A super-dense neutron star some 4,400 light-years away is not reluctant about showing off its asset. According to a research, the star -- which is called PSR J1023+0038 and has a companion star -- is discharging jets of gas into space with a power that scientists before believed was exclusive to black holes. These jets are made when the neutron star's gravity pulls gas from its neighboring star, and some of the gas gets blasted outward.
"Black holes were before considered the undoubted kings of creating powerful jets, even when they were only nourished by a little bit of material from their neighboring star, in comparison, neutron stars appeared to make comparatively puny jets, which only became bright enough to see when the neutron stars were gobbling gas from their companions at a very high rate." Dr. Adam Deller, astrophysicist at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and lead writer of the research, said in a printed statement.
A neutron star is a comparatively small heavenly object made up of narrowly packed neutron particles. They are made when a once-large star detonates into a supernova, leaving behind only the central core.
"And the central parts of the star breakdowns under their own gravity, these things are normally about one and a half times the mass of the sun and yet they're only 10-15 kilometers in diameter, so they're extremely dense." Dr. James Miller-Jones, astrophysicist at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy in Western Australia and co-author of the research, said in the written statement.
For the research, astrophysicists utilized the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico to take a close look at the neutron star, which was formerly found in 2009. The astrophysicists studied their 2013 and 2014 radio and x-ray observations of the star and observed that it was generating much stronger jets than anticipated.
Miller-Jones said that this research casts neutron stars in a new light, and displays that these cosmic objects can occasionally launch jets challenging those produced from black holes.
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