energy in 20 seconds as the Sun did in nearly 10 days.
The telescope's Neutron Composite Interior Researcher (NICER) at the International Space Station (ISS) discovered a sudden X-ray jump on August 20, the US space agency said.
The X-ray burst, the brightest ever seen by NICER, originates from an object named "J1808".
The discoveries reveal many phenomena that have never been seen together in a single burst.
In addition, the fireball briefly illuminated again for reasons that astronomers still cannot explain.
"This burst was remarkable. We are seeing a two-tier change in brightness, which we think is caused by the ejection of separate layers from the pulsed surface and other features that will help us decode the physics of these powerful events, "said lead researcher Peter Boult, an astrophysicist at the Space Flight Center. NASA Goddard in Maryland.
The detail NICER has experienced in this record-setting eruption will help astronomers adjust their understanding of the physical processes driving the thermonuclear reflections from it and other bursting pulsars.
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The J1808 is about 11,000 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation.
It spins at 401 rotations every second and is a member of the binary system. The companion is a brown dwarf, an object larger than a giant planet, yet too small to be a vulture. The constant flow of hydrogen gas originates from the companion to the neutron star and accumulates in a huge storage structure called the accumulation disc.
Astronomers use a concept called the "Edington Limit", named after English astrophysicist Sir Arthur Edington, to describe the maximum radiation intensity a star can have before the radiation causes the star to expand.
This point depends heavily on the composition of the material above the source of the emission.
"Our study has used this long-standing concept in a new way," said co-author Depot Chakrabarty, a professor of physics at MIT.
"We obviously see the Edington border for two different compositions in the same X-ray burst. This is a very powerful and straightforward way to track nuclear reactions that support the event. "
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A paper describing the findings is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. (IANS)