NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer telescope on the International Space Station has detected a sudden spike of X-rays. EDT on The burst was caused by a massive thermonuclear flash on the surface of a pulsar, the crushed stays of a star that way back exploded as a supernova.
The X-ray burst has seen by NICER so far got here from an object named SAX J1808.4-3658, or J1808 for brief. The observations reveal many phenomena that have by no means been seen collectively in a single burst. As well as, the subsiding fireball briefly brightened once more for causes astronomers can’t but clarify.
“This burst was excellent,” mentioned lead researcher Peter Bult, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the College of Maryland “We see a two-step change in brightness, which we predict is caused by the ejection of separate layers from the pulsar surface, and different options that can assist us in decoding the physics of those highly effective occurrences.
The explosion that astronomers classify as a Type I X-ray burst, launched as much power in 20 seconds because Sun does in almost ten days. The element NICER captured on this document-setting eruption will help astronomers in tremendous-tune their understanding of the processes driving the thermonuclear flare-ups of it and different bursting explosions.
A pulsar is a neutron star, the compact core left behind when a massive star runs out of fuel, collapses under its weight, and explodes. Pulsars can spin rapidly and host X-ray-emitting scorching spots at their magnetic poles. As the article spins, it sweeps the new spots throughout our line of sight, producing typical pulses of high-energy radiation.